We are about to add hydronic air handlers to our options due to low BTU needs in California.  First Company is the only one that I have any real info on.  What companies do you like for Hydronic Air Handlers?  My particular application at this time is Horiz heat only, and I would like an ECM blower. This would probably be a common configuration for us. It looks like the First Company only has ECM on their upflow/vertical model.  Any help or comments would be appreciated.


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IEC makes units right here in OKC. Not sure what they offer with ECM motors.

Rheem makes a good one.  Magic chef has made one for years.   I have taken a  R-22 coil and put larger header on it - spent all day on it.  Some of of the tankless hot water heater co make or rebrand them.   Must look at the total presser on air side and water side

Ben Schoenbauer, Pat Huelman and others in Minnesota have tested the retrofitted performance of a number of these systems, including a variety of models.  This report would be worth checking out.  Good luck! 


I have done HERS Testing and Energy Analysis for homes using First Company Hydronic air handlers.  They have attractive specifications and are used around the bay area a lot.  My only concern about using First Co units is that if you are including air conditioning as part of the package you will have the problem that their air handler/evap coil products are not listed on the CEC appliance data base nor are they listed on the AHRI data base.  Therefor in California you are not able to use them when you have to certify the SEER or EER rating for any kind of HERS Testing and Verification.  First Co claims that their self certification meets all DOE federal appliance regulations but the CEC told me that it doesn't comply with California regulations.

I also worked with a contractor who used the Rinnai hydronic furnaces with a Rinnai tankless water heater and is very happy with the performance and the price of the equipment.  Their equipment is listed in the AHRI data base so it would be acceptable under California regulations.

Rick Cowperthwaite

Rick's Energy Solutions

CEA, HERS Rater, GreenPoint Rater, BPI Analyst

Thanks for all your input.  Rich Johson

Lifebreath makes a nice unit with an ECM blower. They have models with and without an integrated HRV. They're a bit on the pricier side. Also, have long been a fan of the first co units.

Go for rheem and lennox, mines rheem unit Includes both outdoor condenser and indoor air handler unit but its recently serviced from http://www.bergenrefrigeration.com/


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