One manufacturer even took advantage of a few missing competitors to make a very colorful splash. York International Corp.'s Unitary Products Group (UPG, www.yorkupg.com) arranged a special event to introduce what the company calls "striking design and innovative technology to home heating and cooling" - the new Affinityâ„¢ Series air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces. The company says the line has been "designed from the ground up to meet the demands of savvy, style-conscious consumers."
The products also offer service factors and technical features that should be appreciated by HVAC contractors and service technicians.
"Design and aesthetics have never played a more important role in consumer goods," noted Andy Fracica, York brand marketing manager. "So, the Affinity Series 12- and 13-SEER units arrive with something never seen in the industry before - a choice of six exterior colors to complement consumers' homes, landscaping, and lifestyles. When you add the energy efficiency and quiet operation of the Affinity Series, you'll see that York offers a full palette of style and value."
The contemporary design of the units includes a tightly patterned coil guard, designed to help increase safety and protect the coils from the elements. The G90 steel cabinetry is power painted to withstand a 1,000-plus-hour salt spray test, and the 2- to 5-ton units offer "increased durability in the harshest environment," the company said. The line also features a rustproof composite base pan.
High-efficiency scroll compressors have been isolated behind a composite material that does not rattle or vibrate, thus enhancing reliability and contributing to the units' quiet operation, said the company. The fan design helps to make the units among the quietest in the industry, the company said.
The units are also easy to install and service, said Fracica. "A full end-access panel, with a handle and sliding full-access control box, provide installers and service technicians with easy access to internal components," he said.
An isolated compressor compartment, side discharge service valves, and standard electrical whip with an adjustable knockout plate are all features designed to improve serviceability. A factory-installed, solid-core filter-drier and the use of standard components (from existing high-volume products) should help reduce installation time, it said.
The line products also feature a demand defrost board that features service analyzer capabilities; integrated controls; fault code retention; hot heat pump and fossil fuel jumpers; high- and low-pressure switch connections; and a pipe-freeze protection timer.
In the A/C models, the 12-SEER unit uses R-22 and the 13-SEER unit uses R-410A. Additionally, the 13-SEER unit is Energy StarÂ® qualified.
York UPG President Tom Huntington cited an article from the Dec. 29 News, which summarized the Frost & Sullivan U.S. residential HVAC equipment market report. In short, there are great opportunities for products that offer differentiation, he said.
"While projections for growth are solid, we think UPG and its channel partners - independent distributors, factory branches, and dealers - can gain market share in the critical residential replacement business," said Huntington.
More Unitary ProductsThe Energy KnightÂ® line of efficient central air conditioning from Comfort-Aire (www.heatcraft.com) provides SEER levels ranging from 10.0 to 12.0. The units feature solid steel runner rails to keep the base from rusting prematurely; heavy-duty compressors (scroll or reciprocating); solid steel cabinetry, and a wraparound condenser coil.
The line also features vinyl-coated fan and coil guards, a top-discharge fan assembly, full metal louvered jacket, sweat or quick-connections, multiposition indoor coils, thermal-coated fin surfaces, and an easy-access control box. And the Comfort-Aire Super-Pac offers all factory-matched parts and an installation manual in one package, the company said.
Fedders HVACR, a division of Fedders Corp. (www.fedders.com), introduced its latest line of Eubank and Sun brand high-efficiency series wall-mount air conditioners and heat pumps. The new units are compact, ARI performance-certified, and UL and CUL certified.
According to the company, "Their design allows the duct opening to fit virtually any competitor's application."
They "are perfect for new construction and modular applications," said Sonny Marak, executive vice president of Fedders Unitary Sales. All models are made of commercial-grade, 20-gauge G-90 galvanized steel and are protected by a 1,000-hour salt spray, baked-on polyester finish.
The company's new PC12 and PH12 Series high-efficiency packaged A/C and heat pump units feature a compact footprint, energy efficiency, and are suitable for a variety of light commercial, residential, and modular home applications. The new packaged units offer quiet top discharge and permanently lubricated, two-speed PSC blower motors. The units offer cooling capacities from 2 to 5 tons, and heating capacities from 5 to 20 kW.
Freus Air Conditioning (www.freus.com) makes no bones about stating that the Freusâ„¢ split-system condenser provides "ultimate" air conditioning. It uses a water-cooled condensing coil and the company claims it provides "superior latent control, high dehumidification with low cfm, high sensible with high cfm, and ultra quiet operation."
The outdoor condensing unit is designed for ground-level or rooftop applications. The all-fiberglass cabinet features a UV resistant gel coat and sound-dampening construction materials.
National Comfort Products, a division of National Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Products Inc. (www.nationalcomfortproducts.com), showed its Series 1000 heat pumps. The reverse-cycle air-source heat pump offers "full range heating" to 0 degrees F, a high-efficiency scroll compressor, "less-expensive installations," shorter copper and electrical runs, a factory-installed liquid line filter-drier, and easy serviceability "in any weather," the company said.
The ARI-certified models are available with optional architectural grilles and standard protection for the condenser coil from weather and vandalism.
There is also a Maytag M1010 Series heat pump. The permanently lubricated motor offers "quiet operation, requires no maintenance, and is 100-percent protected from rain and snow," the company said. The unit's one-piece top is designed for maximum airflow and quiet operation.
Rheem Air Conditioning (www.rheem.com) previewed its new Elite condensing units, which the company said will be formally rolled out in April or May of this year. The 1-ton to 5-ton units feature SEERs from 10 to 16, and a number of serviceability features, it said. These include service ports that are further out from the unit for easier access, and two access screws for the service panel.
Texas Furnace LLC (www.texasfurnace.com) introduced its premium-quality line of condensing units - the Meridian - to the North American market.
The line features a scroll compressor, gullwing condenser fan, full louvered metal intake grille, elevated base pan, high-gloss powder-coated metal parts, liquid line drier, injection-molded top ring, and fan shroud.
First to be released is the 2AC10 Series. This baseline unit can provide indoor comfort at the 10-SEER level with matched system components. The 2AC12 Series air conditioners and 2HP12 Series heat pumps will follow this introduction.
Publication date: 02/16/2004