Nortek Global HVAC, a leading manufacturer of HVAC equipment, is celebrating its 100th anniversary by recognizing the accomplishments from the past and focusing on the innovations of tomorrow. The landmark anniversary kicked off at the 2019 AHR Expo on Jan. 14 in Atlanta, and it will continue with subsequent celebrations and events throughout the year.
Founded as the International Oil Heating Co. in 1919, the company rose to success manufacturing coal-to-oil conversion furnace burners. The innovative oil burners helped reduce coal-burning air pollution challenges faced in its St. Louis hometown, considered the dirtiest city in the Mississippi Valley at the time. Later, the company innovated even cleaner gas-fired burner conversions.
In 1933, the company designed, built and installed the first heater for mobile homes (termed manufactured homes today). That important milestone helped it become the leader in manufactured housing HVAC, a category it still leads today. International Oil Heating Co. innovated dozens of “firsts” throughout the subsequent decades, such as the first fully automatic mobile home furnace, first sealed combustion oil furnace for mobile homes, and the first electric hot water self-contained baseboard heaters.
The company was renamed Nordyne in 1987. Around this time, the company was able to take its experience developing manufactured housing HVAC equipment and apply it to the residential market. Newly developed manufacturing processes, such as Demand Flow Technology (DFT) in 1994, led to faster production turnaround times and quality assurance awards. For example, DFT helped generate accolades from manufacturers, such as Sidney, Ohio-based Copeland, which recognized the company in multiple years as having the best compressor reliability in the industry.
As Nordyne, the company continued to introduce innovative technology solutions to the heating and cooling market. This included SmartLite technology in 2002, which extended igniter life through self-adjusting startup times. Nordyne also introduced the first ducted application of inverter technology, the iQ Drive line, in 2006. In 2014, the company introduced the first-ever residential condensing gas/electric packaged system as well – the R8HE.
In 2015, Nordyne was renamed Nortek Global HVAC – the name it maintains in its 100th year. Continuing the innovation of previous decades, Nortek Global HVAC recently introduced the first all-aluminum coil technology for use in residential HVAC applications. In October 2018, the company patented a methodology that will revolutionize the air conditioning industry. The U.S. patent eliminates hot gas reheat circuit instability and the risk of potential freezing experienced by most current brands of air conditioning reheat technology, especially on dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) when operating during cold and high-humidity ambient conditions.
Nortek Global HVAC’s success is due in part to its partnership with independent contractors and distributors. This partnership has led to many product improvements such the new split-system jacket design launched in 2017. The new jacket was directly influenced by contractor feedback, resulting in a design that increases system serviceability.