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Business Bits

May 1, 2012
Managers at Siefert MTM, North Kingstown, RI, needed to reduce energy costs and improve comfort in its 19,000 sq. ft. warehouse distribution center. It’s there that Siefert assembles and stores industrial air conditioners and heat exchangers. A fan from Big Ass Fans, Lexington, KY, was the answer to Siefert’s comfort and energy concerns.

The Right Fan Brings Comfort, Energy Savings to Manufacturer’s Warehouse
Managers at Siefert MTM, North Kingstown, RI, needed to reduce energy costs and improve comfort in its 19,000 sq. ft. warehouse distribution center. It’s there that Siefert assembles and stores industrial air conditioners and heat exchangers. A fan from Big Ass Fans, Lexington, KY, was the answer to Siefert’s comfort and energy concerns.

“We have a very nice building, but it’s not very evenly heated. The warehouse wouldn’t heat up very quickly, because the heaters are positioned in upper corners,” says Rob Granai, logistics and operations manager.

Granai says he came to appreciate the temperature difference between the floor and ceiling area after storage mezzanines were installed high above the warehouse floor.

“There was a 15F to 20F difference in temperature from floor to ceiling,” Granai recalls. When it was decided that a change was in order as soon as possible, Granai called Jay Reynolds, customer support senior manager at Big Ass Fans, and got a quick response.

A Powerfoil X model was installed in December of 2011.

Following the installation of the Powerfoil X, Seifert warehouse employees found the environment to be vastly more comfortable.

“Within 10 minutes of its first use, we noticed the difference in heat circulation,” Granai recalls. “I went up to the mezzanine area, and found there was no difference in temperature.”

Additionally, Seifert MTM has saved almost 30% on gas heat compared to the same period last year.

“I believe in this product. It’s really good; and now, the energy savings are on paper,” Granai says.

Big Ass Fans installations are performed only by certified licensed electrical contractors, or HVAC contractors who carry electrical endorsements, or are fully licensed electrical contractors. Two days of factory training are required.

“They then go back to their companies armed with support materials, so they can continue the training with their staff,” Reynolds says. He sends out technical bulletins announcing important product or procedural news as necessary.

Reynolds says he isn’t surprised by the savings realized at the Siefert factory.

“We see 25% to 40% reduction in gas usage, depending on type of building and how good they are at keeping doors closed,” he says. In addition to the fans’ comfort benefits, Reynolds says some customers will use Big Ass Fans’ products to mitigate condensation on floors or other surfaces, or in natatoriums, to mitigate build up of chloramine gas.

“Our family of fans helps us provide a wide array of solutions,” he says.

Solid warranties also are provided.

“With the Powerfoil X fan and factory installation customers receive a 10-year warranty, non-pro-rated. The cost of the unit, weighed with the warranty, is what we find drives most customer decisions,” Reynolds says.

Fan selection for each site is based on ceiling height, total square footage, floor obstacles, and a locations’ ambient noise levels.

“For example, we recently installed a fan in a software developer’s building. The building was previously a church, with stone walls and high cathedral ceilings. Our industrial fan with a gearbox would have produced too much noise for that type of location,” Reynolds explains. “The customer chose an element fan, which has no gearbox. It’s like a house fan, but much larger.”

On May 1, 2012 Big Ass Fans released the Powerfoil X2.0, featuring a unique, new, patented airfoil system (see Comfortech Product Showcase Awards).

At presstime, Big Ass Fans was looking for installers near western Pennsylvania, Northern California, Reno, NV, Birmingham AL, and Little Rock, AR. Contractors interested in becoming certified Big Ass Fans installers can contact Jay Reynolds by phone at 859/629-6270, or by email, at [email protected]. — Terry McIver

Focus on Education, Motivation at ClimateMaster Sales Meeting
Nearly 250 manufacturers’ representatives, architects, and engineers participated in this year’s ClimateMaster national sales meeting, held in March in downtown Oklahoma City, OK.

The meeting included information on overall system advantages, geothermal project planning, system financing, option geothermal loop design, and many other topics.

“Summarizing this year’s ClimateMaster sales meeting, I’d boil it down to two words: education and motivation,” says John Bailey, senior vice president of sales and marketing at ClimateMaster, Inc.

“We provided something of educational value for everyone in the audience, whether it was a training on our latest product lines, a session on tools for streamlining the sales lead tracking process, or a presentation on some of our latest project success stories. We also addressed many of the reasons why our sales staff, rep firms and their key customers should be more than elated at our trajectory of achievement in commercial projects, as well as the additional opportunities currently in the pipeline,” Bailey says.

Sales meeting attendees were introduced to and provided with training on a number of ClimateMaster’s newest Tranquility products.

