In this time of rising energy costs, it's more important than ever to take a look at high efficiency heating as well as cooling units. That's exactly what the judges did when they studied the entries for the HVAC Residential Equipment/High Efficiency category inThe NEWS'third annual Dealer Design Awards. A boiler and air conditioning unit/heat pump won. The Knight Heating Boiler by Lochinvar Corp. and the XC15 air conditioner/XP15 heat pump by Lennox Industries Inc. earned first and second place respectively.

GOLD: The Knight heating boiler's Smart System operating control is standard with indoor/outdoor reset, three pump controls, and sequencing up to eight boilers.


Lochinvar Corp.'s Knight Heating Boiler earned the highest marks in the HVAC Residential Equipment/High Efficiency category. The boiler can be installed for hydronic space heating in both residential and commercial applications. The Knight's internal cascading sequencer feature allows up to eight boilers to be controlled by one of the boilers themselves rather than an outside, third-party controller. The boiler offers a 91-93 percent AFUE efficiency rating, depending on the model.

Its Smart System operating control is standard with indoor/outdoor reset, three pump controls, and sequencing up to eight boilers. "The Smart System control aids troubleshooting using words rather than codes," said Michael Juhnke, Lochinvar marketing manager.

Some of the basic functions of the Smart System are: 5:1 burner turndown; two-line, 16-character display; two levels of password security; product service indicator; pump relay with freeze protection; low water flow indication; outdoor reset and sensor; the DHWP with pump control; contacts on any failure; system pump control; boiler pump and control; inlet and outlet water temperature sensors; Fahrenheit or Celsius displays; boiler set point; off time limiting; building management system input; night setback; and service mode.

A judge commented on the benefits of not only the overall design, but the value proposition of the controls and the venting.

The direct vent sealed combustion boiler allows for up to 100 feet of air intake and 100 feet of exhaust vent, and has zero clearance to combustible materials.

"The Knight draws combustion air directly into the gas valve/combustion air fan assembly, rather than into the cabinet, so contractors never have to worry about maintaining a sealed jacket or drawing dirt and dust into the combustion chamber," stated Juhnke.

The judges liked the design of the unit. As one judge put it, "It's a very nice product - well designed and well built."

SILVER: The XC15/XP15 units feature service-friendly SmartHinge louvered access panels.


Lennox Industries Inc. received the silver award for the XC15 air conditioner/XP15 heat pump. The XC15/XP15 is a 208/230V, single phase, 60 Hz central air conditioner/heat pump designed for installation in residential applications, in conjunction with a Lennox furnace and a matched evaporator coil, or a matched Lennox blower coil. Included in this collection is the factory-installed Lennox® System Operations Monitor (LSOM) allowing increased service levels.

"Much like the diagnostic systems used in the automotive industry, this monitor continually measures system performance, helping technicians solve problems faster and more accurately. It can even communicate with select thermostats to provide a ‘need for service' indicator, notifying homeowners that a maintenance call is required," said Bill McCullough, director of cooling product management for Lennox Industries Inc., Worldwide Heating and Cooling Division.

With efficiencies up to 16 SEER, the XC15/XP15 are not only energy efficient, but also service friendly with the SmartHingeâ„¢ louvered access panels.

"Because of the patent pending SmartHingeâ„¢, the contractor will be able to access the full coil in less than two minutes, nearly eliminating the potential for the coil to be neglected," commented McCullough. "Electrical components can be accessed quickly by simply removing two standard sized screws on one panel.

"Inside, all components are easily identifiable and visible, saving the contractor time and energy. The liquid and suction lines are located on the corner of the cabinet, and spaced for easier line set connection."

One judge commented, "The ease of access for cleaning and leak checks is a welcome change. I see features here that set these units apart from the others."

Honorees: HVAC Residential Equipment/High Efficiency

Lochinvar Corp. - - Knight Heating Boiler

Lennox Industries Inc. - - XC15/XP15 Air Conditioner and Heat Pump

Publication date: 07/17/2006