When a contractor calls a product "groundbreaking," that says a lot. In this case, that adjective was applied to the Paramount Hâ„¢ adjustable frame for the rough-in and installation of register components (patent-pending). The contractor-judge who wrote the comment on his score sheet gave the product from Paramount Concepts Ltd. (Springboro, Ohio) a perfect score.

He was not alone in his praise. The product definitely pleased The News' contractor-judges, who handed the Paramount H the gold medal in the Ventilation Products category in The News' first-ever Dealer Design Awards.

Silver winner FlexFlow Elbow, manufactured by Flexible Technologies Inc., Thermaflex Division (Abbeville, S.C.) also captured high marks and high praise from the contractor-judges. As one remarked, "This will improve airflow and quality of installation for consumers, if it is used."

The FlexFlow Elbow straps over the duct outer jacket at diffuser connections, forming a 90-degree elbow. According to the manufacturer, its one-piece design fits all brands of commercial and residential flex duct sizes from 6 to 16 inches. The contractor-judges were not surprised to find out that the product was invented and designed by a contractor.

The bronze medal in this category went to the Fresh Air Ventilation System by Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions (Golden Valley, Minn.). Honeywell considers its product "an affordable ventilation solution designed to help high-volume builders and contractors comply with new local and federal codes, including ASHRAE Standard 62.2."

The Paramount H is a patent-pending, adjustable frame for the rough-in and installation of register components.

Gold Winner

According to its manufacturer, the Paramount H was designed with extensive contractor involvement and testing. Features include:

  • Ease of installation - Place a boot into the frame, move the slider over until it is flush with the boot, insert two sheet metal screws via side tabs into the boot, then nail the entire assembly onto the joists. Paramount noted that this is "fast and easy, with total installation time of less than one minute."

  • Adjustability - Both the 4- and 6-inch frames can adjust from 8- to 14-inch widths, said the company, "allowing just two parts to cover up to eight applications." This ultimately means reducing inventory, parts numbers, and incorrect materials at the job, said Paramount.

  • Durability - The high-impact polystyrene does not cause cuts and is resistant to heat, cold, and ultraviolet light, said the company. This is said to reduce lost time on the job, workers' compensation costs, and broken or defective materials.

    "It's an excellent product that reduces installation time and product inventory," one contractor-judge stated.

    Installation and service benefits include the fact it has self-threading mounts, designed to provide a secure connection between the diffuser/grille and the frame; the fact it allows "perfect" drywall cuts around interior perimeter wall, to eliminate the need to repair wide, narrow, or missing drywall cuts during finish work; and the fact that secure connections between the boot and frame ensure the boot will not come loose, thereby resulting in no loss in cfm, said the manufacturer.

    For more information, visit www.paramountconceptsltd.com.

    The FlexFlow Elbow straps over the flex duct outer jacket at diffuser connections, forming a 90-degree elbow.

    Silver Winner

    The FlexFlow Elbow has many pluses, according to the contractor-judges, including the fact it is designed in one piece. More importantly, there are 25 pieces nestled in each 14- by 14- by 24-inch carton, said the manufacturer. In effect, this helps reduce sometimes costly shipping and handling expenses.

    The one-size-fits-all design is another reason to like the product, said the contractor-judges. In addition, the design provides universal application for all round-neck air devices, according to Flexible Technologies Inc.

    The product is manufactured from UL-listed (approved for plenum spaces) materials that "will not cut workers' hands, corrode, or break during shipment," said the manufacturer.

    Meanwhile, the adjustable bands can be unfastened for reuse.

    The company's bottom line is this: Galvanized sheet metal elbow installations require additional sealant to provide an airtight installation. FlexFlow Elbow installations "allow flex duct to attach directly to the diffuser for an airtight connection," the company said, adding that the product "provides superior airflow and less noise."

    For more information, visit www.flexflowelbow.com.

    The Fresh Air Ventilation System from Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions.

    Bronze Winner

    Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions' Fresh Air Ventilation System has been on the market for just over two months and is already getting rave reviews. Noted one contractor-judge, it's "a very well-thought-out system that is easy to in-stall and configure." Another wrote simply, "nice product."

    It's a good start for a system that was designed for contractors and for residential applications. According to Honeywell, it works with existing HVAC systems and "can be offered at a profitable price point."

    Pam Enstad, marketing communications director for Honeywell, said the product was designed to "eliminate worries for contractors about meeting federal and local ventilation codes. It also gives contractors an affordable ventilation option to present to homeowners on a budget."

    In brief, the Fresh Air Ventilation System allows for the customization of the ventilation rate depending on the size of house, fresh air delivery rate, and number of bedrooms, "allowing contractors to be more accurate when installing the system," she said.

    The ventilation package requires a standard No. 2 Philips head screwdriver and a few connections to be completely installed. The company said this "set it and forget it" program equates into fewer callbacks and optimal ventilation for the homeowner.

    For more information, visit www.honeywell.com.

    Publication date: 07/19/2004