Mike and John discuss the updates and new products in American Standard’s line of air-conditioning, heating, and thermostat products.
John Maher: Hey, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Mike Cappuccio, owner of N.E.T.R. Inc., a heating and cooling company in Massachusetts today. We’re talking about American Standard product updates for 2021. Welcome, Mike.
Mike Cappuccio: Good morning, John. How are you?
John: Good, thanks. Mike, the American Standard product updates for 2021 include some new units and control units and things like that for their traditional gas furnace and central air conditioning systems. So the first one that we want to talk about is the AccuClean Whole-Home Air Cleaner. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Mike: Yeah, John, this has been around for a while, but they’ve made some enhancements to it. It’s an electronic air cleaner that you would install into your heating and air conditioning system in your home.
With everything that’s going on today, I mean, I feel this is a no-brainer to put into your home today. It basically goes into the system and it’s an electronic air cleaner that kills all of the germs and fungi and bacteria and allergens in your home.
Why is Clean Air Important in Today’s Homes and Offices?
John: Okay. And tell us a little bit about why clean air is so important?
Mike: Well, I mean, this is what you’re breathing in your home every day and these AccuClean air cleaners clean the air seven times per hour in your home. So all of the air that’s going into your home is being pretty much pulled through your HVAC system. And as it runs through this filter, there’s basically an electronic static that is burning and killing all of this bacteria that’s in your home.
One of the other good things about it too is when you think about this, most standard heating and air conditioning systems just have either a fiberglass filter or a pleaded filter.
Some of those pleated filters, they look like a white, almost like a blanket I would probably say. They claim to be the best filter you could put into there. But in the course of a year, you can spend up to a couple hundred dollars changing filters in your heating and air conditioning systems.
The AccuClean has a permanent filter that doesn’t need replacing for five years a longer, depending on the cycles of how you’re running it. And this filter just really just needs to be vacuumed every six months.
John: Yeah, so it doesn’t take a whole lot of maintenance work. Talk a little bit about why you would recommend this, and do you think that everybody should have one of these installed if they have an American Standard furnace and air conditioner?
Benefits of Installing an AccuClean Whole-Home Air Cleaner for Aircons and Furnaces
Mike: I think anyone who has any type of furnace and heating and cooling system in their home should have an electronic air cleaner. I really do.
With everything that’s going on in the world today, the best thing that you can have in your home right now is having an electronic air cleaner. Because basically, like I said, it’s going to pull the air.
If you leave the fan on all the time, a hundred percent of the time in your home, you’re constantly filtering the air that’s in your home. It’s pretty much, your windows are closed, your doors are closed. Think of it now in winter time, all the air that’s in your home, it’s just going to be super clean because you’re constantly just running that air over this electronic air cleaner and burning all of those allergens and fungi, germs, and everything on your home that are in the air. I mean, even in flu season and things like that, these filters are just, they kill the bacteria.
The other filters catch it. They just catch it into the filter and it’s still running. This actually burns it and destroys it is what it does.
John: Okay. I’ve heard that air filtration systems can sometimes be noisy. Would this unit be noisy?
Mike: No, no. The AccuClean doesn’t produce any zapping noises that other electronic air cleaners do. This is not doing that, it’s virtually inaudible. You do not hear any noise from this thing when it’s running, none at all.
John: And what do you recommend for a maintenance on a unit like this?
Mike: This, every six months, you should definitely take this out. Seasonal inspections by the contractor should be done and to come out and vacuum and clean this. And you also want to check other things as you’re there, not just the air cleaner. You want to make sure that it is working. You want to make sure the power’s on, that that is working and check any other options or anything like that that you do have on your HVAC system as well.
John: Okay. So the next unit that we want to talk about from American Standard for 2021 is the AccuComfort Variable Speed units. Can you tell us a little bit about these variable speed units and what that means?
Mike: John, this is very similar to a lot of the ductless technology now that’s been out in the United States for years.
And what they’ve done now is they’ve taken the overseas technology, and they’ve incorporated this now into American Standard. Where we now have a variable speed compressor in the outdoor unit that speeds up and slows down on demand based on what the home needs. So basically these units can run from one ton to three tons, or three tons to five tons. Depending on what the home needs, they beat up and slow down for the ability. And also the fans inside on the furnace or the air handler are speeding up and slowing down. And they have this available in heat pumps, and they actually have heat pumps now and air conditioners that look just like the slimline units that are designed almost like a suitcase that are outside. They have them looking now like the Japanese products as well. So you can get this in an either or, and these are very, very high SEER units. These units start at around 18 SEER and they go up to 22 SEER. So the efficiency on these is tremendously high.
Benefits of Having an AC or Heating Unit with Variable Speed
John: And so what does that mean in terms of the homeowner? Are they going to save money by having a variable speed unit or what’s the point of it?
Mike: Oh yeah. Yeah, you’re going to save money, John, because basically what’s going to happen is, if the house doesn’t need full cooling, it’s going to ramp down to where it needs to be. It’s going to slow down to the speed of where it’s just producing enough air conditioning to keep that home cool. Or vice versa with the heating side too, it’s going to do just that.
You can also get these variable speed units, like I was telling you, in a heat pump with a dual-fuel system. So when we integrate a certain control that I’ll get into later on, you can have the heat pump running at temperatures over 25 degrees. You can have the heat pump heating your home, leaving your gas furnace off, and when it gets below 25 degrees, the furnace can come on. And basically what’s going to happen is the variable speed unit is going to speed up and slow down to give you the amount of heating and or cooling in your home.
