by Dena Kouremetis
PATH (The Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing) recently released its annual recommendations on the top remodeling technologies to make existing homes more durable, stronger and more resource efficient.
The top 10 technologies include:
1. Air Sealing: which include non-fiberglass batts, sprayed foam insulation, and sprayed fiber insulation are recommended because they improve the thermal resistance of exterior walls.
2. Smartvent Ventilation: This new mechanical ventilator system measures the moisture content of outdoor and crawlspace air and only provides ventilation when the outdoor air is drier than crawlspace air.
3. HVAC Sizing (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning): estimating heating and air conditioning loads more accurately so properly sized HVAC systems are installed to ensure energy efficiency.
4. High Efficiency Toilets: Designed for water conservation, high efficiency toilets have been defined by the plumbing industry and the EPA as those that use an average of 20% less water per flush than the industry standard of 1.6 gallons. A high efficiency unit toilet can save up to 8,760 gallons of water each year for a family of four.
5. Compact Fluorescent Lighting: Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), are simply miniature versions of full-size fluorescent lights, but four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
6. High Performance Windows: Window technology has evolved over the years to the point where windows can be selected not only for their aesthetic qualities, but also for their performance abilities.
7. Wireless Lighting and Thermostats: These controls can be set on timers or using a variety of sensors with wireless systems to increase home efficiency without sacrificing home owner comfort.
8. Solar Hot Water: Solar water heaters come in a variety of configurations but each differs in design, cost, performance and level of complexity. Most systems have back-up water heating such as electricity or gas.
9. Recycled/Renewable Flooring: The two types of environmentally-conscious flooring that lead the market are recycled flooring from old structures and renewable flooring from fast-growing trees, such as bamboo.
10. Tubular Skylights: Tubular skylights use the sun for lighting interiors without the drawbacks associated with conventional skylights. They are generally easier to install than typical skylights and, from the home’s interior, resemble conventional lighting fixtures.
For more information, visit the PATH website at pathnet.org.