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Happy Holidays from CE

CE Happy Holidays 2015Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, Ramadan – Whatever your reason for the season, CE wishes you a happy holiday.

We’d like to thank our loyal customer base for their continued trust and business in 2015. Additionally, we cannot overlook our dedicated partners and employees who give it their all everyday to make CE the global leader in HVAC equipment, parts, and supplies.

May this season be filled with peace, joy and happiness that carry you through 2016.

Need Last Minute Holiday Gifts? Visit Your Local Carrier Enterprise Branch!

HVAC giftsWhether you are buying for your boss or your buddy, we have you covered. Not only does Carrier Enterprise have every cool tool and gadget, but if you want the latest toy that every HVAC guy/gal wants, we have that too! Many items are available for same-day pick-up from local CE stores.

Browse our full inventory of tools, HVAC parts and accessories at www.carrierenterprise.com.

HVAC & Energy Efficiency Trends

For the last several years, energy efficiency has been on everyone’s radar as the need to conserve energy and money has become more important for both businesses and residents. Since a home’s heating and air conditioning system is the biggest user of energy (more than half, according to the U.S. Department of Energy), the HVAC industry has been on the cutting-edge of developing new technology and equipment to meet the demands of both the government and the end user.

New 2015 Energy Efficiency Standards

In January 2015, new residential central air conditioning systems and heat pumps had to meet tougher standards, depending on where the home is located.

Homeowners in the North will adhere to the old minimum of 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Homeowners in the warmer Southern states saw the minimum rating increased from 13 SEER to 14 SEER. Additionally, in five Southwest states (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico), central air conditioning will require an EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) of 11.7 or 12.2, depending on the size of the unit, along with a 14 SEER rating.

The most significant change regarding the new regulations involves all split-system heat pumps. All regions will move from 13 SEER and 7.7 HSPF, Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, to the new national heat pump efficiency minimum of 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF.

The majority of U.S. manufacturers already offer 14 SEER heat pump systems, and many manufacturers may update current 14 SEER designs to meet product demands for 2015 inventory stocking. The remaining inventory of 13 SEER equipment can be installed until the set deadline: July 1, 2016.

“Whole” Building Science Has Become the Norm

As more states adopt new energy efficient building codes, HVAC contractors will need to become more familiar with how to “right fit” an HVAC system for a building that has been built to high efficiency or Net Zero Energy standards. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America have recently developed “HVAC System Design for Energy Efficient Homes,” a manual for HVAC contractors to follow as a new industry standard.

This standard will provide procedures to design/select HVAC systems and equipment for low-load homes that will achieve satisfactory indoor conditions with lower equipment capacity; i.e., resolving ventilation and moisture requirements/issues with low air volume systems while addressing occupant comfort, health, and safety. These procedures will apply as lower capacity equipment appears in the marketplace.

nest thermostatSmart Homes

Homes are getting smarter, with various devices talking to each other and the homeowners.

Household appliances, the HVAC system, lighting, window blinds and thermostats, among other devices, can be controlled through a smart phone and provide updates on status.

Smart thermostats are a big part of the Internet of Things home revolution. As more homeowners and building professionals come to understand the value of a smart thermostat, the market is expected to soar in the U.S. and Europe.

A smart thermostat is more than a programmable thermostat. With a traditional thermostat, one can turn the heating or cooling up or down, and with programmable versions, one can set the temperature to change depending on the time of day.

What makes smart thermostats so unique – smart– is that they learn and adjust the temperature based on the owners’ habits and the characteristics of the house. Not only will the devices come to know when the temperature should be raised or decreased, but they also learn how long the house takes to heat up or cool down. This means they can begin to adjust the temperature in just the right amount of time so homeowners can feel the change when they should – not 15 minutes later.

