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Rebranding Continued from page 44


As Rheem pioneers new products that combine both air and water technologies, we can be a resource for plumbers and HVAC contractors who need greater education on whichever product line is not their current specialty. For instance, in 2009, Rheem launched a hybrid electric water heater that uses heat pump technology — originally used in HVAC systems — to heat water. Heat pump technology enables water heaters to be near-


ly twice as efficient as standard electric water heaters. When we launched the product, we helped plumbers learn more about how heat pump technology functions in a water heating application. In mid-2011, Rheem will launch the second generation version of our hybrid water heater, which will feature a color touch-screen LCD dis- play. We expect to continue educating plumbers on the use of heat pump technology when we unveil the enhanced hybrid model. PE: What has been the reaction from your reps and wholesaling channels? Peel: Reactions to the new Rheem brand identity from


our distributors and wholesale channels has been over- whelmingly positive, particularly from those who saw the new look and feel of our products first-hand at the AHR


Our reps were as excited as we are about the new product designs, technologies and overall direction of Rheem. Their enthusiasm for the new product designs was especially evident...


Expo 2011 and the annual Air Conditioning Contractors of America conference. Our reps were as excited as we are about the new product designs, technologies and overall direction of Rheem. Their enthusiasm for the new product designs was especially evident, because no one else is able to provide so many advantages, services and good-looking water heating and HVAC products designed and built by one manufacturer. PE: It had been mentioned [at AHR] that most of


Rheem Water Heating’s product offerings were three years old or less in terms of being on the market. Were you cognizant of this and is this (having new, innovative products that are continuously evolving) something to strive for moving forward? Peel:We will continue to invest at an accelerated rate in technology, efficiency and product development to keep our product offerings relevant and aligned with contractor and consumer demands. PE: What are some of the new products? Jones & Peel: The Rheem Prestige Series condensing


tankless water heater is the most efficient Rheem tankless water heater to date. Boasting an industry-best minimum flow rate of .26 gpm and a minimum activation flow rate of .40 gpm, homeowners using low-flow fixtures receive hot water without having to increase the flow. That’s an important benefit in today’s eco-conscious world that translates to savings on water usage and energy costs.


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Units can vent with PVC piping, making installation faster, easier and cost-effective for contractors. The Rheem Integrated Heating & Water Heating


System powered by tankless technology offers home heat- ing and hot water from a single source. Because this ener- gy-efficient system is designed, built and warranted by a single manufacturer, Rheem, contractors receive the ben- efit of seamless product integration, leading to a smoother installation process. When contractors work with Rheem to offer the integrated system, they also benefit from strong customer service and product training. For contrac- tors that specialize in either HVAC or water heating, this system is a great way to expand knowledge and experi- ence, helping to bridge the gap into new product offerings and increased business. In mid-2011, Rheem will unveil the second-generation


version of its hybrid electric water heater. This product will feature the hybrid industry’s first color touch-screen LCD display. It also includes three user-friendly modes of operation: energy saver, high demand (normal) and elec- tric heat only. The energy saver mode works by extracting warmth through the surrounding air, concentrating the heat and delivering it through the water. The high demand mode uses a combination of heat pump/electric elements to meet the needs of peak hot water demand. The electric only mode is available to ensure hot-water availability without using the heat pump. With the next-generation release, Rheem will lead the industry with five hybrid electric water heater models, providing the widest range of application flexibility in the industry. PE: The industry is moving quickly toward energy


efficient systems. Can you describe how Rheem is lead- ing the way in this area? Jones: Because Rheem has deep manufacturing exper-


tise in both the air and water categories, we’re able to leverage efficiencies from both business units into our new product development to ultimately create more ener- gy efficient systems. For instance, at the AHR Expo 2011, we unveiled a concept hybrid air & water package unit, which is the only product in the commercial industry leveraging heat recovery water heating technology. The unit works by switching over from a refrigerant to air sys- tem to a refrigerant to water system when there is a demand for air conditioning and hot water. This is an ener- gy efficient option, because the heat of the refrigerant is transferred to the water instead of to the outside environ- ment as in a normal air conditioning cycle. The benefits of this include improved efficiency in both water heating and air conditioning. This is a perfect example of why we are unique in our ability to find intelligent technology combi- nations that bring creative solutions to addressing the need to reduce home energy consumption. PE: Can you explain how Rheem melds quality with innovation? Jones: Rheem has an 85-year history focused on deliv-


ering quality, durable and reliable products to the market. However, today’s consumers demand more than quality products; HVAC and water heating systems have to be innovative and efficient too. Given that water heating and HVAC systems account for more than 60 percent of a


April 2011


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