When consumers decide to spend a lot of money on a high-end HVAC system, they often do so with a certain set of expectations in mind; for example, they may expect lower energy bills, year-round comfort, and improved IAQ. Contractors who are successful at selling more expensive systems know they have to explain how the equipment will not just meet but exceed these expectations without overwhelming consumers with information.

Manufacturers offer a wide array of high-end products loaded with features designed to exceed the expectations of discerning consumers and contractors alike. Here are a few examples.


The Product: American Standard AccuComfort Platinum 20 air conditioner

The Perks: Precise control. This 22-SEER variable-speed air conditioner allows homeowners complete control over temperature and humidity. The unit runs at up to 700 stages, which nearly eliminates temperature fluctuations and allows the system to run at low speeds for longer times to help save consumers money, said Brant Mitchell, product manager, Ingersoll Rand. “When the Platinum 20 air conditioner is paired with an AccuLink™ zoning system, homeowners have the ability to zone rooms in their home and control temperature and comfort on a room-by-room basis without sacrificing efficiency.”

For contractors, this system delivers the best comfort and performance, the lowest sound, and the highest efficiency in the American Standard family,” said Mitchell. “Utilizing the latest technology, contractors can expect few callbacks from customers. With Nexia™ Dealer Diagnostics, contractors can provide off-site troubleshooting and diagnostics to help homeowners, which increases their peace of mind.”

The Pitch: For homeowners looking for the best in comfort and efficiency, the AccuComfort Platinum 20 is their answer, said Mitchell. “It provides consistent temperature, some of the lowest sound ratings available, humidity control, and the ability to connect to the latest in home automation. This system truly provides homeowners the opportunity to fully control their indoor environments.”


The Product: Carrier Infinity 20 heat pump with GreenSpeed® intelligence (25VNA024)

The Perks: High efficiency. At up to 20.5 SEER, 16 EER, and 13 HSPF, this system is among the most efficient heat pumps in its class, said Lynn Turner, product marketing manager, Carrier Corp. “In addition, the heat pump offers additional comfort and dehumidification benefits due to its variable capacity, which matches the load of the home. This results in more precise temperature control and fewer humidity swings with longer run time and less cycling.”

For contractors, the Infinity 20 heat pump with GreenSpeed intelligence offers easy setup with two-wire installation, automatic outdoor and indoor equipment recognition, equipment status information, and diagnostics capability. “GreenSpeed intelligence offers refrigerant charge assist for fast, accurate charging,” said Turner. “And, with the use of a service tool, the heat pump can be installed and serviced without indoor access. These benefits result in fewer callbacks and higher homeowner satisfaction. In addition, the system is compatible with existing Infinity fan coils and furnaces.”

The Pitch: The benefits to homeowners include lower utility bills, improved comfort and dehumidification, and the ability to operate at 40 percent of full-load capacity to consistently match the heating, cooling, and humidity requirements of the home, noted Turner. “The system also eliminates light-dimming on startup due to soft start while providing low sound the majority of the time.”


The Product: Daikin VRV IV-S Series heat pump systems (Model RXTQ__TAVJU)

The Perks: Flexibility. This 18-SEER mini variable refrigerant volume (VRV) unit, which is designed for residential and light commercial applications, provides end users a wide range of flexibility that begins with being able to connect up to 10 indoor units to a single outdoor unit. These units are available in 11 different indoor ductless and ducted models and include cassettes, concealed-ducted, ceiling-suspended, wall-mounted, and floor-standing models as well as the ability to work with the Daikin Zoning Kit (DZK), which provides controllable, variable air volume (VAV)-ducted zoning for up to six zones, said Lee Smith, vice president of market and applications strategy, Daikin North America. “Available in 3-, 4-, and 5-ton sizes, this system offers a quiet solution, realizing zoning flexibility and customization suitable for the most creative challenges.”

Contractors will appreciate the light weight and compact size of these outdoor units, which make them easier to install and allow additional installation location flexibility, said Smith. “This makes it easier to comply with the many city or homeowner planning regulations where there are restrictions with a/c units being visible from the streets.”

