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  • Thursday, April 20, 2023 10:04 PM | Anonymous

    Target Superheat

    To determine the Target Superheat for an air conditioning system with a fixed orifice (such as a piston or capillary tube) measure the indoor WB (wet bulb) temperature with a digital psychrometer and the outdoor DB (dry bulb) temperature with a standard digital temperature reader. Input these temperatures in a superheat chart, calculation, app, or digital manifold set in order to determine the Target Superheat at that moment. Remember that the target superheat will change as the building lowers in WB and while charging refrigerant. The outdoor DB will general stay the same while checking the charge but it may fluctuate some.

    Set the Actual Superheat as close to the Target Superheat as possible to have an accurate refrigerant charge.

    Measure the indoor WB as close as possible to the inlet of the evaporator coil, preferably in the return duct a few feet prior to the coil. Measure the outdoor DB roughly one foot away from the inlet of the outdoor coil in the shade.

    Example 1: Indoor WB 66° F, Outdoor DB 90° F= Target Superheat of 13 ° F

    Target Superheat Chart example 1

    Example 2: Target Superheat Calculation (This calculation will get you close to manufacturer superheat chart results)
    WB is 64° F, DB is 96° F
    Target Superheat Formula = [(3 x WB) – 80 – DB] /2
    [(3 x 64) – 80 – 96] /2 = Target Superheat
    3 x 64=192, 192-80=112, 112-96=16 16/2=8° F of Target Superheat
    8° F of Target Superheat
    If you want to see a video on finding target superheat using the chart above-
    If you want to see a video finding target superheat using a digital manifold see this video-
    If you want to learn more about refrigerant charging methods, procedures, and troubleshooting, read the “Refrigerant Charging and Service Procedures” book by Craig Migliaccio.
    Author: Craig Migliaccio, © 2019 AC Service Tech LLC
    About the Author: Craig is a Licensed HVACR Teacher and Master Licensed Contractor in the State of New Jersey.

  • Monday, April 03, 2023 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    HVAC Teaching Projects Intro for Classrooms! In this HVAC Training Video by AC Service Tech LLC, they show 4 Small HVAC Projects That Students Can Make in the Classroom. These can be used to Teach Students how various Devices work such as an EEV, Louver Motor, Pressure Transducer, and Thermistors!


  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020 3:48 PM | Deleted user

    Originally published: 03.01.20 by Joe Samel

    The HVACR industry has been doing service the same way for decades. Today, sensor technology has made monitoring and remote diagnostics possible, making smart maintenance the future of HVACR service.

    If your company is using smart HVACR maintenance to give your customers confidence in your work and peace of mind about their systems, there are a few things you may want your technicians to know.

    New to smart HVACR maintenance? Maybe you don’t even know about it yet, but you can get smart about smart maintenance and help your company grow.


    Think about smart HVACR maintenance like the check engine light in your vehicle and the way automotive technicians can run a system check to identify maintenance issues for your car.

    With sensors on the HVACR system monitoring performance 24/7, homeowners and their contractors can be alerted to issues and help protect against system failure.

    Maintenance Plans

    Fewer than 20 percent of homeowners buy a maintenance plan and up to one-third cancel each year. Many traditional maintenance offerings don’t bring peace of mind or enough perceived homeowner value.

    With today’s technology your firm can now offer detailed, customized information on a homeowner’s system, driving engagement and renewals.

    Performance Checks

    More than 40 percent of newly installed residential HVACR systems are not installed correctly per the EPA. Smart maintenance helps drive accurate installs and repairs.

    By running performance checks, technicians can confirm their work while reducing callbacks and increasing productivity. Diagnostics from smart sensors can be enhanced to confirm and solve system errors, helping technicians perform with confidence on site.

    Know Before You Go

    When your customers have smart HVACR maintenance installed, you can analyze a system’s problems remotely to “know before you go.” By analyzing sensor data, you can grab the right part and send the right tech for the job.

    This helps with managing labor and reducing time on site. You can be a hero to your customer by not spending extra time running for parts or diagnosing the issue.

    Differentiate Yourself

    Selling new systems with smart maintenance gives you the ability to differentiate your offering from other contractors.

