Numerous changes in products, marketing, and positioning were reflected in this year’s show, most of which should greatly interest dealer/contractors.
Up front and center were the reemergences of old (old) appliance names. Other innovations included lower-pressure R-410A systems from one manufacturer, and complete online distribution from another.
The representatives at these manufacturers’ booths agreed that the Atlantic City AHR Expo produced a very good amount of quality leads.
IT’S ALL IN THE NAMEFedders(Longview, TX) had a larger display this year featuring its expanded product lines, including Eubank, Sun, Trion, Fedders, and Airtemp. The broad offering includes IAQ items such as residential air cleaners, humidifiers, and makeup air products available through Trion, said president Mark Eubank.
The company has also brought back the Airtemp air conditioning line, which, along with Fedders and Eubank products, will go after the residential hvac market.
Eubank V72 Series wall-mounted air conditioners feature commercial-grade construction, single- and two-stage cooling with 50% operation, and multifunction circuit boards that can incorporate high- and low-pressure switches, or filter alarm switches. It is designed for ducted and nonducted applications.
Nordyne (O’Fallon, MO) featured a 13- to 14-SEER condensing unit with a variable-speed blower in its Tappan and Frigidaire lines. The unit features a time/temperature defrost and anti-short-cycle timer.
However, the company’s big news was its acquisition of the Westinghouse brand name — undoubtedly a strong move for a company that has been building its stable of well-known, consumer-trusted name brands (such as Tappan, Frigidaire, Philco, Gibson, and Kelvinator). The Westinghouse unitary line will be marketed as a premium residential/light commercial brand, along with Frigidaire and Tappan. (The new brand also will carry the unitary product described above.)
According to Nordyne, “More than 88% of U.S. consumers recognize the Westinghouse name as a symbol for reliability and quality products.” The company remains committed to two-step product distribution.
The company also announced that it selected Presidion Solutions (Troy, MI) to provide human resources services for its distributor and contractor customers. Out-sourced services will range from payroll and employee benefits, to regulatory compliance and risk management responsibility.
R-410A HEAT PUMPHydroTemp Manufacturing Co.(Fort Myers, FL) garnered considerable attention from contractors, distributors, and manufacturers with its water-heating 410A heat pump, said to have several patents on parts of the system that are said to lower operating pressures normally associated with R-410A systems.
The company calls the heat pump “the most cost-effective way to heat domestic hot water for commercial applications.” Out-door models are designed for use “where the air conditioning by-product would not be required.” The customer’s existing or added hot water tank is connected to the outdoor unit with copper water tubing and a stainless steel or bronze circulation pump.
For the residential market, the company’s AquaPura “water maker” is a patented heat pump said to produce “pure, clean drinking water from the air around you,” the company says.
Humid air is drawn through a tri-filter air filtration system and cleaned down to 0.3 microns. Pure drinking water is then extracted from the water vapor. The water is collected in a containment tank, then further filtered down to 0.01 microns.
MORE INNOVATIONSWeatherKing L.L.C.(Fort Smith, AR) displayed its 10- and 12-SEER air conditioning condensing units and heat pumps, manufactured in an ISO-9000-certified facility.
District sales manager Joe Brandt noted that the company’s products are almost entirely ordered and distributed using an “Internet-based, high-velocity [two-step] distribution model,” with two-week lead times and 24-hr availability. The website (www.weatherking.com) has two entrances: one for dealer/contractors and the other for distributors.
Amana Heating and Air Conditioning (Fayetteville, TN) displayed its Ultron 410A condensing unit. The split air conditioning, 13-SEER unit is available to the residential market in capacities ranging from 1.5 to 5 tons.
The company has been providing dealer training to teach contractors and technicians the ins and outs of working with the refrigerant’s higher operating pressures. Gauges for 410A are supplied with training.
The unit has safeguards to keep techs from using R-22 gauges on it during service or installation. R-22 gauges, for example, cannot be attached to the service fittings for the 410A refrigerant line. In order to attach the gauge, the tech must have the correct gauge set — meaning they will have had to receive the training, too.
ThermoPride (Lancaster, PA) displayed the Premiere Series air conditioning unit with a high-impact, ABS plastic condensing unit cabinet that will not rust or fade, the company said.
It also features an aluminum microfin coil with zinc coating, quiet operation, up to 15.3-SEER efficiency, and an LED status indicator for troubleshooting.
National Comfort Products (Bensalem, PA) displayed the “Comfort-Pack” electric cooling-gas heating CPG Series in 1.5- to 2.5-ton cooling capacity. The company says the unit can be separately metered and features a slide-out cooling chassis to aid repairs. It also features copper tubes with enhanced aluminum fin coils, and a permanently lubricated, high-efficiency, PSC blower motor.
TGM Industries (Miami, FL) displayed the Model TCP1 package air conditioner with horizontal, side-by-side duct connections and a powder coat paint finish tested to 750 salt spray hrs. Units feature a painted coil with coil guard, copper tubing for durability, and enhanced aluminum coils for improved airflow and heat transfer. Heat pump or resistance heat models are available.
Publication date: 02/04/2002