"We've seen very brisk demand right out of the gate," said Chad Johnson, Carrier senior product manager. Johnson believes the success is due to the control's numerous capabilities. The device is designed to manage six separate functions - temperature, humidity, airflow, ventilation, indoor air quality (IAQ), and zoning.
The device also has the ability to alert the homeowner and the dealer when the furnace or air conditioner is in need of maintenance.
But zoning is one of the product's clear benefits, especially where the contractor is concerned. According to Carrier, the Infinity Zone Control has taken the frustration out of offering a zoning system.
No More ComplicationsLudwig Contracting Inc. in Brookville, Ind., started offering the Infinity Control as soon as it was available. Doug Ludwig, secretary and treasurer for the company, had the opportunity to try out the product as part of a field trial before it hit the market.
Ludwig stated that since the system was installed in his home, he hasn't experienced a single problem.
In fact, he said the system is completely different from anything he's ever seen. "The thermostat is like nothing else anyone offers," he said. "You feel you have the most up-to-date system."
The system works with Carrier's line of Infinity variable-speed furnaces, but any Carrier air conditioner or heat pump, including those from the Infinity series, can be added.
Ludwig said that the control is not only easy to use from a consumer standpoint, it is easier for technicians and installers to install.
"It cuts our installation time dramatically," said Ludwig. "It's a simple unit to hook up and the most user friendly."
The system has made zoning installation easier as well, according to Ludwig. The new controller uses a standard four-wire connection to the furnace. The previous Carrier offering required up to 11 wires.
There is a single wiring diagram, instead of the 31 various configurations required by the earlier systems.
Once activated, the control is designed to configure itself for the system components and accessories automatically.
The Infinity Zone Control eases zoning applications because it eliminates the need for a bypass damper. Johnson explained that the Carrier control is able to adjust for static pressure increases without a bypass damper. Carrier recommends that a bypass damper not be used with the system.
Consumer FriendlyBill Weber, HVAC service manager for Ludwig Contracting, said that the Infinity Control is easy to use for consumers. And Weber makes sure that consumers are aware of the product's benefits.
"I point out how easy it is to operate," he said. "If the thermostat is too difficult to program, they won't use it and get the benefits."
On-screen prompts walk the homeowner through the thermostat's programming options. Some options include coordinating heating and cooling needs on a daily schedule.
For example, the thermostat can be programmed to reduce heating and cooling needs at times of the day when occupants will be out of the house.
With zoning, customers can do the same thing. Homeowners can program their comfort needs by zone at different times of the day.
For example, the homeowner can use the Infinity Control to make sure that bedrooms have optimum comfort levels at night and living areas are warm or cooled down in the morning. The control is capable of connecting up to eight separate zones.
Johnson said another benefit to consumers is the ability to adjust airflow by zone. "Adjusting fan speed by individual zones can enhance IAQ," he said.
According to Johnson, efficiency tests still need to be conducted with the Infinity Control, but he said that zoning applications are known to reduce home energy costs by up to 20 percent.
The control is capable of alerting homeowners and dealers when filters need to be changed. The company's TrueSenseâ„¢ system indicates when air filters are dirty and should be changed.
Later this year, Carrier will introduce a Remote Access Kit, which works in tandem with the Infinity Control. The kit will enable the system to contact a dealer or technician when service is needed. It will also permit remote troubleshooting and will give homeowners the ability to control their system over the phone or via the Internet.
Publication date: 05/24/2004