March-April 2011

Milgard. Essence windows combine a wood interior and a fiberglass exterior for a wood look with a durable exterior surface. The windows feature traditional butt joinery and no visible fasteners, nail holes, or staple marks; an integrated weep system keeps moisture from penetrating the interior. With the standard glass package, the windows are Energy Star rated and have R-values ranging from 3.33 to 3.57; optional triple glazing is available for up to 30% more efficiency. 800.645.4273.

Fluke Tools. The TiS Thermal Imager provides an economical option for diagnosing moisture intrusion, energy loss, missing insulation, HVAC problems, and electrical overheating, says the maker. The unit features manual focus and a 3.7-inch display screen that is 30% larger than comparable image screens. Professional reporting software is included. 800.443.5853.

GE. The Nucleus energy manager with Brillion technology communicates with a home’s AMI Zigbee smart meter to provide near-real-time data about electricity consumption and estimated costs, allowing homeowners to make better decisions and helping them better manage and adjust to time-of-use energy rates. The Nucleus also can work in conjunction with GE’s Brillion-enabled programmable thermostat and Profile appliances to provide additional data on heating, cooling, and appliance consumption. 800.220.6899.

Generac. The EcoGen 6-kW backup automatic household generator is designed for off-grid homes. The first automatic unit to be warranted for this type of application, the propane-powered generator works with existing solar or wind systems; if power dips too low, the inverter charger signals the generator to switch on. The generator has a weatherproof enclosure and features ultra-quiet operation of 52 dBA. 888.436.3722.

Lifetime Lumber. The company now offers privacy fencing and pergolas made with its composite lumber, which provides the look of wood but is resistant to rot, moisture, and termites. The material is crafted using SCS-certified 60% recycled content in the form of fly ash. Privacy fencing comes in five styles, including dog ear and shadow box, and in six colors. 877.285.4338.

Arxx. The ICFs manufacturer now offers reFIT, a basement finishing system that provides for a finished wall assembly R-value of 13.9. The expanded polystyrene panels interlock vertically and install easily using metal base track, corner panel connectors, and wall clips and shims; embedded fastening strips allow for attachment of drywall. The panels are resistant to mold, mildew, and rot, says the maker. 800.293.3210.

Rheem. Prestige Series condensing tankless water heaters, available in an indoor and outdoor model, offer an Energy Factor of 0.94 and are Energy Star rated. With a minimum flow rate of 0.26 gpm and a minimum activation flow rate of 0.4 gpm, the Prestige Series allows homeowners using low-flow fixtures to receive hot water without having to increase the flow. The units can accept stainless steel or PVC piping, which can reduce costs and ease installation. 866.720.2076.

Therma-Tru. Entry doors in the Classic-Craft Canvas Collection are made with smooth fiberglass and shipped ready to paint. The Energy Star–certified doors come in five styles—two-panel square top, two-panel plank soft arch, four-panel arch top, five-panel, and one-panel plank Craftsman—and with a range of glass options, including 11 low-E models. 800.843.7628.

NuTone. The 110-cfm LunAura bath fan includes an LED nightlight that emits a soothing, soft blue light to provide enough illumination during the night while maintaining a calming atmosphere. The fan also includes a 36-watt main light. It is available with a round, square, or diamond light panel; is Energy Star rated; and operates at just 0.7 sone. 888.336.3948.

EcoTimber. Woven Poplar flooring is made from 100% FSC-certified recycled furniture scraps kiln-dried and cold-pressed with a hardening resin, and is free of added urea formaldehyde. The tongue-and-groove planks measure 3 7/8 inches wide by 72 7/8 inches long by 9/16 inch thick. Nail- and glue-down installation is acceptable. 303.586.9420.

Trane. The ComfortLink II thermostat features a troubleshooting menu and embedded diagnostics, along with self-calibration for zoning, for easier installation by contractors. For homeowners, a 7-inch color touchscreen provides multi-room monitoring, as well as customizable levels of programming for indoor air quality, temperature, and humidity. The device can be used with any standard HVAC system. 903.581.3660.

Leviton. Evr-Green residential electric-vehicle charging stations offer simple three-step installation of a receptacle, mounting bracket, and charging station; the first two pieces can be installed into the home even if the charging station will not be added until years later. Evr-Green Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations have SAE J1772 connectors, making them compatible with all North American plug-in vehicles. 800.323.8920.

Nichiha. A longer version of the company’s fiber-cement shake siding, Sierra Premium Shake Plus boards measure 9 inches high and 9 feet 3 inches long, translating into faster installation times. The boards offer the look of cedar shakes with a deep cedar grain, but are low-maintenance. The panels, which contain 20% recycled content, are factory-primed on all six sides and come in seven colors. 866.424.4421.

Tamko. Driven by a 20-watt solar panel, the Solar Attic Vent can ventilate up to 1,600 square feet. The heavy-duty DC motor operates quietly, and the 12-inch-diameter, one-piece aluminum fan adds no harmonic noise. An optional cold-weather thermostat is available separately and will disengage the unit automatically when the temperature falls below 50 degrees F. 800.641.4691.

Eaton. The Smart Energy Manager provides monitoring and control of energy usage. The central dashboard offers remote control of energy loads at the circuit breaker and device outlet levels, the company says, allowing homeowners to assess real-time energy usage, analyze historical data, and remotely disconnect loads. The system can integrate with a Demand Response program to communicate information back to the utility and to receive commands from the utility to implement a load-control profile. 877.386.2273.

Panasonic. The third generation of Energy Star–rated WhisperGreen ventilation fans includes 13 new models designed for 4- or 6-inch ducts. SmartFlow Optimum CFM technology detects and compensates for additional static pressure by increasing airflow to achieve the specified CFM output, even in complex duct runs. WhisperGreen models feature motion-sensing technology; WhisperGreen-Lite models also incorporate light/nightlight options. 866.292.7292.

NanaWall. The SL70 thermally broken aluminum-framed folding glass wall system is now offered with triple low-E insulated glazing for a U-value of 0.30 and an SHGC of 0.24. The Energy Star–rated units are available as a floor-mounted system in more than 50 stacking configurations. 888.411.6262.

Delta Faucet. The Addison and Lahara lavatory faucets are now available with the company’s Touch2O Technology, which allows users to turn the units on or off with a touch to the spout, or with Touch2O XT, which includes touch activation as well as proximity-sensing technology. An LED light flashes when the unit is in hands-free mode and remains steady when it’s in touch mode. The faucets are WaterSense labeled and come in Brilliance stainless, chrome, or Venetian bronze finishes. 800.345.3358.

Vita Nonwovens. Made with recycled plastic bottles and other recycled polyester materials, EnGuard batt insulation contains no VOCs, added formaldehyde, or other chemical binders and requires no protective gear for installation, the maker says. The pre-cut, friction-fit batts come in R-13, R-19, or R-21. 336.431.7187.

iLevel by Weyerhaeuser. Insulated Series structural framing members combine engineered lumber with foam to increase R-values and reduce thermal bridging. R-17 Insulated Headers feature 1 1/2-inch foam between 3 1/2-inch-thick TimberStrand LSL and a 7/16-inch OSB face.  Insulated Rim Board combines 1 1/4-inch-thick TimberStrand LSL rim board with 1 inch of foam for an R-value of 10. Insulated Corners bring an insulation value of R-30, allowing exterior corners to be framed to meet 2011 Energy Star for Homes requirements. 888.453.8358.

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