Product Showcase Award: At HVAC Comfortech 2010, 12 products were recognized as Product Showcase Award winners. Judges took into consideration the ease with which HVAC contractors can apply the technology, and the technical value of the product or service to the HVAC industry. We'll feature these products each month in upcoming issues of Contracting Business. This month, we're featuring The Service Rountable Membership, the winner in the Business Service category. For additional information on any of the products listed here, circle the appropriate number(s) on the reader service card at the back of this issue or visit www.contractingbusiness.com/freeinfo.html.
The Service Roundtable’s is the Ideal Business Alliance for Tough Economic Times
The Service Roundtable continues to grow, in spite of industry headwinds, because it fits the economic climate. With more than 2,500 users, the Service Roundtable is contracting's largest business alliance.
Members join for only $50 per month, and can tap into a growing library of sales, marketing, and business management tools that are valued in excess of $3 million. Contractors download direct marketing pieces, consumer newsletters, social media coupons, service agreements, business forms, pricing calculators, and virtually everything needed to run a contracting company. The company standardizes on Microsoft®Office to make everything easily customizable by individual contractors.
Contractors receive real time business support from the Roundtable discussion lists wherecontractors and consultants from around the country provide advice and insight to questions posed by contractors.
Finally, the Service Roundtable includes Roundtable Rewards, a free buying group where members can earn rebates on purchases.
Trane Presents the ComfortLink™ Remote Thermostat
Trane has introduced its ComfortLink™ remote thermostat with a Schlage LiNK™ web-based interface. According to company sources, the Trane ComfortLink remote thermostat complements and enhances the functionality of the Trane comfort system and allows remote access with Schlage LiNK. One simple Internet interface can control several aspects of the home.
The Trane ComfortLink Remote Thermostat lets home owners remotely control home temperature from most web-enabled cell phones or computers, to suit a family's schedule. It also allows for seven day programming with four settings per day for personalized home comfort. In addition, it sends text alerts for filter changes and maintenance reminders before the heating and cooling season begin.
The Trane ComfortLink Remote Thermostat is compatible with most brands of central heating, cooling, and heat pump systems.
Nordyne Launches iQ Zone™ Zoning System
Nordyne has launched iQ Zone™, the first zoning system to work seamlessly with the company's 24.5 SEER iQ Drive® air conditioners and 22 SEER iQ Drive® heat pumps.
To develop iQ Zone, Nordyne partnered with Airzone, a manufacturer of innovative zoning systems. Airzone incorporated their ultra-communicating technology with the patent-pending iQ Drive controller for simple installation and operation. iQ Zone will control up to 8 zones and 32 dampers in the home.
In addition to the comfort created by having individualized zones in the home, the iQ Zone is rated at 24.5 SEER. According to company sources, adding iQ Zone to the system increases efficiency by another 12%.
Digi-Cool Launches the AK-900 With Help From Social Media
For the development of their new digital refrigeration system analyzer, the AK-900 (the Analog Killer), Digi-Cool has taken advantage of the growing numbers of HVACR professionals online and has incorporated many suggestions from forums, bloggers, and emails from customers into their new AK series.
Founded by a veteran HVACR technician, Doug Lockhart, Digi-Cool has attempted to keep their products geared towards the everyday problems facing technicians. In recent years this has become a little easier. Doug Lockhart can be frequently seen interacting with other technicians on popular HVAC/R blogs and forums such as InstruMetriX.com, HVAC-talk.com, and Hvacprotech.com. In fact, many of the improved features of the AK-900 have come from direct suggestions from loyal customers, online beta reviews, and e-mails from other mechanics.
The AK-900's newest feature is the single, large LCD window. This window, which is specific to the AK-900, requires no toggling to access different information about the refrigeration system being referenced. Digi-Cool's patented Dynamic Offset Bar Graph display is still upgraded 4 times per second. The 8 segments above and below ‘0’ on the low side representing a 0.25 PSI plus or minus deviation from the displayed numeric pressure on the low side, and a 1 PSI plus or minus deviation for each segment displayed above or below '0' on the high side.