    Offering a system featuring sensor technology and the ability to diagnose problems remotely positions you as the right partner for homeowners who are increasingly expecting their home appliances to be smart.

    HVACR is a big investment for a homeowner and smart maintenance provides peace of mind and a better service experience. The future of HVACR has arrived. Upgrade to smart.

  • Monday, March 09, 2020 2:54 PM | Deleted user

    Originally published: 01.01.19 by Jamie Kitchen

    Reduce Callbacks Through Training

    Ensure your technicians are well versed in troubleshooting, proper installation and documentation protocols.

    Minimizing the need to return to a prior job and correct issues that were either missed, wrongly diagnosed or improperly serviced the first time should be a top priority of any service contractor.

    The fallout from these callbacks extends far beyond the extra time and costs required to redo a job; the inconvenience or negative experience can stay with the customer, reducing the chance you will be considered for future work.

    It can also increase the likelihood of potentially damaging exposure on social media, which has become an increasingly important reference for many when choosing a company they want to hire to do work for them.

    To effectively reduce the chance of callbacks, contractors should employ training for technicians that addresses three key skills: diagnosing/troubleshooting the problem(s), proper installation and commissioning practices, and thorough documentation protocols that provide a recorded history of the job.

    While each job is different, these skills form a foundation that ensures good communication took place, the correct components were replaced with the appropriate parts, the reason(s) for the failure were identified and corrected, and any other possible issues that might occur down the road have been

    noted — and, if possible, eliminated.

    While this seems like a long list, the practice of proper documentation can be a useful framework for building the other key skills systematically.

    Troubleshooting and proper startup practices naturally follow a systematic approach from start to finish.

    In other words, these skills are closely tied together by the methodology used to execute them.

    Implement Training

    A training program based on a core system of measurements and procedures can help bring technicians up to speed and reduce the chance they overlook or wrongly interpret symptoms.

    To illustrate, a service call should go something like this: When the technician shows up on site, they discuss with the customer what the potential issues are from the customer’s viewpoint, asking strategic questions such as when the issue first took place and if there were any circumstances that occurred right before the issue was noticed (such as prior service, etc.).

    Next, they do a visual inspection of the unit, noting anything that stands out as problematic. While this would include obvious points like the type of metering device (e.g., TXV, piston EEV, etc.), it could also extend to excess foliage, such as bushes growing around an outdoor unit, or anything else that may affect system performance.


    From this point, the service call will continue to follow the strategy of gaining — and documenting — as much information as possible. What is the voltage value to the unit? If the system is operating, what are the refrigerant temperatures and pressures? Is the airflow through the condenser and evaporator at the recommended values? If the unit is not operating, is it due to component failure or something like a pressure control that is set to an incorrect value?

    If the unit is operating, there should be sufficient information to diagnose what is wrong. If it is not working, there should be enough information to identify what is immediately causing the unit to not operate — for example, an open control transformer or failed compressor.

    Aside from failed components, it can also offer some good indications of possible external causes — such as airflow issues resulting in excessive discharge pressure and, then, an open manual reset high-pressure switch.


    Using the example of identifying a failed compressor, while it is obvious the system is not operating, and the compressor windings have been verified as being open, the technician should try to identify the root cause of the compressor windings failing in the first place.

    That answer may not be obvious, however, simply because the system is not operating, meaning pressure and temperature measurements cannot provide useful information. As any good technician will tell you, proper replacement, startup and commissioning practices will catch any underlying issues that would have caused the failure and eliminate them.

    Still, it must be done thoroughly in the correct manner to be fully effective. Training on the importance of various factors that affect system performance, using a checklist and documenting all the values and steps go a long way to ensure that happens.

    A good example is refrigerant recovery. Rather than just recovering to a jug, the technician weighs the refrigerant and finds they recovered 2 lbs. 8 oz., but the unit states the charge should be 3lbs. 6 oz. or 1 lb. 12oz. This simple but very important piece of information can be key in determining what could have been wrong. If the unit was undercharged, why?

    Finding a leak should be a prime initiative at this point. If not, and there was a slow leak, simply replacing that compressor will be an expensive mistake for both the customer and contractor.

    The technician still needs to know proper evacuation procedures and the importance of a micron gauge, while the checklist should require the pressure be noted in microns and not inches of mercury.

