Andy Armstrong, director of marketing-unitary products, Johnson Controls, shows off the new York® Latitude™ air conditioners with MicroChannel technology.

NEW YORK - Given the chilly temperatures outside, air conditioning probably wasn’t the main concern of those attending the 2008 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo). However, manufacturers definitely had cooling systems on the brain - and in their booths. Products featuring higher SEER ratings and improved comfort levels were highlighted, as were totally new heat pump designs that haven’t been seen at the expo before.


Daikin AC (Americas) Inc.( showcased its new heat pumps that can be installed as ducted or ductless systems. The Multi-Split system can serve from two to four rooms, using only one outdoor unit. Spokesperson Lee Smith noted that the ducted indoor fan coil is less than 8 inches deep and can fit easily into the ceiling, so it cannot be seen.

“This approach gives contractors a different angle, and it’s something the market has been asking for. It’s also good for contractors, because they don’t have to size the piping, and there is very little installation work required.” The units feature 19.5 SEER, 9.9 HSPF, and all utilize R-410A. They are also very quiet, with condenser noise averaging around 50 dBA.

Energy Saving Products Ltd.( featured its new Hi-Velocity Systems-HE unit that surpasses the 13 SEER plateau. This new unit incorporates a mass flow variable-frequency drive, utilizing smart motor technology that runs on six preprogrammed settings and adapts to various conditions. The small duct system can be installed fast and easily and is an intelligent system that automatically detects voltage and frequency. No matter where the systems are installed in the world, the intelligent controllers will automatically recognize their environment and run accordingly. The company stated that compared to standard HVAC equipment on the market today, end users can expect to save up to 50 percent in energy costs.

Fujitsu( unveiled its mix-and-match Halcyon line of R-410A inverter multi-zone air conditioners and heat pumps. The new equipment offers high-efficiency, with ratings of up to 16.5 SEER and 9 HSPF, and contractors can select wall-mounted or concealed ceiling indoor units. All models feature R-410A, quiet operation, increased energy efficiency, and up to four zones cooled or heated by one outdoor unit. Contractors can create 41 different systems using only eight components. The indoor unit can be wall mounted or concealed in the ceiling.

Josh Gomer (left) and John Miles show how Samsung’s new compact Slim Duct and MSP Duct heat pump systems can offer flexible installation.

Gree( highlighted its new series of 13 SEER condensing units designed especially for North American users. The heat exchanger and motor used in the units result in efficient performance and quiet operation. The diagnosis function makes repair and maintenance easy, while high-quality filters help keep the air clean. A 13 SEER dc inverter series is also available.

Haier( showcased its new 13 SEER condensing units, which are available in sizes ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 tons. The units feature a new color, as well as galvanized steel cabinet construction and a full metal jacket for coil protection. Regional manager Drew Dougherty said that the units have a small footprint, which makes them easier to install in retrofit applications. Contractors will like the product line because of the easy-access service panel.

Hallowell International( introduced its Acadia™ heat pump, which company president Duane Hallowell said is the first air-source heat pump that can operate with efficiencies similar to a geothermal system. The system does not require supplemental heat and can keep a home’s indoor temperatures comfortable even when outdoor temperatures reach as low as -30°F.

The Acadia won the AHR Expo Innovation Award in the heating category and is definitely a green product, said Hallowell, because “The Acadia cuts home heating and cooling costs by up to 70 percent, lessening dependence on fossil fuels and helping consumers have a smaller carbon footprint.” Features include four-stage heating up to 9.7 HSPF and two-stage cooling up to 14 SEER.

Johnson Controls( displayed its new York® Latitude™ air conditioners with MicroChannel technology. This mid-tier offering of air conditioners in the 1.5- to 5-ton range is positioned between standard Latitude products and the premium Affinity™ line.

With their small footprint, the units are a perfect fit in any application where cooling is essential and space is limited. The MicroChannel coil with enhanced heat transfer characteristics enables the units to achieve desired performance levels with 50 percent less refrigerant. The units are available with R-410A and feature a SEER of 15-plus, when the unit is matched with a variable-speed air handler or gas furnace.

Lee Smith shows that Daikin’s Multi-Split system can fit easily into the ceiling.

Robur( featured its new GAHP-AR line of reversible gas-fired absorption heat pumps. These air-source water-ammonia absorption heat pumps use natural gas as the primary energy source, supplying hot water up to 140°F or chilled water down to 37.4°. The same unit is suitable for heating or cooling by reversing the absorption cycle, using the outside air for heat rejection in cooling mode and as a heat source in heating mode. Wholesale distributor Brian Cullinane noted that the gas efficiency at rated conditions is 126 percent in heating mode and that the gas savings during the heating season can offset the gas consumption normally required during the cooling season.

Samsung( showcased its new Slim Duct and MSP Duct heat pump systems, which offer flexible installation benefits with their slim, compact size. The systems feature high SEERs, inverter drives, and quiet operation. John Miles, director of engineering and technical support, noted that the Slim Duct fits perfectly inside a residential soffit, and there are a multitude of options for airflow. “This system gives the contractor more flexibility, as up to four ducted models can be installed on one outdoor unit.”

Weil-McLain( made the surprise announcement that it is going to start carrying 13 and 14 SEER air conditioners. Tony Curran, VP-sales, stated that the company used to sell air conditioners until the 1960s, then stopped until this year. The units will be available in February and feature a compact, corrosion-resistant design and durable microchannel condenser coils. Available in sizes ranging from 2 to 5 tons, each unit will have the same footprint, regardless of the size. Servicing the units will be simple, as a single screw access panel is provided. The units also have sound-absorbing injection molded top caps and high-efficiency compressors.

Westinghouse( showcased its 23 SEER air conditioner with iQ Drive™, which also won the AHR Expo Innovation Award in the cooling category. The system features fully variable-speed compressor technology and variable-speed indoor and outdoor motors and provides variable cooling capacity as needed modulating over a 5° temperature range.

It is available with a compatible air handler, or furnace and coil. The air conditioner is designed to make servicing easier for the contractor, with access panels provided to all controls and the compressor from the side of the unit. A removable top grille assembly allows for ease of service from the top without disconnecting the fan motor leads. The heavy duty brushless motor requires no maintenance and is completely protected from rain and snow.

Hallowell International president Duane Hallowell introduced the Acadia™ heat pump, which can cut home heating and cooling costs by up to 70 percent.

SIDEBAR: Geothermal Option

ClimateMaster( introduced its Tranquility high-temperature water-to-water heat pumps with R-410A. The new systems are available in sizes 8, 10 and 12 kW in 50Hz voltages and size 10kW for 60Hz voltages (capacities at ground loop heat pump conditions) with ground loop efficiencies (COP) 25 percent higher than current units on the market. Tranquility heat pumps are rated for water loop heat pump, ground loop heat pump and ground water heat pump applications. New scroll compressors within the Tranquility units make it possible to generate leaving water temperatures of up to 145°F even at ground loop minimum temperatures. They also feature double-isolated compressor mounting, discharge and suction mufflers, and fully insulated compressor section. Other standard features include integrated controls, outdoor temperature reset, and warm weather shutdown.

Publication Date:02/18/2008