The Pitch: Conventional HVAC systems are designed around a sweet spot, where they operate at their best efficiencies only under certain circumstances, said Smith. “When temperatures are mild, they will cycle on and off at full capacity, continuing to use as much energy during part-load operation as they do during full-load, hot-and-cold conditions. The built-in VRT [variable refrigerant technology] in the VRV IV-S Series helps to realize ideal year-round efficiencies and comfort, because it will automatically adjust the operation of the system to provide optimal temperature control, performance, and efficiency in part- and full-load conditions.”


The Product: Maytag PSA4BG iQ Drive air conditioner

The Perks: Quiet operation. This model uses an inverter to modulate its compressor speed, which allows it to run at an extremely low capacity to meet the cooling demand. As a result, on mild days, it can operate as quietly as 57 dBA. Additionally, when installed correctly, the unit runs almost constantly at a low level, so it mixes the air inside the home very well, said Tim Alford, HVAC product manager, Nortek Global HVAC. “There are no hot or cold spots or stagnant air with this unit. It also works with most off-the-shelf two-stage thermostats, so the homeowner and contractor can have their pick of available thermostat models.”

For contractors, this system is easier to install than Nortek’s first-generation inverter systems, said Alford. “Mechanically, this air conditioner has the benefit of a microchannel condenser coil, which is durable, lightweight, and requires minimal refrigerant.”

The Pitch: The 20-SEER iQ Drive air conditioner gives the contractor a unique selling proposition — extreme home comfort that pays for itself, said Alford. “With this system, homeowners will often save enough on their monthly energy bills to offset the additional expense of the equipment and get all of the comfort benefits. When a system like this is financed, it becomes a no-brainer for the homeowner.”

Nortek’s sales app, ComfortConsultant™, helps convey that information to the homeowner. “While in the home, the contractor can hand his iPad to the homeowners, and, based on their answers to a few questions — such as whether they want a quieter system, lower energy bills, etc. — the app recommends a system and shows pricing. It’s very transparent, and homeowners become more engaged in the process. As a result, homeowners walk away feeling like they chose the system rather than being sold a system.”


The Product: Rheem Prestige™ Series, EcoNet™-enabled, variable-speed heat pumps (RP20)

The Perks: Complete comfort. Variable-speed compressors and the matched variable-speed indoor unit (furnace or indoor air handler) precisely adjust to the heating and cooling needs of the homeowner. “These units deliver precise temperature settings with the ability to maintain ideal home temperature, humidity levels, and air quality at all hours of the day, eliminating discomfort associated with periods of overcooling or overheating that can happen with traditional single-stage systems,” said Farooq Mohammad, director, product management, air conditioning division, Rheem Mfg. Co. “In addition, the products in this line are EcoNet-enabled, which make it extremely easy and convenient for homeowners to manage and control their comfort needs, even remotely through the app.”

These products provide the contractor with a full line of high-efficiency heat pumps, said Mohammad. “Rheem EcoNet controls make the configuration of the system nearly as simple as plug and play, and the system monitoring and diagnostics help make every service call extremely efficient. The RP20s also save contractors significant time during the installation process, which helps to increase their overall productivity.”

The Pitch: This 20-SEER system is perfectly sized for all needs and can seamlessly adjust to changing needs during various seasons throughout the year, noted Mohammad. “In addition, the units feature high efficiencies in both cooling and heating modes, so end users will notice a big difference in their utility bills. And, because of longer continuous runtimes, inverter-driven technology allows for improved filtering and cycling of clean air and humidity controls, which results in better overall comfort and IAQ.”

The units also provide exceptional heating performance at lower ambient temperatures, said Mohammad. “When other products have to switch to emergency heating or constant defrost cycles during low temperatures, the RP20s continue to utilize the energy-efficient heat pump mode while still fully meeting the homeowner’s comfort requirements.”

Publication date: 6/20/2016

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