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:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
MARKETING TIPS TO INCREASE SUMMER SALES
It’s mid-May — and that means the summer heat will soon begin to put a strain on your customers’ air conditioning units. With that in mind, it’s also time to make sure your summer advertising campaign is in place, in order to leverage the busy season. Here are some tips to maximize your advertising budget and increase sales during this time:
- Develop a Microsite – To track the results of your summer advertising and marketing campaign, you should develop a campaign microsite with a specific URL that will allow you to track the leads your campaign generates. The microsite will host all the details of your summer specials and will make it easy for your customers to find out more about your company via links to your company website.
- Create a Summer Discount Offer – A great way to promote your business and create customer loyalty is to create a discount offer for customers to use in the hot summer months. Send out the discount offer to your customer database and use it as a digital coupon that they can print out and put on their refrigerator. For print ads, include the coupon in the ad so they can cut it out and keep it handy. In your radio and TV ads, be sure to include a specific URL for them to go online and download the discount coupon. Customers love saving money and they will love you for giving them a discount on repairs during the warm, summer months!
- Multi-media Advertising Platform – To ensure that you reach all the various target audiences in your region, make sure you are using all the advertising channels available to you. The best advertising campaigns use consistent messaging across all platforms, i.e., radio, TV, website, digital, social media, signage, events and special promotions. Develop a creative concept that can be effectively deployed across all the channels you are using and maintain that creative consistency throughout the campaign.
- Customer Referral Program – The easiest and most cost-effective way to boost summer sales is to reward your current customers with cash, gifts or other incentives when they refer their family, friends or social or business network. There are numerous referral platforms on the market that can help you stay in touch with your customers through an online portal designed to reflect your company’s brand. These affordable platforms allow you to create referral campaigns that can be easily shared by your customers to their networks at the touch of a button. The benefit of a consistent, online customer referral platform will help you build your referrals quickly, efficiently and easily, and will deliver a high ROI.
- Promote Specials on Company Vans – Your company vans are traveling billboards. You don’t have to rewrap your vans when you change your advertising, but you can use areas on the van to promote your summer specials. One area that is effective is the rear windows. A simple, vinyl poster cling can be affixed to the rear windows and will give you continuous exposure as your techs travel around the community.
- Community Partnerships – Summer time is a great time to partner with local organizations that are actively engaging residents and businesses in your community. Take an active role in sponsoring Little League baseball teams, community events, street fairs, children’s summer activities, senior outings, Chamber of Commerce events and city-sponsored outdoor events. Many offer tabling opportunities that will allow you to hand out your summer discount coupons and promo items that customers can take home to keep your company top of mind when they need HVAC service.
CE knows how busy the late spring and summer season can be for HVAC/R contractors like yourself. We have spent the last few months preparing to make sure our stores are well stocked to meet all your repair and replacement needs. To make your purchases even more convenient, your techs can order everything they need online at www.carrierenterprise.com, and it will be ready for them to pick up at the store!
For 17 years, the American Lung Association has analyzed data from official air quality monitors to compile the State of the Air report. As stated on Lung.org, “The more you learn about the air you breathe, the more you can protect your health and take steps to make our air cleaner and healthier.” This year many top cities received failing grades. Here are the top 10 cities with the worst ozone or particle pollution:
1. Los Angeles-Long Beach, California
2. Bakersfield, California
3. Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, California
4. Fresno-Madera, California
5. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona
6. Sacramento-Roseville, California
7. Modesto-Merced, California
8. Denver-Aurora, Colorado
9. Las Vegas-Henderson, Nevada
10. Fort Collins, Colorado
The trend toward developing products designed to assist homeowners and commercial building owners/managers in managing their energy use, use smart-enabled devices and improve safety in the process continues to dominate the HVAC industry in 2016. At the January 2016 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) manufacturers and vendors introduced new or upgraded products, systems and technologies that are intended to make it easier for technicians to provide excellent service, increase productivity and allow for building owners to maximize their HVAC system’s energy efficiency.
The solutions presented at the show comprised a wide variety of categories, from indoor air quality to software, and addressed the interests of contractors, engineers, wholesalers/distributors, facility managers and owners/operators. With the wide variety of products and new technologies, these innovations are expected to touch every corner of the HVAC/R industry.
Each year the annual AHR Expo Innovations awards honors the industry’s most innovative products, systems and technologies in the categories of building automation, cooling and heating systems, green building, indoor air quality, refrigeration, software, tools and instruments, plumbing and ventilation. A full list of the 2016 AHR Expo Innovation Awards Winners can be found here: http://www.ahrexpo.com/forvisitors/innovation_winners.php
As a leader in the HVAC/R industry, CE prides itself on its ability to stay abreast of current trends and attended the 2016 AHR Expo in Orlando with the intention of making sure that the procurement team visited the booths offering new products and technologies their contractors could use.
According to Douglas Mackemer, National Director – Parts, Supplies & Specialized, the 2016 show was full of new products and technologies that could benefit their contractors. He and his team spent lots of time meeting with manufacturers to get firsthand knowledge of their products and new technologies on the drawing board. “We were excited to have the AHR Expo 2016 in Orlando, CE’s corporate headquarters. Our team spent several days at the show and made a lot of great connections with companies in our industry to ensure we are on top of all the latest and greatest product innovations,” said Douglas Mackemer.
