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Soft Touch. Imagine batt insulation as soft as an old pair of jeans. Made from cotton, UltraTouch is nonirritating and noncarcinogenic, and contains no formaldehyde. It’s fire- and pest-resistant and provides R-values similar to those of more conventional fiberglass batts. I found a 106-square-foot package of R-13 selling for $65 on the Web. Bonded Logic, 480/812-9114,

Hole Sealer. Air-sealing and fire-stopping probably don’t rank high on your list of favorite tasks, but at least you can do both jobs at the same time with Gun Foam II. Identified as a fire-stopping material by its bright orange color, the product satisfies ASTM-814, UL-1715, and the IRC. It dries tack-free in about 10 minutes and has a shelf life of 18 months. It costs $16 per can. Touch ’n Seal, 800/325-6180,

Get your Fill. Owens Corning’s AttiCat blow- in fiberglass insulation expands to 18 times its packaged volume. According to the maker, it’s less dusty than cellulose, making it a good choice for occupied spaces. My local Home Depot lends the AttiCat blowing machine for free to buyers of 10 or more bags (at about $27 each); other places charge a rental fee of up to $100 per day. Owens Corning, 800/438-7465, owenscorning .com

Easy Roller. Dispensed from a 9-inch paint roller, Quick Shield self-adhering film promises to be a fast and easy way to prep for painting and remodeling projects. At project completion, the film removes without leaving a residue, says the maker. A 100-foot roll sells for $7.50. Surface Shields, 800/913-5667, surfaceshields .com

Maximum Efficiency. With an AFUE rating of 98 percent, the York Affinity is the most efficient furnace in the hvac industry, says its maker. Its variable-speed ECM blower and modulating burner can save homeowners $70 to $300 per heating season compared with a similar- sized model with a 96.7 percent efficiency rating. At 33 inches tall, the unit’s cabinet suits tight spaces. The manufacturer declined to provide pricing. York, 800/910-9675,

Off the Wall. Field Controls’ SWG Power Venter can replace leaky or space-hogging flues (masonry or stainless), or it can be used for long runs when atmospheric venting is impossible. A safety interlock ensures that the unit is powered and operating before the burner fires. Power venters are approved for all natural- gas, propane, and oil-fired heating equipment. The 4-inch stainless steel model shown (SWG-4HDS) lists for $359. Field Controls, 252/522-3031,

Running Hot. Heat Transfer’s new Evacuated Tube Collectors deliver nearly 40,000 Btu per panel per day, making them a good water-heating option for cold climates. Each panel has 30 individual tubes mounted on a stainless-steel rack; the completed assembly weighs about 210 pounds. Trade prices start at around $2,100 per panel. Heat Transfer, 800/323-9651,

Uncommon Logic. You’re probably the first person your clients will turn to when they can’t figure out how to adjust or program their new high-tech thermostat. You can eliminate a lot of those calls by installing a Honeywell VisionPro 8000. With menu-driven touch-screen programming and an easy-to-read backlit display, it’s one of the most intuitive programmable thermostats on the market. Prices start at about $100. Honeywell, 800/328-5111,