Environmental sustainability and energy efficiency aren’t just beneficial to the planet. They can also help homeowners, business owners and facility managers keep their costs in check. And while HVAC units and devices aren’t the only ones in a home, factory or retail store using electricity, keeping a space comfortable for the people inside it can become quite costly if those HVAC devices are wasteful and not fully optimized.
Friedrich, one of the leading manufacturers of HVAC equipment, is one of many HVAC companies that are making energy efficiency a priority and a topic of discussion at this week’s AHR Expo, which features the latest technologies revolutionizing the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry.
In advance of the AHR Expo, we sat down with TJ Wheeler, Friedrich’s VP of Marketing and Product Management, to talk all about some of the biggest trends impacting and shaping the HVAC industry this year.
During our discussion, TJ talked about how new, smarter and more connected HVAC units are not only making the management and control of HVAC equipment easier for their owners, they’re also helping to increase energy efficiency. We also talked about the emergence of HVAC as a Service, and whether it’s something Friedrich is looking to embrace in 2020.
Here is what he had to say:
Modern Equipment Manufacturer (MEM): Can you tell our readers about Friedrich’s HVAC solutions? What types of HVAC products does the company offer and what market sectors does it serve?
TJ Wheeler: Friedrich is a leading U.S.-based manufacturer of heating, cooling and other room air conditioning and home environment products designed for residential, commercial, light industrial, hospitality, multi-family markets.
Friedrich products are built to exacting standards and are among the most sophisticated, energy efficient and quietest available.
MEM: What key technologies and capabilities differentiate Friedrich HVAC equipment from others in the marketplace?
TJ Wheeler: Innovation is essential to Friedrich’s DNA. The company has introduced a number of “firsts” in the room-by-room A/C market to benefit a wide range of both residential and commercial customers.
Friedrich is unveiling built-in Wi-Fi capabilities for its Floating Air Series ductless split systems, marking a first for the U.S. air conditioning market. The company also is the only brand to offer wall and window room A/C units with smart technology integrated throughout its entire line of units.
Friedrich’s award-winning VRP (Variable Refrigerant Package) Heat Pump closet-mounted units offer the convenience and maintenance advantages of a closet-mounted, single packaged unit, which is easier to install and maintain, along with customizable comfort for occupants–all without the cost or complexity of a large central air system.
Friedrich has integrated its patented FreshAiresystem into more of its product offering line up, which helps building owners meet ASHRAE 62.1-2013 for conditioned fresh air, bringing in up to 70 CFM of conditioned, MERV 8-filtered outside air, without the cost or complexity associated with large dedicated outside air systems. Friedrich’s Precision Inverter Compressor and onboard sensor technology found in its VRP and FreshAire PTAC also allows for sophisticated humidity control, helping ensure increased comfort for occupants.
Friedrich’s Floating Air Pro and Floating Air Premier ductless solutions featuring FastPro are designed with the HVAC contractor and installer in mind. Friedrich FastPro makes ductless installation and maintenance much simpler, opening up new business opportunities for the trade and decreasing the time needed to install ductless systems and perform maintenance by as much as 50 percent. It also reduces hassles, allowing contractors and installers to offer ongoing service and maintenance plans with confidence.
MEM: We’ve seen massive changes in the HVAC industry over the past few years. One change involves HVAC equipment becoming smarter and more connected. Is this something Friedrich has looked to embrace in its solutions? If so, how?
TJ Wheeler: In 2020, Friedrich will be among the first A/C manufacturers to offer wireless capabilities for its ductless systems, as part of Friedrich’s Floating Air Pro and Premier Series Ductless Split System lines. The company is also the only brand to offer wall and window room A/C units with smart technology integrated throughout its entire line of units.
Connectivity is essential to realize the significant savings potential of energy management. By grouping multiple connected units together, managing energy use becomes a simplified and more streamlined process that can be done anytime from anywhere, resulting in better energy management while also allowing for real time monitoring and maintenance.
That’s why Friedrich has taken a leadership position in this area, as it offers so many advantages for the not only end users, but property managers and owners as well.
MEM: What benefits do smarter, more connected HVAC devices deliver to consumers? How do they improve their comfort and their experience with their HVAC equipment and devices?
TJ Wheeler: Integrated Wi-Fi capabilities offers customers the ultimate in convenience and control to remotely control their units via computers and smart phones. With Friedrich’s full lines of Wi-Fi-enabled solutions, users can control their system from anywhere anytime to easily adjust settings or power their units off, set schedules and more.
MEM:In advance of the AHR Expo, we sat down with some of the show organizers, including the show manager, Mark Stevens. One of the hot topics that came up in that discussion was the evolution of HVAC as a Service (HVACaaS). Is HVACaaS something Friedrich is looking to implement? Why or why not?
TJ Wheeler: Friedrich continues to bolster our in-house technical support group, as well as our field based regional technical managers. Proper installation and startup of HVAC equipment is critical to the long-term effectiveness and efficiency of the equipment, so we are broadening our offering of installation start-up support.
In fact, Friedrich recently earned the industry’s top “Supplier of the Year” award for 2019 from AD HVAC, which reflects the company’s strong commitment to support independent distributors by offering a wide range of innovative product solutions, training, customer service and personalized support.
MEM: What does Friedrich have planned for this year’s AHR Expo? Are there any exciting announcements or new products that the company will be demonstrating? What can AHR attendees expect from Friedrich this year?
TJ Wheeler: Friedrich will be demonstrating the latest trends in the industry, and innovative, industry-leading technologies mentioned earlier, including FastPro for ductless, expanded VRP capacities and FreshAire.
We’ll also be highlighting our leadership in smart technology capabilities for room-by-room A/C solutions and introducing Wi-Fi integration for our ductless products.
To learn more about Friedrich and their HVAC solutions, click HERE. To learn more about the rise of HVACaaS and its impact on the HVAC industry, click HERE to download a complimentary copy of the eBook, “The HVAC as a Service Revolution.”