CHICAGO — Honeywell Intl. Inc. honed in on the connected home during the 2018 AHR Expo while also expanding its already broad portfolio in a number of different market segments, including hydronics, potable water systems, humidification, and IAQ.
Connectivity is a trending topic throughout the world of HVAC, with manufacturers, contractors, and consumers all showing increasing interest in smart, connected devices throughout residential and commercial spaces. It’s something that was a major focus for Honeywell in 2017 and, as showcased at the 2018 AHR Expo, will continue to be a driving force for the company this year.
“In 2018, Honeywell aims to move further toward the goal of providing complete solutions that contractors can use to solve real consumer problems,” said AJ Smith, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Home and Building Technologies. “As part of this, we’ll continue to connect more and more of the portfolio and expand our network of partnerships to ensure we easily integrate with the other parts of the connected home.”
The proof of this commitment was clear on the show floor as Honeywell announced the introduction of the new D6 Pro Wi-Fi Ductless Controller, a simple and intuitive replacement for hand-held ductless remote controls. According to the company, the new controller was designed to help contractors reduce installation time and increase ease of use for homeowners when managing their homes’ temperature. It is easily installed and features a high-contrast display and touch buttons for a simple and sophisticated feel, giving homeowners easy control over their in-home comfort.
“I think there is a certain amount of the phenomena around the connected home that has people wanting to go and buy their thermostat and have it connected, but I think a lot of the value we are providing ends up being through the contractor and the fact that we have connected these solutions in the home,” said Smith.
The product is designed to bring the most utilized features of the ductless system to the forefront using Honeywell’s Lyric™ app. The clear and concise menus offer easy-to-read visualization and give the homeowner access to advanced features, such as flexible scheduling (7-day, 5/2-day, and other options), auto-changeover, and the ability to group D6 controllers into systems if they have a multi-zone ductless installation. Using the geofencing option, users can have their homes’ comfort automatically managed when they’re home or away. Integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant gives users the freedom to use their voices to control their home comfort.
“We’ve designed this product to help our contractors provide more value to their existing accounts and to expand the solutions they can offer new accounts,” said Smith. “This easy-to-use and simple-to-deploy controller is relevant for any customers installing and using ductless solutions. The product is elegantly designed and is a fantastic addition to the home décor.”
EXPANDING THROUGHOUT THE HOME
The Wi-Fi Ductless controller was not the only addition to Honeywell’s portfolio being shown in Chicago, as the Advanced Electrode Humidifier, which hit the market in August of 2017, was also heavily touted. The humidifier works using standard water, regardless of its hardness (a non-softened cold water line is recommended). In keeping with the theme of connectivity, the humidifier was built with consumers’ connected homes in mind and is compatible with Honeywell’s latest pro-quality thermostat setups, like the Prestige IAQ and the VisionPRO 8000, meaning easy app support on the TCC and Lyric apps.
“It is really focused around both the user experience and the contractor experience,” said Smith.
“It’s the only steam humidifier that is both duct-mountable and remote-mountable. All the wiring terminals were done in such a way that it is much easier for a contractor to be able to wire it up.”
Smith also said that for Honeywell, it’s all about taking the things that irritate homeowners or contractors and making them better.
“The fact that we are now becoming involved in a category that we hadn’t been involved with previously is certainly a big deal,” he said. “It is adding to the overall story of our water portfolio. It’s another area where it is not replacing something that exists, but we are adding things that improve our portfolio. We are known for making things safe but also very fast and efficient for contractors. The safety aspect of this industry will always be important to us. We now have different water products, which is a segment we have always participated in but have never made ourselves very big on the plumbing side. Now we have reached that point of critical mass, where this year you will see Honeywell really come out and talk about our water portfolio as a major part of our offering.
“I would say that the D6 on the mini splits, the steam humidifier, and overall solutions are big focuses for us this year,” Smith continued. “Everything for us is about connectivity from a software perspective. What this will position us well for is that it allows us to gather enough information and insights from data on how to help these systems work better and help people make decisions about efficiency to make decisions about comfort.”
Publication date: 2/26/2018