CE is currently reviewing the 2016 AHR Expo Innovation Award winning products for their relevance to their customers and will be looking to add these products as they see a demand. Currently, CE is carrying the following 2016 AHR Expo award-winning products in their stores.
Tools & Instruments – ZoomLock™ – Parker Hannifin – This is a braze-free pipe connection tool that allows a technician to join copper tubing in a variety of HVAC/R applications. The device uses a crimping technology without need for brazing, permitting or training. The ZoomLock™ braze-free fittings are the first crimp technology engineered for high-pressure refrigeration connects and are the first approved for applications up to 700 psi. Currently CE is offering ZoomLock™ in the Florida region. According to Mackemer, “the ZoomLock is really doing well with contractors in Florida – they like the fact that they can avoid using a flame inside a residence or commercial building when making repairs and the tool is helping them to do their jobs more safely and with less time needed to get permits.” See more about this item >>
Tools & Instruments – ABM-200 – AAB Smart Tools – The ABM-200 is designed to assist HVAC technicians in assessing the health of a system, safely and efficiently, by easily allowing the technician to measure and record a variety of data including Airflow Velocity, Airflow Volume
Dry Bulb Temperature, Wet Bulb Temperature, Relative Humidity, Feels Like Temp, Dew Point, Air Density, Wind Speed/Direction/Gusts, Indoor vs. Outdoor Conditions and Barometric Pressure.
The ABM-200 utilizes Bluetooth Smart technology to connect seamlessly and quickly to smartphones and tablets. It features a free app, which is complete with onscreen guidance on how to use the device to ensure accuracy. The app generates a personalized report that can be emailed immediately to the client or home office. The meter features a ruggedized housing with a ¼ inch-20 UNC fitting for mounting to various accessories, which allows for hands free operation. It also comes in an ergonomic carrying case that easily fits into a technician’s pocket or tool bag.
“We have been carrying products from AAB Smart Tools for over a year and they have been a big hit with the technicians. We were pleased to see that the ABM-200 wireless anemometer was recognized with an honorable mention at the expo. It offers the cool, tech factor at an affordable price and it is extremely accurate. It’s a great way to showcase how smart devices can improve a much needed technology in our industry,” said Douglas Mackemer. See more about this item >>
Plumbing – N-Series Waterless Trap – Des Champs Technologies – This device allows liquid condensate to drain from the HVAC equipment and simultaneously prevents air from entering or escaping from the equipment. The device operates in a horizontal position which allows the center line distance between the unit drain connection and the trap to be same or greater distance in inches as the negative pressure in inches of water column within the negative pressure plenum for which the AHU drain is connected.
Finding out more information about these trend-setting products is easy and convenient at CE. Our company is committed to staying abreast of all current HVAC/R product trends and spend a great deal of time researching and interviewing manufacturers to ensure we carry a wide portfolio of products that meet our standards for excellence. We perform testing on all types of products to ensure that they meet our specifications and deliver the results promised. To find out more about the variety of new products showcased at AHR Expo 2016, contact your account representative, visit your local CE distributor or visit our website at www.carrierenterprise.com.
To use refrigerant leak-stop agents or not? Many contractors have great insight on both sides of the question.
Tuesday’s Tip: Many installers often find right-sizing an HVAC system to be a difficult task. Here are some great tips to keep in mind when building a high performance system.
More Tips For Right-Sizing Your Commercial HVAC Systems are available here: http://ac-engs.com/blog/tips-for-right-sizing-your-commercial-hvac-systems/
CE provides contractors with all the help they need to be successful on the job. Our CE HVAC Contractor Assist Mobile App provides access to new product information and all the tools you need when you’re on the go, including: Online Shopping, Product Availability, Equipment BOM, Document Library, Warranty Look Up, Cross Reference Tools, a PT Calculator, Flashlight and more. But simply having the tools won’t get you far if you don’t know how to use them! That is why we’ve created a short, informative video to teach you each aspect. Watch this quick “How-To” video to learn more…
TUESDAY’S TIP: Here are some tips on HOW to effectively present a ductless system to a customer. These systems are becoming more popular among homeowners as they strive to be both efficient AND cost effective with their home comfort systems. Even businesses can benefit from ductless systems when needing to regulate office temperatures after partitions have been put up to create new space, or the original layout is otherwise altered creating uneven heating and cooling.
Learn how to present Ductless HVAC Systems to a potential customer at http://news.carrierenterprise.com/2015/09/21/how-to-explain-the-pros-cons-of-installing-a-ductless-hvac-system-to-customers
Customers love Nest products because they’re beautifully designed, loaded with innovative features, and intuitive to use. For residential use, the Nest Learning Thermostats, Nest Protect smoke and CO alarm, and Nest Wi-Fi video camera are top sellers. Contractors love these products because they are highly compatible with existing systems, work together seamlessly, and are simple to install.
View CE’s current Nest offerings at http://www.carrierenterprise.com/search?Ntt=nest.