In the October issue, we announce the winners of this year’s National Housing Quality Awards: gold award recipients DSLD Homes and EYA, and silver award winner French Brothers.
101 Best New Products: Mechanical & Electrical
Grimm Bros. Plastics Corp.’s BreezeDry brings the freshness of the outdoors into the convenience of the laundry room. Clothes can be dried with fresh outside air or the air already in the home. Clothes are free from shrinkage and damage ordinarily imposed by a traditional dryer, all while using only a fraction of the energy per load.
Design Pro LED Linear
The Design Pro LED Linear system from Kichler Lighting features a string of thin, ¼-inch LED light “pods” that hide within any application and easily bend around corners and tight spaces. Each string can be cut or extended to illuminate in and around cabinets, china closets, toe kicks, tray ceilings, and other areas. Eliminating the need to replace bulbs, the system has a life span of 20 years — four times longer than its xenon counterparts.
Verve Lighting Control
Verve Living Systems’ new lighting control system combines radio frequency and energy-harvesting technologies to offer wireless, battery-less lighting control. Verve Living Systems eliminates the need for wiring between light fixtures and light switches. Installation costs and complexity are reduced, along with copper wiring, wall boxes, wire nuts, and conduit associated with the switches.
Rheem 40-Gallon Water Heater
Rheem Water Heating has expanded its line of hybrid heat pump water heaters with a new 40-gallon model designed for smaller households with a lower hot-water demand. The new HP-40 hybrid offers an Energy Factor of 2.0, or more than twice the energy efficiency of a standard electric storage water heater. The new water heater qualifies for a federal tax credit as well as many state and utility rebates and incentives. It carries a 10-year limited tank and parts warranty.
4-Light Mini Wave
The 4-Light Mini Wave Track Light Kit from Pro Track and Lamps Plus offers easy installation and an energy-efficient alternative to traditional track lighting. It has four adjustable, independently amiable lights on a three-foot, wave-shaped piece of track. The lights can be rotated a full 360-degrees and tilted for optimal lighting angle. The design installs directly onto an overhead junction box.
The new MXZ-8B48NA outdoor unit from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating Solutions can connect with up to eight indoor units to provide eight individual zones of comfort. The 4-ton rated unit features a total line length of 377 feet and can connect up to two styles of branch boxes, three and five port, allowing the system to cover a wide range of indoor locations. The units can be connected to wall-mounted, floor-mounted, or ducted indoor units with capacities ranging from 6,000 to 24,000 BTU/h.
Sivoia QS Wireless
Sivoia QS Wireless from Lutron Electronics offers daylight control for new or retrofit applications with ultra-quiet performance, precision shade alignment, and the elimination of communications wiring. With the power of Lutron’s ClearConnect RF Technology, Sivoia QS Wireless allows users to control the entire Lutron family of shading products, including roller shades, drapery tracks, skylight shades, Roman shades, and bottom up shades, wirelessly and remotely in a single room, multiple rooms, or an entire home.
SmartSense Ventilation System
Now homeowners have an automatic, affordable, energy-efficient solution to improve the home’s indoor air quality and increase energy savings with the Broan SmartSense Ventilation System. This breakthrough in ventilation technology has combined the patent-pending Broan SmartSense technology with Broan Ultra Silent ventilation fans to create an integrated ventilation system in the home. Individual fans that once worked independently now work together to ensure fresh air throughout the day.
The eco-friendly design of the Noritz NR83-DVC whole-home residential tankless water heater features several green features, including reduced amounts of hexad, lead, and cadmium and reduced consumption of standby electricity. The NR83-DVC is designed specifically for one-bathroom homes in the Northeast, Midwest, and Canada, as well as two-bath residences in the Southeast and Southwest. At a 45 F rise in temperature, the unit will operate at a flow rate of 6.7 gpm, delivering water temperatures from 100 F to 140 F.
ECR’s Freewatt micro-combined heat and power system not only provides heat and electricity for homes, but also offers up to 1,800 watts of back-up power in case of a power failure. The system features an integrated transfer switch that ensures a smooth transition from grid-connected to back-up power during a power failure, as well as a load manager that maximizes the system’s backup power generation, enabling it to power six different loads, such as heating, security systems, refrigerator/freezer, and sump pump.
The Hyperion air handler from Trane is constructed more like a refrigerator than a typical air handler, with insulation between the walls of the cabinet, which prevents condensation that may cause damage to the air handler. The insulated cabinet also eliminates the loose fibers from fiberglass insulation that may enter the air stream with other air handlers. Its modular design and smaller size allows the system to be installed with one person, start to finish. The design allows four-way installation flexibility, eliminating baffles and the need to reposition the coil or drain pan.
WhisperCeiling and WhisperLite
Panasonic Home and Environment Co. introduces a new generation of both WhisperCeiling and WhisperLite premium ventilation fans. The ceiling-mounted models, designed for 4- or 6-inch ducts, maintain quiet operation at both 0.10- and 0.25-inch water gauge. With a new central mounting system, builders and remodelers now have more flexibility during an installation, since the fans are easier to position in challenging ceiling configurations. All new models are Energy Star rated.
Ultra Line 8.0 GPM Gas Condensing Tankless Water Heater
Rinnai’s Ultra Line 8.0 GPM Gas Condensing Tankless Water Heater incorporates two heat exchangers to achieve optimum heating value from every cubic foot of natural gas or propane. The stainless steel system recaptures residual heat from flue gases to pre-heat incoming ground water, which then circulates to the primary copper heat exchanger. Available in four models for mid- to large-sized homes, the unit delivers up to 97 percent thermal efficiency.
American Hometec introduces its Model AHQ-T16, an electric tankless water heater for mid-range hot water demands such as the average-sized bathroom. The unit features the company’s patented Coilless Technology, which eliminates lime scale build-up and heats water differently, with patent-pending power management and temperature control. The unit features a brushed chrome frame, an LED touch temperature control panel, and an easy-clean surface.
SunSource Home Energy System
The SunSource Home Energy System from Lennox utilizes roof-mounted solar modules to reduce electrical consumption by residential heat pumps and air conditioners. The system also incorporates a solar energy monitoring system and can be used to power other devices in a home, such as lighting and appliances, when the heating and cooling system is not running.
Broan Solar-Powered Attic Ventilator
Powered by the sun, the Broan Solar-Powered Attic Ventilator can help keep homes cooler in the summer and reduce energy costs by extracting the often sweltering-hot air from attic spaces. Unlike standard powered attic ventilators, which must wait until its thermostat detects a high temperature and signals the ventilator to begin working, the Broan system begins working in the morning at first light, removing moisture from the cool overnight air and ventilating the attic before the heat of the day can build up. It requires no electricity and emits no pollution or harmonic noise.
GE’s GeoSpring hybrid water heater can cut residential water heater energy costs by more than half by utilizing heat pump technology in combination with traditional electric elements. The system pulls heat from surrounding air and transfers it to the tank, creating the same amount of hot water as a traditional water heater with up to 62 percent less energy. GeoSpring exceeds Energy Star minimum requirements of 2.0 Energy Factor (EF) with a 2.35 EF.
DL5/6 Flush Ceiling Down Light
Ideal for new home construction as well as remodel retrofits, the DL5/6 Flush Ceiling Down Light from EnLux Lighting brings energy-efficient, dimmable LED lighting technology to the home for general overhead illumination. The lightweight, compact module installs easily in standard 5- or 6-inch recessed 1C or non-IC housings, and offers up to 50,000 hours of life for each LED.