From controlling HVAC for individual rooms to whole buildings, commercial equipment is charged with making people comfortable away from home. The diversity of the equipment is reflected in the winners ofThe NEWS'third annual Dealer Design Awards in the HVAC Commercial Equipment category.

GOLD: The S-Class™ rooftop units are available in gas/electric, electric/electric, and cooling-only models.


The S-Classâ„¢ rooftop units, from Lennox Industries Inc., won the gold award in the HVAC Commercial Equipment category. The products, in capacity from 35-50 tons, are available in gas/electric, electric/electric, and cooling-only models.

"S-Class rooftop units have been designed for applications that require low lifecycle costs, excellent indoor environmental quality, and superior comfort. Optional variable air volume supply fans, R-410A refrigerant, integral energy recovery wheels, and high-static power exhaust fans make these units ideal for a large variety of building types," said Mike Walker, product manager at Lennox.

The Integrated Modular Controller (IMC) aids both installation and troubleshooting work. It is built to control over 200 unit functions. Other features of the rooftop unit include quick-connect plugs, slab coils, coil cleaning access doors, and removable drain pans. Additional features include hinged access panels, step-in blower compartments and full perimeter base rails.

Various features of the unit appealed to one judge, who commented on the top-notch serviceability, cabinets, and components of the unit, and even mentioned the large doors and handles for easy access as a plus.

The units also offer the Humiditrol system, a factory-installed dehumidification system featuring a patented hot gas reheat design.

According to Walker, "This unique and powerful system provides excellent indoor environmental quality and comfort by controlling the moisture in the occupied space according to actual relative humidity levels. This system is especially effective during part-load operation. Now contractors have an excellent way to solve their customers' most challenging moisture control problems."

A judge liked the moisture control the S-Class rooftop unit provides, remarking, "It's great to see commercial equipment come on board with 410A products as well as addressing good moisture control as a packaged unit."

SILVER: The Comfort Link Control System monitors and controls each Aquaforce chiller while maintaining fluid temperatures.


The Aquaforce 30XA Air Cooled Chiller, which earned the silver spot in this category, is a line of air-cooled chillers with full and part-load efficiencies of 10.9 and 15.4. This unit by Carrier Corp. can be used in comfort cooling as well as process applications and utilizes HFC-134a. The screw compressor is designed for making service easier by mounting it on a slide-out rail assembly.

The Comfort Linkâ„¢ Control System monitors and controls each Aquaforce chiller while maintaining fluid temperatures. It provides functions such as demand limit, load shed, and water temperature reset capabilities. The Navigatorâ„¢ controller is a remote handheld diagnostic unit that provides expanded information on operation. This helps technicians diagnose problems and possibly prevents problems from happening.

A choice of remote handheld or touch screen display, factory-installed and tested chilled water flow switch, standard 300-psig water side pressure design, minimum ambient operation down to –20°, and maximum ambient temperature up to 125°F are among the other features the unit offers.

"Aquaforce units can be provided with microchannel condenser coil technology, which reduces refrigerant charge by 30 percent," said Jennifer Morani, assistant brand manager. "The microchannel condenser coil technology allows the coils to be high pressure washed as compared to conventional coils, which are more difficult to clean," stated Morani.

The easy cleaning was a feature that one judge liked about the rooftop unit.

"I like the microchannel condenser coils for ease of maintenance cleaning, and the efficiency is nice, too."

Another judge said that he thought the unit was a good value because "controls are inboard on the compressor, the fans have VFDs, etc."

BRONZE: The Wireless Energy Management Solution includes the DigiSmart wireless antenna, motion sensor/door switch and remote-mounted thermostat.


For use with packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs), the DigiSmart Wireless Energy Management Solution, from Goodman Manufacturing Co. LP, includes the DigiSmart wireless antenna, motion sensor/door switch, and remote-mounted thermostat. When a group of rooms is equipped with the DigiSmart wireless antenna, the control will automatically set up a wireless mesh network in which multiple units will begin to speak to one another. The Wireless Mesh Network allows the front desk to control any room with a DigiSmart antenna.

While the guest is in the room, the PTAC maintains the selected temperature. When the guest is away, the energy management system sets the temperature back based on preprogrammed setback routines.

The front desk can monitor and control numerous functions including how much energy is used and whether or not the filter needs to be replaced.

"This is an extremely valuable way to control the energy used in hotel rooms, and can dramatically reduce operating costs over time," said Jim Miller, product manager, Goodman.

The judges agreed. Various judges commented on this product being a terrific product to use in hotel/motel industry applications. A judge commented that it is "an excellent use of control technology." Another judge said that the "wireless makes it easy to install."

Honorees: HVAC Commercial Equipment

Lennox Industries Inc. - - S-Classâ„¢ 35- to 50-Ton Packaged Rooftop Unit

Carrier Corp. - - Aquaforce Air Cooled Chiller

Goodman Manufacturing Co. LP - - DigiSmart Wireless Energy Management Solution

Publication date: 07/17/2006