The first product introduced to attendees was the Honeywell TrueZone panels. Brad Paine, Honeywell leader, residential zoning business, spoke about the benefits to the customer and contractor.
“This is a big opportunity to make more money,” Paine said. “Zoning is standard in commercial building. Why can’t it be standard going forward in residential? The residential zoning market has doubled since 2003, and Honeywell is the No. 1 shareholder. Customers want the benefits of zoning and, at the end of the day, contractors make more money by installing zoning solutions.”
In a 2006 American Home Comfort study, 67 percent of home- owners stated they were uncomfortable in their homes. The No. 1 complaint was uneven temperatures in their house. These statistics included new construction homes.
“Of those who were offered zoning, 40 percent purchased it,” Paine said. “Contractors can make more money selling zoning, and homeowners want the benefits of zoning, so why does the industry install zoning on less than 20 percent of the jobs?”
Dan Joyce, Honeywell marketing director, indicated, “The No. 1 complaint from contractors is zoning is too complex. Contractors are right, zoning has been too complex for too long. We can solve that. Zoning may have failed you in the past. We [Honeywell] accept some of that blame. We can do better and today we prove we will do better.”
Honeywell performed a three-year contractor research study while designing the TrueZone panels. The main issues Honeywell heard from contractors was the setup was too hard; dip switches, pots, and jumpers were confusing; the wiring was too difficult and time-consuming; and the screw terminals led to warranty issues. All of these issues resulted in difficult installations and too many callbacks.
“We focused on visual cues, the setup process, and the checkout process. They are easy-to-read and there is no exposed electronics. This has an 8-inch footprint, which is narrow and compact. You can mount it virtually anywhere,” Paine said. “Plus, it has robust push terminals. The push-in terminal blocks wire in literally half the time compared to screw terminals - with no screwdriver required. Plus, wires lock-in to terminals for a tight fit.
“And most importantly, the TrueZone panels have a digital display that uses real language to walk the installer through the setup process. It has no dip switches or pots. Furthermore, the panel has a check out process that ensures all installers check out the installation to eliminate callbacks.”
HUMIDIFICATION SYSTEMAlso introduced at the Forward Thinking conference was the Honeywell TrueSteam humidification system. “Equipment is changing and evaporation is not keeping up. Existing systems output less performance,” said Jeremy Peterson, leader, residential indoor air quality. “It is possible to make a humidifier that performs with today’s equipment, that is reliable and at a low cost.”
In designing the product, Honeywell addressed the negatives some have with humidification including wasted water, performance issues, and space issues.
“Honeywell’s new TrueSteam has a near 1:1 delivery rate and it works independently of a call for heat,” Peterson said. “There is 70 percent less water waste and the new instructions are simple and easy-to-understand.”
In addition to the product introductions, the conference included a mini trade show where participants could learn more about Honeywell products and services, listen to a keynote speech from Ray Isaac of Ray Isaac Heating and Cooling, and witness special contractor recognition.
“Forward Thinking is an opportunity for the residential HVAC community to get an exclusive first look at Honeywell’s next generation of game-changing residential products,” said John Tyhacz, vice president, Honeywell North American Homes. “Forward Thinking is also designed to help our customers move their businesses forward with new business opportunities and sales strategies.”
An event recap video and more information on the new products can be found at www.forwardthinking.honeywell.com.