Comfort Supply, a Nashville-based wholesaler of Ruud HVAC products, has teamed up with KB Watson Enterprises to provide contractors with a suite of cloud-based calculators designed to simplify the most common tasks performed by HVAC comfort advisors, system designers, installers and service technicians. A beta version of the platform, designed by Kenny Watson of KB Watson Enterprises and distributed by Comfort Supply, was recently released to the market.
“We’re excited to share the HVAC Web Apps platform with our contractors. We look forward to receiving feedback about how this new technology helps them,” Comfort Supply Purchasing Manager Ogden Rattliff said. “As a company we continually look for ways to create value for our customers, and as the sole distribution channel for HVAC Web Apps we’ve been able to do just that.”
“Comfort Supply is already a recognized leader in the industry because of their employees’ innovative use of technology, specifically using iPad tablets loaded with HVAC apps, which is why we targeted them,” Watson said. “It’s a forward-thinking company that’s unafraid of finding new ways to evolve.”
The platform of cloud-based Web apps – ranging from Manual J (heating and cooling load calculations) to Ductulator to Heat Pump Capacity – runs on any device with a Web browser. Given the wide proliferation of mobile devices and their increasingly common use by workers in the field, Watson designed a platform that’s accessible by any technician, anywhere, regardless of the device being used.
“There weren’t any truly universal HVAC apps in the market, so I decided to create some,” said Watson. “I quickly learned that a lot of designers put tremendous resources into having a different app for every platform, which seemed expensive and inefficient. I wanted to fashion a platform of apps across devices, making it cheaper and easier for the contractor. HVAC Web Apps are cloud-based, which means they place virtually no demand on the user’s end. The network of computers in the cloud does all the heavy lifting.”
Noting the trend of fewer and fewer technicians carrying large, cumbersome laptops to worksites to perform calculations, Watson realized the rich potential and value the technology would provide the industry. Devices such as iPhones, Android smartphones and tablets, he says, are just more tools on the HVAC technician’s belt.
“The best thing about the platform is that it combines a bunch of tools in one location,” Comfort Supply Salesman Wayne Dube said. “You don’t have to have a refrigerant chart, a pipe size chart and a Manual J, for example, when you’re at a worksite. Calculations that used to take contractors up to an hour to compute now take about a minute.”
“It’s a great training tool for the industry and the next step for bringing our industry into the IT age,” Dube said.