    When you consider many systems are overcharged and/or have airflow issues that compromise performance, making sure system startup after servicing is done correctly will eliminate these issues that ruin performance, cause the system to underdeliver and cost the owner way more than it should.

    Soft Skills

    While taking care of these areas alone will significantly reduce callbacks and improve the quality of work, getting the customer to recognize and acknowledge your technicians go above and beyond is also important.

    Proper training in soft skills like good communication and customer education will help. Technicians should also be trained to discuss with the customer what was checked, serviced and/or replaced and why it is important.

    Showing them supporting documentation to prove purpose can help give them peace of mind that they were taken care of not just for now, but also for the future because issues that caused or can cause a problem were found and addressed. It can also help to underscore the importance of an annual checkup to ensure any future issues are caught before they cause additional issues down the road.

    While service documentation and step-by-step procedure lists are important, they can only help ensure the proper work is completed and the values to be measured are noted. The technician must first, and most importantly, understand the value and relevance of each step. This is where training comes into play.

    For example, technicians should understand how each component functions and the key points that affect the values of superheat and subcooling, so they avoid measuring at points that can give a false reading. Plus, knowing how to walk a customer through the system by highlighting how the various measured values play a role in how well the system operates will show these are not just hoops to be jumped through to finish the job.

    The reason service checklists are effective can also be a drawback. While a step-by-step service guide can be a great way to quickly leverage what new technicians learned in school and incorporate it into their service skills, the tool itself cannot do the job. Blindly following a list can cause technicians to make just as many mistakes if the current situation is not covered in the service procedure or they are not familiar with the many outside factors that influence performance or operation.

    Therefore, service checklists should be used as part of, and in addition to, a training program aimed at improving skills related to troubleshooting and servicing. This tool is meant to reinforce existing knowledge of system operation to guide wise choices.

    Thus, training should focus on the following:

    The theory of how systems operate, as well as what influences their performance and how. Any training in this area will quickly reinforce what technicians already know, but to a much deeper level as required and backed by “in-the-field” experience.

    The importance of taking a strategic step-by-step approach to troubleshooting and startup and commissioning. Skipping steps can possibly leave out key information and result in key issues remaining that can cause components to fail prematurely.

    Framing the overall service effort with the goal of “futureproofing” the system by eliminating not only the immediate cause of failure, but also—through noting and correcting—subtle changes or issues that pose a longer term but avoidable threat. This should be positioned as protecting the customer investment and can be the basis for recommending preventive maintenance.

    Callbacks are a drain on resources and can quickly harm a company’s reputation. Luckily, they can also be greatly reduced through training on proper procedures, documentation and service—helping win customers for life.

  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020 11:08 AM | Deleted user

    Implement On-the-Job Training
    Originally published: 08.01.18 by Mike Moore

    Becoming a proficient HVACR professional requires training and education — lots of it.

    Obviously, you don’t need to be told that HVACR technicians and installers need training to be good at their jobs. The trick, as you probably know all too well, is to recruit and retain enough trained staff to meet increasing demand for service.

    According to 2015 estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’re looking at a 21 percent increase in HVACR jobs in the next four years. At the same time, a large portion of U.S. workers are nearing retirement. We could be looking at a labor gap of 115,000 or more workers by 2022.

    The Issue

    You’d think, with all the opportunity in the field, that job seekers would be jumping at the chance to join the industry. If only. In 2015, the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation commissioned a survey of HVACR instructors.

    What they found is that technical training programs are often under-attended,

    and many students who do enroll are weak in necessary science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and reading skills.

    Yes, you read that correctly. Literacy is another major issue facing the next generation of U.S. workers. That aside, even if you could recruit all your new staff straight from technical schools (and you should be partnering with your local vo-tech schools, if possible), they will still need additional and ongoing training.

    Very few technicians you hire will be technically competent in all the types of equipment and troubleshooting skills in your market. That may also be true for some of the technicians you already have.

    What to Do

    Make sure you have a solid program for on-the-job training. Not only will this help you to make sure the staff you hire are good to go, offering continuing professional development is an effective tool for recruitment and retention. Odds are, you already do some form of training in your business.

