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The modern technological world is filled with ‘extrusions’. They are all around us, in the form of small and not-so-small cross sections. The function of an extrusion is to form seals between components of complex machinery and keep them functional. And, depending on the ‘type’ used, they can make a big difference to how a machine operates. Some of the most desirable types of extrusion — and especially for use in HVAC systems — are those made from silicone. Silicone, which is a type of rubber, has a robust set of properties. For one, silicone can withstand extreme temperatures, both high and low. Semi-Exterior environments Ranging from -60°C to temperatures exceeding 200°C. (And there are even higher grades that can be manufactured to withstand temperatures well above 200°C.) Ideal for HVAC units that work round the clock to keep large numbers of people in large buildings comfortable in summer and winter conditions. In addition to this, silicone is also one of the more resistant properties to the constant vibrations of working machinery. It can be difficult to locate the source of the problem if a tiny extrusion has dislodged. Vibration-resistant properties make silicone extrusions less likely to disengage or fall out of place, therefore minimizing the need for costly repairs. Finally, silicone is also more durable than most other materials when it comes to exterior or semi-exterior environments, such as that of rain or ultraviolet light. Protecting electrical components Silicone is useful in HVAC systems because it offers enhanced sealing and compression protections As a result of this favorability, there is already a considerable number of different types of silicone extrusions that can be found in a lot of HVAC systems. These include HVAC sealing gaskets, hatch seals and vibration isolation pads. But also silicone sponges, which act as a protective layer of thermal insulation. As well as providing thermal insulation, silicone sponges can double-up as a form of acoustic insulation, with considerable noise reduction and anti-squeal properties. Silicone enclosure gaskets protect electrical components, and environmental seals — as the name suggests — help to keep everything protected from the sometimes harsh elements of the environment outside. Silicone is useful in HVAC systems because it offers enhanced sealing and compression protections over most other materials. Closed cell structure On a material level, silicone has a ‘closed cell structure’, which helps to keep out moisture ingress, along with water and dust. The combination of a closed cell structure, along with sealing and compression benefits, makes silicone ideal for exterior seals and gaskets in and around HVAC systems. The softer grades of Silicone have an excellent memory and low stress relaxation, which in turn helps to prevent common faults with HVAC systems — usually caused by gasket failures made from other materials that soften and compress inaccurately. The low stress relaxation properties require minimal force on behalf of the engineers sealing the enclosures, while the memory-properties of the silicone allow it to conform to awkward shapes and gaps of various widths. Manufacturing HVAC systems proactively with silicone in mind can allow more design flexibility on behalf of the engineers. Inevitable rapid movements General purpose solid silicone or silicone sponge is suitable for many HVAC applications And, as mentioned above, vibration isolation pads work as dampers to protect against the inevitable rapid movements of the systems as they power along. But also to help withstand the vibrations of HVAC units on transport systems, such as buses and trains, which naturally vibrate as they run over imperfections on rail and road tracks. As it happens, general purpose solid silicone or silicone sponge is suitable for many HVAC applications, not just those discussed above. The designs of the extrusions would be different, reflective of their function, but the material would be the same. In some instances, customers may also require a flame retardant silicone — certified to UL94 specifications — in order to meet safety standards in certain situations or environments. Great temperature ranges For all its material advantages, silicone is generally more expensive than the other types of material rubber that are used to manufacture extrusions, such as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). And while other materials do of course have stand-out benefits of their own — EPDM for example is more hard-wearing than silicone — silicone is still often the extrusion ‘type’ of choice because of its ability to withstand great temperature ranges. This is very important for heating and air conditioning systems. Because some of the most common factors that cause HVAC systems to break down are as a result of seal and gasket failure, which can come about as a result of an overheating unit. Very cold environment Chances of a unit overheating can be just as likely — in fact perhaps more so — where the system has to operate in a very cold environment. With the threat of climate change etched more than ever into the public discussion, we can predict that there will be a steady increase in the amount that this material is used to make up the HVAC seals. And not just because, as temperatures continue to increase and summers get hotter and more prolonged, there will be an increased demand for them. Effective public relations It is no secret that HVAC systems can be relatively expensive to run It will become a matter of effective public relations for managers, building regulators and transport officers to make sure that the equipment they are using — and making — is ‘green’. By using the right materials that help conserve energy and increase efficiency, this will not only sit right with the general public, it should also be more economical, too. It is no secret that HVAC systems can be relatively expensive to run. Minimizing wastage, and the time spent on call outs and repairs will make a notable difference. Of course there are many other ways to also set about making air conditioning and heating units more efficient. Using seals or gaskets made from silicone is just one small piece of the puzzle. But utilizing them will almost certainly be more beneficial than you might imagine. And anything that is a step in the right direction is a welcome change.
