On-demand water heater
An on-demand (or tankless) water heater is an excellent choice. It does cost more, but instead of heating water at a constant temperature 24 hours a day, the energy-saving unit only activates when there is a need.
Plus, it installs on a wall (inside or outside) and frees up space.
If a tankless water heater is a little too edgy (and costly), you can still have instant hot water by using a high-efficiency conventional heater and a water re-circulator. With the push of a button, the device circulates ambient-temperature water from the line so hot water is instant and nothing is wasted down the drain.
Dual flush toilet
One can only imagine the perceived value of a dual-flush toilet installed in a powder room. It can save a family of four up to 6,000 gallons of water per year.
Insulation isn't sexy, but when it's 95 degrees in the summer or the mercury dips below freezing in the winter, we are reminded of how important it is. Forget the entry-level insulation, and go for something that will really stuff the wall and the roof. While you're at it, don't forget the attic.
There's a chance you've used a new low-flow showerhead and don't even know it. And that's the point. These units use air to deliver the same robust performance as a traditional showerhead, but with a flow rate of 1 gallon per minute as opposed to 3.5 gallons a minute.
Air Out: How about a SmartSense Ventilation System?
This system will create integrated moisture management using the company's Ultra Silent fans installed throughout the house. The system monitors manual usage of the fans and automatically activates when there is a need. The Energy Star rated fans use less than 35 watts during ventilation cycles. Wow! Now, that's smart!
Paint... we can:
The new Harmony latex paint contains zero volatile organic compounds and produces little to no odor. The environmentally friendly product offers long-term durability and anti-microbial properties to inhibit the growth of mildew. It comes in primer, flat, and semi-gloss options. Color me beautiful!
How about Andersen's new 100 Series windows which feature 43 percent pre-consumer recycled content. The windows are made from Fibrex, a structural composite of recycled sawdust and polymer, and are outfitted with SmartSun glazing that prevents unwanted heat gain. Four exterior colors are available. Beautiful and smart.
Clean and Free:
A central vacuum system will help the house maintain a dust-free environment. Consisting of a Serenity IQS power unit and Q Power Team hose, handle, electric power brush, and cleaning tools, the system will allow you to remove dirt and allergens from the living area and deposit the collected items in a central canister. Now that's good, clean living!
We think where you walk should be beautiful... and green! Weyerhaeuser's new Lyptus engineered and solid wood flooring is made from fast-growing eucalyptus trees on managed plantations, and it's harder than oak. It comes in various sizes and colors to work with your palate. We feel good about walking on these floors!
Wash and Wear:
The Energy Star rated Duet Steam laundry pair from Whirlpool helps keep utility costs low. A steam feature helps the washer handle tough stains without pre-treating and allows the dryer to get rid of wrinkles and odors. The washer saves up to 73 percent of the water and 77 percent of the energy used by conventional washers manufactured before 2004. And these appliances are as beautiful as they are efficient. But no, we don't think they should be the focal point of your living space!