Home » Archives for Kristin Hyde

Author: Kristin Hyde

Abundant Energy Forever

Chosen as one of MIT Technology Review’s “Top 35 Innovators under 35,” Wiz kid Danielle Fong is passionate in her belief that solar energy is the solution to the planet’s need for economical and sustainable energy. Referred to by Forbes as the person who “may save the word,” this remarkable woman (who began her college career at age 12) has always been concerned about the environment and is on mission to help protect it. Because solar-powered systems have become popular with many of today’s environmentally-aware consumers, it is important for HVAC distributors to understand the processes behind solar energy. To learn how Danielle Fong’s ideas work, click here.

Four Paths to Clean Air

Of course, source control is the least cumbersome and most economic way to improve air quality. Improved ventilation through fans and range hoods also can help diminish air pollutants in the home. However, in this age of antibacterial gels being as commonplace as dish detergent, what’s the scoop on purifying the air within the home?

1. Mechanical filters—usually made of charcoal—can be installed in the
central HVAC system. A down-side to this method is that it can be
costly and must be replaced from time to time.

2. Either portable or installed in the central HVAC system, electronic air
cleaners are draw air through an electronic field, to charge small
particles in the air, and to collect those particles on a screen by using
an opposite charge.

3. By producing ozone—oxygen with three oxygen atoms, rather than
two—ion generators (air purifiers) are designed to attract and remove
dust particles and other pollutants from the air. Due to the possibility
of high ozone levels, however, some consumers worry about the
potential health risks of this method.

4. Although all UV light air cleaners are not created equal, sufficient
exposure to UV light can kill bacteria and mold. To learn about these
products, click here.

It’s Really Hot in Here!

For decades, Bill Johnson was a visible presence in the HVACR industry as a business owner, college teacher, author, and technical specialist. In his e-book, Btu Buddy’s Guide to HVAC Troubleshooting, he shares his tried-and-true tips for a broad range of issues. For example, to help a technician figure out why a small office’s 4-ton unit that used a capillary tube metering device was not cooling properly, “Btu Buddy” asks several troubleshooting questions:

• What was the coil boiling temperature of the evaporator when you checked the pressure?

• What should the boiling temperature be for an air conditioning coil?

• Where did the large puddle of water under the condensing unit come from?

Btu Buddy points out the importance of looking at and touching the system components to help find answers. In addition, he clarifies how liquid refrigerant can dilute the oil lubricating the compressor, and eventually decrease performance.

Learn more about Btu Buddy’s knowledge and advice, click here.

What’s on Your Shelf?

If you’re looking to build a resource library for your staff and contractors, you will find some of the many educational materials available today to be invaluable. From theory to practice, and from design to full implementation of an HVAC system, here are just a few resources that offer countless tips and techniques for both managers and technicians:

HVAC Design Sourcebook

HVAC Engineer’s Handbook

Modern Geothermal HVAC Engineering and Control Applications

Residential Construction Academy HVAC

Energy-Efficient HVAC Design: An Essential Guide for Sustainable Building

Fundamentals of HVAC Control Systems

Modern Construction: Lean Project Delivery and Integrated Practices

How Much is Enough?

When it comes to AC capacity, less can be too little and more can be too much! According to the United States Department of Energy table below, size definitely matters when choosing an air conditioning system. It’s critically important for distributors and installers to ensure their customers understand how essential purchasing the right-sized system is to their future comfort and satisfaction. They can do this by explaining that BTUs (British Thermal Units) refer to the amount of cooling power needed for a particular amount of space. For larger systems, “tonnage” is often used to denote capacity (12,000 BTUs = 1 Ton). If the capacity of the AC is too much for the space, energy and money will be wasted and the level of humidity in the air will increase. For smaller spaces, we recommend ductless systems, which offer maximum efficiency. If the capacity of a system is too small for the space, the unit will be overworked and the space will be uncomfortably warm.

Show Your Customer How to Save Money

Tips to Help Your Customers Save Money On Electric Bills this Summer

It’s summer time and the living may not be so easy if your business is located in a warm weather climate. Your customers may be running their AC units 24/7, and their electric bills could be skyrocketing! One way to make sure you earn customer loyalty is to share tips for helping them save money on their electric bills. Here are some user friendly tips that you can post on your website or share via social media or direct mail that will help your customers save money this summer:

