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Gold medal. S9X2 Gas Furnace.
Trane Technologies
S9X2 Gas Furnace

Trane Technologies received the Gold award in the HVAC Residential Equipment category for the S9X2 Gas Furnace.

The S9X2 family is a 96 percent AFUE, two-stage furnace equipped with a nine tap constant torque ECM blower motor. S9X2 models are a part of Trane’s S-Series furnace line, and the S9X2-PSB series includes a drastic redesign of the heat exchanger assembly, resulting in ultra-quiet furnace operation compared to the original S9X2-PSA series.

S9X2 furnaces are used to heat and cool homes and are paired with a two-stage outdoor unit (air conditioner or heat pump).

Along with many hours of lab testing, the S9X2 furnace was developed with the help of a 12-person dealer council. These dealers were from all areas of the country and deal with the models on an almost-daily basis. By incorporating dealers into the design process, the engineering team was able to capture many new design elements that make servicing and installing furnaces easier than before.

To test the value of these features, Trane installed more than 70 pre-production test units in the field to ensure that dealers, technicians, and end users would all be happy with the final product. The S9X2 features blower housing rails, which make the blower housing and blower motor easier to slide in and out of the furnace cabinet. The rails help technicians more easily remove the blower for servicing — even in difficult installation orientations.

The product also includes menu-driven Integrated Furnace Control (IFC) with electronically selectable speed taps. This means that a technician can go up to a unit, change the airflow setting by means of the menu and option buttons, and be done — all without having to shut the unit down or deal with a lengthy wiring process. Plus, each S9X2 burner can be removed one at a time (versus the typical standard of removing all at once) in order to make it easier to clean or replace if needed. Instead of having to disconnect gas lines, remove the entire set of burners, and replace them after cleaning, the S9X2’s burners can be snapped in and out of place one at a time with no disconnections required.

“They switched to a tubular design that can withstand a lot more heat and can hold up to the heating and cooling that a heat exchanger continually cycles through,” said Mike Bakker, owner of Dutchman Heating and Cooling in Naperville, Illinois, who sells the furnace under the American Standard brand. “This will probably be the longest-lasting heat exchanger on the market based on the design of a tubular heat exchanger.”

“The blower is designed to be extremely quiet and extremely efficient while not giving up anything on performance, so that the airflow going through the system is very solid, but very noise-free,” he added. “And that motor tends to be this workhorse that doesn’t fail.”

SUZ Universal Outdoor Unit with Hyper-Heating INVERTER (H2i) Technology.
Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US Inc.
SUZ Universal Outdoor Unit with Hyper-Heating INVERTER® (H2i®) Technology

Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US Inc. (METUS) Cooling & Heating Division’s SUZ Universal Outdoor Unit with Hyper-Heating INVERTER® (H2i®) Technology took home the Silver in the HVAC residential equipment category.

The product is a single-zone outdoor unit part of Mitsubishi Electric’s M-Series product line. Ideal for residential or light commercial applications, the SUZ H2i is designed to bring comfort and efficiency to cold-climate applications.

The unit has a built-in base pan heater and Blue Fin anti-corrosion coating on the fins of the heat exchanger.

The SUZ H2i is also compatible with a broad range of indoor units, meaning distributors can carry less outdoor compressor inventory. This compatibility helps contractors to accommodate consumers’ aesthetic preferences as they offer a high-performance, cold-climate heat pump. With less product to inventory, the SUZ H2i is easy to service, since a commonly used unit means its replacement parts are common).

“The SUZ works with a broad range of indoor units, giving homeowners in all regions more efficient, all-electric equipment for their indoor heating needs, which reduces their dependence on fossil fuels,” said Heather Buchicchio, director of product marketing at METUS.

Armstrong Air 4SCU16LE Single Stage Air Conditioner.
Allied Air Enterprises LLC
Armstrong Air® 4SCU16LE Single Stage Air Conditioner

The Armstrong Air® 4SCU16LE Single Stage Air Conditioner, from Allied Air Enterprises LLC., won the Bronze award in the HVAC residential equipment category.

The product is used for residential cooling applications requiring 1.5- to 5-ton capacities. It is designed for residential applications but is versatile enough to be compatible with commercial single-phase applications. Typical system installations are with an Armstrong Air coil and gas furnace; however, it can also be applied in cooling applications with an air handler.

The Armstrong Air 4SCU16LE single-stage air conditioner features Omniguard coil technology, which leads to reduced coil cleaning time and improved resistance to leaks and environmental contaminants. It also includes service valves with 45-degree access ports, as well as a fully metal cabinet with louvered panels with two screws for ease of coil cleaning and service.

“The 4SCU16LE expands premium offerings in the HVAC industry by introducing a new technology that improves the durability of outdoor units — helping to build trust in the dealer,” said Nicholas Orth, senior manager of residential marketing.