Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer
Image Credit
Tankless water heaters, ERVs, and bathroom ventilation are among the products readers want to find out more about in the HVAC category. (Photo: courtesy Noritz)
This article first appeared in the August 2018 issue of Pro Builder.

To see products in the other 2018 Top 100 categories, click here.

Bathroom Ventilation / Delta Breeze

Delta was among the first ventilation fan manufacturers to use brushless DC motors designed for low sound, operating even quieter than 0.3 sones. The motors use as much as 74 percent less power than AC-motor models and are engineered to run continuously for a minimum of 70,000 hours. Recent models include dimmable LED lights. Delta Breez fans are Energy Star qualified, Home Ventilating Institute certified, California Title 24 compliant, and most models also are ASHRAE 62.2 compliant.


Narrow Furnace / Goodman Manufacturing

Goodman offers 14-inch-wide gas furnaces ideal for tight-space installations. The GMEC96 is a 100,000 Btu-rated two-stage gas furnace with a multi-speed ECM motor that automatically adjusts airflow to match comfort needs while reducing energy and noise. The GMSS96 is a single-stage gas furnace rated at 40,000 Btu that features a quiet multi-speed circulator motor. Both units employ a tubular heat exchanger made of aluminized steel for efficient heat transfer and have self-diagnostic control boards for easy maintenance. Goodman furnaces carry a 10-year limited parts warranty.


Heating and Cooling / Goodman Manufacturing

Since 1982, Goodman has been making air conditioners, heat pumps, gas furnaces, ductless systems, and temperature controls. All its indoor comfort products are designed, engineered, and assembled at ISO 9001 and ISO 14001-certified facilities in Houston. Among the unique Goodman product features that provide durability and reliability is the industry’s only dual-diameter, tubular gas furnace heat exchanger, the SmartCoil—an advanced 5 mm copper tube and aluminum fin condensing coil in the brand’s air conditioners and heat pumps, all aluminum evaporator coils, and the ComfortNet Communicating Control system.


Tankless Water Heaters / Noritz

The EZ Series of high-efficiency tankless water heaters from Noritz America have top-mounted water and gas connections, making the replacement of large tank water heaters less time-consuming and expensive. The series is available in three bundles: EZ TR40, designed to replace 40-gallon tank water heaters; EZTR50, for swapping 50-gallon tanks; and the EZTR75, for replacing 75-gallon water heaters. All EZ models offer versatile venting and can be installed with 2-inch flex vent, direct vent, single vent, or outdoors.


Bathroom Ventilation / Panasonic

Panasonic’s DC-motor fan for tub/shower enclosures is three fans in one, as fan speed can be customized by the CFM-selector motor switch on the fan’s motor plate. WhisperGreen Select also offers four Plug ‘N Play Modules that enable more customization, such as Multi-Speed Operation, Motion Sensor, Condensation Sensor, and Automatic LED Night Light. The fan also can be used to comply with LEED for Homes, CALGreen, and Energy Star for Homes 3.0.


Soffit Vent / Panasonic

Panasonic’s venting product allows all ducting to be completed before installing the soffit. EZ Soffit Vent is a Home Ventilating Institute-certified soffit termination system that offers simple, one-stop installation, optimizes overall fan performance, and reduces callbacks related to poor airflow. Its unique design eliminates water intrusion costs that can occur with roof and wall terminations. The vent body has a snap-fit mounting bracket and can be rotated 180 degrees to align with ducting.

2018 Top 100 Products_Panasonic_Soffit vent

Energy Recovery Ventilator / Panasonic

The Intelli-Balance 100 high-efficiency energy recovery ventil­ator (ERV) from Panasonic lets users customize airflow to balanced, positive, or negative pressure at speeds of 50 CFM and 100 CFM. The ERV features dual DC motors with Smart Flow technology and Pick-A-Flow capability. It can be con­nected to existing ductwork or used as a stand­alone whole-house ventilation solution, is Energy Star compliant, and includes a built-in ASHRAE 62.2 timing function to help ensure code compliance.


Tankless Water Heaters / Rinnai

Rinnai tankless hot water systems save space as well as up to 40 percent on energy costs compared with traditional water heater tanks, the company says. Model series include the High Efficiency (HE), High Efficiency Plus (HE+), Super High Efficiency (SE) lines, and the new Rinnai Sensei, shown here, designed for enhanced flexibility and serviceability as every component can be removed by professionals in less than 10 minutes. Rinnai claims to be the first tankless water heater manufacturer to integrate Amazon Alexa with its products. The Control-R 2.0 module is an interface with more than 20 voice commands that enables voice activation of the recirculation system when the user wants to take a shower. Rinnai’s warranty covers 12 years for the heat exchanger, five years on parts, and one year for labor.