The Gold award in the Residential Controls category goes to the Nest Thermostat E + Goodman from Goodman Manufacturing Co.
The Nest Thermostat E + Goodman marks the first time that Google has offered a co-branded product and experience with an HVAC manufacturer.
The easy-to-use thermostat pairs effortlessly with new Goodman equipment, from base efficiency air conditioners to high-performing, multistage ComfortBridge™ products. Both brands utilize an open-protocol approach that allow contractors more flexibility to satisfy homeowner needs.
The Nest Thermostat E + Goodman is enabled with Google Assistant so that homeowners can easily adjust their indoor comfort just by using the ‘Hey, Google’ prompt with devices like a Nest Hub display or Nest smart speakers or even a mobile phone with the Google Assistant app. Homeowners receive monthly tailored Nest home reports delivering system performance and energy efficiencies of their Goodman HVAC system.
Helpful, proactive homeowner alerts, with remote monitoring and diagnostics, offer opportunities for contractors to build long-term relationships with customers using the Nest Thermostat E + Goodman app. Nest thermostat algorithms detect an HVAC issue and alert the homeowner via email and/or app.
Alerts and reports always include contractor information, making it easier for customers to interact with contractors than traditional contractor stickers plastered on HVAC equipment, stickers that might not be readily accessible on an air handler tucked away in the attic.
If the customer has a Nest Pro ID in their thermostat, their local Goodman contact will surface in the alert. This feature helps establish trust between the contractor and homeowner.
Goodman’s exclusive extended warranty (providing up to five years of warranty) helps technicians’ ability to sell their customers a differentiated product backed by longer warranty coverage.
Some HVAC contractors are skeptical of smart home technology because they are comfortable with what they now do. However, Goodman believes there is tremendous opportunity for contactors to start selling smart home equipment. HVAC is a very seasonal market, but with the capability to install smart home devices, contractors can now level out their business during shoulder seasons. Goodman believes HVAC contractors are ideally positioned to take leadership roles for homeowners desiring smart home automation.
Finally, the product’s reporting capabilities are meant to help contractors deal with an ongoing workforce shortage. These features allow them to be quick and efficient with service and diagnostics.
The Silver award in the Residential Controls category goes to the White-Rodgers SureSwitch™ multi-volt contactor from White-Rodgers/Emerson.
Designed with expanded coil voltage to now extend to refrigeration replacements ranging from 24 V to 240 V, it features a microprocessor-controlled switching design to eliminate contact pitting and welding. That minimizes damage and ultimately should result in more than a million cycles when properly installed and used.
A completely sealed switched contact prevents pest and debris from damaging the contacts, which extends equipment life. SureSwitch also incorporates compressor protection features such as short cycle timer delay, brownout protection, and random start delay.
With the technician in mind, SureSwitch coil allows use in various air conditioning and refrigeration single-phase contactor applications for up to 40 FLA, which reduces truck stock to save time and increase efficiency on the jobsite.
This product update uses a new high-output display with a lens for easy viewing, even in bright sunlight. Technicians receive feedback on operation, delays, and low voltage. The color label combined with the visual indications of LED flash codes and coil wiring offers easy use.
Over three years were spent developing the original SureSwitch release, and two years were spent developing the multi-voltage update.
The Bronze award in the Residential Controls category goes to the York Hx™3 Communicating Zoning System, serving new or replacement residential HVAC applications.
The YORK Hx3 Communicating Zoning System is designed to be the ideal smart home system for the high-end residential market, providing customized individual room temperature in up to eight zones in a home.
The system “was specifically designed with contractors top-of-mind,” said Jason Wilson, product manager, residential controls, Johnson Controls.
Unlike zoning equipment that require bypass and barometric dampers, the Hx™3 Communicating Zoning System is compatible with any existing three-wire, 24 V power open/close damper.
With customer permission, contractors can monitor system performance through the new Hx™ app. This allows not only provides notification of an immediate issue, but it gives the ability to monitor for issues before they occur and know what is needed for a job before arriving on site.
The Hx3 Communicating Zoning System consists of two primary control components: the zone module, which serves as the central communicating hub for all equipment, and the Hx3 touchscreen main controller, which acts as the zone 1 controller and the primary controls point for the entire home. Contractors then have the flexibility to choose any combination of secondary zone sensors and thermostats for the remaining zones.