“New ideas can come from anywhere, but we’re proud to say that most of our new ideas and product features come from the most important people in our organization — our customers and dealers,” said Tom Brittain, cooling product manager, Lennox Intl. Inc. The company put its new ideas to good use as it took home the gold award in the HVAC High-efficiency Residential Equipment category for its Dave Lennox Signature® Collection SL18XC1 A/C unit.
More than 10 years of research and design was put into the condenser coil of the unit, and three years was spent on product research, Brittain said.
According to the company, the Lennox Quantum™ condenser coil is a fortified aluminum tube and fin coil. By eliminating dissimilar metals, the Lennox Quantum coil helps guard against fin loss due to galvanic corrosion, especially in coastal areas. Although the coil is constructed of a fortified aluminum, the field connections to the unit are copper, allowing the contractor to use standard installation brazing practices to install the unit.
The cabinet of the SL18XC1 provides a large, removable access panel for easy access to each component, making regular service checks quick and efficient for the technician. The SmartHinge™ louvered panels allow for quick access to the coil for cleaning, only requiring two screws to be removed. The SL18XC1 also comes with optional system enhancements, like its SunSource® solar-ready design, which gives homeowners a way to bring solar power into their homes using the Lennox SunSource solar panel accessory. The SL18XC1 also comes iComfort®-enabled. This communicating control feature allows it to be connected to the iComfort Wi-Fi® thermostat using four wires. By installing an iComfort Wi-Fi thermostat with the SL18XC1, the homeowner can adjust the temperature of the home from anywhere using a tablet or smartphone.
“We conducted consumer and dealer research with the SL18XC1 and Lennox Quantum coil,” said Brittain. “We wanted to make sure we had the right product meeting the right set of needs, with the right message. We don’t just pull things out of thin air and see if they work. We look for problems and needs and identify places where we can make people’s lives easier and more comfortable. And that’s where we focus. Once we see a need, we try to solve it in a way that gives our customers the highest possible quality.”
“It’s awesome to have the ultra-quiet high-efficiency product and new coil technology,” said one of the judges for the DDA awards.
The SL18XC1 air conditioner is also the first launch of the Lennox Quantum coil and will be followed by a heat pump version in the same class of efficiency, the SL18XP1. These products will round out the single-stage offering of the Dave Lennox Signature Collection of ultra-high-efficiency single-stage air conditioners and heat pumps.
Taking home the silver award and a second place finish in this category is Rheem Mfg. Co.’s Professional Prestige Electric Water Heaters™.
The water heaters are available in 40- and 50-gallon capacities and have First Hour Ratings (FHRs) ranging 58-68 gallons, based on capacity. These Professional Prestige Series models feature Rheem’s Super Sentinel Diagnostic System, which provides simple, easy-to-read diagnostics and a digital thermostat setting on the unit.
These products are also EcoNet-enabled. The EcoNet Smart Home System, developed by Rheem, is technology that allows Rheem Heating, Cooling, and Water Heating products to communicate with each other on one integrated network, and to the world through a cloud-based interface.
According to the company, this product provides domestic hot water primarily for residential locations and is ideal for homeowners who want to replace an existing electric, tank-type water heater with a more efficient model.
Rheem spent three years developing this line of water heaters and employed feedback from customers and an outside design services firm, along with leadership from the company’s Advanced Technology Integration (ATI) team.
Lennox makes its second appearance on this list, earning the bronze award for its Elite Series XC20 Air Conditioner.
The XC20 is designed for residential applications but may also be used in light commercial applications 5 ton or smaller, with single-phase electrical service (208-230 V/60hz/1 ph). According to the company, the XC20 must be installed with a Lennox iComfort thermostat and a communicating Dave Lennox Signature Collection or Elite® Series furnace or air handler for full functionality.
One DDA judge noted, it’s good to have the XC20’s inverter technology at such a low price point.
“[What sets the XC20 apart from similar products in the marketplace is] Its communication capability within a high-SEER, variable-capacity platform that can deliver better comfort and humidity control to more homes and families,” said Brittain.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WINNERS
Lennox Intl. Inc.
Dave Lennox Signature® Collection SL18XC1 A/C unit
Rheem Mfg. Co.
Professional Prestige Electric Water Heaters™
Lennox Intl. Inc.
Elite Series XC20 Air Conditioner
Publication date: 7/20/2015