• Latest from IAQ & Ventilation

    National Comfort Institute
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    Energy Efficient Technology

    Dec. 1, 2009
    The latest geothermal and hybrid technologies give contractors an array of energy efficient choices. With your help, homeowners can find new ways to stay comfortable in the home year-round.

    Rheem Introduces Super Efficient Geothermal Heat Pump.

    Rheem breaks new ground with the introduction of a Prestige Series 27 to 31 EER geothermal heat pump with the Comfort Control2 System serial communicating feature. Offering energy savings and flexibility, Rheem geothermal units supply heating, central air conditioning, and domestic hot water, sources say.

    “Consumers are looking for ways to save energy and lower utility costs; the Rheem geothermal heat pump makes this a reality through advanced technology that delivers enhanced comfort and peace of mind to homeowners,” says Adam Schuster, manager, Rheem product marketing and development. “With the addition of the geothermal heat pump, Rheem now offers contractors an unparalleled choice of ultra-efficient, earth friendly, whole-home comfort solutions.”

    The heat pump is offered in package and split system configurations. Package products are available in 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6-ton capacities; split systems are available in 2, 3, 4, and 5-ton capacities. Rheem geothermal heat pumps feature two-stage compressors and advanced variable speed air delivery that automatically adjusts to changing weather conditions.

    Rheem geothermal heat pumps are available with an optional water-heating generator, which diverts a portion of the supplied heat to the domestic water heater.

    Rheem geothermal heat pump systems come equipped with the following features:

    • On Board Diagnostics - Exclusive seven segment LED display quickly and accurately reports unit operating condition and provides easy-to-read fault codes for fast diagnostic assessment

    • Advanced Diagnostics - Comfort Control2 System monitors and reports system operating status, including an advanced auto shut down feature that protects against catastrophic system failure

    • Advanced Scroll Compressor - A two-stage scroll compressor delivers enhanced durability, efficiency, and quiet operation. rheem.com circle 162

    Goodman's ComfortNet Dual Fuel System Offers Easy Installation.

    The combination of a ComfortNet Communicating control system coupled with either a Goodman or Amana brand 95% AFUE gas furnace and an 18 SEER heat pump results in a dual fuel system that is easy to install, offers homeowners energy efficiency and operational savings, and the entire system is backed by a limited warranty, Goodmansources say.

    During installation, the ComfortNet control system will automatically configure the system. In its operational mode, the ComfortNet system will help maximize energy savings by determining whether to deliver heat from the gas furnace or heat pump, depending on the outdoor temperature.

    Features of the ComfortNet communicating dual fuel system include a large touchscreen display, service indicator that alerts a homeowner whom to call, intuitive menu-driven programming with audio prompts, remote sensing for indoor and outdoor temperatures and more. Amana brand gas furnaces employ a patented, dual-diameter stainless steel heat exchanger that has successfully surpassed over 2 million cycles, and the test is still continuing. The Goodman brand gas furnaces use an aluminized steel tubular heat exchanger. Both the Amana brand and Goodman brand heat pumps employ scroll compressors. goodmanmfg.com or amana-hac.com circle 163

    The Home Heating System by freewatt®.

    The freewatt® home heating system operates by using micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) technology. The technology combines an Energy Star-rated, high-efficiency gas furnace or boiler to a Honda generator.

    The micro-CHP technology has been identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of two technologies designated as a Climate Choice technology. Climate Choice is a new partnership program that recognizes emerging technologies that have the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions once they are more widely adopted.

    “The freewatt system is designed to operate whenever the home has a need for heat,” according to Michael Paparone, ECR president and CEO. “Using the Honda generator, freewatt generates 1.2 kW of electric power, and nearly all the heat created by the generator is then recycled to heat the home. This electricity can be used to power the home or can be sold back to the ‘grid,’” Paparone says.

    The freewatt system can produce nearly 5,000 kilowatts of electricity each year. freewatt.com circle 164

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    Lennox Announces the XPG15 Dual-Fuel Heat Pump.