As the UK continues to battle through the coronavirus crisis, HVAC business owners and installers can be putting some of their enforced downtime to good use. This period of subdued trading is a rare opportunity to get into better shape for when economic activity picks up. One way of doing this is by sharpening the focus on markets which promise strong growth – and few markets are growing faster than that for heat pumps. The potential here is huge. Some 28,000 heat pumps are currently installed in the UK every year, and before the pandemic this number was rising annually at a rate of 15-30%. That equates to sales doubling every three to five years. New-builds account for the majority of those sales, but 30% are retrofits, and about 30% of those retrofits are in private residences. This means there’s a big opportunity for doing conversions from oil boilers to heat pumps at rural homes not connected to the gas grid. The ‘New Normal’ and Heat Pumps It is only realistic, of course, to expect a lingering dip in HVAC sales of all kinds, including heat pumps, until the post-pandemic world gets back on its feet. But when we do turn the corner into the ‘new normal’, heat pump sales will again climb strongly. One reason for this is consumer demand, the other is government policy. End-users are now increasingly aware of the dangers and disruptions threatened by carbon emissions and climate change – informally known as ‘the Blue Planet Effect’ – and more are being guided by their consciences to make environmentally-responsible heating choices. An Expected Spike In Demand Many end-users are also encouraged by the prospect of receiving payments from the government through the Domestic RHI tariff. When we do turn the corner into the ‘new normal’, heat pump sales will climb strongly If RHI tariffs are the carrot, however, the government is also going to wield a big stick. The Chancellor’s spring statement last year dropped the bombshell that low-carbon heating systems, not fossil-fuel heating, should be installed in all new homes built after 2025. Though this policy might perhaps get slightly delayed and diluted, there can be no doubting that radical change is on the way. With all this in the pipeline, the industry should be preparing now to cope with the increased demand. But there’s some way to go: of the UK’s 120,000 registered gas engineers, merely 600 or so are MCS-registered to install heat pumps. Many more will be needed. MCS Certification Some installers are already recognizing this opportunity. Some 28,000 heat pumps are currently installed in the UK every year, and before the pandemic this number was rising annually at a rate of 15-30% This is evident in the heightened level of interest in the one-day introductory heat pump courses run nationwide by the Viessmann Academy. These courses provide a useful overview of what heat pump installations involve, helping participants decide whether or not they would like to go on to qualify with the MCS quality assurance scheme. This is a crucial decision, because having MCS certification is an obligation when installing equipment eligible for Domestic RHI payments. Some course participants decide to take the next step to MCS certification straight away, others decide to wait a while – but standing still in a fast-moving market can mean getting left behind! F-Gas Certification So what else must HVAC businesses and installers consider about heat pumps, in order to stay ahead of the game? In addition to MCS certification, F-Gas certification is also necessary when split air source heat pumps are installed. This is because the outdoor and indoor units have to be connected on-site with refrigerant pipework. Some installers choose to get F-Gas certified themselves, others sub-contract this part of the job to someone who’s suitably qualified. Of the UK’s 120,000 registered gas engineers, merely 600 or so are MCS-registered to install heat pumps It is possible to sidestep this need, however, when it is appropriate to install a monobloc heat pump – and the widening choice and affordability of monobloc designs is making them appropriate for a wider range of properties. A good example of this is Viessmann’s new Vitocal 100-A, an outdoors unit which has no need for a complementary indoor unit and is also easy to install because most components are integrated in the unit. New, compact and affordable air source heat pumps such as this, offering much-needed space-saving solutions for urban homes, are another reason why the heat pump market will boom. The Challenges Of Heat Pump Installation Though technological advances are making things easier, installing a heat pump isn’t ever going to be quite as straightforward as replacing an old boiler with a new one. Before starting an installation, first it is necessary to assess whether a heat pump is suitable for the property. This means checking that the property is well-enough insulated; checking the existing system’s radiators, which may need supplementing or replacing with bigger radiators or underfloor heating because of the lower flow temperatures of a heat pump system; and calculating the required size of the heat pump according to the building’s heat loss (and not including hot water demand). This period of subdued trading is a rare opportunity to get into better shape for when economic activity picks up At the installation stage itself, much of the work will be familiar to boiler installers, though weather compensating controls are obligatory for all MCS-approved work and as part of building regulations Part L. It’s also important to note that planning permission requires minimum