  1. Change your Air filter frequently –It may seem pretty basic, but one of the easiest and most affordable ways to save money on your cooling costs is to change your air conditioning filter monthly. Your filter’s job is to capture all the dust and dirt in your home’s air stream and when it does that, it can get clogged very quickly. Make sure to change your air filter at the minimum monthly and even more frequently if you smoke indoors or live near an area that produces a lot of dust, pollen or other particles that can clog the filter.
  1. Set thermostat up when away – One of the easiest ways to control your electric bill in the summer months is to make sure that your thermostat is set at 78 degrees or above when you leave the house. There’s no need to cool your home while you’re away and you can easily bring the temperature down when you get home. A well maintained unit will only take a short time to reduce the temperature from 78 to 76 degrees and you will have saved a lot of money in the process.
  1. Clean debris away from outside unit – Although having a shade tree near your outside AC unit can help keep the unit cooler, it can also prevent the unit from properly “breathing” when leaves or branches fall against the unit. You should inspect your outside unit every week to ensure that it is free from debris. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the unit is clear of any debris that could block the outside walls whenever there is a rain or windstorm.
  1. Make sure air vents are clean and open – It may seem easy, but it is super important to make sure that your intake and return AC vents are open, not blocked by furniture or other items and clean. A dirty vent can create friction for the air passing through and will make rooms hotter than they should be, leading you to turn the thermostat down. Make a habit of cleaning the vents on a regular basis and ensure that nothing is blocking them.
  1. Keep blinds/drapes closed – This is one of the simplest and most affordable tips to reducing the amount of time you run your AC unit. It may be beautiful to have a clear view to the outdoors, but all that open glass heats up and causes your home to be become hot and more uncomfortable. Make sure your blinds and drapes are closed during the heat of the day and you’ll enjoy the savings.
  1. Seal off air leaks – One of the biggest reasons AC units run so much in the summer is that the hot air is coming in and the cool air is leaking out. Check your doors and windows to see if you have air leaks and if so, install new door gaskets and caulk around your windows. One way to test for air leaks is to open your door or window and put a dollar bill in the opening. When you close the door/window try to remove the dollar bill. If it is easy to pull out, you have air leaks and need to caulk or replace your door gaskets.
  1. Use fans throughout – Hot air rises in the summer and can get trapped in your home, especially if you have a two-story house. If you have ceiling fans, you should run those throughout the day to keep the hot air circulating and avoid stagnation. Standard floor fans can also be used to circulate air throughout your home and are very affordable.
  1. Install a programmable thermostat – Today’s programmable thermostats are much more efficient, affordable and easy to use. For less than $100, you can purchase a very high quality, state-of-the art programmable thermostat that will allow you to manage your home’s HVAC system at the touch of a button on your smart phone or device. These devices can help keep your home comfortable while saving money and are easy to install and use.
  1. Replace appliances – Sometimes it’s hard to justify getting a new appliance if the old one is still working. But, old appliances use more electricity than their new counterparts and can actually end up costing you more on your electric bill. In addition, old refrigerators, washers, dishwashers and dryers can heat up your house on hot summer days which puts even more of a load on your AC system. Take a good look at your appliances and if they are over 10 years old, it may be time to take advantage of the summer home improvement sales!
  1. Get an energy audit – If your home is older (pre-1985) you should definitely consider getting a comprehensive energy audit to see how your home is using energy. A professional home energy auditor will do a thorough inspection of your attic, ductwork, doors, windows, electrical system and they will perform a blower door test to determine how well your home is keeping cool air in and hot air out. The fee for these is usually around $150 or less and may be reimbursed by your local utility company if you perform specific energy saving home improvements.

Please feel free to share these tips with your customers and start building that brand loyalty for your company.  And when you need parts and supplies, visit www.carrierenterprise.com for helpful hints on how we can save you money and time this summer too!

Easy Ways to Build Your Brand

Your brand is the most important asset you have, so whenever you are promoting your company, make sure you use consistency in graphic style, color, message and look/feel. Your customers make decisions about the credibility of your company when they see your trucks, invoices, website, advertising and technicians in the field. Don’t let your brand communications tell the wrong story.

Find more tips on building a strong brand here.

Do You Have a Vision?

It’s true: You must first know where you want to go before you can figure out the best way to get there. Just as you cannot expect a GPS to map out your route unless you enter the address you want to reach, you cannot expect your HVAC business to be successful without a vision for the future.

Writing a vision statement as a group is a great way for your company’s leaders to bond, as well as to ensure they are all on the same page. Without a vision, the desired outcomes of those at the top might be disparate, and staff members might even be working toward conflicting goals. Everyone in the organization should have a clear understanding of the company’s vision and the destination it aims to reach.

What’s your vision?

Tuesday Tip: Steps to Indoor Humidity Control

Believe it or not, on average, a family of four will add about three gallons of water to their home’s air each day from baths, cooking, and laundry. By simply breathing, each person adds water vapor to the environment indoors.

When the moisture in the air exceeds 50 percent, microbial growth such as mold can occur, resulting in a severe health issue. What steps can people take to ensure the air they are breathing in their homes is safe?

– During warmer months, an effectively designed, operating, and maintained AC system will help adjust the level of humidity.
– If mold has reared its ugly head, you should wash it away with detergent and water—after, that is, donning gloves and goggles and having a working respirator nearby.
– Use mold-resistant paint on hard surfaces to help prevent future issues.
– Employ UV lights; they are super-charged mold killers.

Treat Them Like Family!

Have you ever come across one of those rare people who make you feel like you are the best thing that’s happened to them all day? If so, you know what a joy it is to encounter such optimism and positive energy. Ideally, your HVAC customers should have the same feelings of joy when your technicians visit or whenever they contact your company — and ultimately what can bring back to them again and again.

There’s an old saying suggesting that we should treat our guests like family, and our family like guests. This makes sense because it brings together behaviors that represent respect, graciousness, familiarity, and helpfulness; and what’s not to like about that?

When your business-at-large commits to and demonstrates a consistent attitude that makes both customers and employees feel like family, you will be paid back with loyalty, great word-of-mouth advertising, improved job satisfaction, and an upbeat environment for all who do business with you.