    The Dave Lennox Signature® Collection XPG15 dedicated dual-fuel heat pump quietly delivers the right amount of comfort when homeowners need it, sources say.

    In cooling season, the XPG15 functions like an air conditioner, pulling heat from the air inside and pumping it outside. When the weather turns cooler, it reverses the process collecting available heat from the outside air and moving it inside the home.

    During the coldest winter months, the XPG15 works with any Lennox high-efficiency gas furnace to provide money-saving comfort. When the weather gets too cold for the heat pump to operate efficiently, the furnace automatically takes over to provide the needed warmth. lennox.com circle 165

    Mitsubishi Electric M- and P-Series Provide Year-Round Comfort.

    Mitsubishi Electric announces the launch of the newest split-ductless M- and P-Series models. The Star Lineup features updated indoor and outdoor units designed for maximum energy efficiency, including 15 systems that are Energy Star® rated and nine that qualify for a Federal tax credit.

    “Our exclusive H2i® product line, recently expanded to include the MSZ-FE09/12 systems, provides superior heating performance especially at low outdoor temperatures, and is changing the way people think about the term heat pump,” says Chuck Applebee, product manager, Mitsubishi Electric. “For example, at 5F outdoors, systems can deliver 100% capacity. At minus 13F, the P-Series H2i system can operate at 75% of rated heating capacity and the M-Series at 62%.” mehvac.com/STAR/ circle 166

    WaterFurnace Introduces Envision NSW Series 1.5- to 6-ton Hydronic Units.

    WaterFurnace International, Inc., introduces the Envision NSW series hydronic units. Available in 1.5- to 6-ton capacities, the new units combine the comfort and versatility of hydronic heating and cooling with the technology and efficiency associated with the WaterFurnace Envision series.

    Designed to efficiently provide hot water for radiant floor heating, domestic hot water, pool heating and snow and ice melt, NSW hydronic units can reduce hot water costs by as much as 60% per year, company sources say. In addition, NSW units are capable of providing chilled water for cooling applications.

    NSW units feature a microprocessor that controls the load pump, source pump, and compressor pump. A robust controller enables the user to view all modes of operation and easily adjust temperatures.

    The units' high efficiency scroll compressors reduce operating costs and improve reliability, while sound attenuating compressor blankets and double-isolation mounting plates ensure quiet operation. All units use environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant and feature ThermaShield™ foam insulation to increase the efficiency and consistency of the heat exchangers. waterfurnace.com circle 167

    Trane Introduces EarthWise Hybrid Split System.

    A Trane EarthWise™ Hybrid Split System combines a high efficiency electric heat pump with a variable speed gas furnace. With the flexibility of two energy sources, the system can optimize utility use by switching back and forth to whichever source is most efficient , company sources say.

    Even in northern climates, the electric heat pump can find enough ambient heat in the air to keep a home warm well into fall. When there's not enough ambient heat and a fossil fuel becomes the most efficient option, the system will switch to either natural gas or heating oil to heat the furnace. The system's switch point is set automatically by the dealer, but can be overridden with the Comfort Control Module.

    In warmer temperatures, the heat pump will reverse its operation; instead of finding ambient heat in the air, it will pull the heat out of the home and radiate it outside. The furnace won't ignite, but will instead serve as a variable-speed blower to move the cooled air produced by the heat pump. trane.com circle 168

    American Standard Announces the Heritage Hybrid Comfort System.

    A Heritage Hybrid comfort system combines a Heritage® Heat Pump with a Freedom® furnace, allowing homeowners to respond to fluctuations in utility costs by switching between gas and electric heat.

    With the ability to both heat and cool, a Heritage 20 heat pump is an economical choice for many climates, company sources say.

    The indoor/outdoor Heritage Hybrid comfort system can be precisely tailored to suit climates and homes by choosing two interconnected units: a furnace that's placed inside the home and a heat pump outside the home. americanstandardair.com circle 169