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Innovation feels good: A look at the comfort technology found in the 2014 Southern Living Idea House.

It's 2014. Robot butlers and flying cars may not be in the horizon, but technology sure has come a long way toward keeping your home comfortable. Perhaps the best collection of this advanced comfort equipment is found in the Southern Living Idea House.

Every year, the Southern Living Idea House is constructed in a new location, and used to showcase brilliant new thinking in interior design, furnishings and, above all, technology for more comfortable living. For 2014, the Southern Living Idea House is found in Bluffton, South Carolina. And its offerings are impressive.

Keeping every room comfortable

The Southern Living Idea House shows off the best thinking in design, with unique artistic themes, different furnishings and varying degrees of natural light in each room. Because of these differing environments, achieving consistent comfort might have been a challenge.

But, since the designers chose a Lennox® central heating and air-conditioning system with variable speed and an iComfort Wi-Fi® touchscreen thermostat, the entire home stays incredibly comfortable.

The brilliant brain behind the system

At the center of the Southern Living Idea House's heating and cooling system, you'll find the iComfort Wi-Fi® touchscreen thermostat, the most advanced comfort control from Lennox. With a bright, high-definition color touchscreen and intuitive menus, the iComfort Wi-Fi lets users do amazing things.

  • Check and adjust indoor temperature from anywhere in the world using a smartphone, tablet or other web-enabled device.
  • Get a 5-day local weather forecast and instant weather alerts
  • Program heating and cooling to a family's schedule, so the system heats and cools less when no one is home to feel it
  • Put the system into an energy-saving One-Touch Away Mode when leaving the house for short periods of time
  • Automatically email the dealer if service or maintenance are required, or if a filter needs changing

Heating and cooling from one efficient unit

Because the 2014 Southern Living Idea House is built in a southern climate, designers opted to use a heat pump with an air handler instead of an air conditioner and a furnace. With warmer days even in winter, a heat pump allows the comfort system to heat and cool the house using electricity alone, instead of using more costly fossil fuels in colder months.

The heat pump chosen, the Lennox XP21, is the most quiet and efficient heat pump you can buy(3). This translates to energy savings every day, while operating quietly enough not to disturb family members, even when mounted outside a bedroom window.

Moving air with efficiency

The Lennox XP21 heat pump in the Southern Living Idea House works in conjunction with a Lennox CBX40UHV* variable-speed air handler, the quietest and most efficient air handler you can buy(5). For warmer climates like Bluffton's, the CBX40UHV* is a perfect choice for its energy efficiency, built-in air filtration and variable-speed operation.

The CBX40UHV's* variable-speed fan motor is able to operate at multiple blower settings, ramping up and down smoothly and quietly as needed. This allows for quieter startups during cooling and heating. But it also allows air to be constantly circulated at a low, nearly silent speed, providing constant filtration while maintaining set temperatures with extreme precision.

*The CBX40UHV air handler has been replaced by the CBA38MV, the quietest and most efficient air handler you can buy.

Humidity, comfort and complete control

Southern climates tend to experience greater humidity during the summer than northern climates. For that reason, the Southern Living Idea House's heating and cooling system includes the powerful moisture control of a Lennox HCWHD Whole-Home Dehumidifier for comfortable living.

The HCWHD Whole Home Dehumidifier integrates seamlessly into the house's heating and cooling system, preserving comfort even during the hottest, stickiest summers. Since it's an integrated component, water drains on its own with no buckets to empty.

The HCWHD can even improve the quality of indoor air by inhibiting the growth of mold and dust mites, creating a healthier environment with every breath. Furthermore, proper moisture levels in the air can also help protect furnishings and wood from moisture-related damage.

Explore more.

To see these Lennox products at work, visit the Southern Living Idea House for yourself. Or take a virtual tour online at SouthernLiving.com.

Lennox would like to thank Zoe Gowen, Senior Homes Editor at Southern Living at Time Inc. for her input when writing this article.

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