While all the above speakers were certainly entertaining and dynamic, the real show stoppers at Carrier's elaborate Power 2006 Convention were the new products introduced. And, there were plenty of them. It's the main reason nearly 7,000 Carrier dealers from across the country descended on the MGM Grand for three days to "kick the tires" and get the lowdown regarding the company's new offerings for 2006.
Company engineers, product managers, and brand staff - each wearing pure white, long lab-type coats with "Turn to the Experts" stitched on the back - were on hand to answer any questions and guide the throng through the more than 50 showcase booths. A smiling Halsey Cook, president, Residential and Light Commercial, North America, Carrier, was eager to launch the show.
"As you know, our industry is becoming increasingly competitive and consumers are demanding more. With 13 SEER, you are faced with the added challenge of differentiating yourselves," he told his captive audience inside the spacious Grand Garden Arena, before they were eventually turned loose to walk the product showcase inside the MGM Conference Center.
"We've rebuilt our entire product line with products that will help you do just that. Whether it's the exciting new indoor air quality products or the new cooling lineup, we will help you harness the power of Carrier. We'll provide you with the products, training, and support that you need, but the rest is up to you."
INFINITY AND BEYONDIf there was a spotlight, it fell on the next-generation Infinityâ„¢ System with its programmable digital control and its new Infinity Remote Access. According to Sylvia Kainz, director brand marketing, Carrier Residential, the system was radically redesigned for ease of use by the consumer and for simplified installation by the dealer.
"With the Infinity system and the new Infinity Control, Carrier pushes residential comfort to an entirely new level of innovation, intelligence, and functionality," she said. "Not only is it the easiest programmable unit ever, providing homeowners with Energy StarÂ®-certified efficiency, but the exclusive automated diagnostic features are like having a service technician built into the system - one who can call for back-up."
Introduced last year, the Infinity System uses a single control to integrate and manage all six comfort functions: temperature, humidity, airflow, ventilation, indoor air quality (IAQ), and zoning. In regard to the redesign, the control was made to program easier with an easy-to-read large backlit display and communications capabilities, such as when advising when it's time for regular maintenance and filter changes.
A complete Infinity System includes Carrier's top-of-the-line Infinity variable-speed furnaces, the Infinity Control, and either an Infinity heat pump or air conditioner, which uses PuronÂ® refrigerant. And, the new remote access allows an owner to change comfort settings via the Internet or telephone.
"Infinity Remote Access is the next phase for intelligent home appliances," said Liza Mathew, senior product manager, Carrier Residential Controls. "Carrier is constantly pushing the residential heating and cooling industry to entirely new levels of innovation. Consumers want forward-thinking products, and we strive to stay ahead of the curve by offering the most advanced products on the market."
The Infinity Remote Access includes a System Access Module that is installed in conjunction with the Infinity furnace and the Infinity Control. Each system has a unique identity and is password-protected for security purposes. In addition, the remote access can e-mail and/or call the homeowner with pertinent system information, such as service and maintenance reminders.
"The result is ease of installation and use, peace of mind for the homeowner with regard to system operation, energy savings and maintenance, and comfort like you never thought possible," said Kainz.
In addition to the Infinity Series (13 to 21 SEER), Carrier offers its Performance Series (up to 15.5 SEER), Comfort Series (up to 15 SEER), and Base Series (up to 15 SEER).
IAQ PRODUCTSAlso introduced at the convention was its new Infinity Air Purifier, which it claims is the only air purifier on the market that captures and kills airborne allergens, bacteria, molds, and viruses. It will even kill airborne weapons-grade anthrax, it said. The patented technologies are designed to charge particles in the air using "precision-point ionization," it said. These charged particles are then captured on a "unique, continuously charged media."
"Most Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, but even the cleanest homes and office buildings can harbor dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, mold, and other airborne contaminants. The outside air is two to five times cleaner than the air inside homes," said Mike Branson, business manager, Systems Products.
"The Infinity air purifier works as a whole-house air purification system. When used as part of the entire Infinity system, it offers exclusive, patented technology which removes and kills airborne germs, molds, and allergens."
The purifier can work with any Carrier furnace or fan coil. However, it said it provides even greater air purification efficiencies when used as part of the Infinity System.
Carrier also offers its Infinity Series indoor air quality systems. This system includes ultraviolet (UV) lights mounted inside the system, near the indoor cooling coil. In addition, it offers a high-efficiency air filtration system, designed to capture particles .01 to 100 microns. And, it offers a line of humidifiers designed to evenly distribute moisture throughout the home to help eliminate the problems associated with dry, heated air.
ENERGY-SAVING HEATNew to the fold in the heating department is its Hybrid Heatâ„¢ system, designed to optimize a furnace and a heat pump. The system is supposed to provide comfort at the lowest operating cost. As the temperature drops outside, the system is designed to automatically switch to the second heating source when that becomes the most economical way to provide heat in the home. Its ultimate Hybrid Heat system includes an Infinity 96 gas furnace with an Infinity 19 heat pump.
"For homeowners, the end of inexpensive heating gas and oil and the concerns over energy efficiency has become a reality," said Cook. "A Hybrid Heat system is the next phase in responsible treatment of our environment by reducing energy consumption, which will help to lower monthly heating bills this winter."
The "secret" behind Carrier's Hybrid Heat system is its state-of-the-art heat pump, said Tim Perry, manager, Carrier heating products. In addition to its two heating sources, the system also requires a wall-mounted control that ties the system components together. The control takes the place of a standard thermostat and is designed to automatically select the correct heating source.
"The rising price of gas and oil has spurred a great interest in alternative heating solutions this winter," said Perry. "A Hybrid Heat system will allow homeowners to save money for years to come, since they can always choose which source of heat they like to use, based on the cost of gas and electricity."
COMMERCIAL SIDEOn the commercial side, Carrier highlighted its premium line of Aquaforceâ„¢ air-cooled chillers. It was proud to announce that these chillers can reach efficiencies of 10.9 EER full-load and 15.4 part-load. This is possible thanks to its new microchannel coil technology.
"Microchannel coil technology is widely used in the automotive industry to increase heat transfer efficiency, while providing enhanced reliability through improved corrosion resistance," noted David Sabatino, product manager, Carrier air-cooled chillers. "Microchannel coils come standard with an industry exclusive three-year coil warranty on all Aquaforce models ranging from 80 to 500 tons."
In addition to the improved energy efficiencies and corrosion resistance, chillers utilizing these condenser coils operate with up to 30 percent less refrigerant, said Bruce Burdon, director of product management and marketing, Carrier North America Commercial.
"This is important," added Ken Fox, president, North America Commercial. "Last month scientists reported the effects of ozone depletion are worse than first thought, delaying ozone recovery to 2065. With this news, it becomes even more important to accelerate the use of non-ozone depleting technologies."
Publication date: 03/06/2006