Johnson Controls Offers the New System 450™ Series
Johnson Controls, Inc. is now offering the System 450™ series of microprocessor-based modular controls.
With nine model variations — each designed to be multi-purpose, adaptable and field configurable — the System 450 series can monitor and control temperature, pressure, and humidity simultaneously. The enhanced design creates a versatile and durable custom control system that allows the user to monitor and control multiple control loops.
Designed to replace the System 350 and System 27 Series control systems, the new System 450 series is easy to use, flexible, and can handle hundreds of custom applications. These applications include heating and/or cooling control, boiler temperature reset, fan control, floating pressure of an actuator and humidification/dehumidification control.
Intuit GoPayment Now Available
Intuit Inc. announced that Intuit® GoPayment is available at the App Store. The GoPayment App is a new way to process credit card payments using iPhone and iPod touch. The free download turns iPhone or iPod touch into an affordable and hassle-free credit card terminal, sources say.
According to company sources, GoPayment helps business owners get paid faster and improves cash flow by processing customer credit card payments as soon as they complete a job. It's a quick way to process credit cards, view past charges and send customers electronic receipts via e-mail or text message. For added control, users can also review transactions online and synchronize them with QuickBooks.
New from Rheem
The new integrated air-source HP-50 Heat Pump Water Heater from Rheem Water Heating offers an Energy Factor of 2.0. The new water heater qualifies for a federal tax credit as well as many state and utility rebates and incentives.
Intended for residential applications, both new construction and drop-in replacement of existing water heaters, the unit has a storage capacity of 50 gallons and meets the qualifications for an Energy Star listing. Measuring only 21-in. in diameter and 75.5-in. tall, the HP-50 offers a more portable profile that makes installation in spaces with restricted access including attics and basement mechanical rooms much easier, sources say.
GeoAnalyst® Sales and Design Software Update Released
GeoComfort® announces version 1.1 of its GeoAnalyst® residential sales and design software for dealers and distributors. Version 1.1 includes all of the features of the original version plus two new modules, pressure drop calculation/pump sizing and sales proposal.
GeoAnalyst is a residential design and application software for geothermal systems. The software features loop sizing which uses “pure” IGSHPA (International Ground Source Heat Pump Association) algorithms, not manufacturer-adjusted loop sizing formulas. The user configurability provides users with an accurate system analysis at a low annual maintenance fee, which includes free updates, company sources say.
TACO To Deliver 3D Pump Models
Taco, Inc. has announced that it's making its commercial pump lines available through the Autodesk Seek web service. This will enable mechanical design professionals to search for and access Taco's data-rich, high-quality digital design files directly from AutoCAD and the Revit desktop design applications for Building Information Modeling (BIM) or thru the Internet.
Three file formats will be available via Autodesk Seek: Revit (.rfa), AutoCAD 2D and AutoCAD 3D. The Taco files can also be accessed using any mobile smart device.
According to company sources, Taco's KS pump line is the first product line to be made available through Autodesk. KS Vertical Split Coupled Inline Pumps are designed for optimum performance and ease of installation and maintenance. They are ideal for HVAC and industrial applications.
Aquatherm Announces New Welding Jig
Aquatherm announced the release of a new version of its electric welding jig tool, which is used to make heat fusion connections. According to company sources, this redesigned version of the jig is much stronger and more durable that its predecessor, replacing many of the plastic and steel parts with stainless steel.
The new jig has increased teeth size and number, improving its grip on pipes and fittings. An extra handle has also been added for better control. The improved jig separates the drill motor from the clamps and gearbox, making it lighter, easier to handle, and more cost effective. The welding jig can now be used with any ¼-in. drill and is available nationwide.
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Raypak's XPak™ Condensing Residential Hydronic Boiler
Raypak introduces the XPak, a new wall hung condensing residential hydronic boiler. The XPak features an innovative extruded aluminum alloy heat exchanger. Other features include modulation with 4:1 turn down, synchronized with a three speed Grundfos non ferrous pump; two section heat exchanger to minimize condensate dwell time; 3-in. CPVC, and a stainless steel or polypropylene vent.
CITY MULTI® Y-Series: Two-Pipe Cooling or Heating System
The CITY MULTI Y-Series heat pump from Mitsubishi Electric uses a two-pipe system with a wide variety of indoor units and individual zone controllers to provide the ultimate zoning system.
The Y-Series works seemlessly with CITY MULTI variable capacity indoor units and simple DDC controls, all part of the the CITY MULTI Controls Network (CMCN). The CMCN consists of remote controllers, centralized controllers, Building Management System (BMS) interfaces and integrated software. The CMCN provides advanced control for each zone of a building with options for individual or centralized temperature control.
Gateway Safety's Wheelz™ Goggle Now Available With a Foam Edge
Wheelz™ safety eyewear is part safety glasses and part safety goggle, Wheelz eyewear combines all-day comfort with popular sport styling and the maximum splash and impact protection of a goggle. Unlike traditional goggles that can be big and bulky, Wheelz eyewear has a compact, lightweight frame made of a soft, flexible material. It's now available with an optional foam edge that absorbs perspiration, preserving a clear view of the workplace and serving as a cushion for added hours of comfort. (Available on black frame with clear anti-fog and gray anti-fog lens options only.)