Ductless HVAC Systems

article_1426278594879_en_normalOnce seen as a solution for home additions and bonus rooms, now ductless systems, also known as mini split, are available to provide whole-home solutions with outdoor systems that can handle up to 8 indoor units. An array of indoor air handler options, such as ceiling cassettes and wall-mounted units, give homeowners and contractors the flexibility to ensure that convenience and aesthetics are achieved. New technology addresses some of the shortcomings of heat pumps, such as a loss of heating capacity in sub-freezing weather. New units on the market offer high levels of heating capacity in temperatures as low as 5 below zero Fahrenheit. Mini splits will be a more popular option in northern climates with less need for expensive back up heating.

Ductless systems are being utilized as the primary source of heating and cooling in both residential and commercial applications. Some of the many benefits of mini split systems are:

  • Individual zones; heat and cool specific spaces when desired.
  • Cheaper to install and maintain.
  • Higher SEER ratings (up to 30.5 SEER with Carrier’s Infinity Series)
  • Flexible installation options, including wall, ceiling and floor mounted indoor unit styles.
  • Minimal energy loss; air does not travel through ductwork.
  • Can also be used for garages and extensions where there is no ductwork
  • Perfect for older buildings that cannot accommodate ductwork
  • Quiet operation.
  • Heating capabilities down to a temperature of -15° F.

variable speedVariable Speed HVAC Systems

Variable speed compressor technology brings to the HVAC industry whole new levels of efficiency, comfort, reliability and versatility. This technology is highly efficient and will reduce HVAC energy costs, while improving system comfort and reliability for homeowners.  In order to enable the early adoption of variable speed compressor technology into the U.S. HVAC market, U.S. OEMs began introducing new, ducted systems with variable speed compressors as early as 2006 and more have followed since. Within the next few years, it is expected that all of the major OEMs will be offering high efficiency ducted variable speed systems in the U.S.

Variable speed systems work by connecting a motor control drive to the compressor and then connecting the line input power from the utility to the drive. The drive uses frequency modulation to adjust power output of the compressor motor, enabling it to speed up or slow down according to the heating or cooling load in the home. This ability to modulate compressor capacity enables many of the advantages of variable speed technology, including improved efficiency and comfort.

The ability to adjust power output to the compressor, rather than the merely on-off functionality provided by traditional systems, allows homeowners to achieve significant cost savings over the course of a year. In some cases these savings amount to 40% of the overall annual energy costs.

As you look toward your business plans for 2016 and beyond, make sure that you are staying abreast of all the exciting technology that is making the HVAC industry a leader in the energy efficiency landscape. Carrier Enterprise will continue to make you aware of these trends through sharing information with you on our website, at tradeshows and conferences, and with in-store demonstrations and webinars on the latest energy efficiency products and trends. Look to Carrier Enterprise as your HVAC Energy Efficiency technology partner. We’ll make sure you have all the latest news and information to keep your business in the know!

How To Maximize Sales of Ductless HVAC Systems

Carrier Infinity DuctlessOne of the hottest new products at the 2015 AHR Expo was the ductless HVAC system. With the ductless market predicted to grow to more than $9 billion by 2020, more and more manufacturers and contractors are embracing ductless systems as a viable alternative for providing comfort solutions to residential and business customers.

If you’re looking for ways to increase sales and profits for your business, you may want to consider promoting ductless HVAC systems to customers in your market. No matter what climate region you may be in, ductless HVAC systems are a great way to provide your customers with efficient heating and cooling solutions that will make their homes and businesses more comfortable and save them money on their energy bills.

Although ductless systems have been around for many years, they have recently seen a resurgence in popularity for a variety of reasons. The new units are much more efficient and attractive, and there are a plethora of options for system configurations to meet your customers’ needs. Systems have been designed to provide high efficiency ratings up to 30.5 SEER (Carrier’s Infinity Series), 80 percent heating capacity at minus 20° F, and smart controls. Systems can be easily installed on the floor, in a cassette systemin the wall/ceiling, or on the wall, depending on aesthetic needs and space restrictions. Units can be controlled with a remote control or with a digital thermostat mounted on the wall.

