Green Technologies for the Home
by Nate Edwards
The National Association of Home Builders' International Builders' Show is our annual opportunity to take a peek into the future of home construction.
This year's event in Las Vegas featured some especially innovative exhibitions, and "green tech" seemed to be the reoccurring theme. Here are a few "green" highlights.
WaterFurnace Geothermal Heat Pump Series 7
Any old geothermal heating and cooling system is a green alternative to propane heat, but the Series 7 is leaps and bounds ahead of its competition when it comes to efficiency. The system's main features are its variable speed blower and pump, which use only as much power as necessary to keep things comfy inside. In energy efficiency tests, the Series 7 was shown to be 30 percent more efficient than competing geothermal systems.
Sun Freedom America Solar Water Heaters
Sun Freedom America might scoff if you said their solar water heaters were brand new technology; they've been making such water heaters for 56 years, after all. But the company's newest generation of products continues its tradition of keeping up with -- or exceeding -- the features necessary for tax credits and other green home building incentives.
This year's "Best Home Technology Product" award actually went to a water heater, which is not a common occurrence. The Trutankless is a sleek and modern-looking tankless water heating system which claims to use 50 percent less energy than traditional heaters. That factoid (and the system's handy smartphone app) generated a lot of buzz at this year's show.
Nate Edwards is a New York-based freelance writer from the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina, where he worked in the family furniture store making beds, dressers and anything made of wood. He's as comfortable swinging a hammer for community volunteer projects as he is writing about home renovation
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