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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!

DIY Tips For Your Customers to Get Ready For the Summer AC Season

The trend in the HVAC/R business is to become your customer’s trusted advisor and the subject matter expert on all things HVAC/R. One of the best ways to do that is to provide your customers with helpful information that will give them more knowledge about how their HVAC systems work, empowering them to become active managers in their home or businesses’ HVAC systems. Since HVAC is the biggest user of energy in the home and business, you can assist your customers in saving energy and money by making sure they are doing everything they can to keep their systems running efficiently. Sharing tips for things your customers can do to get their system ready for the summer heat will go a long way toward making them loyal customers for years to come.

 

 

How to Explain the Pros & Cons of Installing a Ductless HVAC System to Customers

bryant carrier ductless hvac salesWhen customers are purchasing a new HVAC system they may be considering a ductless option, but they might want to know the benefits and the disadvantages of going ductless.

They may simply ask you, “What are the advantages of a ductless HVAC system?” and “Are there any disadvantages of installing one?”

Below features a few tips on how to discuss the “Pros and Cons” of installing a ductless HVAC system with customers:

Pros

  1. “You Save Money Over Time”

Money plays a major role when consumers are contemplating an important purchase. You can begin by explaining that they will save money over time by deciding to install a ductless HVAC system. You can point out how ductless systems have the ability to run on much less power than ordinary systems because they are smaller and deliver air directly into a room.  By diving into more detail, you can explain that because they are ductless they also avoid energy losses that may come with ductwork of central forced air systems. It may also help to use some statistics such as, “These losses can be responsible for over 30% of energy consumption.” Overall you want your customer to understand that installing a ductless system essentially cuts costs and saves money over time.

  1. “Easy Installation”

If your customer is looking for a quick and easy installation process, you can explain this process and compare it to that of traditional systems. Note that traditional systems take several days and even weeks to install, while you can have the customer’s ductless HVAC system up and running in just one day. If you want to get into specifics, you can explain that the units usually run on small pipes that only require a three-inch hole through a wall, which avoids any rebuilding around ductwork.

  1. “You Breathe Easy”

Another benefit you can call attention to is the filtration that ductless HVAC systems have. Let the customer know that the filtration system decreases the amount of dust, allergens, pollen and bacteria in the air. After you explain this, you can mention how most ordinary HVAC systems require professional cleaning regularly and can still leave behind dust and allergens. Make sure the customer understands that ductless options enhance the air quality, which allows easy breathing.

Cons

  1. “Initial Costs May be Higher”

Although you may have already explained that your customer would save money over time by installing a ductless HVAC system, be transparent and clarify why the up front cost of purchase and installation is higher. You can explain the details of how the system’s efficiency and technology is more expensive to buy and install, but then remind the customer that the overall cost is lower when the system is operating.

  1. “Placement is Crucial”

Express the importance of placement when installing a ductless HVAC system and validate your credibility. Revert back to when you mentioned the efficiency of a ductless HVAC, and explain how improper placement will cause inefficient operation and wastes energy. You can end your point by making sure the customer understands improper placement can increase utility costs.

  1. “Style”

If your customer has indicated that style is essential, the indoor portion of the ductless HVAC systems may not satisfy his or her inner interior designer. You can try to identify your customer’s taste and make sure that you present certain options.

Carrier Enterprise has a variety of ductless systems from Carrier, Bryant, and Toshiba Carrier to suit your customers’ budgets and styles so they can achieve the best of all worlds.  Visit us today to shop online for the perfect solution for your customer!

 

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.

 

Using YouTube to Promote Your HVAC Business

In today’s fast-paced and competitive environment, HVAC contractors must use all the tools available to them to ensure that their business is top of mind when customers need to select a contractor for maintenance or replacement of an HVAC system.

Most successful contractors have begun to use social media to promote their business and engage their customers through consistent posts on Facebook and Twitter. But, many are not using the most powerful social media tool of all – YouTube. The power of YouTube to position your company to customers and maintain an ongoing conversation with them is one of the strongest and most cost-effective ways to keep your company relevant and top of mind for today’s customers. And once you have produced the videos, you can use them on your social media sites, company website, in advertising, public relations and other promotional channels.

When making videos for YouTube, it is great to have high quality video equipment if that is within your budget. However, if you don’t have that available to you, don’t let it stop you. Many videos on YouTube are done on smartphones or hand-held video cameras. If you have the ability to edit your videos to “get it just right” that’s great too — but, sometimes videos that are shot “on the fly” are just as informative and entertaining. The most important thing to remember is that you determine what you want to tell your customer and what you want them to learn after watching the video. If you have clear direction on that, you can go into production and have fun!

Here are some ways that you can use YouTube to promote your business:

Branding

  1. Company History – Produce a video showing a history of your company and your staff in the industry that will showcase your experience, certificates, licenses, awards, etc. This video can be used as part of a media kit, on your company website or as a leave behind on a flash drive when making sales calls.
  1. Promoting news stories you were involved in – You can extend the life and potential reach of a local news story by placing the video on YouTube. You may need to obtain permission from your local broadcaster before uploading the video to YouTube.

Education of Customers

  1. Tips for DIY maintenance – Most customers are not familiar with some of the basic things they can do themselves to ensure their HVAC system will perform well throughout the year. A great way to create customer loyalty is by producing a video that shows them some easy ways they can maintain their systems.
  1. How to program your thermostat – Programmable thermostats are very popular now, but many people don’t take the time to learn how to program their thermostat so it can save them energy and money. A simple step-by-step video to assist customers in programming their thermostat can go a long way in creating customer loyalty and ensuring that they will call you when their system needs repair.
  1. Explaining HVAC equipment SEER ratings – Once again, most customers know they should be purchasing the most energy efficient system possible, but most don’t really know why it matters. Sharing your knowledge on this topic will go a long way to increasing your credibility with your customers and give them the confidence that you are selling them a system that will best serve their needs.
  1. New Homeowner HVAC 101 – This video is designed to be a tutorial for a new homeowner who is not familiar with owning their own home with an HVAC system. It will show them how them basic information about the system and provide tips on how to prevent maintenance issues.
  1. Tips to prepare for change of seasons – This video will show homeowners how to get their systems ready for the upcoming change in weather conditions.
  1. How to prepare for a HVAC replacement – This video will show an owner what to expect when their HVAC system needs to be replaced and how they can minimize inconvenience and discomfort during the process.

Company & Staff Promotion

  1. Promote your internal and external staff – Showcase your entire staff and their experience and expertise to your customers so that they feel comfortable with the team that will be working on their home and handling their service calls.
  1. Showcase your company’s community involvement – It’s important to make sure that your customers know that your company is supporting the local community. Always video your team when they are out in the community helping others. It goes a long way toward developing customer loyalty.

These are just a few ways you can easily and affordably create a winning “reel” of online videos. After you get started, there will be even more reasons to show your customers what your company is doing. So, start today with one of these ideas and enjoy the benefits of free promotion for your company on YouTube!

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.