2017 Quality Home Comfort Awards: Service Call Leads to Comfort Solutions

July 5, 2017
For Innovator Tom Casey, Jr., chief quality officer at Griffin Service, this call was provided an opportunity to improve home comfort and make the air much cleaner.

The traditional heating and air conditioning service call often leads to significant mutual benefits for contractors and customers. A prime example of this was brought to our attention by Tom Casey, Jr. Tom’s history of Quality Home Comfort Award-winning projects extends back to the 1980s, when this annual showcase of HVAC excellence was first published.

Casey began his HVAC career working alongside his father — Tom Casey, Sr.— at Climate Partners, Milford, Conn. Throughout his long career, Casey has been the customers’ advocate, always seeking the best comfort methods that are energy efficient as well as state-of-the-art. While still serving as chief quality officer for Climate Partners, Casey recently relocated to St. Johns, Fla. His new company there is Griffin Service Co. where he also serves as chief quality officer. His brother, Todd, manages the Milford, Conn., business.

• 2 American Standard 4-ton 18+ SEER, modulating, inverter heat pumps, with communicating, variable speed air handlers and Nexia controls
• 2 American Standard TAM8-048 variable speed air handlers

• 2 American Standard electric resistance heaters• Nexia 4-Zone automatic control system, including zone sensors and dampers• 2 Nexia zone controllers• 2 Solace Air PMAC air filters• 2 Solace Air UV air purifiers

Casey describes how this award-winning installation by Griffin Service Co. was the result of a simple service call to a homeowner seeking answers:

“Originally, we were referred to the Phillips residence to evaluate window film for some areas that were overheating. During our inspection and evaluation for the window film, the topic of home comfort came up,” Casey explains. “Mr. Phillips had multiple HVAC contractors out to resolve comfort issues, and was not confident that any of them had actually identified the root issues causing the problems.”


The main house was being served by three existing Trane heat pump systems that were beginning to fail to varying degrees.

Mr. Phillips wanted to:
• upgrade the systems and accomplish the goals of enhanced comfort throughout the home especially in the second floor master bedroom and office areas at opposite ends of the home that were not cooling properly.
• reduce uncomfortable humidity levels that persisted year-round due to the oceanfront location
• improve the healthiness quality of the indoor air,
• lower high utility bills from systems that never shut off
• improve the access and serviceability of the systems and equipment.

The team conducted necessary load calculations, and found the existing capacity was oversized, which was causing the reduced dehumidification. Additionally, a duct sizing review found both sizing and configuration issues that Casey described as “catastrophic to the performance of the systems and home." Also, three heat pumps located outside the home had insufficient clearance for proper re-circulated airflow.

Casey’s plan involved upgrading and consolidating the oversized systems into two properly-sized units, combined with strategic ductwork upgrades and zoning. This created a system that now delivers even temperatures and comfortable humidity levels year-round. Inverter heat pumps modulate capacity to precisely match the varying loads in real time. Variable speed air handlers also vary airflow to match airflow precisely to zone loads.

“The air handlers are configured for optimal dehumidification performance at the start of every cooling cycle, plus enhanced mode through the automatic control system during run cycle operations,” Casey says.
Always an important detail, all new ducts are insulated and sealed to ensure all system airflow is delivered and returned from each space efficiently.

Each air handler is equipped with a Solace polarized media air cleaner and ultraviolet light to protect the new systems and deliver clean, healthy air to live, work, and sleep in.

Both systems were installed in an outdoor mechanical room, which Casey and team sealed and insulated after demo, and prior to installation, to ensure there were no uncontrolled infiltration of outdoor air. Additionally, fresh air intake ducts were added to each air handler to control house pressure to also help prevent infiltration from the inaccessible crawl space below. All work was coordinated and completed with the homeowner occupying the home, including protection and clean-up of the home daily to minimize disruptions.

Automatic Nexia controls were applied for all systems and zones, including a separate existing AC system that was unmodified with our scope of work. Everything can be monitored and adjusted online, which comes in handy when away from home.

Congratulations to Tom Casey and Griffin Service! Tom Casey is bringing his trademark excellence to new customers in a new state.

About the Author

Terry McIver | Content Director - CB

A career publishing professional, Terence 'Terry' McIver has served three diverse industry publications in varying degrees of responsibility since 1987, and worked in marketing communications for a major U.S. corporation.He joined the staff of Contracting Business magazine in April 2005.

As director of content for Contracting Business, he produces daily content and feature articles for CB's 38,000 print subscribers and many more Internet visitors. He has written hundreds, if not two or three, pieces of news, features and contractor profile articles for CB's audience of quality HVACR contractors. He can also be found covering HVACR industry events or visiting with manufacturers and contractors. He also has significant experience in trade show planning.