High-efficiency Furnaces Remain in High Demand
Manufacturers strive to create systems that save energy, provide better comfort
According to HVAC manufacturers, customers are looking for highly efficient furnaces that shave dollars off their utility bills while providing the best possible levels of comfort. As a result, most furnaces displayed at the AHR Expo were designed to meet these market demands.
“For 2016, we expect to see continued growth in condensing furnaces versus noncondensing furnaces,” said John Remley, product manager for Nortek Global HVAC. “Additionally, ECM [electronically commutated motor] furnaces are growing due to both energy rebates in the U.S. and regulatory changes in Canada. We expect to see even more growth in the U.S when the new fan efficiency ratings [FER] start in July 2019.”
Condensing furnaces are not only popular in colder climates, but they are also migrating south as more customers in warmer areas look for better efficiency and comfort, said Jeff Preston, product manager, unitary products group, Johnson Controls Inc. “Another trend we are seeing — primarily in Texas — is 5-ton air conditioning systems that are attached to smaller cabinet furnaces. That’s why Johnson Controls provides 5-ton cooling capacity in a C-cabinet furnace, because when you match an air conditioning system with a furnace, you may need a smaller furnace for indoor size constraints.”
Johnson Controls introduced the York LX Series TM9Y residential gas furnace, which combines the comfort of two-stage heating with the efficiency of a standard electronically commutated motor (ECM). The unit delivers reliable performance and efficiencies up to 96 percent AFUE, noted Preston. The furnace is factory-shipped for upflow or horizontal applications and can be converted for downflow applications.
Easily accessible controls and no knockouts simplify installation. The units’ compact, easy-to-install 33-inch cabinets fit in tight spaces, allowing for installations in basements, attics, recreation rooms, garages, alcoves, and closets. Built-in self-diagnostics with a fault code display simplify servicing, an electric hot-surface ignition conserves fuel for increased dependability and reliability, and a 100 percent shut-off main gas valve provides extra safety.
Rheem Mfg. Co. introduced its Prestige Series R97V modulating gas furnace, which features 97 percent AFUE efficiency. Designed for high performance, the R97V uses a variable-speed ECM that consumes less energy while providing better IAQ. Maximum airflow and a patented heat exchanger design allows the R97V to use fuel more efficiently and
“The R97V was designed using our 360°+1 process, which means every detail of the product is meticulously evaluated from every angle. We consider the work that goes into installing and servicing our products as well as how we can deliver the very best homeowner experience. Then, we take it a step further. That’s 360°+1,” said Terry Stern, product manager, Rheem.
When paired with the EcoNet™ control center, the R97V automatically adjusts in small increments between 40 and 100 percent of its total capacity. Automatic adjusting delivers a more consistent indoor environment and maximum heating efficiency, said Stern. “Unlike single-speed blower motors, the variable-speed blower motor runs at a wide range of speeds, so a home gets just the right amount of airflow in every season.”
Napoleon unveiled the Condo Pack, which is designed for conventional through-the-wall installation applications. The Condo Pack has an all-indoor design for a clean exterior look, which makes it perfect for low- and high-rise residential applications as well as institutional and industrial installations, noted the company.
By removing exterior equipment and refrigerant connections from the application, the installation will benefit with the added protection from extreme climate conditions and unforeseen damage. Pre-wired and pre-charged, Condo Pack’s dual-unit slide-out chassis allows for easy installation and maintenance of both heating and cooling units.
Modine Mfg. Co.’s PTP horizontal gas-fired unit heater, which is available in seven model sizes ranging 150,000-400,000 Btuh, was specifically designed with the customer in mind to provide high value at a reasonable cost, said Ray Schaffart, marketing and sales manager, Modine. “The PTP delivers 80 percent thermal efficiency and is designed for environments with higher humidity levels, such as greenhouses. It features a robust package of design features that are standard including a stainless steel heat exchanger on all units.”
Publication date: 2/22/2016