Advice from HGTV’s Chip Wade and other Highlights from the International Builders Show (IBS) and Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) 2017— BYHYU 054
This week you’ll hear from HGTV star Chip Wade. He tells us what 3 things he suggests homeowners include in their new homes. We’ll also hear from some exhibitors who showed off their products at the combined International Builders Show and Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. That combination show, also called the Design and Construction week, was held couple of weeks ago in Orlando, FL. I was there to get the scoop on both new and tried-and-true products for new homes.
Before we get to that, let’s talk about air handlers, our pro term for this week.
PRO TERM: AIR HANDLER
Based on the name, I bet you can guess what air handlers do… air handlers, handle air. They handle, or circulate conditioned air through your house. The conditioned air that’s produced by your home’s HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning system).
Most HVAC systems have an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. This is referred to as a “split” system. The indoor unit is the air handler. An air handler looks a lot like a furnace and, like a furnace, it usually sits the in the basement, attic or a closet. But unlike a furnace, an air handler does not produce heat.
The air handler consists of an air filter, coil, and a blower. It connects to a ductwork to distribute the conditioned air through the house. Without an air handler, you’d have poor air circulation and poor air quality in your house. When it’s properly installed, an air handler will help increase your home’s comfort by ensuring that warm and cool air from your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner reaches every area of your home.
There are several types of Air Handlers
A single speed air handler has a fan motor that operates at one fixed speed.
There’s also a five speed air handler which is more precise than a single speed one. Generally, the more speeds your air handler has, the more efficient and quiet your system will be.
A variable speed air handler has a motor that varies the speed of the fan based on the homeowners preferences for climate, humidity and air quality. This is really helpful in achieving a very comfortable home with consistent temperatures throughout.
If you’re interested in super-quiet operation, look for an insulated air handler.
And if you have a boiler, you’d want a hydronic air handler.
Alright, moving on to some highlights from the IBS/KBIS 2017. I spoke with Chip Wade from HGTV, plus the folks from Armstrong Flooring, Feeney Inc, Phantom Screens, True Refrigeration and Rangecraft.
HGTV'S CHIP WADE
Chip Wade tells us that there are lots of good options for new homes that will save us money over time, but his top picks are spray foam insulation, high efficiency air handlers and tankless water heaters.
Check Chip out at www.chipwade.com
Next, I talked to representatives from Armstrong Flooring. They introduced a new Luxury Vinyl Flooring product called Vivero. It has the look of hardwood or stone, but it’s scratch, stain and scuff resistant.
Take a look at the video below demonstrating just how easily a Sharpie permanent marker can be removed from the Vivero Luxury Vinyl flooring. It’s really pretty amazing.
See all the Vivero options and other Armstrong Flooring products at www.armstrongflooring.com
I also talked with Feeney Inc. They manufacture cable rail, which is that railing that you’ve seen with thin cables in place of traditional thicker, vertical spindles and pickets. The thin cable rail almost disappears as you look through it to enjoy your home’s view.
Go to http://www.feeneyinc.com/ShowUsYourView to learn more about the "Show Us Your View" photo contest. Send in a photo of your view, where you plan to install a deck and/or railing system. The best view wins up to $5000 off a DesignRail® aluminum railing system.
Learn more about Feeney products at www.feeneyinc.com
The CEO and founder of Phantom screens was also at IBS. She tells about Phantom's retractable outdoor screens. Their screens have been one of my favorite outdoor products for a long time now.
Their newest screen goes up to 24 feet wide to accommodate the new oversized sliding doors that are so hot in the residential market right now. They also have a new motorized screen that goes up to 40 feet wide.
See Phantom screens in action at www.phantomscreens.com
True refrigeration is up next. You may not have heard of True refrigerators and freezers. That’s because, until recently, they have been a big name mainly in commercial refrigeration. Their fridges have been used in Walmart and Starbucks and many other commercial spaces. But they now have residential products, including side-by-side fridge/freezer units, stand alone refrigerators, glass door refrigerators, wine fridges, under counter units and refrigerators with custom finishes. And stand alone freezers are coming soon.
Check out True custom refrigerators and other True products at
Lastly, I talked to folks at Rangecraft. They manufacture beautiful, high end range hoods and other custom metal goods. They actually make custom range hoods with genuine Swaroski crystals!
See more range hoods at www.rangecraft.com
I hope you enjoyed those highlights. I’ll be talking more about what trends and products I saw at IBS and KBIS in the coming weeks. Up next is our quiz. Let’s see how you do…
1. What is an air handler and do you find it inside or outside?
An air handler handles air. It connects to your ductwork and circulates the warm and cool air produced by your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner. The air handler is the indoor part of your HVAC system.
2. True or false: Generally, the more speeds your air handler has, the more efficient and quiet your system will be.
Please remember that the purpose of this podcast is simply to educate and inform. It is not a substitute for professional advice. The information that you hear is based the only on the opinions, research and experiences of my guests and myself. That information might be incomplete, it’s subject to change and it may not apply to your project. In addition, building codes and requirements vary from region to region, so always consult a professional about specific recommendations for your home.
Well, that’s all I have for now. Let’s do again next week. Join me for the next episode of BYHYU.