The winners focused on making standardized installation easier for the contractor and more efficient for the homeowner. Trane Inc. found a gold winning idea in its Charge Assist™ automatic, self-charging technology, and Lennox Industries Inc. uncovered silver with the Precise Comfort™ technology found in its Dave Lennox Signature Collection G71P. Jaga’s knockonwood tube radiator with wooden cabinet not only yields high efficiency, but also complies with the Forest Stewardship Council. These efforts to contribute positively to the environment won Jaga a bronze award.
GOLD WINNERTrane Inc.’s Charge Assist™ was designed specifically with the contractor in mind. “It is the first automatic, self-charging technology on the market that takes the guesswork out of system installation and maintenance,” said the company. “It enables technicians to simply push a button and ensure proper refrigerant charge.”
A standard feature on Trane’s ComfortLink™ II high-efficiency systems, it can be used during installation or routine maintenance to ensure system reliability. The installer or technician connects the refrigerant container to the outdoor unit, pushes a button, and the system begins to charge. A light inside the unit indicates when the charge is complete. Even if the installer or technician is not on hand, when the charge is complete the charging process shuts down automatically. There is no need for the use of refrigerant gauges, measurements, calculations or charging charts.
Besides offering consistent, accurate charges that help increase energy efficiency, Charge Assist affords contractors more flexibility in technician scheduling. With its plug-and-play function, the unit can be used by any technician in the field after minimal training. As a result, dealers have more options when high-efficiency systems are being installed, and they are not limited to sending out only those technicians trained on the complex systems.
This unit also reduces installation time, consequently increasing labor productivity. During maintenance, Charge Assist will indicate if a unit is under or over charged with refrigerant, enabling the technician to add or recover refrigerant and put the system back in balance.
The Charge Assist solenoid kit provides any technician access to technology that will properly install and maintain Trane’s high-efficiency Comfort Link II system.
SILVER WINNERLennox Industries Inc.’s Dave Lennox Signature Collection G71P is a high-efficiency, variable-capacity residential gas furnace that utilizes Precise Comfort™ technology, automatically adjusting both heat and airflow in increments as fine as 1 percent from 40 percent up to 100 percent of rated capacity. This allows the furnace to precisely meet a home’s changing comfort needs, providing long run times and even temperatures for the consumer. AirFlex™ technology allows the dealer to fine tune every aspect of airflow, including fan-on, cooling sensible balance, heating temperature rise, and cooling blower ramping profiles, to meet a home’s specific comfort needs. The unit can be set up for variable-capacity, three-stage or two-stage operation, and every model is multipositional, maintaining 95 percent AFUE in all installed positions.
The multiposition feature is enhanced for the contractor with the company offering one SKU for all installed positions, without field reconfiguration. The installer only has to install the trap as appropriate. The unit provides vent lengths of up to 150 feet, which allows the furnace to be installed where the best comfort can be delivered.
During setup, the control board provides a readout of settings such as airflow and heat capacity, among others. During service or annual maintenance, the G71P will provide flame rod micro amps without the use of a separate meter. It will also provide nonvolatile direct readout diagnostics that holds up to 10 trouble codes in memory, delivering those codes on demand in direct readout alphanumeric characters. Field test mode helps speed service and setup, both bypassing and speeding up time functions.
BRONZE WINNERJaga’s knockonwood product is a high-efficient, finned tube radiator with wooden cabinet. Wall mounted, the radiator works with low water temperatures, starting from 110°F. According to the company, it is ideal for condensing boilers, heat pumps, or solar energy. It’s primarily intended for residential and light commercial applications, and is designed with a cabinet that is intended to fit with any interior. Only a small cabinet is necessary to heat a room.
One judge pointed out that installation was easy. The unit has a self-regulating thermostatic valve. The removable cover makes access to the maintenance- and service-free unit an easy task if necessary.
“Homeowners will choose this product no doubt,” he said. Available in different wood colors, all wood has the Forest Stewardship Council label. The unit comes with a 30-year guarantee on the heating element.
Honorees: Residential High EfficiencyGold
Trane Charge Assist™
Lennox Industries Inc.
DLSC Variable Capacity, High Efficiency Furnace
Daikin AC (Americas) Inc.
Daikin AC Multi-Split System, Heat Pump