WaterFurnace International, Inc., a manufacturer of geothermal and water-source heat pumps, just launched what the company is calling the “world’s most energy-efficient heat pump,” according to a press release. The 7 Series 700A11, pictured, is the first variable capacity unit available for homeowners and boasts a 41 energy efficiency ratio and 5.3 coefficient of performance. The 7 Series exceeds Energy Star requirements and qualifies for a 30% federal tax credit, said WaterFurnace. The heating and cooling system also comes with a laundry list of other design features: integration with automation and energy monitoring systems, online remote monitoring and control, quiet performance with a lower compressor speed, advanced hot water generation, and a port for service and diagnostics that doesn’t require opening the unit. 700A11 uses a soft-start variable capacity compressor, variable speed ECM blower, and variable speed loop pump to scale output as needed.
California-based Insteon just announced the new Insteon LED Bulb 8 Watt, which is the first networked, remotely controlled, dimmable LED light bulb in the world, according to the company. The bulb sells online for $29.99 and is designed to conserve a significant amount of energy over the standard 60-watt incandescent. Nonetheless, intelligence, not efficiency, is the name of the game with this controllable screw-type light bulb.
I spent some time in the home improvement stores this weekend and noticed a newer bulb from Philips designed to replace the standard flood light. The BR30 LED bulb is Energy Star compliant, delivers 730 lumens, and uses a decent 13-watts of energy. Plus, it’s mercury free, lasts about 25,000 hours, and has a standard warm color of 2700 Kelvin. While the price is hovering at $40 at Home Depot right now, I expect that to slowly drop. Plus, the bulb is an easy install — just screw it in — so testing this is a no brainer.
Clayton Homes, maker of the popular i-House, is the largest producer of homes in the country and accounted for 7% of homes constructed in 2011, according to the annual report of parent Berkshire Hathaway. They have a large residential footprint, and their efforts to educate home purchasers can go a long way. So it’s great to learn of their recent announcement of a new home energy label along the lines of what we’ve discussed previously with other builders.
This is the first and only UL-listed, 120-volt, plug-and-play solar kit in the world, according to SpinRay Energy. The DeckPower120 comes with one, 240-watt solar panel and can be hung on a deck or elsewhere outdoors using a simple mount bracket. The system allows for up to 1,300 watts of AC power with five solar panels and should qualify for available federal (and sometimes state) tax credits.