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50 Eco-Friendly Products Selected by Green Builder's Editors



This system allows homeowners to control lighting, heating and cooling, security, electronics and more, and makes automatic energy usage adjustments to boost efficiency. Energy-saving features, like vacation mode and the automatic shut-off of lights and electronics when not in use, can help homeowners save up to 30 percent. The power monitor lets users track energy usage in real time, and compare daily, weekly, monthly and annual usage; a Web portal and mobile app are also available.

Schneider Home Energy Management System

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An electrochromic coating covers one surface of this insulated glass, which allows it to tint electronically in response to changing conditions outside. By admitting natural daylight and rejecting unwanted solar energy, this product reduces air conditioning and lighting costs. It blocks up to 90 percent of solar radiation during peak cooling demand periods—saving the most energy when energy costs are at their highest. Dynamic Glass will automatically transition through four variable tints, or can be controlled by a user.

View Dynamic Glass

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This quiet, variable-speed heat pump features longer run times at lower speeds, controlling humidity for a more comfortable environment. With an efficiency rating of 19.75 SEER, the XV20i can yield up to 60 percent in energy savings, compared to an industry standard heat pump. The CleanEffects system filters incoming air to eliminate dust, pollen and other irritants, creating a cleaner, healthier home. The compressor comes with a 12-year limited warranty.

Trane XV20i Heat Pump

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Water heaters in this series have an energy factor of 0.98, and use approximately 40 percent less energy than a 0.60 EF storage type water heater. A secondary, stainless-steel heat exchanger traps and uses condensation created from incoming cold water, which cools the hot gases inside the unit. This condensation would normally escape through the vents in a conventional tankless water heater. NPE-S Series water heaters have a maximum input of 150,000 to 199,900 BTUs per hour, and meet Ultra-Low NOx requirements.

Navien NPE-S Series tankless water heaters

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The average family of four can save 17,000 gallons of water a year—up to 46 gallons a day—by installing one ACT-E1 under their sink. Designed with a highly efficient, electronically commutated, permanent magnet motor, this lead-free pump uses one third the power of a standard circulating pump, and is available in fixed and adjustable thermostat versions. An adjustable timer can also be programmed, so the pump runs only when hot water is most frequently required.

Laing Thermotech Act E1 autocirc pump by Xylem, Inc.

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An ultra-efficient DC motor and LED light engine ensure a high-performing, quiet fan/light solution. Utilizing only 7.5 watts, these 80-cfm DC motor fans exceed Energy Star standards. The fan runs continuously at a lower level, then revs up when the switch is flipped or the motion sensor is activated. Long-lasting, ultra-efficient LED lamps make this fan/light combo even greener. WhisperGreen is UL listed for tub and shower enclosures, and comes with a six-year warranty.

Panasonic WhisperGreen combo LED fan/light

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These lamps provide incandescent-like dimming, by shifting color temperature from 3000 K to 2000 K as they dim. With a rated life of 25,000 to 50,000 hours, lamps in this family use up to 80 percent less energy than incandescent lamps. They also contain no mercury or lead.

“We got a chance to try out some of the new dimmable LED lamps included in this ‘family.’ What you get is a really nice, mood-setting amber glow at lower dimmer settings, and a nice, bright-white light at full-on. This is exactly the kind of breakthrough we’ve been waiting for from LED manufacturers. Farewell CFLs—long live LEDs!”
-Matt Power, Editor-in-Chief

Osram Sylvania Ultra SE LED lamp family

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These fixtures consume approximately 80 percent less electricity than incandescent fixtures of similar light intensity. In addition, the Design Pro LED should last 40,000 hours, or roughly 15 to 20 years, saving 20 replacement lamps. Featuring exclusive Radiax optics, the DesignPro LED delivers the greatest lumens per watt in the industry by driving increased output from LED chips; this results in a more focused light at a cooler operating temperature. These fixtures are backed by a 10-year commercial and 15-year residential warranty.

Kichler Design Pro LED 120V flood light

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Solar leasing is putting renewable energy in the hands of more people, by eliminating the prohibitive up-front cost of purchasing solar panels. Once OneRoof Energy installs the PV system, the electricity generated replaces energy purchased from the utility company; the balance drawn from the grid is set at a lower-priced rate tier. Typical savings over the life of this 25-year agreement ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. The lease can be transferred if the customer sells the home, and includes service and maintenance at no extra cost.

OneRoof Energy Solar Select solar lease

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Lighter and smaller than the previous generation, these modules include anti-PID technology and enhanced energy efficiency. An anti-reflective coating ensures high sunlight absorption, and efficiency ratings fall between 13.3 and 14.4 percent, at normal operating temperatures. These sturdy modules are certified to withstand up to 4000 Pa wind load and 7000 Pa snow load; the aluminum frame and non-coating glass also reduce the risk of salt corrosion. Offered in 60- and 72-cell configurations, HSL polycrystalline modules come with a 12-year product warranty, and a 25-year linear performance warranty.

Hanwha SolarOne HSL polycrystalline solar modules

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Leaks frequently occur in and around homes in places where temperature fluctuations, moisture, humidity and damaging UV rays take their toll. Using Supreme Paintable to prevent gaps and cracks from reforming saves energy over the long term. Unlike acrylic caulk, 100 percent silicone caulk stays permanently flexible, shrink-proof, crack-proof and waterproof. This low-VOC product is made in the U.S., and comes in shipping boxes with up to 46 percent recycled content.

GE Window & Door Supreme Paintable silicone caulk

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This two-part, latex-based foam seals cracks and penetrations through a building envelope, and from floor to floor. Approved for use as a fireblock, and around plumbing penetrations and electrical wireways, it’s the only self-forming gasket system offering energy code compliance. By keeping airborne moisture from entering wall cavities, EnergyComplete also reduces the chance of mold growth, and creates a first line of defense against insects and other pests. This sealant is non-allergenic, and safe to use without a chemical mask or ventilation suit.

Owens Corning EnergyComplete sealant

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