You can pick up energy savings from the high SEER rating and the variable speed, because the slower you’re running the unit, the less average it’s drawing, the less electricity it’s using. And vice versa on the heating side, you can be heating your home for less than what it costs for gas at that point, you can use the heat pump. So it’s called a dual-fuel system with variable speed.
Mike: It’s becoming very common now. Very efficient, super efficient to use.
John: Right. So with that variable speed, basically rather than just being either on or off, or it’s on a 100% or it’s off, and it keeps switching between those, it’s able to just give you … It might work at 20% or 30% or something like that of its power, so that it’s just giving you that little bit of heat or that little bit of cooling that you need in order to maintain your temperature, right?
Mike: Yes. And that indoor unit, the fan speed is slowing down too so it gives you tremendous confidence as well.
AccuLink 1050 Comfort Control: Controlling Your Home’s Temp, Humidity and Smart Appliances
John: All right. The next thing we want to talk about is the AccuLink 1050 Comfort Control. Tell us a little bit about that.
Mike: Well, that would be the control John, that you would use with the variable speed system. Now you don’t have to have a variable speed system to use this, but the 1050 Control, it uses the Nexia system.
So with Nexia, you’re able to get this onto your phone and control your heating and cooling from your phone. You can control zones from your home. If you have two of these thermostats in your home, one up, one down, you can control everything from your phone with it.
But the 1050 allows you to do a lot of things, it allows you to integrate a humidifier into your home, you can actually set the humidity settings through the 1050. You can put that on there. It is a wi-fi thermostat, which is what everyone wants right now, and-
John: Yeah, so you can control it from your smartphone, that kind of thing.
Mike: Exactly. It’s a seven-inch touchscreen. Some of the other manufacturers have a 4.3 inch touch screen. This also has a five-day weather forecast, alerts and radar come up on there.
Mike: It does, like I said, it has the built-in humidity sensor built into it. You can put your maintenance and service reminders into this, and you can also use it with the dual-fuel system as well. So you can put that on there.
The other thing that’s good with the Nexia system is you can control over 200 Z-Wave home automated devices. So, a lot of people now use Amazon, Alexa or Google Home, things like that. This does work with Alexa as well, I actually have one in my own home and I can see it through Alexa. Or I can see it through Nexia as well, so I can see all of those things. Either way I can tell Alexa what to do with it, or I can just move it on my phone as well.
But this is a very nice control. It’s got a lot of different backlights on it. You can change colors on it. You could actually put a picture in it, if you wanted to have the homescreen be some kind of a small picture on a wall. You could do that.
It has a lot of features and functions on it that a lot of other thermostats don’t. You can see the humidity control. So if you want it to see humidity and the outdoor weather today, and you wanted to see the temperature in your home, you can see all three of those. Depending on how you want to set up the screen of what you want to see in your home.
And it also tells you … There’s a lot of history you can pull out of this too. I can look at the one in my own home and I can see how long my air conditioning system or my heating system ran today. I can see how much energy it consumed in the course of a month. So it does give me a lot of history like that too. It also, like I said, it pulls up my maintenance reminders when I look at it or we have this in customers’ homes. You can program this so the homeowner sees the service company, who to call when things happen, you can put your own logos and everything into there. And it brings up the maintenance reminders every six months. You can set it on hours, you can set it on times.
It’s a very, very smart control. I just, I’m going to tell you, out of all the controls on the market, I love the Platinum 1050 Control. If it’s one control I would put in someone’s house, I’d put this in on anyone’s home. And you don’t need to have a variable speed system to do this. You can put this … There are interfaces that you can use this on any regular controls on any type of system.
Mike: So very, very nice control. They do make it in a smaller one. They do have the 850, the Platinum 850. It’s just a little bit of a smaller screen, I find that harder to read. But you can use the 850 in conjunction with the 1050 if you had a zoning system in your home. You could put the smaller thermostats in single rooms and have this be your master control as well.
Who Would Benefit from Having a Smart Humidity and Temperature Controller Like the 1050?
John: Okay. What do you think the main reason is that somebody would want to splurge and get a controller like this? It sounds like it can certainly do a lot of things. Is there one main thing that you feel is the killer app, if you will, that makes it so that really, you ought to get one of these.
Mike: I really think the security text messages, the email alerts and the programming. The programming on this, to set up the programming is just so simple, John, and the energy savings you’re going to obtain with this. I’m telling you, one year, this thermostat pays for itself.
John: Right, so-
Mike: (The thermostat) Pays for itself in one year. And it allows you to do a lot of other things. You can integrate it with everything else in your home, where a lot of thermostats, you can only use it with one thing. Like Nest or Ecobee, they sometimes, they don’t tie to everything. This is pretty much ties to everything, all the different apps.
John: Right. Certainly they’ve come a long way from the old thermostat dial on your wall and that’s all you had, was just that temperature. And you had to remember to turn it down at night before you went to bed. And even the digital thermostats, it’s hard to program as your old VCR was. That could be a challenge.
Mike: Yeah, no. This is just so simple, very, very simple to operate. I mean, when you get into it and you look at the programs, it’s super user-friendly. And I mean, you can actually see savings on your thermostat with this too. There’s actually a savings button on there. Once you get your home screen set up on it, it’s really nice.
And like I said, the energy savings is probably the number one thing. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat with something in your home today, you’re throwing money away right now.
Mike: You’re just throwing it out on the street.
John: All right. That’s really great information, Mike, and I appreciate you talking to me today about the American Standard product updates for 2021.
Mike: Thanks, John.John: And for more information, you can visit the N.E.T.R. Our website at www.netrinc.com, or call 781-933- N-E-T-R. That’s 781-933-6387.