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Gold medal. SL28XCV Air Conditioner.
Lennox Industries
SL28XCV Air Conditioner

The Gold award in the HVAC High-Efficiency Residential Equipment category goes to the Lennox SL28XCV Air Conditioner.

Austin Boyce, general manager at Airco Service in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, talked about the difference the unit’s design makes for technicians and customers.

“It’s kind of like a smartphone versus a flip phone,” he said. “From the install side, it’s great — a lot of automatic setup to it, it does a lot of the work for you.

“On the consumer side, it’s been fantastic. It’s self-diagnosing to an extent,” he explained, so the machine can lead technicians in the right direction regarding what might be wrong.

In fact, with the permission of a customer using the recommended Lennox thermostat, the contractor can monitor system performance online remotely.

“A lot of times, we know there’s a problem before the homeowner does,” Boyce said.

He added that the unit is not only “very, very quiet” but is more than up to the task of beating back the humidity that can challenge indoor comfort in his service area. Boyce made this assessment based on an adequate sample size.

“We install several hundred a year.”

This air conditioner has also been designated as one of the Most Efficient Energy Star certified products in 2021. Products that are recognized as the Most Efficient Energy Star in 2021 prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting rigorous energy efficiency performance levels set by the U.S.

The SL28XCV features system ratings up to 28 SEER/17.6 EER.

“This unit builds on the Lennox promise of innovation and providing the highest efficiencies available,” said Brandon Chase, senior product marketing manager, Lennox. “It creates opportunities for higher level efficiency requirements and creates more separation for differentiation in the ultra-efficiency market.”

With the help of the required iComfort® S30 ultra smart thermostat and iComfort enabled furnace or air handler, the SL28XCV air conditioner unlocks a host of connectivity advantages: monitoring, diagnosing, troubleshooting, even the conveniences of geofencing-based operation.

The air conditioner incorporates the Lennox Quantum™ Coil technology, which includes enhanced aluminum alloy tube/fin coil for superior corrosion resistance and provides excellent heat transfer and low air resistance for maximum efficiency.

Sound levels for the SL28XCV run as low as 56 dB. Its variable-speed compressor allows it to run primarily in low speed, which further minimizes its acoustic profile.

The design has kept the technician in mind as well.

“The SL28XCV utilizes high and low pressure transducers and sensors connected to the control board that provide the installing technician and dealer with real time readings of superheat, subcooling, refrigerant pressure and refrigerant temperature on the S30 thermostat, dealer’s setup app, or Service Dashboard,” Chase said, “which can simplify the process of charging the system and results in up to 30% less steps to setup the full system.”

A Smart Alert system, equipment test capability, and more allow contractors to keep customers happy via the Service Dashboard at

ECO Tec.

The Silver award in the HVAC High-Efficiency Residential Equipment category goes to the ECO® Tec boiler from Weil-McLain.

The premium unit features a long-lasting fire tube heat exchanger and is available in combi versions with response time and domestic hot water (DHW) output designed to meet the demanding needs of residential replacement applications.

ECO Tec is available in four heat-only sizes ranging from 80 to 199 MBH. The combi versions are available in three sizes — 110, 150 and 199 MBH — with hot water output up to 5.4 GPM.

Some combi designs have their internal components crammed into a cabinet, with some components needing to be removed in order to get to others behind them when replacing. The Weil-McLain ECO Tec was designed with direct feedback from contractors before and during the development phase.

The cabinet’s spacious design has strategically positioned common parts for fast and easy access and service of the gas valve, ignitor, blower, stainless steel heat exchanger, and control module. The ECO Tec features a wall mount design and a wrap-around door that provides full internal exposure when removed.

The unit connects to up to four thermostat inputs. Removable and unique wiring terminal blocks save contractors time during installation and servicing while eliminating potential field wiring errors.

The Unity 2.0 control system has been well received, the company said — so much that it plans to add the ability to operate multiple ECO Tec boilers without the need for external control as a standard feature.

Deluxe Wall-Mounted Single-Zone System.
Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US
Deluxe Wall-Mounted Single-Zone System with Hyper-Heating INVERTER (H2i plus) Technology

The Bronze award in the HVAC High-Efficiency Residential Equipment category goes to the Deluxe Wall-Mounted Single-Zone System with Hyper-Heating INVERTER® (H2i plus™) Technology from Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US.

The system provides performance with 100% heating capacity in outdoor ambient temperatures as low as -5°F. Effective operation continues down to -13°F.

The Deluxe Wall-mounted H2i plus System offers features benefiting both HVAC technicians and consumers. Innovative H2i plus means contractors can specify this system in extremely cold climates with or without the need for auxiliary heat in most cases. The outdoor units are engineered to withstand and provide significant heat in cold-ambient temperatures.

In addition, Blue Fin coating on the outdoor unit heat exchanger increases coil protection and extends equipment life.

Dual Barrier Coating on the indoor unit’s heat exchangers, vanes, air duct, and blower wheel is also extremely beneficial to HVAC technicians, as it helps reduce maintenance calls. Preventing buildup enhances indoor air quality and extends the life of the unit.