Elena

And clean ones at that. This is something that I learned at a young age.

In places that receive heavier rain, gutters can prevent erosion, but more likely are there to prevent flooding of lawns, homes and gardens.

If your roof was real close to the ground. Since your roof is far away from the ground, the water dripping from the roof accelerates to a pretty high speed. Then it hits the ground. It makes a tiny crater, that can collect the water that follows. While the water is a little way out from the wall, it's not far enough to avoid foundation damage. Gutters get the water to the ground, and then splash it on a little chunk of concrete that it can't crater.

If you have clay in your soil then it can expand in the region that was dug up to bury your basement. This can fail your basement wall. Repairing the basement in my last house cost me $23K. If the previous owner had put up gutters, they would have paid for themselves.

My previous home did not have gutters.

It took about 3 years to cause the damage, based on the two "home improvement" projects he did when he should have been putting up gutters.

It did have sandy soil and a french drain all around the foundation. The only real problem we had was rain splashing on the deck, causing water damage both to the deck board closest to the house and to the siding at that point. But where we had a strip of decorative stones for the rest of the house, there were no problems, other than periodically refreshing the stone.

My current home has gutters, but no trees really close. We've never had a need to clean the gutters. One of the downspouts got crushed a bit by a car, but still carries the rainwater.

We see no reason to remove them.

Elena

Tell me why is it that sixty degrees indoors so much colder than sixty degrees outdoors?

How any given temperature makes the human body "feel" is related to humidity.

One thing a professor told me was that the body feels hot or cold based not on whether the air is hot or cold, but on the rate it is losing heat. This explains why you feel freezing when you have a fever because you are extremely hot, but you have an increased rate of heat loss due to the air temperature difference.

Air conditioners lower the temperature by removing the humidity from the air. That is why air conditioners have a drip line.

As for why there is a difference between outside and inside I can only assume there are many factors. Perhaps it is the humidity situation as others have mentioned or maybe its that there is a stronger airflow through the house and thus it is taking the heat from your body quicker.

The water you see dripping from an AC unit is the humidity that has been removed from the environment.

Low humidity makes you feel cooler while high humidity makes you feel hotter. When the humidity is low your body sweat can evaporate easily. Body sweat evaporation is how the body regulates its temperature. When the humidity is high your body sweat cannot evaporate because the air is already full of water.

When your sweat cannot evaporate it makes you feel very hot and sticky.

Elena

Some of my doors close softly, for example: the bathroom bedroom doors, yet others slam no matter how gently I try and shut them. The front door is the main offender.

But why do they slam?

Air pressure differentials in larger buildings are deliberate, part of the mechanical design

In commercial buildings here, including residential buildings, the common areas(halls, stairwells, lobbies) are kept at slightly higher air pressures for two reasons.

  • Life Safety. If a fire breaks out in a suite, they want to keep the smoke inside the unit. If air pressure in the hall is higher, smoke won't exit the unit easily and danger is more contained, since smoke kills many more than flames. In high rise buildings, stairwells and stair landing areas are pressurized to keep smoke out(and they are built of non-flammable materials), as these areas are often refuges for people who get out of their suite or office but the elevators are shut down and they need a safer place to wait for help.
  • Common or public areas are pressurized because building engineers want to better control unconditioned air. If the air pressure inside a building is lower than outside, air gets drawn in through every door, window and crevice. It is more desirable(cheaper) to slightly pressurize the air, so the reverse happens in a more controlled way. It is why when you open the front door of a big building, you feel a slight rush of air leaving. It is a balancing act, the desired outcome is a slight positive pressure.

When shutting your bathroom door there is air pressure generated as the door shuts. With a small room that air pressure can't dissipate fast enough and creates resistance.

In larger rooms like your front door there's enough room that no resistance is generated. This effect is increased as the weight of the door decreases. Plain hollow core doors feel the affects of this phenomenon the greatest.

Your front door is likely heavier being designed to block out some sound from the hall or your neighbors which would contribute to how easily and loudly it shuts.

Elena

Basically, on the standard house lock there are five pins of varying sizes which are assigned a number 0-9, giving you a number such as 71432 for each key/lock combo.

Any given key has a certain number valleys/cuts/whatever you want to call them (low spots). The spots can be several different heights. For argument's sake, let's say there are 4 valleys on a key. Now let's say that each cut has 5 positions. that means you have 54 =625 different combinations for the top part of the key. So, for every 625 key holes, your key should open 1.

Now, you have other parts that make the key unique. Take a set of keys, and look at it from the end. There are little groves there that can be made in any of dozens of ways. My car key looks very different from my house key, and my house key looks very different from my the house key of my old house.

So, while these keys could have the same pattern of cuts in them, you couldn't fit them in the other key holes.

I just looked at my house key. it looks like there are 5 cuts with 5 possible positions. That means that if I were to try to open 3125 other doors made with the same kind of key (which is made by Schlage, so I'm guessing that has something to do with it), one would fit.

So while you certainly have the same key as thirteen other houses, you'll just have to take a road trip and try thousands of houses before finding the first one.

Elena

Weeds attract more bugs and varmints. If you don't want ants, termites, bees, mice, rats, coons and a number of other pests swarming your home it helps to keep the yard maintained.

Like other hobbies, yard work reduces stress. Spouse and kids driving you bonkers? Go pull weeds for a few hours and get out that angst.

It's kind of fun to use a weed whacker, kind of like a Home Improvement growl feeling.

There's also a sense of accomplishment at looking at a neatly manicured lawn.

It's also aesthetically pleasing to the eye, relaxing in a way to sit in your yard and enjoy it's neatness.

Others I have talked to said it had to do with the concept called conspicuous consumption, which is where people spend money and labor on stuff for the sole reason of looking nice to impress their peers.

It's very good for people who want to sell stuff because basically, you can tell people that something is a good thing to have and they'll all rush out and buy it and try to have the nicest ones to impress their neighbors with. This creates a never-ending cycle of more and more consumption, more and more spending, as everyone tries to outdo each other with the nicest stuff and "keep up with the Jones's". No one wants to have the crappiest car, TV, cell phone, or lawn, in the neighborhood. So people have to keep up, constantly buy. This is where lawns come in.

In most of America, the climate and average rainfall are not conducive to growing a large patch of turf grass in front of your house. So lawns require effort, and money. You have to water them, cut them, seed and fertilize them. It's a huge industry that rakes in billions a year.

And the only reason people are doing it is because after six decades of conspicuous consumption, this is where we're at (in terms of lawns), half-acres of absolutely useless foliage in front of our houses (turf grass that feeds neither humans nor animals is the number one irrigated crop in America, above corn and wheat) using up billions of gallons of drinkable water, millions of dollars in lawn care products and millions of man-hours in labor spent landscaping, mowing and gardening.