DOE proposes changes to furnace standards

Sept. 6, 2016—Department of Energy (DOE) finally proposed a new minimum-efficiency standard for gas furnaces, its first since 1992, and our prediction about the shape of the standard proved to be on the mark.

Brita unveils smart water filter

Feb. 29, 2016—It appears that no limit exists for the types of products that can become “smart.” Now, you can buy a smart water filter.

Grohe kitchen faucet controlled by your foot

Jan. 19, 2016—Touch technology that allows you to start or stop the flow of water by touching the handle or spout has been a part of kitchen faucets for years. Now Grohe has taken the technology in a new direction—toward the floor.

Sherwin-Williams unveils germ-killing paint

Oct. 29, 2015—Paint that prevents the spread of bacteria has been around for a while, but are you ready for paint that kills infectious bacteria? Sherwin-Williams says it will sell paint in the first quarter of 2016 that does just that.

Google unveils updated Nest

Sept. 1, 2015—It’s easy to see the changes that Google made to the third-generation Nest smart thermostat.

More retailers pull flooring products

May 7, 2015—Flooring that contains potentially hazardous materials continues to draw scrutiny from chain retail stores, with the stores announcing plans to eliminate the sale of flooring that contains formaldehyde or phthalates.

Tesla battery for home power storage coming this summer

May 1, 2015—Tesla Motors is ready to leave your garage and enter your home. Confirming reports, Tesla introduced the Powerwall, which is a lithium-ion battery that stores electricity that can be used to power your home.

Carrier jumps into smart-thermostat market with Côr

Jan. 30, 2015—The Côr’s in-depth data reports break down your home heating and cooling energy usage, which allows a homeowner to control his/her home energy costs beyond the level of control that other smart thermostats deliver.

Franklin Loan slapped for incentivizing interest rates

Nov. 17, 2014—Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered mortgage lender Franklin Loan to repay consumers $730,000 for giving illegal bonuses to employees who funneled consumers into loans that had higher interest rates.

No need to shiver: Winter heating bills projected to be lower

Oct. 10, 2014—Extreme temperatures, short supply and dizzying demand combined to create a perfect storm in winter 2014–2015 for consumers who use natural gas to heat their homes, as the so-called polar vortex caused unbearable utility bills for households across the United States.

Meijer to pay $2 million for reselling recalled products

Sept. 19, 2014—Two and a half years after we alerted consumers to a spate of redistributed recalled products that were linked to Meijer stores, the company will pay a $2 million civil penalty to settle charges by Consumer Product Safety Commission that it played a role in the sale of such products to consumers.

Deceptive mortgage lead generator settles FTC charges

Sept. 15, 2014—A company that generated leads for mortgage companies through online advertisements settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers with misleading ads that claimed that they could refinance their mortgages for free.