LAS VEGAS – While ductless heat pumps have grabbed the spotlight in recent years, central air-source heat pumps still remain popular, as evidenced by the new products on display at the AHR Expo. In fact, as of November 2016, the year-to-date total for heat pump shipments increased 6.3 percent, which indicates this is a healthy market segment. Manufacturers believe this trend will continue, especially as consumers become aware that many heat pumps can now be used in colder climates.
Many markets are now realizing that heat pumps can work well in cooler climates, as they are being designed to operate efficiently in colder temperatures, said Farooq Mohammad, director, product management, Rheem Air Conditioning Division. “Our new variable-speed Prestige Series® heat pumps deliver full capacity down to 17°F outdoor temperatures. Developed using the Rheem 360°+1 design philosophy, the Prestige Series inverter-driven products deliver precise controls that maintain ideal home temperature, humidity levels, and air quality at all hours of the day.”
The Prestige Series heat pumps feature precise, quiet, variable-speed operation to deliver all-around smarter comfort and energy use. Coupled with the Rheem EcoNet® Smart Home System, homeowners have the ability to remotely manage their Prestige Series heat pumps for maximum savings and energy efficiency, said Mohammad. “Newer systems, especially those featuring variable-speed, inverter-driven technology, are far more efficient and have proven to be of-interest with homeowners. Coupled with innovation, we are optimistic for ongoing success with the heat pump market in 2017.”
Daikin’s new DZ20VC variable-speed heat pump features cooling efficiencies up to 21 SEER and heating efficiencies up to 10 HSPF. Inverter-driven technology automatically adjusts the performance of the heat pump system’s compressor to match the demand needed to achieve the temperature selected on the thermostat while the high-efficiency electronically commutated motor (ECM) condenser fan motor provides dependable, quiet airflow across the condensing coil. These heat pumps are compatible with the ComfortNet™ communicating system, which continuously monitors system performance and allows the remote control of the system to serve as an option.
Intelligent equipment is definitely popular with both consumers and contractors, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is a big trend right now, said Kelly Hearnsberger, vice president of residential product marketing, Daikin North America LLC. “The IoT offers an opportunity for contractors to have even better relationships with their customers, because contractors will better understand the health of the equipment.
Fujitsu General America Inc. announced it would be offering a full line of ducted heating and cooling products starting in May. The company will offer two central air-source heat pumps that feature cooling efficiencies of 14 and 15 SEER and heating efficiencies up to 9 HSPF. The units will feature scroll compressors and be available in 1.5- to 5-ton sizes. When asked why the company decided to step into the ducted marketplace, Erin Mezle, director of marketing, Fujitsu, noted, “We wanted to branch out and grow all over the U.S.”
The new Bosch Thermotechnology Corp. inverter, ducted, split, air-source heat pump system helps ensure that indoor air remains at the selected temperature but at a lower cost than traditional HVAC systems. By employing variable-speed inverter drive technology, the new air-source heat pump is highly energy efficient and may achieve a SEER of up to 18 and a 9.5 HSPF. It accomplishes such a high rating by varying operating speeds depending on cooling and heating load rather than simply turning the unit on and off.
In addition, both the indoor and outdoor units are much quieter than traditional models. Thanks to an insulated compressor compartment and its new silent blade technology, the outdoor condensing unit reduces sound levels to as low as 56 dB. These heat pumps come in both 3- and 5-ton capacities, are compatible with most heat pump thermostats, and feature a unique dehumidification feature. The units also feature dependable and multi-positional cased coils. Bosch offers a complete range of 10 evaporator coil models from 2- through 5-ton sizes in all orientations including upflow, downflow, and horizontal to fit all duct sizes.
HEAT PUMP WATER HEATERS
Heat pumps aren’t just used for space heating anymore; they are also being used for water heating. Sanden Intl. (USA) introduced the updated SANCO2 heat pump water heater, which features a 15 percent improvement in efficiency plus a smaller footprint and upgraded controls. The new unit, which will launch in early 2017, utilizes CO2 refrigerant, which offers a global warming potential (GWP) of 1.
The SANCO2 heat pump water heater system consists of two parts: the outdoor unit, where the hot water is produced (the CO2 refrigerant extracts heat from the ambient air), and the 43- or 83-gallon storage tank, which is usually installed inside the home. Installation of the unit is simple, with two water pipes connecting the tank to the outdoor heat pump.
“Our water heater benefits contractors, because it expands the heat pump water heater market and greatly helps the home’s overall efficiency,” said John Miles, general manager of Eco Systems, Sanden Intl. (USA).