    To build a world-class service department, it helps to go a step beyond weekly service (and sales) meetings and implement a more formalized approach to on-the-job training. Consider this:

    Training is about learning, growth and personal development. Training programs lead to an increase in job satisfaction and employee motivation. They also improve efficiency, and consequently, company profit.

    Most technicians have an analytical personality style. Often, analytical people struggle with interpersonal communication. Integrating customer relations training into your service department can lead to higher customer satisfaction.

    Technology continues to evolve. Change is constant, and so is the need to keep up with new technology. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to buy all-new diagnostic tools every week. What it does mean is that learning should be a core value in your organization, and you can harness evolving technologies to do it more efficiently and accurately.

    On-the-job Investment

    Just as you would budget for any other operating costs, it’s a good idea to build employee development into your budget. Some companies allocate 2 to 3 percent of sales for training.

    When making those calculations, include the anticipated costs for recruitment, testing and relocations (if you’re recruiting from beyond your local area). This adds to your overhead but allows you to plan for it and still attain your company’s net profit goal.

    Mentorship Program

    Naturally, you’ll want your best employees to help you train those who are up and coming in your business. This holds true for the whole team, including sales personnel, not just your technical crews. Mentoring a co-worker takes quite a bit of time, effort and patience, and may temporarily detract from the mentor’s perceived productivity.

    When done well, it’s worth it, because you’ll have two excellent employees, rather than one who is good and one who is floundering. Offer your designated mentor(s) an incentive. Bonuses, raises, and higher job titles are all ways you might consider rewarding a mentor for a job well done. Paid days off go a long way toward boosting morale, too.

    To balance that, hold both mentor and mentee accountable for job performance goals.

    Don’t Go It Alone

    Mentorship is just part of the picture, but not every business can afford to establish a training space within their shop. Dedicating physical space, equipment, tools and man-hours to an in-house training program might be rather daunting for your operation.

    That’s all right. One great way to ensure your staff receive reliable, quality training and get hands-on experience, is to partner with a third-party training provider whose philosophy aligns with your company’s core values.

    At the same time, use your in-house mentors to guide and observe your learners as they progress through training programs.

    Use Technology

    It’s now possible to access a surprising amount of HVACR training online. You can now put new technicians or installers through an online (virtual) training program, where they learn the theory and principles of HVACR, and how to perform installations or maintenance.

    While they’re going through an online training course, you can have students working with your mentor(s), practicing what they’ve learned, in the shop and on-the-job.

    That way, you can be sure they’re getting standardized training, and racking up hands-on experience in your market.

    NATE is Your Friend

    Going back to the study that the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation did in 2015, another challenge is that regional standards for certification, licensing and apprenticeship vary widely between U.S. states and Canadian provinces. That makes it difficult to standardize curricula across the industry

    North American Technician Excellence (NATE), however, provides testing and certification for many levels and specializations in the HVACR industry. Earning NATE certifications is a recognizable way to show that a technician has the working knowledge and competency to perform well on the job. For those consumers who care about certifications (an increasing number of consumers are educating themselves on such things before dialing your number), NATE badges offer a way to show that your staff are well-trained professionals.

    NATE tests are not the alternative to formal HVACR training. On the contrary, partnering with a training provider who will help your technicians to prepare for NATE examinations is a more efficient route to successful certification. Handing someone a study guide and expecting them to prep for a complex and technically challenging test is not as likely to be successful.

    Where to Begin

    You might be saying, “Okay, that’s all great, but where do we start?” If you’re looking at on-the-job training for a new hire, or you’re not sure where your existing staff might have skill or knowledge gaps, you can use a technical competency test. If you’ve identified a third-party training partner, they should have such an assessment you can use to ascertain your techs’ training needs and skill levels. From there, you can tailor training for each employee.

    Another way to identify gaps is to keep a log of all service call backs. If you’re hearing the same problems come up, there may be training issues you need to address. Also, consider employees’ requests for specific training, manufacturer-specific troubleshooting tips, and NATE and EPA requirements for certifications.

    Good managers are a must. One of the top things you’re going to need for on-the-job training to succeed is a service manager who is very knowledgeable and can guide staff in proper procedures. The last thing you want is someone passing on bad habits or outdated methods to less experienced employees.

