WICHITA, Kan. - The contractor-dealers invited to witness some of the first Coleman® Echelon™ heat pumps and air conditioners rolling off the production line this April got cigars to commemorate the event. They also each got a condensing unit in their preferred size and efficiency.

Now that's generosity.

The contractors - Howard McDaniel of Corporate Air, Inc., Memphis, Tenn.; Bob and Nancy McKeraghan of Canco ClimateCare, Newmarket, Ontario; Greg Gill of Action Air, Vista, Calif.; Roy and Pam Checketts of Affordable Air Care, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Raul Salgado of Star Cooling & Heating, Glendale, Ariz. - also were given the opportunity to exchange ideas on recruiting, indoor air quality (IAQ), and other topics of interest at an impromptu roundtable.

Coleman took the opportunity to share its market plans with these key contractors, who represent the company's best dealers. It's no secret that the company is focusing on the ever-growing replacement/retrofit market. The company is taking steps to add to its consumer brand awareness, dealer marketing tools and, of course, introduced the new line, which the company believes has an aesthetically pleasing "retail" look to it. It was created in conjunction with industrial design firm fitch:Worldwide. The manufacturer and design firm worked together to create a product with modern appeal and features, easy installation and serviceability, and that is "manufacturable," the company said.

‘Best Of The Best'

The contractors invited, and the new product line they were invited to see, represent "the best of the best," said Doug Widenmann, director of marketing for Coleman parent company York UPG.

The new line's minimum efficiency is 12.5 SEER. It offers two levels of coil hail protection, sealed contactors with lugs, a polymer mesh coil finish, low sound and vibration, a composite base pan, Whisperdriveâ„¢ two-stage compressor, and "automotive-quality logos," said Widenmann.

A full-end-access panel with a handle and a sliding full-access control box are designed to make the products' internal components accessible to installers and service techs. An isolated compressor compartment, side-discharge service valves, and an adjustable knockout plate for electrical whips further improve serviceability, said Widenmann.

A demand defrost board features service analyzer capabilities, integrated control, fault code retention, hot heat pump and fossil fuel jumpers, high- and low-pressure-switch connections, and a pipe freeze-protection timer. The 12-SEER unit uses R-22 and the 13-SEER unit uses R-410A. The 13-SEER unit also is Energy Star® qualified.

The 12- and 13-SEER units also have been unveiled on the 2004 Coleman Mobile Display Unit's "Indoor Outfitters" tour, which began in Sacramento, Calif., on Feb. 2. The display vehicle was at the Wichita plant when these contractors visited. In addition to the line's main furnace, air conditioner, and heat pump models, the display vehicle has a functioning "talking" thermostat that the company is offering with the line.

Publication date: 04/26/2004