Best for Energy Savings

Products to enhance your home’s efficiency and comfort.

| January/February 2009

The party's over

Tired of nagging the kids (or your spouse) to turn out the lights?  The WattStopper Passive Infrared Wall Switch turns off the lights—and the nagging—by sensing a room’s vacancy after 30 minutes. WattStopper products meet rigid European Union RoHS standards that prohibit hazardous heavy metals and flame retardants. WattStopper founder Jerry Mix’s father created one of the first phosphate-free laundry detergents, and Mix set his sights on reducing energy waste. Now, says spokesperson Joy Null, “the whole company has a culture of helping the environment.” WattStopper even hosted a community green fair at its Santa Clara headquarters. Wattstopper RS-150BA Passive Infrared Wall Switch Vacancy Sensor: $37. (800) 879-8585.

Put a roof on rising energy costs

Gray asphalt roof shingles are like dark pavement in the summer: hot! Met-Tile metal roofs are coated with an Energy Star reflective finish and can significantly reduce cooling costs. Spokesperson Ruth Stevens says Met-Tile metal roofs are made from metal panels with tile-like “steps” that have air pockets underneath. “These create another level of insulation year-round,” she says. “It’s not just a summer thing. Depending on local codes and the roof material, it can go over an existing roof, improving the insulating capabilities even more.” Aluminum and other metals can be infinitely recycled and the Energy Star coating is low-VOC. Custom fabricated and painted; pricing varies. (909) 947-0311.

Hang energy bills out to dry

Your dryer is a major energy hog. You can reduce the pigging out by unplugging it and using a clothesline, but if you’re limited by a small yard, no yard or just don’t like the permanence of a clothesline, consider the Versaline. Simply place the posts in the brackets and extend the lines, then remove the posts for a clothesline vanishing act. Company owner Paul Gay has seen interest in clotheslines surge. “People are fed up with the price of gas, and they’re looking for ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprint,” he says. Plus, he says, hanging out clothes is fun. “When you look back at your childhood, a clothesline is always a positive image. You remember your mother or grandmother hanging clothes out, running through them. How can that be a bad thing?” Versaline Disappearing Clothesline (Broadline): $200. (207) 512-5474.

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