    On-the-job training is a commitment, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Continuing to develop your staff as HVACR professionals will help your business to provide top-notch service to your customers, and it will help your company to be somewhere people want to work. That’s always a good thing, and when the industry is facing a labor shortage, retention is vital.

    Online curricula for skills and product training can be an excellent resource, allowing employees to study new material without having to travel. You can then have them practice and demonstrate what they’ve learned, in-house and on-the-job.

    Remember, it’s your employees that drive results. Not processes. Not technology. Not marketing. People are the most valuable component of your business.

  • Monday, February 17, 2020 1:08 PM | Deleted user

    Doing Good is Good for Business
    Originally published: 11.01.18 by Pete Grasso

    When your company gives back to the community in a charitable way, it’s a win-win-win situation for your customers, your employees and your business.

    In December 1997, Mark Geschke’s granddaughter Megan Diane was born premature, weighing only 1 lb., 10 oz. Geschke and his family spent five long months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.

    During that time, Geschke visited the hospital daily and saw first-hand what the NICU nurses dealt with on a daily basis. It really touched him.

    “We got to see first-hand what the NICU nurses do daily; all that goes into the care of these special children. Not only medically, but mentally and physically. It was not only a very emotional time for our family, but a great learning experience on how they cared for Megan and the other babies in the NICU,” Geschke says. “They are truly angles from heaven sent to care for the sickest of children and we can never thank them enough.”

    Unfortunately, Megan Diane didn’t make it. Out of that very personal tragedy, however, rose Geschke’s passion for helping those children and nurses.

    As owner of Bauer & Son One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Geschke decided not only to give back personally, but also to make it a part of his company’s corporate social responsibility program.

    “We shut the company down one day and took everybody down to Akron Children’s Hospital to show them what we were going to get involved with,” Geschke says. “At that point, I was still in a position where I didn’t have a whole lot of day-to-day duties, so I could really take whatever days I wanted.”

    Mondays were normally his day off, so Geschke figured he’d go down there personally and volunteer every week. And he’s been there ever since. In addition to Bauer & Son’s local involvement with Akron Children’s Hospital, Geschke spearheaded Direct Energy’s corporate participation with the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN).

    “Helping hospitals with advances in technology and equipment are just one of the ways donations from Direct Energy help power the lives of patients at CMN Hospitals,” Geschke says.

    To date, Direct Energy has donated over $1.7 million through each of their brands campaigns and programs. Donations are used to fund patient services, new equipment and charitable care.

    Corporate Social Responsibility programs like Direct Energy’s are not unique to this industry.

    Every day, stories appear in the news about charitable programs put on by HVACR contractors and manufacturers.

    Giving back to the community is a great way to boost employee morale, connect with customers on a personal level and, most important, improve the comfort and lives of others.

    Service Experts

    In January 2018, Service Experts became a proud supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As an organization, Service Experts has donated $150,000 to help create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

    “As of September 30, we have raised an additional $133,527 through various local marketing activities such as our company-wide Bowl-A-Thon, employee payroll deductions, t-shirt sales, dunk booths, internal raffles, spare change jars and yard sales,” says Scott Boose, president and CEO of Service Experts. “As a company, it’s important for us to be able to participate in the communities where we live, work and play.”

    Not only is it important to give back, but Boose also believes it gives their company an incredible opportunity to truly make a difference in people’s lives through this partnership. Above and beyond Service Experts’ initial donation, the company incentivizes its local centers to work with their partners and customers in the community to help grant even more wishes.

    “Our employees throughout the United States and Canada have taken the initiative to coordinate various local activities to generate awareness and provide additional support for Make-A-Wish,” Boose says. “Our employees have come together to coordinate local fundraising initiatives and host three wish reveal events.”

    The amount of teamwork and extra effort has been amazing. Boose says it’s exhilarating to see so many of their employees come together to support the partnership with Make-A-Wish to help grant wishes to brave children who are living with serious illnesses.

    “We’ve seen our involvement with Make-A-Wish reach to our customers, as many of them have decided to join us on our journey to help grant more wishes by actively participating in our campaigns,” he says. “There are so many important organizations that can expand their mission through the support of corporate partnerships.”

