Meet Rheem’s Team of Engineers Innovating for Tomorrow
May 30, 2023
Every day, Rheem’s dedicated team of engineers rolls up their sleeves to design innovative HVAC technology and equipment that not only delivers maximum comfort but also pushes the industry forward.
In a field that’s always changing, our dedicated group of next-generation thinkers, disruptors and innovators are behind the helm creating solutions to meet the demands of tomorrow.
Take the new Endeavor™ Line, for example. When the Department of Energy signaled a new energy efficiency change that would go into effect January 2023, Rheem’s engineering team set out straight away to design an innovative lineup of HVAC products—furnaces, air conditioners, coils, heat pumps, air handlers and residential packaged products—that was not only regulation-ready where applicable, but also the most reliable, sustainable and innovative product line Rheem has ever designed.
“We could have hit the easy button, gone to some of our mid-efficiency products and re-rated them down to the new efficiency standard. But we didn’t want to do that,” says Jeff Goss, Director of Residential Product Management at Rheem. “We saw this as an opportunity to invest in new product design, new technology and new manufacturing capabilities to optimize these new systems for the new standard so that we have the smallest units possible, the best system combinations that are going to make them easier to install and new diagnostics and commissioning features that are going to make life easier on the contractor.”
Here some the integral members of the Endeavor™ engineering team share their approach and experience to building the full Endeavor™ Line and some of its standout features.
Innovative Design From the Ground Up
When Rheem set out to design the full Endeavor™ product portfolio in 2018, the engineering team started with its customers. What were the features HVAC contractors wished they had—features that would make their jobs and lives easier? And what were the features homeowners needed for efficient, comfortable homes?
These central questions guided all of the design behind the entire Endeavor™ Line. The result was a next-level line of energy-efficiency heating and cooling equipment with increased functionality, quieter operation, variable speed technology and smart home capabilities, all build from the ground up.
“One thing we are doing differently in our product is we took it as a challenge to bring technology down, and what that means is we’re able to make our product smaller,” says Derek Brausell, Director of Residential and Advanced Engineering. “Not only make our product smaller, but also make it more cost-effective and bring better features to the customer. That’s what homeowners and contractors are going to see the most: We’re going to have the smallest system in the industry, one of the most cost-competitive units, and you’re going to have features that you don’t see with any of our competitors.”
Endeavor™ takes connectivity a step further.
“We used to save EcoNet® for the premium products because the premium products were the only products that had the communication capabilities,” says Shawn Reed, Senior Manager of Residential Heating Engineering. But in designing Endeavor™, the team flipped the script.
“We thought, ‘well let’s just increase the communication capability,’” Reed says. “Now, we have EcoNet® capability all the way down to our base tier systems. As the contractor, you’re now connected to your customers and you can keep track of the maintenance capabilities, the faults, the issues—and you can be as much of a partner in a home’s operations as the homeowner.”
Faster Installation and Improved Serviceability
“The new Contractor App allows contractors to connect to the equipment and troubleshoot it without opening it up,” says Raheel Chaudhry, Senior Product Manager of Controls. “It makes their life a lot easier, installation more robust and saves a lot of time and money.”
Serviceability is a benefit for homeowners, too. “They want quiet operation and something that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep,” says Hayden Williams, Residential Project Manager II, Air Handler Technology. “This is a huge opportunity for us. Whatever is in their home is going to be quiet, it’s going to work, and it’s going to be easy to work on. We’ve made great strides in how we can improve and shorten that serviceability time.”
Reliability You Can Trust
Melissa Fritz, Program Manager of System Controls and Hardware, feels a lot of pride in how Endeavor™ improves the reliability of equipment.
“We were told over and over by lots of field technicians that most of the time, they don’t optimize an install. They leave everything at factory settings because they’ve got to go. But when they don’t optimize, it doesn’t drive reliability,” she says. “We wanted to really make it easier for that technician to optimize—not just do the install but go the extra mile to optimize the equipment set to run properly and drive comfort for the customer.”
And like all Rheem products, the new Endeavor™ Line was put through rigorous testing across weather conditions. “We can make it snow, or we can make it 125 degrees with 90% humidity,” says Jason Lansdell, Manager of Rheem’s R&D Lab. “We also see if we can recreate field issues or issues an engineer wants to see if they can beat. And we can beat them.”
Learn more about Endeavor™ and stay up to date with the latest industry news at Rheem.com/HVACKnowZone.