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Business Bits - June 2009

June 1, 2009
Rheem Helps Explain Federal Tax Credits Rheem Manufacturing Company is helping contractors and homeowners understand the Federal energy tax credits. As

Rheem Helps Explain Federal Tax Credits

Rheem Manufacturing Company is helping contractors and homeowners understand the Federal energy tax credits.

As the only manufacturer that produces both heating and cooling and water heating products, Rheem is providing the expert advice necessary when selecting new home appliances and navigating available rebates and tax incentives.

“President Obama's Federal energy tax credit program increases consumer purchasing power and allows homeowners to obtain Rheem whole-home comfort systems at prices well below the standard market prices,” says Ed Raniszeski, marketing director of Rheem. “From now until the end of the year, there's a window of opportunity for consumers to affordably replace inefficient equipment with energy efficient comfort systems.”

Home heating and cooling equipment — including air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces and boilers — may qualify for a tax credit of 30% of the installed cost, up to $1,500. The air conditioners and heat pumps must have a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of at least 15. Furnaces and boilers need an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 95%. Homeowners can view a complete list of Rheem heating and cooling products which qualify for a tax credit at

Rheem also offers a full array of water heaters that qualify for Federal tax credits, including its new SolPak® solar water heater.

HVAC contractors may remind homeowners that in many areas, local governments and utility companies are also offering homeowner rebates or other credits. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiencies — — provides a listing of incentives available from states, local governments and utilities.

AirAdvice Receives New Patent for Sensor Technology

Sources from AirAdvice, Inc., Portland, OR, report the company has received a patent for a method of measuring sensor drift characteristics. The method includes data acquisition, sensor conditioning, and acceptance criteria systems. The methodology was developed by AirAdvice's co-founder and Vice President of Engineering, Meindert Kleefstra.

Company spokespeople say this new method of tracking sensor performance allows AirAdvice to use only the best performing sensors in their product lines, and to calibrate only those that will meet high field performance standards. It's also used as a research and development tool, as part of ongoing product development to work with sensor industry partners to improve the long-term performance of their sensor technology.

With this patent, AirAdvice ensures that its diagnostic systems provide a level of accuracy that will lead to increased energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions, and improved occupant comfort.

Taco, Viega Facilities are ‘Green Giants' of Efficiency, Capacity

Taco, Inc., Cranston, RI, held a LEED® certification ceremony at its new facility in April. Taco recently completed a substantial plant renovation and expansion, and in so doing reduced the facility's carbon footprint.

According to President/CEO Johnny White, Jr., the 60,000 sq. ft. warehouse addition symbolizes Taco's commitment to the community, to Rhode Island, and to Taco's U.S. manufacturing presence.

“The new addition also represents Taco's commitment to the community, the environment and our employees as it incorporates a variety of sustainable building practices, many of which are designed and manufactured by Taco,” White said. He added that the new warehouse distribution facility, which ties to the headquarters and main manufacturing plant, has enhanced operational efficiency.

The 60,000+ sq.ft., single-story warehouse addition received the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification. The warehouse has 12 loading dock bays, 30-ft.-high clearance for storage racking systems, a quality lab, administrative office space, a demonstration mechanical room for the snow-melt system, and facilities for the manufacturing plant's coolant and metal chip recycling systems.

The facility includes a gas turbine based cogeneration plant that provides heating and cooling for the entire facility through Taco's own “LoadMatch” system. A solar panel array supplements the plant's domestic water requirements.

The new cogeneration plant provides about one-third of Taco's electrical requirements through microturbines. The microturbines use waste heat from the generated electricity to produce chilled water and hot water for the HVAC system. Further energy savings are achieved by the use of a Taco “LoadMatch” system and a solar panel array to supplement the plant's domestic hot water requirements. The snowmelt system in the loading bay area eliminates the use of salt, chemicals, the need for plowing and increases safety.

Taco is a member of the Hydronics Industry Alliance (, a coalition of 34 members of the Hydronics Industry Section of the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute.

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Nearly 1,000 industry partners, government officials and Viega personnel gathered on April 21 for the grand opening of Viega's 439,000 sq.ft. manufacturing and distribution center in McPherson, KS.

Viega co-owner Walter Viegener said the facility symbolized, “another door to the future.”

“This facility represents Viega's commitment to the plumbing and heating industry” said CEO Dan Schmierer.

The center spans 11-acres — which equates to nearly 10 football fields — under one roof.

The facility is equipped with extrusion and injection molding machines, logistics, and office space. It will help streamline operations, improve efficiency, and provide Viega employees with ample room for product development. Twenty-two Midwestern states will receive all Viega products from this location.

