In a world where our big data habit requires bigger energy to manage and prevent from overheating, Nortek chose to focus its 2020 AHR Expo message on what it is doing to keep computer rooms cool.

The manufacturer, known for custom equipment, has unveiled its line of catalog computer room air handlers (CRAH) for data centers that require cooling with configurable options. The Nortek CRAH options will range from 9,000 to 48,000 cfm (or 63 to 430 kW nominal cooling capacity). The design team worked to develop a combination of performance and small footprint and deliver a strong total cost of ownership (TCO) for customers.

The new catalog models supplement NAS’ legacy custom CRAH platform, which will continue providing custom-built units to accommodate data centers requiring air handling systems with site-specific requirements.

The units are available with an optimized copper tube/aluminum fin A-frame coil; however, an optional high-capacity coil is available to achieve a greater cooling capacity in the same footprint.

Additional configurability comes in the fan selection. The Nortek CRAH offers two-fan, three-fan and four-fan options, which can be selected and optimized to balance performance, cost, efficiency, and project requirements. Supply air discharge can be selected with the most common configurations: downflow for underfloor applications or front discharge.

Each model uses ECM fans with AMCA-certified performance in a horizontal Fanwall® configuration positioned below the cooling coil.

Customer feedback regarding service and maintenance helped NAS design a cabinet with easy access panels that utilize universal hardware and tooling. Routine maintenance areas, such as filter racks, humidifiers, and coil-side control valves, can be accessed with quick quarter-turn lock fasteners and hinged doors.

Full equipment communication is provided by the controller through an onboard HMI touchscreen. That data is also available to the BMS that can trigger texts and emails for any critical data and alarms.

A few other features: CRAH can be ordered as whole units for new construction, or in three knockdown sections for easy site assembly in retrofit projects. Units feature a modulating two-way or three-way control valve. Humidifier options are available and stainless steel drain pans guard against condensate overflow.

Designs include 2-inch and 4-inch filter media, with options for MERV 8 or MERV 13 filters behind hinged, easy-access doors.



From the computer room to the West Coast, Nortek’s Maytag Ultra-Low NOx furnace has developed as another point of pride for the company.

Senior director of marketing Barb Cox explained that the company released the furnace last October in response to recent California air quality regulations.

“We’ve received a lot of feedback from contractors and distributors about this gas furnace, which has the same installation as other gas furnaces,” she said.

Specifically, professionals seem to be appreciating that the Nortek unit does not require any additional adjustments or steps in the field for proper installation as a result of its CARB-friendly emissions, which has not necessarily been the experience elsewhere.

The MGC3SA is an 80 percent AFUE unit with a 30-second blower delay to ensure the air distributed into a home is warm from the start. The company lists quiet operation as another benefit of this design. In-shot burners, the inducer location, air vents, and cabinet insulation all contribute to a reduction in noise, the company said.

Nortek supports the unit after registration with a 12-year, all-parts warranty. Also, customers receive a 12-year Dependability Promise to replace the entire unit if the heat exchanger fails.

Nortek did not bring a MGC3SA unit to display on the floor this year, in part because the target audience for it is rather geographically constrained. However, feedback has been encouraging enough that the company chose to accentuate its success when asked for other highlights and under-the-radar successes.



Completing Nortek’s redesign of Gibson and Frigidaire residential and light commercial equipment, the company rolled out its W Series of air conditioning and heat pump equipment at the Expo. This completes the final phase of redesign for the three brands’ 1.5- to 5-ton units.

The project’s first phase saw the F-Series in 2017, the mid-range E-Series in 2018, and now the economically minded W-Series. All told, the redesign offers contractors a good-better-best strategy backed by Nortek’s technical and marketing support.

The W-Series’ air conditioning (WSA) is available in 13-, 14-, and 16-SEER models, and the heat pump (WSH) in 14 and 16-SEER models. Standard features include Copeland scroll compressors and a liquid line filter-drier for field installation in an accessible position to facilitate periodic change-outs.

The company features aesthetic and functional additions such as a coil-protecting wire guard that adds cabinet structural integrity and holds a plastic mesh in place to safeguard against hail and accidental contact damage. The wire guard is secured by the top and three corner screws to promote quiet operation and easy disassembly for coil cleaning access.

The W-Series’ anti-corrosive polymer drain pan also includes more drainage holes to eliminate potential standing water.

Ever more important in an era of refrigerant transition, Nortek’s proprietary charge assist tool,, can be accessed conventionally, or by scanning a weather-proof QR code called “Charge Me” affixed on the unit’s exterior cabinet above the refrigerant access port.

The tool helps technicians account for sub-cooling, fixed orifices, thermostatic expansion valves (TXV), ambient temperature at time of charging, lineset length, and other variables. As with the previous two series, these models also feature a barcode on the interior control panel that techs can scan to pull up all of a unit’s specific documents on the Nortek website.

As part of this release, Mammoth-branded three-phase air conditioning units come in 3-, 4-, and 5-ton models. Options include a low ambient temperature control kit for colder climates and a cantilever mount kit for securing the condenser unit to a foundation-fastened platform.

A three-year parts warranty accompanies the W-Series products, and that extends to 10 years if the customer registers the equipment.