Hot Water-On-Demand System

How long do homeowners wait for hot water once they have turned on the tap? Now, with the press of a button, an innovative home recirculation system can send hot water to a sink, shower, or bathtub in seconds, with sharp reductions in water wastage. With the hot water-on-demand system, a high-performance pump is installed at the fixture furthest from the water heater. Recirculating pumps rapidly move water to where it is wanted, rather than relying on the slow, low pressure typical of most water lines. The system will save up to 15 percent on hot water heating costs and extend a water heater’s life by about 20 percent, according to the manufacturer.

Low-VOC Paints and Finishes

The volatile organic compounds (VOC) that spread out into the air from freshly applied household paints can be a nuisance or even a health hazard. Today’s generation of low-VOC paints and finishes dramatically reduces or eliminates these harmful compounds. Low-VOC paint is applied the same way as conventional products—with a brush, roller, or spray gun—and at costs comparable to good quality conventional paints.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps are a hot new technology that can save homeowners a cool buck. Also called ground-source heat pumps, these devices work like a refrigerator—removing heat from one location and depositing it in another to heat or cool the home relative to the temperature of the earth. Geothermal heat pumps use the natural heat storage capacity of the earth and ground water to provide energy-efficient heating, cooling, and hot water supply. Geothermal heat pumps currently cost more than conventional systems, but operating costs are lower and they have none of the draftiness problems associated with conventional heat pumps.

Tubular Skylights

Can technological ingenuity improve upon a desirable home fixture such as a skylight? The answer is yes. New, tubular skylights spread light more evenly through a room, are easier to install than standard skylights, and do not cause UV damage to carpets and furniture as their standard counterparts may do. Tubular skylights have a roof-mounted light collector typically consisting of an acrylic lens set in a metal frame and generally include a reflective sun scoop. The ends of the tube point down through the roof and pierce the ceiling below, bringing into the room the equivalent of up to one 1,200-watt bulb in June and one 700-watt incandescent bulb in December.

PATH’s website has contact phone numbers, product descriptions, and information on the benefits, limitations, costs, and availability of more than 130 innovative products and technologies for the home.

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PATHways Vol. 1, Issue 2