HVAC Manufacturers Spotlight: hilmor, TradePro VIVE & Supco Supplies

We take our HVAC products and suppliers seriously. From the tools you use to complete a job to the innovative HVAC technology your customers crave, we’re spotlighting a few of our favorite manufacturers.


Known for tools with streamlined designs and instantly recognizable color, hilmor focuses on creating functional HVAC tools that save you time, frustration and headaches. Each tool is fully equipped to perform essential tasks and created with plumbers, electricians and HVAC pros in mind.

For over 90 years, hilmor has provided long lasting, elegantly designed tools for the HVAC industry, perfecting the pipe bender and ensuring that you have everything you need to get the job done. CE proudly stocks the small but mighty hilmor Compact Bender; this all in one allows you to work in small spaces and get precise bends in even tight locations.  Color coding, one hand operation and a quick release mechanism make it easy to get precise bends on tubing ranging from ¼” to 7/8”. The company’s long history of providing industry specific tools with the end user in mind ensures that you always have the right piece for the job at hand.

TradePro VIVE

Focusing on easy installation (even if an outdated thermostat is removed) and innovative and intuitive controls, TradePro makes it easy to offer your clients cutting edge design and maximum efficiency. TradePro’s VIVE line allows you to offer customers the ultimate in flexibility and comfort; the innovative 700 series is specifically designed for residential applications and combines sleek, streamlined styling with efficient temperature controls. CE stocks the 700 line of TradePro VIVE residential thermostats to give you the flexibility you need to find the perfect piece for each client you serve.


For over 50 years, Supco has provided innovative tools and equipment for HVAC businesses. This rich history of involvement in the climate control and refrigeration services industry allows Supco to provide pieces that are truly useful for the on-site service provider. Supco’s WiScope Wi-Fi inspection camera is a great example of the ways this provider seeks to support HVAC service reps and make it easier than ever to provider excellent service to clients.

Skip the yoga class and strained muscles; Supco HVAC supplies make it easy to see wherever you need to; Supco’s innovative and flexible long reach camera makes it easy to see into tight areas.

We’re committed to finding innovative HVAC supplies and technology designed to make your job easier and to support your business. Contact us to find the quality HVAC supplies you need to make your business a success.

VRF systems

VRF Technology on the Rise in the USA — Here’s What you Need to Know

The US has been slow to adopt Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air conditioning systems, but VRF is actually the preferred HVAC system in many Asian and European nations. As more businesses realize the benefits that VRF has to offer, it is slowly gaining ground in the United States. This efficient method of comforting a business or large/multi-unit home is particularly useful when zoning is needed or for varying loads, since the amount of refrigerant that cycles to the fan can be controlled. Read more

HVAC part finder tool

Introducing New HVAC Part Finder by CE

Need to find a specific Carrier, Bryant or Payne part for a repair in progress? Our new Part Finder makes it fast and easy to search the CE database and find exactly what you need. This new feature is designed to make it easier than ever to view and purchase specific HVAC parts. We know how important it is for you to be able to access data in your shop and on the go, and Part Finder is designed to support the needs of a busy HVAC business in finding the right HVAC parts for every job.

Website Tutorials – Using Part Finder from Carrier Enterprise on Vimeo.

What Part Finder Can do for You

Our newly released Part Finder is designed to make it easier than ever to look up the HVAC parts you need for the HVAC equipment you are servicing or installing. Part Finder is available on our website (check the upper left corner) and on our easy to use mobile application.

The HVAC Part Finder Tool from CE is designed to help you in several ways:

  • Allows for fast and easy searching wherever you are – no more writing down the parts you need and then heading back to your shop to look them up.
  • One click access: Find the details you need on the part you’re looking for and order seconds; no waiting until you get back to your office or making a customer wait for an estimate.
  • Instant access to information: You’ll find more than just the part name and number; HVAC Part Finder Tool returns a full description, specs, images for reference, installation instructions, wiring diagrams and more.
  • Know where the part is available in your local CE branch for quick pricing, ordering and pickup.

Make the Most of CE’s Part Finder

Take Part Finder for a test drive and see how easy it is to access not only pricing and availability, but the specs and technical details of the HVAC products you need most. Adding our app to your team’s mobile devices allows them to instantly access the information they need right from the job site and ensures that a customer is never left waiting for details.

Whether you use the website, our mobile app or both, our HVAC Part Finder is designed to make it easier for you to get the details you need and to order your CE parts wherever you are. While the new feature is ready to use now, we also expect to add part substitution suggestions in the next update, making it easier for you to provide top quality service to your clients.

Part Finder is just the latest feature designed with HVAC businesses in mind; we are dedicated to ensuring that you always have the information and parts you need, when you need them. Contact us to learn more about the latest industry news and trends and to give CE’s HVAC Part Finder a test drive. We’re here to help your HVAC business thrive in a growing and competitive marketplace.


