Manufacturers that debuted new products at the recent 2018 AHR Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago made one thing crystal clear. Making the installation process as easy as possible for the contractor/installer continues to be top of mind, as is helping those responsible for the care and upkeep of the products on the back end.

For instance, take the Franklin Electric Little Giant brand’s VCMX-20 Series of condensate pumps. “You slide the check valve out and are able to service it right there,” Franklin Electric Market Development Manager Jeff Frank told Supply House Times during the show. “A contractor would be comfortable explaining that to a customer over the phone. It’s good for the contractor because it keeps thing simple from a service and maintenance perspective. We’re always listening to our customers and taking what they love and making it better.”

Watts Radiant displayed its ProMelt HX snow-melt system with an emphasis on the system part of the equation in making it as easy as possible to size and select a snow-melt system, a Watts representative noted during the show.

Taco’s 1915E light commercial ECM circulator falls into that user-friendly category as well. “With the quick-start guide, anybody can operate it,” Taco Product Manager Joe Castellone said.

Bradford White’s AeroTherm Series heat pump water heater offers top water connections and convenient height and weight for quick and easy replacements and installations, while also having the ability to be laid on its side for better transportation flexibility. An integrated smart control panel includes detailed diagnostic information for ease of serviceability and quick and accurate diagnostics, the company noted.

Along those same lines, Laars’ Pennant high-efficiency commercial boiler and volume water heaters keep the contractor and service professional in mind with an updated control panel. “We want to make it easy to use and one of those ways is making the screen easier to see,” Laars’ Chuck O’Donnell said. “You may have building management or building maintenance people who might not be specialized in mechanical operations. This makes it easier to navigate.”


More AHR goodies

Also seen on the AHR Expo show floor:

  • NIBCO’s PERTPro flexible tubing provides flexibility, economy, lack of coil set and tight dimensional tolerance for potable water distribution and radiant heating.
  • RIDGID’s new RIDIGD Link app allows firms to track tool data and as a result maximize job performance.
  • Jomar Valve’s lead-free balancing systems combine all the components needed to effectively balance a commercial domestic hot-water system into what the company terms a compact and easy-to-install unit.
  • Webstone’s many new products on display in Chicago included thermostatic mixing valves, G1 union accessories, water-heater tempering valves, a vertical-mount air separator, as well as a tankless water-heater service valve kit, uni-flange ball valves, PEX x
  • press transition valves and numerous radiant products.
  • Stiebel Eltron’s PSH Plus Series of
  • wall-mounted tankless water heaters free up valuable space. The combination of a smaller-capacity tank with a 3 kW heating element gives the units quick recovery time.
  • Carlin’s Universal Oil Primary Control pinpoints the cause of burner faults for fast and accurate repairs.
  • Victaulic’s new PGS-300 groove profile solution eliminates cure time, chemicals and odors associated with a traditional installation method.
  • Corzan Piping System’s cut-groove joining process can be completed in three steps, and the company noted contractors using the cut-groove and mechanical joints are experiencing a labor savings and decrease in downtime of up to 90%.

The 70th AHR Expo attracted a record-breaking 72.075 total attendees (up from 68.615 last year) and total visitor attendance spiked to 49,995 from 48,568 in 2017. The 2019 AHR Expo heads to Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center Jan. 14-16.


Product Spotlight

Combi boiler

Heat pump water heater

The new Combi Boiler from Peerless Boilers comes in three sizes (PBC-34”, PBC-40” and PBC-52”) and all have a 95% AFUE. Its domestic hot water output is up to 5.2 gpm and it has a 10:1 turndown.

Peerless Boilers.


Commercial air handler

Carbon steel pipe fitting system

The Climate 6000 AH commercial air handler from Bosch has direct-drive, composite plenum fans and factory VFDs provide efficiency, low sound and redundancy. Intended for large industrial and commercial applications, the Climate 6000 comes in 21 different sizes, horizontal unit configurations range from 800 to 38,000 CFM, while vertical configurations range from 800 to 4,000 CFM.



Heat pump water heater

Heat pump water heater

Sanden’s Gen 3 Sanco2 heat pump water heater features a split-type water-heater system that is a 4.5-kW capacity air-source heat pump that utilizes a R744 (CO2) refrigerant-to-water heat exchanger producing hot water from 130° up to 175° F, which is then pumped to a stainless steel storage tank for use in residential, light commercial and multifamily applications. Sanden notes the product features outstanding efficiency and the highest first-hour rating of any heat pump water heater currently available in North America.

Sanden Water Heaters.


Controls for hydronic system

Controls for hydronic system

Argo, a company in the ECR International family, introduced its Universal Zone Control for hydronic systems. The unit can be used with any hot water boiler system and is capable of controlling valves, pumps or both. The control delivers application flexibilty by allowing up to three additional extension modules to be linked together.



Condensing gas water heater

Condensing gas water heater

OmegaFlex released MediTrac as the industry’s first copper alloy, corrugated medical tubing for distribution of medical gases. MediTrac is semi-rigid and corrugated, allowing the product to be installed in a single length and routed as needed around exisiting structures and systems. MediTrac includes a fire-retardant jacket and axial, sealed and swaged brass fittings.



Enhanced boiler

Weil-McLain enhanced its high-efficiceny SlimFit

Weil-McLain enhanced its high-efficiceny SlimFit commercial condensing boiler line with advanced capabilities of the company’s Unity Controller. The up-grade is designed to reduce installation and setup time for contractors, simplify boiler system design for specifiying engineers, and improve control interface. The new design also features zone stacking up to 24 programmable zones without the need for additional external panels.



Condensing gas water heater

Condensing gas water heater

PVI Industries’ Conquest condensing gas water heater features a submerged combustion chamber and a heat exchanger with a helical array of firetubes. The Conquest is available in 399, 500, 600, 700 and 800 MBH, is 97% thermal efficient from 40° to 140° F and 95% from 70° to 140°. It also has a touchscreen oper-ating control with plain text status and fault diagnostics.

PVI Industries. w\


Industrial ceiling fan

Industrial ceiling fan

Hunter Industrial’s Titan is available in five sizes and pushes air into every nook and cranny of a facility, slowly, steadily and silently dominating output with its blade span of 24’, 20’, 18’, 16’ or 14’. All Titan HVLS fans come with prewired downrods.

Hunter Industrial.


Magnetic filter

Magnetic filter

Fernox’s TF1 Omega Filter is available in 1”, 1 1/4”, and 1 1/2” sizes and can be positioned horizontally, vertically or at a 45° angle to enable the removal of its magnet in tight or awkward to reach spots. The filter is nickel-plated brass that fits into vertical and horizontal pipework at 45° orientation.



Tee assemblies

Tee assemblies

Bonomi North America’s new three-way automated butterfly valve tee assemblies provide mixing or diversion operations for commercial and industrial HVAC and water applications such as the control of hot water, chilled water, condenser water and thermal storage systems. Available in six flow configurations in sizes 2” through 12”, they can offer significant cost savings compared to same-size three-way ball valves, the company notes. The new assemblies consist of two NSF 61/372-certified Bonomi lug-style rubber-lined butterfly valves along with a Valbia pneumatic or electric actuator, a 125# cast iron tee and linkage assemblies.

Bonomi North America.

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This article was originally posted “HVACR manufacturers debut new products at AHR Expo” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.