The YORK YXV air conditioners and YZV heat pumps systems are rated as Energy Star Most Efficient qualified and may qualify for utility rebates Story photos by Robert P. Mader

The YORK YXV air conditioners and YZV heat pumps systems are rated as Energy Star Most Efficient qualified, and may qualify for utility rebates.

York Introduces Variable-speed, 20-SEER Affinity AC/heat pump

The equipment’s ClimaTrak feature allows fine-tuning of the blower for specific applications, whether to compensate for arid environments or maximize the use of additional air quality accessories.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN — York’s Unitary Products Group officially launched its Affinity premium variable capacity residential air conditioner and heat pump line during a live stream event at parent firm’s Johnson Controls Customer Showcase here in late March.

Bill Jackson, JCI vice president and president of Global Products, Building Technologies

The equipment handles a vexing problem for installing contractors all by itself — measuring superheat and subcooling to make sure the system is properly charged. YORK’s built-in Charge Assurance monitoring on air conditioners and heat pumps provides a direct readout of high and low system pressures and suction and liquid line temperatures, while also calculating system superheat and subcooling, all without connecting gauges, sensors or accessories to the units.

Articles on the use of superheat and subcooling to measure proper refrigerant charge are consistently among the most-read articles on ContractingBusiness.com.

The equipment was subjected to rigorous testing, subjected to dozens of simulated winters and summers, and with changing power quality to simulate the effect of brownouts and blackouts on electrical components.

Bill Jackson, JCI vice president and president of Global Products, Building Technologies & Solutions, called the Affinity “groundbreaking,” as the units incorporate multiple features that will benefit both homeowners and HVAC contractors.

Liz haggerty, vice president and general manager of the Johnson Controls Unitary Products Group, said the new products meet the demands of today's connected homeowners, who want efficient performance, worry-free reliability and functionality that fits active lifestyles.

Jedidiah Bentz, director, Advanced Systems, Controls & Technology, Unitary Products Group, Building Efficiency, told Contracting Business that the 20-SEER unit’s variable capacity and airflow allow the equipment to modulate down to 30 percent of full capacity in temperate conditions, using as much as 80 percent less electricity than a 10-SEER model.

“Today’s connected homeowners want efficient performance, worry-free reliability and functionality that fits their active lifestyles,” said Liz Haggerty, vice president and general manager, Unitary Products Group, Johnson Controls. “That’s exactly what the best-in-class technologies in Affinity Variable Capacity Residential Systems deliver.”

In a feature York calls Quiet Drive, the unique shape of the fan blades on the outdoor unit and sound dampening material surrounding the Copeland compressor lowers sound level to the equivalent of a household dishwasher, Bentz said, in the neighborhood of 70dB.

Jedediah Bentz: York Quiet Drive and dampeners reduce the sound level to about 70dB.

The equipment’s ClimaTrak feature allows fine-tuning of the blower for specific applications, whether to compensate for arid environments or maximize the use of additional air quality accessories. Contractors can offer a variety of IAQ devices, such as system-matched humidifiers, UVC lights and MERV 16-rated filters.

The heat pump version, Model YZV, will operate between -10F and +125F. Bentz said that the unit will deliver 100 percent heating capacity below zero, but he wasn’t sure of the exact temperature. The equipment has four preset climate settings to more precisely control the units in Miami versus Phoenix or Minneapolis.

The control box swings out for easier servicing. Pre-charged line-sets can run as far as 80-feet with a 25-foot rise.

With rumblings in Washington about killing the Energy Star program, Neil McDougall, vice president, Distribution & Marketing, Unitary Products Group, Building Technologies & Solutions, said he would not be surprised if manufacturers came up with their own energy-rating system.

The equipment was subjected to rigorous testing, subjected to dozens of simulated winters and summers, and with changing power quality to simulate the effect of brownouts and blackouts on electrical components.

Liz Haggerty with the new Affinity app display.

The YXV air conditioners and YZV heat pumps systems are rated as Energy Star Most Efficient qualified, and may qualify for utility rebates. Efficiency is enhanced by matched and communicating indoor equipment, coils and air handlers integrated with the Wi-Fi-enabled York Affinity Hx thermostat. The touch-screen thermostat allows homeowners to control and monitor their home comfort systems anywhere with internet access. Additionally, communicating indoor and outdoor units enable a self-monitoring feature that allows a contractor to quickly identify and diagnose system issues. The thermostat will notify both the homeowner and the contractor about equipment faults and service issues.

With rumblings in Washington about killing the Energy Star program, Neil McDougall, vice president, Distribution & Marketing, Unitary Products Group, Building Technologies & Solutions, said he would not be surprised if manufacturers came up with their own energy-rating system, perhaps through the Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute. As York’s top-of-the-line product, McDougall said he expects the Affinity to eventually account for about 10 percent of residential sales.

The Affinity also has its own mobile app containing videos and literature that contractors can use as a sales tool. The homeowners’ version of the app will allow customers to control their equipment.

The Affinity units are built in their entirety in Wichita, Kansas.

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