Ductless systems have become very popular for customers who have older homes or buildings that were not built with space for a ductwork system. Many historic homes or commercial buildings that don’t have adequate attic space for a central air conditioning system can benefit from the installation of a ductless system, which can increase the comfort level and long-term value of the building.

Here are some reasons you should consider for adding ductless HVAC systems to your company’s portfolio of offerings:

  1. They’re easy to install. These systems can be installed in much less time than it takes to put in central air conditioning. A two-person crew would need at least a week to install the ductwork and other components of a central air conditioning system. A ductless mini-split system could be installed from start to finish in a day. This translates to less labor for you and less inconvenience for your customer.
  1. They don’t take up much space. Their compact size makes ductless AC units perfect for cooling small living spaces, such as apartments and dorm rooms. They’re also great for cooling individual rooms in larger homes, particularly basements, garages and attics, which are usually not ventilated well. Also, ductless air conditioners are easy to store because of their small size, which means they take up less space in your warehouse and in your company trucks.
  1. They’re easy to maintain. Ductless systems have fewer mechanical components, use much less refrigerant and since there is no loss of airflow due to issues with ductwork, the systems tend to be easier to maintain.
  1. They’re energy efficient. Ductless air conditioners use much less energy than traditional air conditioners, which can save your customer money on their energy bill. In addition, if you install multiple units, the customer can control the individual room temperatures in the house, which is more energy efficient than using a central air conditioning system to cool the whole house.
  1. They’re quiet. Traditional air conditioners can make a lot of noise, but ductless systems are quiet. The noise they make is usually no more than a quiet hum. It amounts to background noise that is easily drowned out by conversation, music and television.
  1. They’re green. Ductless systems meet LEED standards and can earn points for a building seeking LEED certification.

Carrier Enterprises carries a full line of ductless HVAC systems from Carrier, Bryant, and Toshiba Carrier. All are committed to providing high quality products, training and customer service to ensure that your ductless installation projects are a success. For more information about the variety of ductless HVAC systems we carry, please visit http://www.carrierenterprise.com/ductless.

 

Grow Your Business: Sell Solutions to the Smart Home Customer

nest thermostatThe Smart Home and all the various products that are available to connect the home’s HVAC, electrical, security and other systems was the biggest rage at the 2015 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. The big takeaway from the show was that we are moving rapidly towards a connected world and there’s really no way around it.

In the June 29, 2015 issue of ACHR News, Editor Kyle Gargaro talks about the Internet of Things (IoT) (http://www.wired.com/2014/11/the-internet-of-things-bigger/) and the move to have all HVAC systems electronically connected to house and building network and control system. This is being pushed by the Department of Energy and local utility companies also to enable connection to the smart grid, in order to better manage energy consumption. The IoT is coming and the Smart Home is already here. The successful HVAC contractor should embrace this incredible marketing and business opportunity. Since the HVAC system of a home is one of the biggest users of energy, it will be one of the most important elements to manage in the smart home. As a trusted HVAC contractor, you can assist your customers in making smart choices about smart home products such as thermostats, ventilation systems and home area network hubs. And they will reward your knowledge and assistance with loyal, repeat business and customer referrals.

Homeowners and building managers are increasingly looking to Wi-Fi enabled smart technology for efficient HVAC systems. Recent research from IHS Technology predicts that by 2018 homeowners will have installed 45 million smart home devices and services and that the smart home market will achieve around $12 billion in annual revenue within five years. (bit.ly/InetOfHome)

HVAC Contractors have a unique opportunity to become the smart home expert with their customers and provide much-needed education that consumers want on how a connected home works and what the benefits are. You’re also building your business as a reliable source for high-tech products and services for the younger generations. Millennials are now the country’s largest homebuyers and they are looking for professionals who understand their technology needs. When you can offer them tech-savvy, money saving products, you will become their contractor of choice.