Johnson Controls, U.S. Energy Association Induct Efficiency Leaders into Hall of Fame

Johnson Controls, Inc. and the United States Energy Association (USEA) will honor 22 people who have dedicated their careers to energy efficiency.

The inaugural Energy Efficiency Forum Hall of Fame event is planned for June 15, in Washington, DC. The ceremony will precede the 20th Anniversary of the Energy Efficiency Forum - the first such event of its type to convene high ranking politicians, business leaders, and non-governmental organizations promoting energy efficiency.

Inductees include Kateri Callahan, president, Alliance to Save Energy; Eileen Claussen, president, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and Strategies for the Global Environment; and Douglas Decker, founder, Energy Efficiency Forum

Profiles of all inductees can be found at

Honeywell Awards Top Distributors and Contractors

Honeywell honored top distributors and contractors at the Second Annual Momentum Customer Conference held in March, 2009, in Dallas, TX.

“The Momentum Conference brought together more than 300 commercial HVAC distributors and contractors, making it the perfect forum to recognize top-performing companies,” said Dave Molin, general manager, Honeywell Building Control Systems.

The Distributor of the Year Award was presented to Broudy Precision Equipment Company, West Conshohocken, PA. The award is based on two-year rolling volume, year-to-year growth, product mix, commitment to training, and more.

“Fourteen of our distributors earned Honeywell Diamond Distributor status, which is an elite honor in itself,” notes Molin. “Broudy Precision rose to the top of that list. We're proud to name them our Distributor of the Year.”

Honeywell Authorized Controls Integrators (ACI) qualify for awards in two categories, “ACI of the Year” and ACI Rookie of the Year.” The awards are based on volume, major projects won and completed, creative solutions, technical competency and the commitment to partnering with other Honeywell groups. Southeastern Temperature Controls of Birmingham, AL, was named “ACI of the Year.” The ACI Rookie of the Year was The Service Company, Hattiesburg, MS.

DMA Applied Controls Ltd., was named Canadian Contractor of the Year. Other awards included the Growth Awards and Perpetual Momentum Awards for contractors. Growth awards consisted of companies that grew their business with Honeywell more than 250% in the last year, while Perpetual Momentum recipients were consistent Honeywell performers with volume near $500,000 annually.

The Honeywell Momentum Conference featured workshops, training opportunities, new product launches and a trade show for Honeywell's commercial HVAC contractor and distributor community.

Honeywell sources say the second annual Momentum Conference was a success, as more than 300 commercial HVACR contractors and distributors were in attendance.

Momentum is a technology and business forum designed to fuel the growth and advancement of leading Honeywell contractors and distributors serving the buildings industry with integrated HVAC, security, video, and intrusion products and solutions.


Tom Huntington has been named president and chief executive officer of WaterFurnace International, Inc. He replaces Bruce Ritchey, who is retiring from the company after 10 years in the position. Huntington comes to WaterFurnace from the Building Efficiency Division of Johnson Controls, Inc. In 2005, Johnson Controls acquired York International, where Huntington was president of York's $1 billion Unitary Products Group from 2000 until 2006. Huntington ran that group under Johnson Controls.

Carrier Contractor Finds a Need and Meets It

Williams Comfort Air, Central Indiana's largest Carrier HVAC contractor, recently joined ABC's “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and The Estridge Companies builders, to build a new home for an Indianapolis-area family, This program featuring the project was aired on the May 17 season finale. Carrier Corp. is a unit of United Technologies Corp.

Williams Comfort Air provided and installed the heating and cooling equipment, including an energy-efficient Infinity System by Carrier with Infinity controls, air purifier and humidifier.

“Our team is proud to be involved in this great community effort to care for one of our neighbors. We're excited to answer this call to serve,” says Joe Huck, president of Williams Comfort Air.

Huck has experience in community service. He recently developed a new community recognition program called ExtraordinAIRy Treasures that was introduced on in January, 2009. Williams Comfort Air has been serving Central Indiana since 1966.

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Ken Langer, president, Environmental Market Solutions, Inc. (EMSI), a unit of Carrier Corporation, will be presenting at two green building conferences in Asia this summer: the China Sustainable Building Summit 2009 taking place at the Shanghai New International Expo Center from June 20-July 1, and GreenBuild Asia 2009, beginning July 7 in Hong Kong.

Aireco, Laurel, MD, has instituted the HARDI Certified Counter Specialist (CCS) Program. The program gives counter personnel a formal, structured program that encourages training and continued education. It also emphasizes customer service product knowledge, people skills, and attitude.

Unico Inc., manufacturer of a small-duct, high-velocity, central HVAC system, has donated more than $10,000 worth of equipment to the Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 36 Training Center.