Weil-McLain’s Evergreen® boiler offers many features that make it a favorite: 95 percent AFUE performance, a 10:1 turndown, control logic customization, and more. And the 2016 Dealer Design Awards judges agreed by putting the product on a pedestal, naming it the gold winner in the contest’s HVAC Light Commercial category.

Dan Karch, lead engineer, Weil-McLain, said every portion of the Evergreen boiler was designed with the contractor/technician in mind.

“Weil-McLain’s product engineering team works closely with the company’s marketing team, tech service department, and technical training managers to get customer feedback on what they need in a product, what they like about our existing products, and how we can improve,” he said. “We take this information and apply it in every way. This is easily seen in how we designed the serviceability of removing the burner from the boiler and inspecting the heat exchanger. It is easily done by removing four bolts. Also, adding the setup wizard to our control makes it very simple to customize the control to the job site just by answering a few simple questions.”

The product features ZoneStacking, which equates to 24-zone capability without an additional external third-party control. ZoneStacking allows the Evergreen boiler to maintain efficiency through lead-lag rotation and balanced heat loading. Three selectable sequencing modes are built into the Evergreen: Series, Parallel, and SmartSequencing.

“From an installation standpoint, it is easy to control, and the controls are very sophisticated, yet easy to use,” said Rich Schulte, vice president, Schulte Heating and Air Conditioning in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. “There is a setup wizard that gets you started. You can have heat on as soon as the boilers are online.”

Before the product was introduced to the marketplace in August 2015, it went through two years of development. Weil-McLain implemented and hosted hands-on product tear downs, surveys, voice-of-customer events, focus groups, and market research. Within its engineering team, the company employed scientific investigation of heat exchangers, high-efficiency combustion systems, and control capabilities. The company plans to continue to grow the application and user base for the Evergreen boiler with its applications extending to light commercial, large residential, institutional buildings, health care facilities, churches, factories, processing facilities, workshops, and more.

“At Weil McLain, we go above and beyond testing the reliability of this product over the course of development and testing,” said Karch. “We tested this product in many different extreme conditions and sent boilers around the country for pre-production field testing. We also set up an eight-boiler system on-site to test out our sequencing strategies and control algorithms while heating our buildings and providing domestic hot water.”

Karch said, thus far, the Evergreen has been well-received by the industry.

“Many people have commented on the Evergreen’s control and its advanced features. As people gain experience with the control and realize how versatile it is for everything from a simple single boiler installation using the setup wizard to very complex multiple boiler or hybrid systems, they will continue to develop new ways to utilize it.

“I am proud of everyone that has helped out on this project,” continued Karch. “Weil-McLain is full of a lot of great people trying our hardest to design and manufacture the best products out there.”

Schulte said the Evergreen is definitely a product he’ll continue to use. “The basic stuff that is pre-programmed into the boiler is great, but it can also be customized and tweaked easily, and they give contractors a very detailed instructional manual to understand.”



The Energence Ultra-High-Efficiency 3- to 6-ton packaged units from Lennox Intl. Inc. earned the silver award in this category. The units are fully modulating and provide increased dehumidification to address the comfort needs associated with the outside air requirements of current building codes.

The system features a variable-speed compressor with inverter, which can be controlled by either a discharge air sensor or a 24-V signal (or direct digital control signal). The compressor and blower modulate speeds to maximize comfort, dehumidification, and energy efficiency. The system speed ramps up and down to match building comfort requirements. As the building gets hotter throughout the day, the system can ramp up in speed and capacity to match the load (up to full capacity).

“The innovative technology applied in this new family enables it to be compliant with the U.S. Department of Energy’s [DOE’s] 2018 and 2023 requirements,” said Mike Ray, director, commercial rooftop units, Lennox Intl. Inc. “As Lennox positions the families for 2023, we will continue to conduct market research with contractors, technicians, and installers to understand what will make servicing these systems easier and more efficient.”


The TEC3000 Smart Thermostat Controller from Johnson Controls Inc. is a light commercial building control that regulates environmental comfort, prevents damage to HVAC equipment, and controls energy costs. It is a combination of a smart thermostat and a field equipment controller. The TEC3000 earned the bronze in the HVAC Light Commercial category.

Two and a half years of research went into the development of the product, and, according to Robert Freimuth, manager, engineering, HVAC products engineering, Johnson Controls Inc., focus groups consisting of field installers and branch managers helped guide the product enclosure as well as features, including the interactive touchscreen display.

“The field installers were shown 3-D solid prototypes for feedback on enclosure design,” said Freimuth. “A series of touchscreen display layouts were presented to the field installers regarding setup and configuring HVAC equipment networks. Valuable insights were gained through a series of questionnaires and direct feedback. We adjusted all our menus and layers of display screens to better serve our installers’ needs in the field.”


Lennox Intl. Inc.
Energence Ultra-High Efficiency Packaged Units 3-6 Ton

Johnson Controls Inc.
TEC3000 Smart Thermostat Controller

Publication date: 7/18/2016

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