“Our most recent units reflect a response to demand for a broader size and efficiency range in relation to specific application parameters, as well as greater ease of unit installation, troubleshooting and maintenance,” says Tony Landers, marketing director for commercial products at ClimateMaster. For more on the proceedings, visit

Website Provides New Avenue to HVACR Employment is a simple, easy to use website that allows HVACR contractors, distributors, and manufacturers to post job openings and invite résumés to be submitted for those positions. It also allows technicians, managers, and office personnel seeking jobs in the HVACR industry to post their résumés and seek out employment opportunities.

According to company president Mark Veilleux —who also runs a successful contracting firm — offers free résumé browsing and an unlimited number of job postings for the lowest price in the HVACR industry. benefits include:

  • lowest price job descriptions
  • free resume browsing
  • maximum visibility
  • targeted searches
  • fixed recruitment costs
  • 24/7/365 access
  • live support.

“My goal is to provide the best HVAC recruiting tools at the lowest price,” Veilleux says.

“For employers, we offer several features not found at other recruitment sites, for as little as half the cost. Fix your costs, save time, and find excellent HVAC personnel. For job seekers, we created this website to help fellow tradesmen find quality HVAC employment in less time.”

For more information, contact at 855/248-6557, or online, at

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DENSO Sales California, Inc. has appointed David Keller as manager of the company’s Heat Management Department. Keller will direct the sales, service, and product development strategies for the MovinCool line of spot cooling units.

Johnson Controls has named Melissa Marineau director of marketing for Unitary Products. She will be responsible for the overall implementation and development of short-range and long-term marketing and communications initiatives for Unitary Products, including the York, Luxaire, Coleman, and Fraser-Johnston brands.

Tecumseh Products Company recently annouced the following North America region appointments:

  • Jeff Fordeck, vice president, North American marketing and sales
  • Keith Gifford, director of marketing
  • Mark Strunk, director of procurement
  • Dave Hawkes senior manager, systems engineering.

A Minute with Carrier’s Chris Nelson and Greg Alcorn
by Mike Weil, Editorial Director

In March, during the 11th Carrier Global Engineering Conference (GEC) in Las Vegas, NV, we had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Chris Nelson, vice president, sales and marketing, and Greg Alcorn, vice president commercial sales and marketing, Carrier, about market and societal changes impacting the HVAC industry. The GEC, which was co-sponsored by Contracting’s sister magazine HPAC Engineering, targeted emerging building trends and technologies, with a focus on environmental issues.

You can read an overview of the event at at

Alcorn says that much of the philosophy behind the GEC has been about thinking outside of the box, and being solution-oriented, all the way from working with energy services companies down to doing payback analyses on how to upgrade existing buildings.

“This type of thinking will provide the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to commercial building renovation and its impact on the environment,” he says, “instead of just constructing new building after new building.”

He adds that with the crunch on resources and the exponential growth of energy and water costs, it’s important to change the way building owners think about the payback for these projects. “Their mindset,” he says, “is that they can’t afford energy and water conservation projects with a nine- or 10-year payback.”

“The truth of the matter is, our opportunity lies in bringing total building solutions,” Alcorn says. “Think about the growth curve we’re experiencing in terms of our use of energy and water. By finding creative ways to save on that use now, we shrink long payback periods into something more acceptable to owners. That’s the message that building owners and facility managers need to understand and that we, as an industry, need to demonstrate to them. Products exist today that can contribute immediately to a building owner’s goals.”

Nelson says that a similar message needs to be translated to the residential side of the industry.

“As an industry, we need to transition from thinking that we exclusively provide comfort at a certain efficiency level to thinking that we provide energy savings and energy opportunities that have a side benefit of comfort,” he explains. “The concept of selling a solution versus selling pieces of equipment is very powerful. Obviously there are many customers interested in payback. With such customers, explaining the life-cycle savings provided by a higher efficiency solution versus the lower upfront costs makes it a more compelling investment for them.”

“As an industry,” Nelson continues, “we talk about efficiency all the time, because it’s really efficiency that drives payback. But there are other things that we do as well, some of which is covered during the GEC, including examining how people interact with buildings, and being aware of positive effects from energy projects, including boosts in productivity and health. We need to change our approach to one that is more holistic instead of selling efficiency as a specific benefit,” he says.

We will publish our complete interview with Chris Nelson and Greg Alcorn in HPAC Engineering next month, and it will appear online as well, so stay tuned.

Uponor ‘Connections’ Convention Features Many Breakout Sessions, Lots of Good News
Uponor’s 2012 convention, “Connections 2012,” drew more than 800 attendees to the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The attendees were treated to an intense two days that featured insights from the leadership of Uponor; networking opportunities; more than 20 breakout sessions covering indoor climate, plumbing, radiant cooling, fire safety, and commercial plumbing; and a dynamic closing session with motivational speaker Doug Hanson. Bill Gray, president, Uponor North America (pictured), thanked the attendees for their commitment to Uponor and promised that going forward, the company would focus on shared success.

“Uponor wants to be a better partner, finding the middle ground that allows all parties to succeed,” Gray said. “It’s only in sharing success with you that we’ll all meet our mutual goals.” For more information from the convention, visit