distances between the heat pump’s outdoor unit, the plot’s borders, and neighboring properties. If this seems complicated, it doesn’t have to be: some heat pump manufacturers provide a calculator to simplify the task. Now Is The Time To Be Proactive Just as installers need a little time to assess whether a property should switch from a boiler to a heat pump, end-users also need a little thinking time, to consider adopting a technology new to them. By being proactive, HVAC businesses and installers can reap what they sow When customers get in touch because their existing boiler has broken down, the pressure for a quick fix can rule this out. But right now, when many of us have time on our hands, there’s the chance to inform customers of alternative heating solutions before their boiler needs replacing. Taking such pre-emptive action, by emailing information or mailing leaflets to customers, does require a little effort, but at least now there’s the time to do it. We are heading into a new era which will see boiler sales decline while heat pump sales rise. By making preparations for these profound changes, and by being proactive, HVAC businesses and installers can reap what they sow.
Ruud is dedicated to providing the best protection and control experience for its users. At times, partners make business changes and system updates, which can affect the users. Though these changes are out of the company’s control, they continue to work on solutions to assist their customers. Google made an announcement regarding Nest. They stated that they were discontinuing support of the Works with Nest program and encouraged users to migrate their Nest accounts to Google accounts. Unfortunately, this migration of accounts will cancel the user’s product's connection between Nest and Ruud. Ruud HVAC customers using the EcoNet Smart Thermostat will not experience any loss of normal HVAC controls by migrating their Nest account to a Google account. If the user is using Nest to control Ruud water heaters, this capability will be lost if they migrate to a Google Account. gas water heater If the user is using Nest Protect to automatically disable their gas water heater in the case of fire or fumes, this capability will be lost if they migrate to a Google Account. Thanks to users' requests, Google has decided to allow current Nest Integrations to continue, but only if they follow specific steps. Below are the steps they can take to ensure that Nest continues to work with the user’s Ruud connected products: DO NOT migrate the Nest account to a Google account. Completing a Nest account migration will cause Ruud and other Works with Nest integrations to be permanently disconnected. This process is not reversible. DO NOT disconnect Nest products from the Ruud product. If the user disconnects Nest, they will not be able to reconnect it. This will also affect users that choose not to migrate their Nest accounts to a Google account.
On May 31, 2019, Rheem acquired Intergas of Coevorden, the Netherland, through its group entity, Paloma Rheem Global, Inc. Intergas is a manufacturer of high-efficiency, residential gas boilers and water heaters. Renowned for its state-of-the-art boiler technology, Intergas is known in the Dutch market for gas-fired condensing boilers, and has fast-growing subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, as well as Canada and the United States via its IBC brand. Rheem is a manufacturer in North America that produces heating, cooling, water heating, pool/spa heating, commercial boilers and commercial refrigeration products. Rheems products are available in more than 50 countries. Headquartered in Atlanta, the company’s portfolio of premium water brands include Rheem, Raypak, Ruud, Eemax, EcoSmart, Richmond, Splendid, Solahart and EverHot. Boiler and heater offerings With the acquisition of Intergas, Rheem will obtain a first-class platform in the European heating and hot water market, which is the second largest in the world. “We are very pleased to welcome Intergas as an important part of our Global Water Division,” said Chris Peel, President and CEO of Paloma Rheem Global, Inc. “The addition of Intergas into the Rheem family of brands increases the breadth of our boiler and water heating offerings, while also providing Rheem with competitive solutions to meet consumer demands in Europe.” Accelerating product innovations Rheem understands our core business and its leadership is committed to long‐term growth plans for Intergas" “Both Rheem and Intergas also proudly foster cultures of inclusion, and our organizations have a shared commitment to innovating all-new products that create a meaningful and positive environmental impact.” Janno de Haas, CEO of Intergas, added, “We are very excited to join the Rheem family of brands. Rheem understands our core business and its leadership is committed to long‐term growth plans for Intergas. We look forward to accelerating product innovations together with Rheem, and expanding into new markets and regions in the future.” Comprehensive water heating and boiler portfolio Intergas will join Rheem’s Global Water Division, and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Paloma Rheem Global, Inc. Its headquarters will remain in Coevorden. “The strong synergies in product offerings and complementary cultures make the joining of Rheem and Intergas a truly exciting, and monumental, collaboration,” said Rich Bendure, President of Rheem’s Global Water Division. “Combined, we now offer an extremely compelling and comprehensive water heating and boiler portfolio for both residential and commercial applications.”