Wheelz goggles feature the patented Whirlwind™ ventilation system, which minimizes fogging by circulating air through the optical chamber. Ten unique conical air chambers line the frame's brow area. Secondary air enters the goggle through ten additional ventilation ports on the frame's underside, creating a strong “whirlwind” of air that circulates through the inner frame. Better vision increases compliance and helps prevent injuries that can happen if safety eyewear is removed, even briefly.
Document Builder Technology Helps HVAC Contractor Improve Efficiency, Sales
Despite the recession, sales at Service Plus Heating and Air Conditioning, Indianapolis, IN, are up more than 60% compared to last year.
Chris Cunningham started the business six years ago, as a one-truck operation. Now, he's doing $1million-plus in sales with the help of five technicians.
Cunningham credits the boost to improved efficiency and smarter use of technology and personnel.
One of his favorite techno-tools is an iPhone that includes a FormSpring template for business documents.
Cunningham and each of his technicians made the move to paperless invoicing about six months ago. FormSpring lets contractors capture and manage data online with a drag-and-drop system that allows them to build the templates without the support of an IT department.
When Cunningham went paperless, he looked at various industry specific applications, but prices were higher than he could afford. Instead, he invested about $1,000 in iPhones, plus a $20/month FormSpring fee.
Field technicians use the templates to generate and email invoices to customers without going back to the office. The same system allows techs to generate up to three different quotes when a unit needs to be replaced.
“With FormSpring, we've automated much of our invoicing from the field, and we're experiencing huge growth. There's improved efficiency, and the IPhone application allows my technicians to sell more effectively,” Cunningham says.
“There's no training needed. Over a weekend I started going through the online tutorials and built my templates. I start importing those into different forms, such as repair or service forms.
“We see all of our pricing on one page, and keeps it nice and tidy. Our field technicians don't have to drop off tickets every 24-hour, and we know what's going on with every job at all times.”
Customers receive email invoices. About 20% of transactions are C.O.D., some are on 30-day billing, and others accept the credit card option.
Cunningham plans to integrate the invoicing with an inventory tracking system.
Formerly, as part of the sales development process, someone at the home office needed to generate a quote, schedule an appointment and visit the prospect. Now, the technician, who is already at the location trying to make a repair, can also handle the quote. He emails all the information to the customer, including a link to the manufacturers site.
Instead of having one or two sales reps, each of the five field technicians is now commissioned as a sales representative.
Service Plus's improved efficiency includes a reduction in travel expenses, because technicians only come into the office once a week. They keep their trucks overnight and leave for appointments directly from home.
Customers get timely service reminders about tune-ups, filter replacements, and more, all through their emails. And, since the data is all collected online through FormSpring's iPhone application, it can be integrated with billing and inventory control.
Cunningham is certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE). After working for a New York contractor, he left the HVAC industry for a time. He and his wife moved to Indianapolis and he worked for General Motors. He decided to get back into HVAC six years ago, but this time as a business owner.
Cunningham switched to an iPhone after comparing his Palm Treo with a fellow-airline passenger's iPhone.
“He was checking his airline reservations and connecting flights. I couldn't do any of that with my PalmTreo. That's when the light went on for me.”
Service Plus has a 40% residential HVAC customer clientele, but Cunningham says he intends to focus on the residential changeout market, thanks to the lower customer acquisition costs.
“I feel the next 10 years will be huge for residential. It used to be so expensive to find a residential customer. But now that we're more tech-savvy, the cost-per-customer is much lower,” Cunningham says.
COMFORTECH PRODUCT SHOWCASE AWARD
At HVAC Comfortech 2008, 15 products were recognized as Product Showcase Award winners. Judges took into consideration the ease with which HVAC contractors can apply the technology, and the technical value of the product or service to the HVAC industry. We'll feature these products each month in upcoming issues of Contracting Business. This month, we're featuring Yodle's Local Online Advertising for HVAC Companies,the winner in the Miscellaneous category. For additional information on any of the products listed here, circle the appropriate number(s) on the reader service card at the back of this issue or visit www.contractingbusiness.com/freeinfo.html.
Yodle Offers Local Online Advertising for HVAC Companies
As a provider of local online advertising services, Yodle helps HVAC companies get found, offering the expertise and tools needed to reach these prospects, and convert them into customers.
Yodle will promote a business on the leading search engines and local sites - such as Google (R), Yahoo!, MSN and Ask.com. - where people are actively searching for HVAC services. When someone clicks on your company's advertising, Yodle will send them to a website personalized for your business that encourages them to pick up the phone and call or inquire online.
Yodle also offers advertising campaign management. Services include selecting the right keywords, writing ad copy, managing bids and budgeting. Yodle will track and interpret the results.