Winner's Circle Crowded With Three-Way Tie

July 12, 2010
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Lining up in a large field of competitors, The NEWS’ seventh annual Dealer Design Awards’ HVAC High Efficiency Residential Equipment category contestants found themselves in a race for the winner’s circle. Citing new electronic and innovative features, contractor judges dissected this category yielding a gold winner, Lennox Industries Inc.; a silver winner, Nordyne; and a photo finish three way tie for the bronze, American Standard® Heating & Air Conditioning, Enertech Manufacturing LLC, and Hydronika.

GOLD WINNER: Lennox Industries Inc.’s G71MPP rates at 95 percent AFUE in all installed positions.


Part of a family of variable capacity residential gas furnaces, the Lennox Industries Inc.’s G71MPP rates at 95 percent AFUE in all installed positions. With Precise Comfort Technology, the furnace automatically varies its heat and airflow to match the home’s precise comfort needs from 40 to 100 percent of rated capacity. It provides full variable capacity operation using a traditional two-stage thermostat or can be installed using the new icomfort touch, full-color, four-wire communicating control. Using the icomfort touch control provides contractors four-wire installation and auto configuration when installed. It can also be used with a non-communicating outdoor system for retrofit applications.

Traditionally applied in residential whole home heating, the unit is natural gas and propane convertible. It can be used in conjunction with a straight cooling system or a heat pump in a dual-fuel application. Being a multi-position product, the dealer is always assured to have the correct product on hand. An external trap, outside of the blower compartment, allows easy service for annual cleaning of the blower without having to remove any of the condensate management system saving dealers time and making them more profitable. To convert the product for different installed positions, the only thing the installer has to do is locate the trap on the appropriate side and install. There is no re-engineering. Direct readout diagnostics, using a traditional two-stage thermostat, provides on the control board service codes, set-up cfm, and flame rod microamps in alpha numeric characters. The icomfort enabled G71 can tell when it is installed in a system that has improper ductwork, which helps save time and unneeded callbacks, according to the manufacturer.

SILVER WINNER: Nordyne’s iQ Drive® heat pump is a split-system air-source heat pump, reaching up to 22 SEER, 10.0 HSPF and 14.6 EER in 2, 3, and 4 ton capacities.


Nordyne’s iQ Drive® heat pump is a split-system air-source heat pump, reaching up to 22 SEER, 10.0 HSPF, and 14.6 EER in 2, 3, and 4 ton capacities. In addition to ultra-high operating efficiencies and quiet operation, the product is a unique split-system system that modulates its capacity over a large operating range. It uses an inverter-driven variable-speed rotary compressor and variable-speed fan and blower motors under the control of a master-system thermostat controller. The unit can modulate anywhere from 40 to 118 percent of capacity, instantly adjusting to exactly offset the cooling or heating demands on the home.

According to the manufacturer, the iQ Drive is technologically advanced and certification is needed before installing one. After becoming familiar with the iQ Drive systems, however, contractors call them plug-and-play and say they are easier to install than traditional systems because there are fewer connections, said the company. When servicing and installing, contractors will find a permanently lubricated motor that is a heavy-duty brushless motor. It requires no maintenance and is completely protected from rain and snow. When maintenance is required for other components, a removable top grille assembly allows easy service from the top without disconnecting fan motor leads. There is also an auto-reset feature that helps prevent unnecessary service visits and easy compressor and control access.

BRONZE WINNER: The American Standard® Heritage® 20 Heat Pump is equipped with two compressors for two-stage heating and cooling.


The American Standard® Heritage® 20 Heat Pump is equipped with two compressors for two-stage heating and cooling. As a fully communicating heat pump, it coordinates operations with other system components through the American Standard AccuLink™ System. With up to 19 SEER and 9 HSPF, the Heritage 20 earns the Energy Star™ rating and many other high efficiency certifications. The Heritage 20 automatically coordinates with other system components via the AccuLink Communicating System. The AccuLink technology connects all of the key components of an HVAC system so the system automatically charges, configures, and calibrates for optimal performance through the lifetime of the product.

Serviceability is a crucial component to any HVAC system component. American Standard has made installation, maintenance, and service easier with Easy-Sess™ and Charge Assist™. Easy-Sess service panels allow contractors easy access to the vitals of the Heritage 20 including refrigerant connections. Charge Assist allows for fast and accurate charging every time. Additionally, AccuLink provides continuous system monitoring eliminating the need for lengthy troubleshooting tests and diagnostics. When service issues arise, technicians can focus on solutions rather than searching for problems.

BRONZE WINNER: Enertech Manufacturing’s GeoComfort Compass Series comes in sizes ranging from 4 to 6 tons with sizes 2 and 3 ton available this summer.

Enertech Manufacturing’s GeoComfort Compass Series is an all new design and class of residential and light commercial geothermal heating and cooling system. The Compass Series is the first multi-positional geothermal system capable of being field-converted from upflow to downflow, right hand return or left hand return, all in the same cabinet. It has a unique cabinet design and champagne color. It comes in sizes ranging from 4 to 6 tons with sizes 2 and 3 tons available this summer. Using Copeland two-stage UltraTech® scroll compressors and GE ECM blower motors, the Compass Series delivers some of the highest capacities and efficiencies in the industry, according to the manufacturer. It is ideal for residential and light commercial applications and can be applied in new construction or retrofit.

In addition to the multi-positional cabinet, the standard digital controls package helps contractors quickly diagnose any faults or issues at a glance with the standard LED fault lights. All components of the unit are quickly accessible through multiple service panels. Components are also located in convenient spots in the unlikely event they may require service.

BRONZE WINNER: Hydronika Hybrid Chillers are four pipe chillers that produce cold water for hydronic cooling applications and use water and/or air for cooling.

Hydronika Hybrid Chillers are four-pipe chillers that produce cold water for hydronic cooling applications and use water and/or air for cooling. When using water, waste heat is rejected to a swimming pool or geothermal loop. Enclosed in a stainless steel cabinet, the chiller comes to the jobsite complete with all pumps and controls 100 percent charged with refrigerant and wet tested at the factory. After connecting power, thermostat signal, and four pipes, the unit is ready to be purged of air and commissioned. They can be used in both residential and commercial HVAC as stand-alone units or supplemental to existing chilled water systems. Large, cam-locked service panels afford easy access to all components. All components are tier 1 branded items available at national wholesalers. External LEDs and temperature gauges allow for quick visual assessment of a unit’s running performance. An onboard programmable logic controller monitors all systems in real-time and displays all performance functions on a color readout screen inside the controls enclosure.


Gold Winner:
Lennox Industries Inc.
G71MPP, icomfort enabled

Silver Winner:
iQ Drive Heat Pump

Bronze Winners:
American Standard® Heating & Air Conditioning
Heritage® 20 Communicating Heat Pump

Enertech Manufacturing LLC
GeoComfort Compass GXT Series

Hydronika Hybrid Chiller

Publication date: 07/12/2010

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