Emerson Announces Browning® V-Belt Efficiency Calculator iPhone® Application
Emerson Industrial Automation announced the release of the new Browning® V-Belt Efficiency Calculator iPhone® Application. The application provides users with an improved mobile offering of Browning's online V-Belt Efficiency Calculator, which allows users to calculate projected energy savings when upgrading from a wrapped V-Belt to a notched V-Belt. By entering key usage data points including geographic location, motor horsepower and days/hours per week, users have the ability to calculate energy savings on-site using the iPhone application. The V-Belt Efficiency Calculator iPhone Application has a payback calculation feature that lets users estimate the amount of their return on investment or days to payback.
The Browning V-Belt Efficiency Calculator iPhone Application is available for download on the iPhone and iPod touch® mobile digital devices at no charge through Apple's iTunes® store by searching for "Browning V-Belt."
McQuay Introduces Delivered VAV System for Small to Medium Sized Buildings
McQuay International introduced delivered variable air volume (VAV) systems for consistent room temperature comfort.
According to company sources, the delivered VAV systems are fast and easy to install. Field start-up for an entire building network consisting of two 50-ton rooftops and 20 to 40 VAV boxes can typically be completed in hours and does not require additional software licensing. To save time, the configuration files are created for each unique system and preloaded into the system controller. Application data is loaded and tested, at the factory for the VAV box and air handling unit controllers. Commissioning process is automated by McQuay’s advanced software and easy-to-use touch screen controller.
The McQuay delivered VAV systems offer reliable control with access from any computer with the web based interface, without additional hardware. Technicians in a remote location can check status, respond to alarms and determine if an on-site service call is required; all through the easy-to-use web interface. The system includes control and monitoring applications that include: scheduling, system summary, remote monitoring, alarm management, and data logs.
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ColorTouch Touch Screen Thermostat Available From Venstar
Venstar® announced the launch of ColorTouch™, the multi-functional, touch screen thermostat that thinks it's a digital picture frame.
ColorTouch is installation-friendly.Its output test screen that allows the contractor to test the system. Its graphical user interface shows which outputs turn on and which outputs should be on, so the contractor can ensure that all equipment is connected and working properly. The ColorTouch 'My Thermostat' screens allow the contractor to look at the thermostat status, making it easier to troubleshoot equipment or wiring issues, sources say. In addition, programming and configuration may be done in advance using the provided ColorTouch Assistant software and an SD memory card (not included).
Quaternity™ by Daikin Gets New SEER Rating
Daikin AC is pleased to announce that Quaternity™ (model number RXG09HVJU and FTXG09HVJU) has been rerated to achieve a SEER rating of 26.1 from the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).
The Quaternity system, initially introduced in 2009, has been rerated to better reflect the actual performance of the system. The Quaternity system comprising of indoor unit (FTXG) and outdoor unit (RXG) is available in 3 sizes with nominal cooling capacities of 9,000, 12,000 and 15,000 BTU/hr, with SEER levels respectively of 26.1, 24.2 and 21.0.
Quaternity can dehumidify in two different ways. In "Quaternity dry mode," the system lowers humidity without affecting the room temperature by mixing dry cool air with warm air to produce comfortable dry air. If the indoor temperature becomes too high,
Quaternity's "dry cooling" operation cools and dehumidifies to a relative humidity setting. Users can set higher set-point temperatures, but with a 50% humidity set-point realizing significant energy savings yet still providing a very comfortable environment, sources say.
American Standard® Introduces Advancement In Air Handler Technology
American Standard® Heating & Air Conditioning launched its new American Standard ForeFront™ air handler platform. Air from an American Standard ForeFront is circulated through a double-walled cabinet design that keeps unwanted insulation particles out of the conditioned air in the home while also eliminating thermal losses that result in condensation. The ForeFront also provides improvements in ease of installation with its modular design and smaller size. Application is flexible with four-way configuration with no conversion, and the entire product disassembles into just four pieces in as little as two minutes.
Promotion Offers Free Ridgid® Wet/Dry Vacuum
Knaack® and Weather Guard® are offering a free Ridgid® Model WD1250 wet/dry vacuum with a purchase of $500 or more of any Knaack® jobsite storage or Weather Guard® truck or van storage equipment.
The "Suck It Up!" promotion is valid for purchases made between October 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. All submissions must be received by January 25, 2011.
