Apr 14, 2024

2023 Dealer Design Awards: HVAC Light Commercial Equipment

FIRED UP: Lochinvar’s FTXL 1.0 Commercial Boiler is a natural gas-fueled, fire-tube unit that is rated at 999,000 Btuh. (Courtesy of Lochinvar)

Low flow, high performance.

Those are the watchwords for Lochinvar’s new FTXL 1.0 commercial boiler, which was awarded Gold in the HVAC Light Commercial Equipment category this year.

The natural gas-fueled, fire-tube FTXL 1.0 boiler, rated at 999,000 Btuh, offers efficiency of up to 98.3% and has a turndown ratio of 10:1. The boiler can operate at a wide range of flow rates and very low pressure, eliminating the time and costs associated with the extra piping and pumps needed to maintain flow in a water-tube boiler, the company said. The FTXL 1.0 can also operate with supply gas pressure as low as 4 inches of water column, the company said, making it easier to install in a variety of applications.

“Each technical innovation Lochinvar develops is another step toward a better future for the HVAC industry,” said Jeff Vallett II, a segment market manager at Lochinvar. “The FTXL 1.0 boiler prioritizes installation flexibility, serviceability, and ease of monitoring to simplify customers’ jobs.”

Features of the FTXL 1.0 include:

“By producing technology that focuses on ease of setup and monitoring performance, Lochinvar is encouraging the industry to strive toward a more technologically advanced future that ultimately provides the most reliable, efficient space heating means possible for the end user,” Vallett said.

“It really is a Gold product,” said Joe Mozeika, an application specialist at Mulcahy Co. Inc., a Minnesota-based manufacturer’s representative firm that specializes in hydronics and plumbing product. Mozeika oversees the commissioning of hydronics equipment, including the FTXL 1.0.

Mozeika said he likes the small footprint, ease of installation, and serviceability of the FTXL 1.0. The small footprint, he said, lends itself to configurations with multiple boilers, and the FTXL 1.0 boilers he’s commissioned have been subject to almost no problems or return servicing calls.

Two years of research, including feedback from surveys and focus groups, went into the development of the FTXL 1.0, which hit the market in June of last year, Vallett said.

“Lochinvar used customer feedback from previous models to determine which upgrades were the most important for this next iteration of Lochinvar’s fire-tube boiler,” he said. “Lochinvar understands that time is money, so it focuses on incorporating features that will save technicians time and allow them to complete more service calls in a day.”

Vallett said Lochinvar plans to continue developing fire-tube technology as well as tell the industry about the versatility of the FTXL 1.0. The boiler can be used in a system that provides domestic hot water as well as space heating, he said, and can also be configured in a cascade system that can save wear and tear on a single boiler. It can also provide pool heating.

LIGHT THE PATH: Lennox’s Enlight Heat Pump is available in sizes from 2-20 tons and with ratings of up to 16.1 SEER, 16.5 IEER, and 12.4 EER. (Courtesy of Lennox)

The Enlight High Efficiency Heat Pump from Lennox Commercial was the Silver winner in the HVAC Light Commercial Equipment category this year.

The heat pump, which debuted in the market in January, is available in sizes from 2-20 tons and with ratings of up to 16.1 SEER, 16.5 IEER, and 12.4 EER. The Enlight product line features two-speed compressors, variable-speed indoor blowers, and outdoor fans with fully modulating electronically commutated motors (ECMs), the company said.

Enlight products give the HVAC industry a full line of high-efficiency, fully configurable heat pumps and dual-fuel units that are easy to service and integrate, reducing the number of field-installed kits and accessories required by installers, said Tate Byers, a product manager lead at Lennox Commercial.

“These heat pumps provide sustainable solutions to more of our customers throughout the world,” Byers said.

Some of the product’s features are Lennox’s Core Control system, which provides guides for setup, testing and balancing, and network integration; tool-less filter access for quick filter changes; an isolated compressor compartment for quick testing and charging; and an accessible heating compartment designed to reduce installation and servicing time. The Lennox Core Service app provides insights into how the machinery is running and can be used to store or share reports on configuration, usage, and service history, Byers said.

Lennox met with focus groups that included technicians, contractors, and national account customers throughout the two years of research and development that went into the product, Byers said.

“We conducted job site surveys and shadowed technicians as they installed and commissioned our equipment to see what they spend the most time on and how we could improve the process,” he said. “Feedback was also gathered from the company’s sales team.”

Byers said Lennox Commercial plans to increase the efficiency and functionality of the Enlight heat pumps as well as transition them to use new A2L refrigerants.

Matt Jachman is the legislation editor at the ACHR NEWS. He has 30-plus years of experience in community journalism and a bachelor’s degree in English from Wayne State University in Detroit.