Here are a few of the products and benefits you will want to keep in mind as you talk to your customers about creating a smart home:

  1. Smart Thermostats – One of the most important smart devices in the home is the smart thermostat. There are a wide variety of thermostats in the market. Smart thermostats break out into three categories:
  • Connected smart thermostats – The term “connected” refers to WiFi-enabled smart thermostats that allow users to control temperature settings remotely from a smartphone or computer. While models on the market vary, most also offer touchscreen displays that track energy usage in real-time and over given time intervals – providing useful feedback and helping users save. WiFi-enabled units are especially useful for homeowners who often forget to pre-set their programmable thermostats or have unpredictable or irregular schedules.

Many homeowners also consider scheduling their temperature levels to be more user-friendly on a computer, especially when compared to fiddling with tiny buttons on a standard programmable thermostat. Most “connected” models also come equipped with smartphone apps for an even more interactive experience.

  • Learning thermostats –  The newest type of thermostat on the market are “learning” smart thermostats. These thermostats claim to learn daily habits and automatically schedule temperature levels accordingly. In addition, these models often come equipped with features such as sensors that monitor motion, light and humidity. All learning models on the market are also WiFi-enabled. So, if you’re stuck at work later than usual, you can easily let your system know via smartphone or computer and prevent it from cooling an unoccupied home

One disadvantage to learning thermostats is that they require some semblance of regularity to function at their best. These models are better suited for users with fairly set schedules but who often forget (or simply don’t want to) fidget with their thermostat before leaving the house.

Like their “connected” cousins, learning thermostats can be pricey. If your customers are currently using an older, non-programmable thermostat, the energy savings they will reap from switching to a learning model could quickly offset its cost. However, learning units haven’t been on the market for very long – meaning it’s difficult to say for certain just how much energy you’ll save by making the switch. The bottom-line is: If the customer is already using a programmable thermostat properly, you’re unlikely to see significant savings by switching to a learning model. But if they tend to neglect their programmable settings, opting for a thermostat that adjusts automatically could be just what they need to cut energy costs.

  1. Smart Ventilation Systems – The new smart ventilation systems are revolutionizing the way an HVAC system provides the right amount of airflow to ensure maximum comfort in a home. Smart Ventilation systems communicate with the thermostat to manage the temperature and airflow in particular rooms throughout the home. These systems manage the flow of air room by room through the automatic control of the vents and allow a resident to turn the volume of airflow up or down in a particular room or area of a home based on a variety of factors. Smart ventilation systems are new in the U.S., but they have been used for years throughout Europe. There are several benefits of installing a smart ventilation system for your home/building owner, such as:
  • reductions in energy use and energy costs
  • equivalent or enhanced Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
  • reductions in peak load (or equivalently time-of-use pricing)
  • ability to respond to demand response events
  • flexibility that allows a wide variety of goals to be implemented on one platform, without expensive hardware/equipment changes, and
  • a cloud-connected platform that facilitates future adjustments to control behavior of airflow in response to ongoing changes in climate, regulation, energy prices, grid dynamics, or occupant behavior.
  1. Smart Home Network Hubs – With the myriad of devices in the home and the need to connect them all for ease of use and management, the smart home network hub has become the brain of the smart home system. It is important to understand how these hubs work with to make recommendations to your customers about the best network hub for their home and lifestyle. In addition, may hubs only work with their proprietary smart products, so it is important to understand the limitations of those types of network hubs.

In addition to homeowners moving toward a smart home, home and commercial builders are designing their homes and buildings with the IoT in mind. To take the lead in the “smart” building space, today’s HVAC contractors need to ensure they provide the knowledge and the products to their customers now and in the future, which means staying abreast of industry trends. Look to Carrier Enterprise to assist you in carrying products and providing the knowledge and information you will need to succeed in the connected building environment.