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Energy costs are in the headlines, and home buyers are eager to know if their homes will be efficient, since the best way to cut energy costs is to use less.
Two featured products from members of NAHB’s Leading Suppliers Council make a difference on that front. A third makes sure that energy is available to home owners when they need it — even in an emergency.
Insulate With Air
Outside air can undermine even the best-insulated wall, diminishing R-values and allowing mold spores and allergens to enter the home.
CertainTeed’s new spray-on polyurethane foam product, CertaSpray, is designed to seal construction against outside air infiltration by using — air.
The air in this product is trapped in the cells of a foam that is sprayed on walls, ceilings, roof decks and other hard to reach areas, effectively sealing small cracks and cavities and minimizing hot and cold spots.
The product comes in both open-cell and closed-cell formulas. The former expands to a soft, flexible insulation, while the latter provides a rigid consistency when dry, adding structural integrity.
The product can be used with fiberglass insulation for higher R-values.
No Power? No Problem.
A power failure is not only inconvenient, but it can be dangerous — trapping someone in a residential elevator, preventing an electric garage door opener from working when a resident is evacuating the property in an emergency or depriving a resident of a refrigerated medication when there is an extended break in service.
Generac has introduced an affordable automatic standby generator — the CorePower System, which uses natural gas or liquid propane vapor instead of the gasoline used by noisy portable generators, and is available for about the same cost as a portable generator.
The compact unit switches on automatically when the power fails, even if the home owners are elsewhere.
Fresh Air Automatically
In most cases, this requires a separate unit — with its own wiring and switch — that the home owner has to remember to turn on and off.
Broan has made things a bit simpler with its Automatic Make-up Air Damper, a component that works with six series of Broan range hoods (such as the Elite 6400, shown), three series of BEST range hoods and Broan's SmartSense ventilation fans.
The damper unit automatically opens to let fresh air in when the fan is running, and closes up again after the unit is turned off, to keep heated or conditioned air from leaving the home. The all-in-one option means simpler electrical work and easier installation.