Caleffi Announces New Manifold Mixing Stations
Caleffi's 171 and 172 series manifold mixing stations regulate the system's fluid temperature and are specially designed for use in manifold-based hydronic distribution systems.
The 171 series motorized manifold mixing station incorporates a modulating three-point floating actuator to regulate the temperature of the fluid sent to the system flow manifold according to the actual thermal load, in response to a separately-sourced outdoor reset controller. The 172 series thermostatic manifold mixing station maintains the flow temperature at a constant set value for use in low temperature systems such as floor radiant panels. Both series come complete with a motorized three-way mixing valve (171 Series) or thermostatic three-way mixing valve with built-in temperature sensor (172 series), three-speed pump, supply temperature and pressure gage, return temperature gage, purge valve, primary circuit shut-off valves, 3 to 13 supply manifolds equipped with flow meters and balancing valves, and automatic air vent with hygroscopic cap and drain cock.
A removable primary circuit hydraulic separator with check valve is also supplied. The hydraulic separator is essential when there is a primary circuit circulation pump and when radiator circuits or fan coils are controlled by thermostatic or thermo-electric valves.
The 171 and 172 series stations can also be ordered with optional TWISTOP™ thermo-electric zone actuators.
Video Inspection Systems Support Live Streaming Video
The Seeker™ 400 series of wireless video inspection systems from General Tools & Instruments, now includes three models that feature multiple, interchangeable camera-tipped probes and the ability to stream live video over the Internet. The new models will be exhibited and available for order at
General's booth (#C1082) at AHR Expo 2011. All three models in the Seeker 400 series (DCS400, DCS400-09, DCS400-05) are fully-featured video inspection systems consisting of a standard base unit with a detachable, 3.5-in. diagonal TFT-LCD color monitor enabling remote viewing from as far away as 32.8 ft. The monitor features 4x zoom and 180º image flip. All three systems include a 3.28-ft. long, close-focus (depth of field 0.5-in.to 5.0-in.) flexible-obedient camera-tipped probe that's water, oil and dust proof to IP67 standards. Optional probes are available in various lengths to extend the reach of each system. The DCS400 features a 0.47-in. diameter probe; the DCS400-09, a 0.35-in. diameter probe; and the DCS400-05, a 0.22-in. diameter probe. The smaller diameter probes enable inspection in narrower spaces. All of the probes are interchangeable and are offered as optional accessories for any of the three units.
Mitsubishi Introduces PWFY Hydronic Heat Exchanger
Mitsubishi Electric has introduced its VRF PWFY hydronic heat exchanger, which functions in various modes to provide hot or cooled water.
The basic PWFY hydronic heat exchanger unit is available in two sizes – 36,000 and 72,000 Btu – and operates in three modes – heating (full temperature range), heating ECO (supply temperature based on outdoor ambient) and anti-freeze (maintains circulation to prevent pipe freeze). The PWFY hydronic heat exchanger unit can provide hot water from 86-113F and cool water from 50-86F. This unit is connectable to Mitsubishi Electric VRF modular units, water source modular units, and hyper-heating units.
For applications requiring increased hot water temperatures, the booster unit can be connected that utilizes a secondary R-134A refrigerant cycle to boost the water up to 160F. The booster unit is available in one size – 36,000 BTU – and offers four operation modes: hot water (boosts temperature up to 160F, heating (provides hot water up to 122F), heating ECO (supply temperature based on outdoor ambient) and anti-freeze (maintains circulation to prevent pipe freeze). The booster unit is connectable to Mitsubishi Electric VRF modular heat recovery (R2) units and water source modular heat recovery (WR2) units.
Bryant® Introduces Next Evolution® in Home Comfort Control
Bryant Heating and Cooling Systems launched a newly redesigned control for Evolution® home heating and air conditioning system. The Evolution control features enhanced functionality and improved set-up functions to personalize and optimize comfort. New customizable features include font and screen color options.
The Evolution control is the brains of a Bryant Evolution comfort system, which includes a furnace, fan coil, air conditioner or heat pump, and accessories such as humidifiers and advanced air filtration products. The communicating device allows consumers to continually monitor and manage their homes’ comfort levels in up to eight separate zones by regulating temperature, humidity, and air quality.