HVAC Contractors – Angie’s List is Now Free

Review site Angie’s List recently removed their paywall for customers, allowing homeowners and others seeking maintenance or repair services to freely access the site’s reviews. The site announced the paywall removal in March 2016 and recently opened up the reviews to the general public; in the past, a member had to pay a $40 annual fee to access reviews. This change will impact far more than just consumers; it will have a significant effect on the way service providers market their businesses and manage their online reputations. Read more

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Certification Speaks Volumes


CERTIFICATION SPEAKS VOLUMES Whether you are an HVAC manager, engineer, technician, or contractor, the little letters that follow your name could make a huge difference in how you are viewed by your customers! When you study for and earn credentials in your particular line of work, you are demonstrating much more than you might think. Being certified in one or more areas sets you apart from those just passing through your field. It also speaks volumes about your:

• Dedication.

• Determination.

• Expertise.

• Interests.

• Passion.

• Professionalism.

• Skills.

• Technical knowledge.

• Training.

If you view HVAC as your career-of-choice, proudly display your designations after your name. They will tell the world a lot about who you are! Here are some HVAC Certification programs and licensing requirements by state: http://www.hvacclasses.org/certification


How to Design a Communications Plan?

Regardless of the industry—including HVAC—the components of good public relations and communication campaigns are similar. Just as is true in achieving your mission and bringing your vision to reality, you cannot expect to reach your communications goals unless you and your team have a clear picture or plan for doing so.

Designing your plan is like building with blocks, one layer at a time. So let’s take a look at the blocks you can use to build your communications plan and get it all down in writing:

 Goal

 Audience/Target Markets

 Objectives

 Strategies & Key Messages

 Communications Conduits

o Company Website

o E-mail

o Social Media

o Media (radio, TV, print)

 Implementation Tactics & Tools

o Events

o Sponsorships

o Speeches

o Networking

o Lunch & Learns

o Monthly or Quarterly Newsletter


What are Your Key Messages?

If you’ve never thought about this question, now is the time start! Identifying, repeating, promoting, and publicizing your key messages is extremely important to achieving your organization’s mission.

Not only should business owners and managers deliver your key messages in every interaction, but also everyone in the company should have a clear understanding of exactly what they are.

Case in point: If your HVAC business has a penchant for keeping up with technology and you want customers to know about your many high-tech products, how might you craft a message that relates this to your target audiences? Perhaps it would be something like, “Our company leads the way by understanding and providing cutting-edge smart products that will make your life easier and save time, money, and energy.”

Not only does this message alert customers to the availability of these special products through your company, but it also positions you as ahead of the crowd (leads the way), knowledgeable (understanding), customer-focused (makes your life easier), and efficiency-conscious (saves time, money, and energy).

By carefully crafting your messages, you can say a lot about what and who you are in just a few words. When you follow this process—based on concepts, issues, and values that mean the most to you—the results in your bottom line may astound you.


Making Social Media Work for You

Over recent years, social media has become increasingly popular, not only in social circles, but also as an integral component of business marketing. Today, even presidential hopefuls use it as a way to get their messages out! Exactly, what is social media? If you Google the term, you’ll find almost countless definitions. In short, social media connects people through online communications. This may take place through such sites and apps as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In addition, some people consider all electronic media, such as blogs like this one and even company websites to be social media components. In spite of how you define this relatively new trend, it is definitely here to stay, and not just for 20-somethings and younger. Businesses of all sizes in all industries are regularly using social media to connect with their current and potential customers. In the HVAC industry, social media is an excellent way to keep your business top-of-mind in regard to such things as trends, what’s new on the market, and tips for more efficient and effective troubleshooting. If you want to build a leading-edge marketing program, don’t omit this important tool!


Get to Know Your Customers

The most important thing in any organization’s success is the relationship it builds with customers.
Do your customers return to your company time and time again, even when there are plenty of other HVAC businesses that could fill their needs? If so, it’s likely because they feel connected in some way. This connection (or relationship) likely depends on the customer’s feelings of familiarity, satisfaction, trust, loyalty, and even convenience. Given this assumption, what might you do to ensure that your customers’ experiences and interactions lead to positive feelings about your HVAC company?
Here are several ways to build relationships that create true customer loyalty:
• Adopt a companywide “Customers First” philosophy, and publicize it as often as possible
• Truly LISTEN to what your customers have to say
• Devote the time and energy required to effectively solve all issues and problems customers encounter
• Survey your customers to find out what they like and don’t like about your company
• Provide opportunities for one-on-one customer interactions
• Create ways your customers can offer suggestions
• Don’t just talk the talk. Walk the walk!