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PLUMBING & HEATING

All in One

It's hard not to sound like a late-night infomercial when describing the Matrix. This product is a condensing furnace, a heat-recovery ventilator, an instantaneous water heater, and a condensing boiler all in one. No, it doesn't slice tomatoes, but it can do its intended functions with surprising efficiency. The hot-water, domestic hot-water, and hot-air functions rely on a 90-plus modulating boiler. The Matrix is also prewired for AC. It lists for $8,500 — which sounds like a lot but is less than what the four appliances it replaces would cost. NY Thermal, 506/432-1130, www.nythermal.com

Flange Solution

One of the many headaches associated with building bathrooms is getting toilet flanges set to the correct height. Set-Rite closet flange spacers promise to eliminate rocking toilets and multiple wax rings. Plus they're more reliable than conventional spacers, says the maker. Available in several thicknesses to match virtually any type of flooring, they're typically installed during the rough-in phase but can be broken in half for retrofit applications. Prices range from about $2 to $6, depending on thickness. Zurn, 800/245-4277, www.set-rite.com

In Hot Water

With its high-performance burner and 90 percent efficiency rating, the 50-gallon Vertex Power-Vent Gas Water Heater can deliver as much hot water as a standard-efficiency 75-gallon unit, says maker A.O. Smith. It has taps for hot-water space heating and can be vented vertically or through the wall using 2-, 3-, or 4-inch PVC pipe. According to the company, the unit delivers 3 gpm at a 45°F rise and 11/2 gpm at a 90°F rise. Prices are determined by individual dealers but are purportedly comparable to those of 75-gallon power-vented gas water heaters. A.O. Smith, 800/447-1953, www.hotwater.com

Heat Exchanger

Maintaining comfort in a home with a fireplace, a woodstove, or a poorly designed heating system just got a lot easier. Tjernlund's new AirShare Room-to-Room Ventilation Fan — a squirrel-cage blower that installs inside a partition wall — allows a warm room to share its heat with a colder adjacent room. The AirShare can also be used with air-conditioning. Prices start at about $125. Tjernlund Products, 800/255-4208, www.tjernlund.com