At the 2019 AHR Expo, Rheem® is announcing a new sustainability initiative and showcasing a wide range of high-efficiency innovations that play a key role in supporting the environmentally responsible effort. At the start of the show, held in Rheem’s hometown of Atlanta, GA, Chris Peel, president and chief executive officer of Rheem Manufacturing is announcing the company’s commitment to achieve zero manufacturing waste. Following the announcement, expert product managers and engineers across Rheem’s family of brands will introduce attending industry professionals to the advanced technology behind key products within the company’s air and water offerings, spanning both residential and commercial applications. HERS scores and ENERGY STAR® certifications According to a survey Rheem recently conducted, 70 percent of HVAC contractors report that their customers frequently and proactively request sustainable and energy-efficient HVAC systems. In addition, contractors rank energy efficiency and related endorsements, such as HERS scores and ENERGY STAR® certifications, as the most important factors when selecting a system. “These insights from industry professionals reinforce the importance of committing to environmentally responsible processes, people and products to deliver sought-after solutions for our valued industry partners,” said Peel. “We’re looking forward to an ongoing dialog around how the industry can reduce its environmental impact and sharing our latest advancements in high-efficiency equipment.” Among the products on display for Rheem’s Water division are the Professional Prestige® Combination Boiler, Hybrid Electric Commercial Water Heater and Commercial Marathon® Eclipse™ Light Duty Water Heater. On the Air side of the business, the focus is on the EcoNet® Smart Thermostat, the Prestige® Series Modulating Gas Furnace and Mini-Split Heating and Air Conditioning Systems as well as commercial solutions such as the Renaissance™ HVAC Line and the H2AC® Rooftop Unit. Water Solutions Professional Prestige Combination BoilerThe Professional Prestige Combination Boiler from Rheem is the latest innovation to the company’s expanding high-efficiency product portfolio. With its compact design, Rheem’s Combi Boiler is suited for smaller homes or multifamily applications to free up valuable space without sacrificing optimal performance. The ENERGY STAR certified Combi Boiler from Rheem is a modern and efficient solution for today’s homeowners’ hydronic heating and hot water needs.At 95 percent AFUE, the Combi Boiler is over 15 percent more efficient than standard boilers on the market. The higher efficiency is a result of the Combi Boiler’s ability to extract more heat from the unit’s exhaust gases, which makes the system eligible for local rebates up to $1,600. Additionally, the innovative design allows for the use of PVC venting options, which increases flexibility for easy installations and reduced labor costs. Hybrid Electric Commercial Water Heater Hybrid Commercial Water Heater can connect to Rheem’s exclusive EcoNet® WiFi-connected platform The ENERGY STAR rated Hybrid Commercial Water Heater drastically reduces water and energy usage, while delivering hot water faster than most standard electric water heaters. Dry-fire protected and low-lead compliant, this Hybrid from Rheem is easy to install and can readily replace a standard unit. Additionally, the Hybrid Commercial Water Heater can connect to Rheem’s exclusive EcoNet® WiFi-connected platform for ultimate convenience. Once connected, the water heater gives end-users complete control through customizable temperature settings, vacation mode and the ability to monitor the system from anywhere in the world. Available in 50, 65 and 80-gallon capacities, the Hybrid Commercial Water Heater offers a high-efficiency solution for an array of commercial applications. Commercial Marathon Eclipse Light Duty Water Heater The Commercial Marathon Light Duty Water Heater combines high-efficiency operation with the durable design. Ideal for harsh environments, the non-metallic electric water heaters are equipped with a seamless, blow-molded, polybutylene tank that is impervious to rust and corrosion, for long-lasting dependability. Its polyurethane insulation helps reduce standby heat loss and minimize energy consumption. For