Greener Products Help With House Cleaning

As the sight of green tells
us spring has officially arrived, it was also a harbinger of earth-friendly innovation
at the Kitchen and Bath
style='font-family:Arial'> Ind
style='font-family:Arial'>ustry Show in April. Many a manufacturer introduced
designers, builders and other pros to new products offering water and energy
savings, composition from recycled and reclaimed materials, and features that
make it easy to live

As the sight of green tells

us spring has officially arrived, it was also a harbinger of earth-friendly innovation

at the Kitchen and Bath


style='font-family:Arial'>ustry Show in April. Many a manufacturer introduced

designers, builders and other pros to new products offering water and energy

savings, composition from recycled and reclaimed materials, and features that

make it easy to live green every day. Following are favorites from the show

floor─keep these in mind as you plan improvements to green up your own


style='font-family:Arial'>A green clean with steam

The word in green cleaning

is steam, and


new Steam Laundry Pair puts it to work to wipe out allergens and increase

energy and water savings. The convenience of these new front-load laundry

appliances begins at their generous square doors with an industry-leading

washer capacity of 4.5 cubic feet and expansive 7.4 cubic feet of capacity in

the dryer, adding up to fewer wash loads and bigger energy savings. Using LG’s

TrueSteam Generator to produce real steam in the wash tub, the SteamWasher can

reach the appropriate temperature to break down and remove allergens while

keeping energy costs low, saving over 7,000 gallons of water annually and

protecting clothing in the process. Its Smart Washing System monitors such

factors as detergent levels, water hardness,


style='font-family:Arial'>rature and water level to automatically adjust

settings for optimal washing and rinsing, and an Allergiene Allergen-Reduction

Cycle removes common allergens such as dust mites and pet dander.

The SteamDryer offers

several great laundry care features as well, including SteamSanitary to quickly

sanitize dry clothing and other items like blankets, towels and bedding; SteamFresh

to reduce wrinkling in large loads and bulky items; ReduceStatic to neutralize

static electricity in normal loads; and EasyIron, which lightly and evenly

moistens a dryer load before the end of the cycle to make ironing easier. The

Steam Laundry


style='font-family:Arial'>ir also works quietly thanks to an enhanced

anti-vibration system, and will be available in a variety of eye-catching

finishes when it appears in consumer showrooms during the third quarter of 2008.

style='font-family:Arial'>Use less energy to do dishes

href="">Bosch dishwashers have long

had reputation for quiet efficiency, and the new Ascenta model ratchets up the

standard with an appealing, durable stainless steel and reinforced

polypropylene design that’s an upscale alternative to all-plastic tub

dishwashers. Like other Bosch dishwashers, the

style='font-family:Arial'>Energy St

style='font-family:Arial'>ar-qualified Ascenta exceeds the federal energy

standard by 36 percent, thanks in part to the exclusive ECOSENSE Wash Management

System that examines the soil level in the water and customizes water

consumption and heat to cut energy costs. Ascenta also has a Half Load option

and a QUICKWASH program that allows you to run a speedy 30-minute cycle for

smaller loads or less-soiled dishes. Its overflow protection system adds

safety, and it’s the quietest dishwasher in its class thanks to sound reduction

technology that includes a new drain pump to reduce noise as water is draining

from the machine. What’s more, a redesigned and repositioned dispenser

optimizes the release of detergent and rinse aid, reduces the amount of water

spray hitting the unit’s inner door and lowers the volume of water used for the

cleaning agents. Ascenta is now available in four models, three having

easy-to-use exterior controls and one with sleek concealed controls.

style='font-family:Arial'>Accessorize with the recycled beauty of cast stone

href="">Sonoma Cast Stone

has literally added a new layer of beauty to their lineup of concrete

countertop and sink designs with the launch of the


collection. MetalCrete products combine the heft and feel of solid stone with a

dazzling plated finish of real copper, nickel, brass, bronze or steel, either

over the entire surface or, for a truly unique look, the interior of a sink.

style='font-family:Arial'>Sonoma Cast Stone is also

offering many of its kitchen and bath designs in new


formulas which make use of recycled paper fibers, glass, ceramics taken from

municipal land waste sites,


style='font-family:Arial'>ustrial by-products such as fly ash, and plentiful,

locally available clays and other minerals.

style='font-family:Arial'>The latest in low-maintenance, high-efficiency


If you’re shopping for

WaterSense-labeled high-efficiency toilets (HETs), look no

style='font-family:Arial'>further than American Standard’s

stellar collection. The new Dual-Flush FloWise Two-Piece HET reduces water


style='font-family:Arial'>ge with a sleek, striking profile featuring a

concealed trapway and provides a flush volume choice of 1.6 gallons per flush

(gpf) or 0.8 gpf, potentially saving 30 percent more water than 1.6 gpf

toilets. The transitionally styled Dual-Flush FloWise also happens to perform

in the best category for bulk waste removal, and is available in an elongated

bowl in either Right Height or standard height.

American Standard’s Compact

Cadet 3 One-Piece is an HET with space-saving


style='font-family:Arial'>ir, incorporating a comfortable Right Height

elongated bowl that fits in the same space as a round-front bowl. Its clean,

dramatic look incorporates a rolled-edge detail on the tank top and slow-close

seat, with a permanent EverClean surface that inhibits the growth of stain- and

odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew on the surface. The Cadet 3 Two-Piece

also offers these design hallmarks and water-saving performance, as does the

fashion-forward Tropic Two-Piece with its contemporary styling and a trip lever

that perfectly coordinates with American Standard’s Tropic Faucet.

style='font-family:Arial'>Convenient control of electricity and water



style='font-family:Arial'>taining a green scene throughout your home is made

easy with


SmartCommand System, which integrates existing and future heating, cooling,

lighting, security and audio entertainment systems into a single color

touchscreen. The new Energy


style='font-family:Arial'>nitor product adds clever functionality to help the

homeowner closely manage electricity and water consumption by consolidating

feedback from home appliances and systems, and graphically depicting energy

utilization on the unit’s touchscreen. Current local utility rates can be

entered for an even more specific picture of energy spending, and if someone in

the family has a habit of leaving lights on behind them, you can easily shut

off fixtures in empty rooms using the convenient SmartCommand controls.

Note: Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program. To find a local radio station, download the show’s podcast or sign-up for Tom’s free weeklye-newsletter, visit the program’s website.

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