2019 Dealer Design Awards: HVAC Residential Equipment
Goodman wins gold for Alumafin
ManufacturerGoodman Mgf. Co.
Today’s growing trend of high-density single- and multifamily homes often means cramped spaces for HVAC systems. Energy efficiency in a compact size and corrosion-resistant package helped Goodman Mfg. Co. take home the Gold award for the AlumaFin7 evaporator coil in the Residential HVAC category of this year’s Dealer Design Awards.
“AlumaFin7 is an important step forward on the industry’s path to developing smaller, lighter, and smarter products for residential use that are easier to install and service — particularly when space is at a premium,” said King Tong, product manager – residential indoor splits for Goodman. “Demand for higher-SEER compressors is growing. Introducing an evaporator coil with innovative 7-mm tubing not only evolves the heat transfer process, it provides HVAC contractors with a more complete energy-efficient package.”
Research and development on the AlumaFin7 began two years ago, in response to dealer feedback, demand for a corrosion-resistant product, and company innovations to improve the heat transfer process. The patented technology integrated into the design of AlumaFin7 evaporator coil not only improved the heat transfer process, but allowed Goodman and Amana brand engineers to shorten the height and width of the coil, reducing most matchups by up to 4 inches. Dealers now have a lighter, compact coil that’s only 21 inches deep.
“Evaporator coils are the real stars of split system air conditioning, doing the heavy lifting of removing humidity and creating cool air that flows into the home,” said Tong. “This evaporator coil is engineered with a patented 7mm tubing featuring interior micro-grooves designed to increase turbulence of 401A refrigerant, making the heat transfer process more efficient. The smaller diameter tubing greatly improves turbidity of 401A refrigerant to enhance heat transfer. The new tubing is paired with a multi-louvered aluminum fin design that boosts the coil’s capability to remove moist, warm indoor air for energy-efficient indoor comfort.”
Other features include a tightly-sealed single-piece access panel, to keep conditioned air from escaping; foil-faced insulation covering the internal casing, to minimize condensation on the cabinet; seal-tight, customized suction and liquid grommets for easy installation and removal; and a drain pan with a “no-water retention” design, using corrosion- and mold-resistant thermoplastic with an increased slope to improve condensate control. Vertical flow design means AlumaFin7 can be used in both upflow and downflow configurations, providing contractors with flexible installation options. Goodman has incorporated the AlumaFin7 into its furnace coils and is working on implementing this technology into its air handlers.
Roger Dunn, American Heating and Cooling, Inc., has been using the AlumaFin7 coil for about a month.
“We are primarily a new construction HVAC company, so the code changes, tighter houses, and tighter work spaces are challenges we constantly deal with on our installs,” he said. “There are several things we love about the new AlumaFin coil that deal with some of these issues. The first thing is the stability of the coil. It seems to be a little more rigid. I think it will hold up better through the install process.
“Another benefit, and maybe the most important to us, is how well the coils help with air leakage,” he continued. “EFL and Energy Star are two efficiency programs several of our builders follow. Their stringent guidelines on air leakage make this new coil an instant benefit to us. The rubber line set gaskets work great, and not having to mastic a two piece cabinet keeps the install clean.”
ProductRheem® Ultra Low NOx Gas Furnace
Taking Silver in the HVAC Residential Equipment category was the Rheem® Ultra Low NOx Gas Furnace. Research began in 2009, and it was of the longest-running projects Rheem has ever taken on, according to Ryan Teschner, product manager.
The Ultra Low NOx is the first residential gas-fired furnace certified by the South Coast Air Quality Management District for Rule 1111, a new California law to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) in natural gas-fired, fan-type central furnaces from 40 nanograms per joule to 14 nanograms per joule. The Rheem furnace was designed to meet contractor demand, as the law would have outlawed furnace installations in certain areas.
The product decreases NOx emissions by 65 percent from the current standard. It uses a pre-mix burner technology, adapted from the boiler industry, to optimize fuel and oxygen levels; a three-phase induced draft blower motor, to reduce gas waste; and a direct spark ignition system, nine times more reliable than industry-standard hot surface igniters, Teschner said.
The Rule 1111 mandate was last amended in March 2018, meaning all residential furnaces installed in California must be compliant or face mitigation fees of up to $450 per unit.
“The low-cost single stage version of Rheem’s Ultra Low NOx Furnace is representative of about 90 percent of all residential furnaces sold in the South Coast area, so distributors and contractors have immediate access to a furnace that is compliant, certified, and ready to be installed,” said Teschner. “We have already begun to work on package and condensing units with similar technology.”
ProductLennox CBA38MV Multi-position,
Variable Speed Air Handler
Lennox took Bronze for its CBA38MV multi-position, variable speed air handler.
“Our air handler that we already had [was] the quietest, most efficient air handler in the market,” said Brandon Chase, senior product marketing manager for cooling products. “We’ve kept that claim, and we added to it by providing an aluminum coil, which we call Quantum Coil; it’s a proprietary aluminum coil solution that we’ve tested for years.”
Lennox spent about two years developing the CBA38MV air handler, in addition to the five years of development for the Quantum Coil technology.
“There’s been a lot of industry movement away from copper to aluminum … because of formicary corrosion,” Chase explained. “Our solution for aluminum coils has some advantages on serviceability, has very low air liquid leakage … and it’s two-piece, so it’s easier to be installed when you have tight applications.” It also works with the Lennox Ultimate Comfort System.
“It automatically knows what you’re pairing it with, allows [the contractor] to get all of those sensors and readings from the thermostat, so you’re actually setting up the system appropriately for the home, as opposed to just based on installation instructions.”
The CBA38MV includes a programmable, high efficient, variable-speed blower motor that delivers cooling and heating efficiencies while maintaining proper air flow up to a maximum of 0.8 in. w.g. total external static. All models have less than 2 percent air leakage and meet ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 193-2010. Homeowners can control the system remotely and can give the contractor remote access as well, so they can make changes remotely or figure out which parts need to be brought for replacement.