Contractors focus on many things when it comes to efficient and proper conditioning of residential spaces. Their main concerns generally focus on proper load calculations and effective installations. Consumers, however, focus on other concerns when having any residential HVAC equipment installed in the home. They not only want their home to feel good, but they also want it to look good too.

Winners of the The NEWS’fifth annual Dealer Design Awards’ HVAC Residential Equipment category killed two birds with one stone when they designed their award-winning products.

It was this combination of glamour and efficiency that garnered all three winners a gold award. Munters Corp.’s DryCool Mini, Model DC120 supplies whole home dehumidification from a freestanding unit that is versatile enough to also be installed with an existing system. ATV’s RGON Art Radiator is a heating device disguised as a work of ancient art, and LG Electronics USA’s LG Art Cool Inverter Series framed heating and cooling, creating a piece of modern art.

GOLD: The Munters Corp. DryCool Mini can be controlled by either a unit or wall mounted humidistat, and is available with optional MERV 13 filter and UV light.


The Munters Corp. DryCool Mini, Model DC120, is a residential whole-home dehumidifier system that provides 120 pints of moisture removal per day. The unit utilizes a condenser reactivated desiccant dehumidification process to provide dehumidification and supplies approximately 200 cubic feet per minute. Controlled by either a unit or wall-mounted humidistat, it comes standard with R-410A refrigerant and is available with optional MERV 13 filter and UV light.

Besides these features, the DryCool Mini offers contractors installation benefits as well. The unit can be installed free standing to supply and return air from the space. It can also be installed to work with an existing residential-type indoor split system air-handling unit. The supply and return ductwork is tied into the larger system ductwork, supplying air to the entire house.

Packaged as a complete unit, only ductwork and power must be connected. It uses 6.8 amps at 115 V, allowing it to be plugged into a standard wall outlet. Service can be completed through access provided in the top of the unit.

With consumers demanding green options, one judge appreciated the greenness of this product. “ This product is unique,” he said. “Lower energy consumption and ozone-friendly refrigerants are definitely the way to go.”

The unit processes approximately 3.3 liters per kilowatt and discharges cool air, which allows the discharge air to be expelled directly into the space if necessary.

According to the company, the combination of high efficiency and the cooling required for conventional dehumidifiers to cool their discharge air makes this unit about twice as efficient as other whole-home dehumidifiers. In addition, the desiccant cycle will continue to dehumidify at a high rate as the entering temperature and humidity decrease. The unit does not risk coil freezes at very low temperatures, in the mid 30°F range.

GOLD: ATV’s RGON Art Radiator is a decorative radiant heating product that is installed by fixing it to the wall.


ATV’s RGON Art Radiator is a decorative radiant heating product. Available in an electrical or a central heating version, the RGON radiators are compounded with recycled mineral powder and acrylic resin, which according to the company creates a smooth and pleasant touching aspect to its texture and feel.

“There is definitely a place for this type of product in the market,” commented one judge. “This particular unit will definitely appeal to the well-heeled visual customer who wants objects to be more than just utilitarian.”

More than just aesthetically pleasing, the unit can be used to provide heat where a heating system is not required or where supplemental heat is necessary. The unit can be installed by simply affixing it to the wall and there is no maintenance required. The electrical unit is controlled electronically. The central heating version has a specific copper heating element that provides perfect reliability, said the company. It also has an optional thermostatic tap. Equipped with a digital electronic regulator controlling surface temperature, the radiator temperature never exceeds 131°F (55°C). An optional radio transmission thermostat can be added.

GOLD: The LG Electronics USA LG Art Cool Inverter Series features a large, permanent filter and an electronic air purifier.


The LG Electronics USA LG Art Cool Inverter Series, used for residential and light commercial applications, provides single-zone, high-wall, duct-free cooling and heating for spaces lacking ductwork, such as sunrooms, basements, computer server rooms, garages, restaurants, hotels, etc. This mini-split heat pump inverter operates using R-410A refrigerant and comes in three sizes - 0.75, 1.5, and 2 tons.

The four-stage system features a large, permanent filter and an electronic air purifier that captures microscopic contaminants and helps remove unpleasant odors, both cleaning and freshening the air. The indoor coil is self-cleaning and the high speed cooling operates at high speed for up to 30 minutes to quickly cool a room down to 64°F. The unit operates at 19.7 SEER and has an optional wall-mounted wireless remote.

Besides ultra-quiet operation, one of its distinct features is the option to change the front panel from Standard Mirror to Organic Cream White, Art Flower Gold, or Snow Flower White, giving contractors the option to offer customers an elegant design to enhance the décor.

Installation is simplified because no ductwork or sheet metal is required. According to the company, installers benefit from simple and economical installation because the units consist of only three basic parts - an outdoor unit, an indoor unit, and the refrigerant line that connects them.

“If installed properly, it usually takes less than four hours to install, saving the contractor valuable time and increasing profit margin,” claimed LG.

Maintenance features were considered in the design of this product as well. Filters can be cleaned by lifting up the front panel, and technicians are only two or three screws away from gaining access to all internal components.

Honorees: Residential Equipment

Munters Corp.
DryCool Mini

RGON Art Radiator

LG Electronics USA
LG Art Cool Inverter Series

Honorable Mention
Johnson Controls Inc.
York® 33-inch Affinity™ Modulating Gas Furnaces

Publication date:07/14/2008