By Cherie Preville
Homeowners want to save money, which often also means saving energy when they purchase HVAC equipment. This leads consumers toward high-efficiency equipment. And, as time is money, as the saying goes, contractors want equipment that will not only satisfy their customers’ comfort needs, but will be easy to install and service, too, which ultimately saves technicians’ time, and the company money, on each job.
Two products — the 7 Series, Model 700 A11 by Water Furnace Intl.Inc., and Evergreen EM, Models 6103E, 6105E, 6107E, 6110E by Genteq, a division of Regal Beloit Corp. — earned the 2013 Dealer Design gold honor for their respective companies in the HVAC High- Efficiency Residential Equipment (16 SEER Plus A/C Equipment, 90 percent AFUE Furnaces) category.
The 7 Series 700 A11 is a variable capacity geothermal unit available for homeowners surpassing both 41 EER and 5.3 COP. The unit utilizes a soft-start variable-capacity compressor, in concert with a variable-speed ECM blower and variable-speed loop pump, which allows the unit to scale output exactly the level needed, the company said. It can ramp down 20 percent of normal operation for ultra-efficient conditioning or up to 130 percent output using Super Boost for periods when extra cooling is needed. The 7 Series also utilizes Aurora, the next generation of controls, to continuously monitor and optimize operation. Aurora provides a platform of two-way communication between components, robust troubleshooting capabilities, and advanced communication protocols. This includes integration to home automation networks and whole-home energy monitoring.
The Aurora Interface Diagnostic (AID) port allows service and diagnosis of the unit without having to open it. It provides easy-to-use troubleshooting features with fault lights, on-board diagnostics, and a hand-held AID Tool.
Bob Brown, vice president of engineering, Water Furnace Intl.Inc., said of the AID tool, “All temperatures, pressures, timings, and inputs/outputs can be viewed on the tool for ease of configuration and servicing.” The equipment was specifically crafted with ease and elegance in mind.
“The Aurora Control System was developed to simplify this added sophistication, by focusing on the dealer experience in setup and servicing of the product, including as many configurations as we could into the software,” he said.
What do those who are installing the equipment think? “The installation is a breeze and setup with the AID tool is great. I would highly recommend this product to anybody that takes the installation classes,” said Travis Smith, owner, Sky Heating & Air Conditioning, Portland, Ore.
According to Tony LaFrenier, owner, Precision Air Inc., Nashville, Tenn., the features and benefits make it simple to sell, while “The on-board ECM motor, such as an X13 or equivalent competitor model. It features Genteq’s Rotation Sensing Technology to ease installation and reduce SKUs. The motor is pre-programmed with five speeds and is capable of variable-speed operation using a retrofit ECM pulse-width modulation (PWM) controller. The Evergreen EM is available in ? -, ½-, ¾-, and 1-hp 115-V models.
According to Paul Selking, HVAC business leader at Regal Beloit Corp., the company got input from others on the product. “Customer feedback via our e-lab contractor training was a driving force in the creation of this product. The Evergreen EM was built and tested in house, and pre-production samples were provided to select partners for evaluation prior to the launch of the product.”
He indicated that the company will continue to get feedback on other products, as well. “Just as the EM is our fourth-generation product in the Evergreen line, Genteq looks to continue to gather contractor feedback, as we have plans to launch several additional products in the future.”
Selking said that the motor has multiple applications. “The Evergreen EM motor can be utilized for alternate use in commercial building series VAV diagnostics and simple setup makes it easy to install, start up, and service.”
The Evergreen EM 6103E, 6105E, 6107E, 6110E models by Genteq, a division of Regal Beloit Corp., were designed to replace direct-drive blower motors in residential and light commercial indoor furnaces, air handlers, and package systems that were designed with a standard box and packaged heat pump retrofit/ upgrade.”
The product is quite new, but a few distributors weighed in on what they see as installation and service friendly features of the motor.
“Since this motor is pre-programmed, there is no need to wait for programming. The contractor can also carry the motor in his truck as stock to replace any constant-torque ECM OEM applications. I would highly recommend the Evergreen to any contractor working to reduce truck stock while continuing to keep the efficiency up in the homeowners’ system,” said Mike Kline, product manager, Johnson Supply, Houston.
Eric Wallace, branch manager, Johnstone Supply, Rosedale, Md., said it “takes a complex motor, and makes it simple to replace — plug-and-play if you will.” He predicted that the motor will be “as prevalent as the Master fit motor in the coming years.”
Doug Cobb, account manager, Johnstone Supply, Raleigh, N.C., said that a contractor does not have to have a wholesaler program to obtain it, which will save time, and it can be stocked on a technician’s truck, which will save time and gas. He described it as “the best thing since sliced bread for the service tech.”
Gold Winners Highlights
Water Furnace Intl.Inc.
Genteq, a division of Regal Beloit Corp.
Evergreen EM Models
This article was published in the July 22 issue of The News.