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7 New Products That Boost Energy Efficiency And IAQ For The Fall

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Like every category of HVAC, technology is surging forward and taking on industry challenges such as indoor air quality (IAQ) and rising energy costs. How so? Take a look at seven new products from major HVAC manufacturers.

NORDYNE has an inverter driven gas pack that achieves high efficiency with very little noise. Trane, a brand of Ingersoll Rand, is offering a new smart home control product that manages HVAC, lights, and locks. Trane is also working on a customizable single zone variable air volume that will modulate air volumes more efficiently than constant air volume (CAV) heating units — it’s already an option for the Trane light and large commercial rooftop and split system cooling units. Lennox International, Inc. has introduced a new MERV 16 filter and a programmable thermostat. On the air conditioning front, Daikin McQuay has come out with a super efficient commercial roof top unit, and NORDYNE is offering a new air handler that eliminates formicary corrosion.

Trane: Nexia Home Intelligence

The interface for Trane’s Nexia Home Intellengence enables homeowner to control many of their energy consuming appliances including their air conditioning and heating equipment.

Heating and cooling consumes about half of the energy used in the home. Lighting, appliances, computers, and other electrical devices use the rest. Nexia Home Intelligence enables homeowners to control all of these energy users over the web with a computer, tablet, or smartphone, while monitoring a camera that photographs and timestamps the housekeeper arriving for work and the kids arriving home from school.

It starts with a Nexia Bridge and a subscription to the Nexia service. The bridge connects to an internet router and communicates wirelessly with other Nexia-compatible products, including, for instance, the Trane Comfort-Link II programmable thermostat.

The Bridge also connects to electronic locks, lights, cameras, and appliances. A homeowner can use the system to turn the lights on and off in various rooms while away on vacation or to turn on the heat shortly before arriving home on a cold day.

Trane: Single Zone Variable Air Volume Option

Trane’s SZ-VAV, is a customizable single zone variable air volume control that modulates airflow in the heating mode.

Trane is also developing a customizable single-zone variable air volume (SZ-VAV) control that will modulate airflow in heating mode.

The SZ-VAV control modulates the speed of the variable frequency drive fan and alters the pressure in the compressor as the temperature in the space changes. The SZ-VAV option is already available on Trane packaged light and large commercial rooftop and split system cooling units. It is proving to provide increased part-load efficiency and more precise temperature control for greater comfort.

“VAV systems have been in high-rises for years,” says Shawn Wood, a Trane product manager. “This is new for light commercial.”

The cooling option exceeds California Title 24 and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010, which require constant volume direct expansion single zone cooling units equal to or greater than 110,000 BTUs to have two speed fans or variable speed drives.

Wood says Trane is certifying SZ-VAV efficiency gains of 18 to 22 percent with the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

Lennox: MERV 16 Air Filter, Low Pressure Drop

The Environmental Protection agency (EPA) says indoor air levels of many pollutants may be two to five times higher than outdoor air. The new Healthy Climate® Carbon Clean 16 air filter from Lennox can fix that. With a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 16 rating, the Carbon Clean 16 removes more than 95 percent of allergens ranging in size from 100 to 0.30 microns.

Better yet, it causes a negligible pressure drop. “We’ve seen MERV 10 to 13 filters with super high pressure drops,” says Kevin Lyons, product manager for the Healthy Climate IAQ line. “Ours is as low as 0.25. A low drop in pressure means less wear and tear and longer lived equipment.”

Unlike electrostatic air cleaners that can elevate indoor ozone levels, the Carbon Clean 16 removes ozone, a known lung irritant, and converts it to oxygen.

Finally, the coconut-activated carbon coating on the fiber matrix removes gasses and odors.

Lennox: Programmable Thermostat Improves Customer Service

Lennox’s new icomfort WiFi programmable thermostat that has a one touch function, as well as accessibilty through any web-enabled device.

Lennox’s new programmable thermostat is as easy to use as a consumer tablet. Called icomfort Wi-Fi™, the device has a one touch away feature. When you leave, hit away. If you forget, just log on and set the temperature over the web. Soft ware updates for the device arrive and upload automatically.

It installs fast with just four wires— on an icomfort-enabled Lennox unit. “By the end of the year, we’ll have a kit that will adapt it to any manufacturer’s unit,” says Kyle Golden, product manager of controls on the Lennox residential team.

The icomfort’s Wi-Fi and diagnostic capabilities will connect you to your customers and their systems. You can monitor all of your icomfort systems on the Dealer Dashboard on Dave- Net®. You can see at a glance when something needs maintenance. If you aren’t online and a problem arises, icomfort will send an email.

NORDYNE: iQ Drive® Gas Packs

The NORDYNE B6 line brazes aluminum Micro-Channel evaporator coils to aluminum fins. Aluminum to aluminum brazing — instead of copper to aluminum — prevents formicary corrosion.

NORDYNE’s new gas-electric packaged heating and cooling unit features an inverter driven air conditioning compressor that modulates up and down across a range of five different capacities, from 40 percent of capacity to 118 percent of capacity. Adjusting the speed of the unit to varying conditions inside and outside of the home, improves cooling efficiency. In addition, iQ units reduce noise. Sound ratings run from a low of 59 to a high of 72 decibels. Finally, these units de-humidify better than single capacity systems.

Air Conditioning for Next Summer

Aft er a long hot summer in 2012, it is easy to imagine that a number of air conditioning customers will be looking for more efficient air conditioning units next spring. Here are two cool innovations.

Daikin McQuay’s Rebel packaged RTU is the first unit to meet the DOE’s Rooftop Unit Challenge requirements.

Daikin McQuay and The Rooft op Challenge: When the Department of Energy (DOE) issued its Rooftop Unit (RTU) Challenge in 2011, Daikin McQuay entered. Th e challenge: design and build an RTU with an Integrated Energy Efficiency Rating (IEER) of 18 that uses 50-60 percent less energy compared to the current ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standard. The units must include advanced controls that support automated wireless communication and diagnostics.

In May, DOE declared Daikin McQuay’s Rebel™ packaged RTU system the first to meet the Challenge. The system exceeds DOE specs, providing part load efficiencies up to 20.6 IEER and energy savings up to 60 – 70 percent. The Rebel can be configured as an outdoor air, variable air volume (VAV), Single Zone VAV, or constant air volume system.

NORDYNE Gives SEER 13 an Extra Point: When paired with SEER 13 outdoor units, NORDYNE’s new line of B6 air handlers use ECM motors that provide an efficiency gain in cooling up to an extra point of SEER. In addition, the units require 50 percent less refrigerant than traditional copper tube-in-fin coils.

B6 air handlers feature evaporator coils constructed of extruded aluminum tubes brazed to aluminum fins. Eliminating the copper element also eliminates formicary and galvanic corrosion. It can’t happen. Yet, the water management and thermal performances equal the performance of the copper tube-in-fin design.

Posted In: Residential Buildings

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