Download PDF version (227.3k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.

Water Filtration

Keeping Clean. Aquasana's AQ-4000 water filter removes a variety of contaminants from tap water, including chlorine, lead, VOCs, MTBE, and microbial cysts. Removal rates for many compounds are 98 percent or higher, the company says. The double-filter unit can be attached to the existing faucet and placed on the counter, or it can be tucked beneath the sink and connected to a new dedicated faucet. Replacement cartridges ($48 apiece) treat 500 gallons of water. The AQ-4000 costs $100 if ordered directly online. Sun Water Systems, 866/237-4658, www.aquasana.com

On Tap. PUR's FM-3700 attaches directly to the kitchen faucet; the faucet aerator simply needs to be removed and replaced with the filter housing. According to the maker, the unit sharply reduces levels of many contaminants, including asbestos, lead, solvents like toluene and benzene, and microbial cysts. A built-in monitor shows when the filter needs to be replaced. (The company's Flavor Options model allows homeowners to add sugar-free fruit flavors to the water.) The FM-3700 retails for about $50; replacement filters, good for up to 100 gallons of water, cost $40 for a three-pack. P&G, 800/787-5463, www.purwaterfilter.com

Heavy-Duty. Everpure promises commercial-grade performance with the H-54 undersink filter, claiming that it reduces not only contaminants like lead, asbestos, and cysts, but also chlorine taste and odor, dirt and cloudiness, mold, oxidized iron, manganese, and particles as small as 1/2 micron. In addition, the company says the filter — which must be connected to a separate faucet — inhibits lime-scale buildup in appliances. It costs about $310. Replacement filters, good for 750 gallons, cost $78. Everpure, 800/323-7873, www.everpure.com.


Towel Warmers

Shelve It. Working with limited wall space? Warmrails offers a compact shelf rack in corded and hard-wired versions, each 26 inches wide, 11 3/4 inches tall, and 12 1/2 inches deep. The warmer draws only 65 watts, says the maker, and is designed to run continuously. The corded model comes in chrome, polished brass, or satin nickel (the cord measures 7 feet), and the hard-wired (shown) in chrome or nickel satin. Both models retail for $130. Warmrails, 714/890-3644, www.warmrails.com

Minimalist. Runtal North America's new Fain towel radiator comes in both round and square stainless-steel stock and in hydronic and electric versions. The hydronic model is designed for 180-degree water and can be equipped with a manual or thermostatic control valve; the electric one (300 watts) can be plugged in or hard-wired. An optional programmable controller allows seven individual programs, each with up to three on/off cycles per day. The unit measure 33 inches high, 19 1/2 inches wide, and 3 1/2 inches deep; prices run around $1,200 for the hydronic model and $1,600 for the electric. Runtal North America, 800/526-2621, www.runtalnorthamerica.com

Hot Glass. Instead of tubing or flat panels, Thermique's towel warmer uses a sheet of electrically heated glass to toast towels. (The company claims to offer the only UL-approved heated glass in the country.) Metal brackets — available in polished or brushed nickel, polished brass, and chrome — hold the glass, which can be monogrammed. The unit measures 28 inches tall by 36 inches wide, stands 4 1/4 inches from the wall, and installs on a 120-volt circuit. It retails for $2,600 to $2,800, depending on the finish. Thermique Technologies, 312/326-9193, www.thermiquetechnologies.com