Top 100 Products of 2016: Mechanical & Electrical

Products from A.O. Smith, EcoNet, Ennovative Group, Fujitsu, GE, Heatworks, Honeywell, Lennox, Levven Electronics, LG, Mitsubishi, Navien, Nest, Noritz, Rinnai, and Watts

August 23, 2016

To see more top 100 products in other categories, click here.

Gas Water Heater

A.O. Smith’s Vertex Direct Vent 75-gallon gas water heater boasts up to 96 percent thermal efficiency. A central helical coil heat exchanger heats the water, keeping hot combustion gases in the tank longer to boost the heat transfer cycle. Installation is easy, with side-mounted recirculating taps for use with combination space heating/potable water heating applications. An LCD display offers precise temperature control and diagnostics. 

Temperature Regulator 

The EV200 Smart Home vent from EcoNet Controls features a pressure and temperature sensor to provide maintenance feedback on the HVAC system’s performance. The vent will be available with updated decorative grilles in several styles and colors and is scheduled for release in December 2016. 

On-Demand Hot Water

On-Demand Pump controls from Enovative Group feature a recirculation pump that ensures users consistently get hot water right when the fixture is turned on resulting in significant savings of water and energy costs. No more hot-water piping is needed to install the pump control because the system uses the return line for cold water. Quick, easy installation. 

Multi-Zone Heat Pump

Fujitsu General America has added floor-mount units in 9,000, 12,000, and 15,000 Btu/h to its line of multi-zone equipment. At roughly 24 inches high by 30 inches wide, the small indoor units are ideal for residential retrofit applications to replace standing radiators, or in any area with limited upper wall space such as a kitchen or sunroom. The unit features a designer remote control, or users can download the app and control the unit from a smartphone or tablet. 

Electric Water Heater

Using heat pump technology to absorb the heat in ambient air and transfer it to water, the U.S.-made GeoSpring is, GE claims, 69 percent more efficient than a standard electric model. First-hour delivery provides 92 gallons of hot water. Electronic controls feature five operating modes. The unit has an energy factor of 2.9 and includes the same water and electrical connections as a standard electric water heater. The GeoSpring qualifies for many state tax credits and rebate programs. 

Electric Water Heater

The Heatworks Model 1 Tankless Electric Water Heater pairs the small footprint of a tankless unit with a unique energy-transfer technology to provide a reliable hot-water supply, even at low flow rates. Because it lacks traditional heating elements, the unit requires minimal maintenance and can be used in conjunction with existing water heating systems. The Model 1 provides up to 40 percent energy savings and 10 percent water savings, according to the manufacturer.

Smart Thermostat

Honeywell’s Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control uses far-field technology, which breaks through the ambient noise of a busy household. Saying, “Hello, thermostat,” activates the system and allows commands, such as “Make it 4 degrees warmer,” even from across the room. 

Solar Energy System

The Lennox SunSource XC25/XP25 Home Energy System uses solar power to harness energy for heating and cooling systems and reduces electricity bills. A communications module allows users to monitor energy production online in real time. SunSource features one to 15 modules per outdoor unit that can be added when the systems are installed or added later. 

Wireless Switch

The GoConex wireless electrical switch from Levven Electronics isn’t physically attached to a home’s structure, speeding up electrical rough-in times by 40 percent, the company says, and providing added flexibility in where switches can be installed. Rough-in work involves installing a GoConex Load Controller in the junction box. 

Solar Panels

To maximize energy production within limited rooftop space, LG Electronics’ NeON 2 solar panels use “Cello” technology for improved performance and reliability. Circular-shaped wires scatter light more effectively for better absorption while reducing electrical loss by spreading the current with 12 thin wires instead of three busbars. An improved temperature coefficient means modules can generate more electricity and perform more efficiently even on cloudy days. And with the modules’ reduced annual light-induced degradation, LG has extended the product warranty to 12 years. 

Air-Handling Unit

Mitsubishi has added the MVZ air-handling unit to its Diamond Comfort System. The unit is suitable for system replacement and new installation. Older homes with no cooling or heating system can take advantage of the hidden MVZ unit for open areas and use ductless units for additional rooms. Available from 13,500 to 40,000 Btu/h rated heating capacities, the system can be fully disassembled and reassembled to fit into tight spaces. 

Tankless Water Heater

The Navien NPE-150S premium condensing tankless water heater features dual heat exchangers, a new metal fiber burner designed to deliver a consistent air/gas mixture, built-in controls for multi-unit system use, ultra condensing efficiency up to .99EF, and 2-inch venting up to 60 feet. 

Smart-Home Products

In 2015, Nest rolled out updates for its entire product line—security camera, smoke detector, and smartphone app, as well as some software feature updates for the thermostat. Nest Cam (formerly Dropcam) now has a slimmer, more adjustable stand (shown) and offers 1,080-pixel HD video, improved night-vision, and motion-detection features. The smoke and carbon monoxide alarm now offers a custom, Split-Spectrum Sensor that uses two wavelengths of light to look for different types of fire. 

Tankless Water Heater

The new NRCP line of residential tankless water heaters from Noritz America combines the high efficiency of condensing technology with the comfort and savings of hot-water recirculation. A pump inside the heater keeps hot water close to the outlet, minimizing wait and the waste of unused water. Homeowners can program the system to operate only when needed, with a precision down to the hour. An “auto” setting that takes note of a household’s water-usage routines and automatically controls recirculation loop activation times. 

Condensing Tankless Water Heater

Rinnai’s ultra series tankless water heater RUR models use thermal bypass technology that includes an integrated recirculation pump, an internal bypass line inside the model, a thermal bypass valve, and a 24-hour digital controller to send unlimited hot water wherever and whenever it’s needed, all in one comprehensive solution. 

Radiant Heating

The simple, one-panel solution of Watts Radiant SmartTrac features a nonstructural modular panel system designed to simplify radiant heating and cooling installations in subfloor, wall, and ceiling applications. The system offers an ultra-low profile—5/8 inch—and weighs 2½ pounds per square foot. It warms faster than concrete and is easy to configure for any space. 

 

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