Heating and cooling systems manufacturer NORDYNE celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. And like our industry, the company has progressed and changed with the times. Here are the top nine things about the last 90 years, according to NORDYNE.
- The death of coal
In 1919, coal- and wood-burning furnaces caused so much air pollution that some people joked candles were needed during the day just to see. St. Louis was then known as the dirtiest city in the Mississippi Valley because of its excessive use of coal, and evergreen growers refused to sell trees to the city. That's how the International Oil Heating Company got its start — providing oil burners for residential heating products as a cleaner solution to the city's pollution problem.
- The birth of manufactured housing
Until 1933, no one had thought of heating manufactured housing, or trailer homes as they were then called. All it took was one man to simply ask for an oil heater, and an entire industry was born. International Oil Heating Company developed the first heater for use in trailers, and then in 1954, the first central air conditioner for mobile home use. The following year, the company introduced the first sealed combustion furnace for mobile homes.
- Improved testing standards
As manufacturers became more adept at simulating real-world environments, equipment quality only improved. NORDYNE led this trend in the 1960s with the first wind tunnel machine to produce conditions up to 100 MPH. They used this tunnel for testing and analyzing pilot and main burners.
- The computer age
In 1989, NORDYNE launched e-commerce with its innovative NORDYNE Online-Remote-Access (NORA) system. Suddenly, distributors could order products electronically and experienced a radical change in the way they did business.
- More efficient manufacturing processes
Henry Ford may have invented the moving assembly line, but HVACR manufacturers streamlined the assembly process. Demand Flow Technology (DFT) is a quality-control process in the manufacturing plants. NORDYNE became the first HVACR manufacturer to be DFT-certified in 1998.
6. Extensive warranties. Nothing says confidence in manufacturing like a lengthy factory warranty. In 2000, NORDYNE implemented an 8-year warranty and quality pledge. At the time, it was the most robust warranty offered by any HVACR manufacturer. Today, NORDYNE offers a 10-year (or greater) limited warranty and quality pledge.
- Longer igniter life
Not so long ago, standard furnace igniters had a so-so life expectancy. Then in 2002, NORDYNE introduced SmartLite® technology (pictured) to the industry. SmartLite extended igniter life by allowing the furnace to self-adjust its startup time during the first few operations by learning the startup characteristic of the furnace.
- 13 SEER
Who can forget the dread over the DOE mandate to 13 SEER minimums? While the rest of the industry was overhauling equipment lines to make 13 SEER the new entry-level product, NORDYNE was beating the minimum by 10. In 2006, NORDYNE introduced the most energy-efficient air conditioner in the market: the 23 SEER iQ Drive®.
- World gone green
Recently, we've seen an explosion of green marketing. From long-lasting light bulbs to gas-sipping cars to paper from responsibly managed forests, everyone is talking about their carbon footprint — or at least trying to figure out what a carbon footprint is. In 2008, NORDYNE launched ecoLogic™, a green seal to help consumers and dealers identify products that have very green characteristics, such as extreme efficiency and air quality properties.