Many choices and easy access helped the Skypak II R-410A packaged heating and cooling system by Skymark International Inc. win first place in the contest.
Second place was a dead heat and American Standard Co.'s Triumph 13 packaged gas electric unit and Carrier Corp.'s Everest platform of cooling products both took silver.
GOLD WINNERThe Skypak II R-410A is an indoor, through-the-wall, packaged heating and cooling system and is this year's gold winner. It comes with a "great" feature said one judge commenting on the contractor's choice of natural gas, propane, electric, or hot water as its heat source. This model has 1.5 tons of cooling and 40,000 Btuh of heating.
Primarily used for multistory residential buildings, it is easily installed according to the company's three steps: Install wall sleeve and exterior grille; slide unit into closet, adjusting and leveling the legs while mating it to the wall sleeve; and connect the fuel source, electrical, condensate, and ducting. There is no lifting required when installing the unit.
"This is a well-engineered product," noted one judge. The electrical wiring is color-coded, removable access panels are all located in the front, and the units come factory charged with no line sets to install. The company claims that the coil is easy to clean because of its "unique tilt design." The heat exchanger can be removed from the front panel without taking apart the unit.
Skypak II is available in right- or left-handed configurations and can have a side or bottom return.It doesn't need a subbase to be built and doesn't require repeated caulking. Skymark offers seminars on installation and troubleshooting for contractors along with factory technical support.
SILVERSThe Triumph 13 packaged gas electric unit from American Standard Co., "was designed for both homeowner comfort and dealer convenience," said Joyce Warrington, national brand manager, American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning. This unit provides choice of refrigerant and gas heat while also supplying great airflow and extraordinarily low sound performance, according to the company. It comes in 1.5-5 ton models. With three phases available, the Triumph 13 can be converted from horizontal to downflow and fits nearly any application.
"This unit is an excellent, sturdy rooftop product," heralded one judge. Another said, "It looks like they spent time designing it for ease of installation and serviceability."
"Over 500 HVAC contractors were canvassed for their expert opinions on serviceability and installation features," said Warrington. "Many prototypes were tested and scored by contractors in various areas of the country."
Individual service panels are embossed with labels identifying internal components. All utilities enter at a common location; the blower system slides out for service with the removal of a single-locking screw; and the outdoor fan system can be lifted out for service or condenser cleaning without breaking wire connections.
"It's a good product," said one of the judges. "It is great to see some attention to details, like the embossed doors."
With products ranging from 13-21 SEER, the Everest platform features include improved aesthetics and system diagnostics. The new line of products comes equipped with the WeatherArmor Ultraâ„¢ coating protection package - a solid, durable sheet metal construction and two-toned complete coverage powder paint to protect against rusting and chipping in bad weather conditions.
One contractor summed it up as, "An excellent line of matched equipment. Everything from thermostat controls to the UV lights is designed to work together perfectly, and efficiently."
Carrier's newly redesigned, high performance air conditioners and heat pumps are technologically enhanced and easy to install said the company. Plug-N-Play factory wiring is a central feature. It allows installers to do exactly what it says, plug the proper inputs in and turn it on. Each unit has been designed with a diagnostic tool that enables accuracy in installation and maintenance. According to the company, installation time has been cut down to approximately 20 minutes.
"Very advanced and leading the way," noted one of the judges. "This is where the HVACR industry is going in order to grow."
Honorees: HVAC Residential Equipment
Skymark International Inc. - www.skymarkinternational.com - Skypak II R-410A
American Standard Co. - www.americanstandard.com - Triumph 13 Packaged Gas-Electric 4YCX3
Carrier Corp. - www.carrier.com - Everest Platform of Cooling Products
Bryant Heating and Cooling - www.bryant.com - Preferred Series Air Conditioner
Publication date: 07/17/2006