added protection and peace-of-mind, Rheem offers a 10-year limited warranty. The Commercial Marathon Light Duty Water Heater is available in 75, 85 and 105-gallon models. Air Solutions EcoNet Smart ThermostatThe EcoNet Smart Thermostat, offering hands-free voice control through Alexa-enabled devices, is the latest innovation in Rheem’s EcoNet product line. Unique to the category, it is the only thermostat proven to control a home’s air conditioning, heating, and water heating appliances while managing 65 percent of the energy used in a typical home.Paired with Rheem’s patent-pending zoning technology, the thermostat maximizes energy efficiency, cost-savings and sustainability. The EcoNet Smart Thermostat was recently awarded a 2018 Good Design Award and a 2019 IoT Breakthrough Award. Mini-Split Heating and Air Conditioning SystemsThe line of high-quality Mini-Split Systems, offered by both Rheem and Ruud®, provide homeowners with a flexible and efficient heating and cooling alternative. Whether for a single room or multiple zones, the revolutionary ductless solutions are perfect for controlling hard to heat or cool areas.Using heat-pump technology, the Mini-Split heating and air conditioning systems offer precise home comfort for any room, any season, to save the homeowner money. Gas Furnaces The EcoNet® Enabled Prestige Series Modulating R98V Gas Furnace is ENERGY-STAR qualified for the high efficiencies and controlled comfort. Designed for dependability, the Prestige Series features Rheem’s exclusive PlusOne® Ignition System that is nine times more reliable than most hot surface igniters. The easy-to-install Prestige Series provides improved airflow via a patented heat exchanger The easy-to-install Prestige Series provides improved airflow via a patented heat exchanger, which reduces operating sound by 20 percent as well as delivers variable-speed technology and automatic adjustment for an ideal amount of airflow in all seasons for consistently controlled indoor comfort. The Prestige Series is available through Rheem, Ruud and Sure Comfort®. In addition, the R801T Ultra Low NOx furnace family leads through emission reductions of up to 65%. Rheem further offers a variety of options designed to meet a wide range of market needs and standards. From easy-service features to advanced technologies across an array of capacities, Rheem provides durable, long-lasting performance for all residential applications. Renaissance Commercial Line Rheem’s Renaissance Commercial Line, which includes 7.5 - 12.5 Ton Gas Electric and AC package units and 7.5 - 10 Ton Heat Pump package units, provides commercial specifiers with customizable solutions to suit their exact needs and is 30 percent more energy-efficient than competitors, translating to thousands of dollars saved over the system’s lifetime. Equipped with robust performance features, the Renaissance line includes Rheem’s PlusOne HumidiDry™ technology with a built-in VFD operating at a lower speed on first-stage cooling when in reheat mode and when in occupied fan mode. Additionally, a solid single-piece top and durable panels simplify unit installation, while a factory-installed ClearControl™ Direct Digital Control (DDC) and sensors can connect to LonWorks®, BACnet® and Modbus® BAS/EMS systems for remote monitoring and precise control. Available via a tri-tiered product platform, the Renaissance Commercial Line consists of Rheem Commercial Prestige Series, Rheem Commercial Classic Plus® Series; and Rheem Commercial Classic® Series. H2AC Rooftop Unit The Rheem H2AC Rooftop Unit featuring eSync™ integration technology is part of the integrated air and water system designed specifically for full-service restaurants and other commercial applications with high hot water demand. The award-winning system brings new levels of savings and efficiency to businesses. The eSync Integration Technology enables the system to automatically switch modes whenever there is an opportunity to pre-heat water by using heat removed from the building through the air conditioning process. The H2AC Rooftop Unit from Rheem can save up to 50 percent on annual water heating costs and up to 20 percent on annual energy saving costs. For more information about Rheem’s Air and Water innovations, one can stop by booth B3217 at the 2019 AHR Expo.