Energy-saving products flood NHS

Las Vegas -- Energy efficiency, a consumer focus that is influencing the residential building industry, is moving into the home improvement sector as well, judging from the exhibits at the National Hardware Show. Vendors with energy-saving products could be found in almost every category, and were marked with a special decal this year.

LED Lighting products flooded both halls, working their way through lawn and garden to electrical, homewares and even tools. Coast, a longtime maker of LED flashlights, brought models with a telescoping end that shapes the size of the beam. The Portland, Ore., manufacturer also debuted a patented multi-tool with a built-in LED light.

Heating and cooling costs are top of mind for homeowners, and a new generation of space heaters promises warmth with minimum energy consumption. Heat Storm introduced a quartz infrared wall heater that consumes only 1,000 watts. Other manufacturers focused on cooling, especially on patios and other outdoor living settings. Port-A-Cool displayed an entire line of evaporative coolers that can be used indoors and out, including as spot coolers in air-conditioned homes.

“You can use it to supplement air conditioning,” said Leon Aldridge, director of marketing and advertising. At 25 cents to 50 cents a day to operate, the evaporative coolers are an energy bargain.

A firm called EnerG+ promised to extend the summer with outdoor/indoor water-resistant infrared electric heaters that use standard AC wall units. A down-under company called Environmental Sciences Australia combined daylight and natural ventilation in one product via a directional exhaust ventilation system connected in a light pipe. The system uses no energy and creates a healthy home, the manufacturer claimed. 

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