    Through its involvement with Make-A-Wish, Service Experts hopes its customers continue to realize the commitment to the communities it serves. Backed by an incredible team of big-hearted general managers and their teams, Service Experts has also performed incredible acts of kindness in their communities throughout the US and Canada. Local center community efforts included staging food, blood, toy, and clothing drives to donating entire home comfort systems.

    “We have been fortunate enough to work with great teams through various local Make-A-Wish chapters and have also been honored to get to know a few wish families in markets where we have hosted wish reveal events,” Boose says.

    Friedrich Air Conditioning

    Friedrich Air Conditioning believes in the value of excellence and that extends to everything it does.

    “We create innovative high-quality products, but we believe our legacy as a 135-year old company extends beyond product, to impact lives,” says Holly Beck, director of marketing for Friedrich. “Corporate Social Responsibility is a part of our culture and as stated in our mission statement, we are ‘committed to improving people’s lives with our products and social actions.’”

    Corporate philanthropy is important to Friedrich. The company actively looks for opportunities to support a variety of worthy causes and contribute to the advancement of education in HVACR and engineering studies.

    Product support has ranged from hurricane relief efforts, to schools, orphanages, historic buildings, local and national homeless assistance organizations, a Children’s STEM Museum and the San Antonio Zoo.

    Central to Friedrich’s corporate values is a focus on doing the right thing. That guides the company and the decisions it makes.

    “It’s not just about donating product; it’s about contributing to the overall benefit of the community, locally and nationwide,” Beck says. “We encourage Friedrich employees to get involved as well and many have contributed their own time, effort and talents to doing everything from delivering donations to helping with installing them.”

    While Friedrich doesn’t have a formal corporate giving program, worthy causes and requests often come to them or are recommended, and with limited resources, they try to accommodate if they’re able and if it is a fit with what they do.

    “Our employees make suggestions and pitch in to help,” Beck says.

    A great example of that is when Hurricane Irene struck last year, devastating a coastal town not too far away from Friedrich’s headquarters. The company received a request from the emergency crews who were trying to provide relief for that community.

    Given the lack of transportation services to that area at the time, a group of our employees volunteered to drive and deliver all the donated Friedrich product to help ensure it got to where it was needed most.

    “It creates tremendous pride among our employees to give back in this way and see the real difference our products can make to someone’s life,” Beck says. “Oftentimes, we’re working to give back to people and organizations who are not only facing extremely difficult situations, but whose suffering is greater due to the lack of A/C resources.”

    Another example is an orphanage in Mexico where Friedrich donated product last year. The facility is in an area where the temperatures can often reach 100F and the kids and staff desperately needed relief from the blazing temperatures.

    “There are many stories like this, and our employees get an incredible amount of satisfaction knowing their work and efforts have directly helped improve the quality of someone else’s life,” Beck says. “Friedrich employees have always taken a lot of pride in their work, but absolutely, these efforts multiply that by tenfold. When you can see how what you do greatly impacts and improves someone’s quality of life, you can’t help but feel empowered and proud of the difference you’re making.”

    It’s also important for employees to see that the company doesn’t just talk about its corporate values, but also works hard to live up to them through actions that make a difference not only to customers, but to its community.

    Everyone at Friedrich embraces that philosophy and sees that it is driven not only from the top down but also bottom up through efforts like these.

    “Contractors have a valuable skill that can make a real difference to society,” Beck says. “By donating their time and talent, they can impact the quality of life for those in need.”

    Beck believes the primary motivation for giving back is not for marketing purposes, although they do work with recipient organizations to announce when they’ve installed donated product and when possible, create case studies about them.

    “We view that as a win-win for both Friedrich and the recipient as an avenue to help get the word out about worthy causes and potentially inspire others to get involved,” she says.

    ARS/Rescue Rooter

    ARS/Rescue Rooter has a long history of community involvement and outreach. ARS Cares aims to donate an HVACR system or water heater to a community member in need.

    “We wanted to start a program that provided home comfort to people who need but cannot afford it in our communities,” says Dave Slott, co-CEO of ARS/Rescue Rooter.

    ARS’s service centers coordinate closely with corporate to ensure the most impactful strategy for their location. The service centers of ARS/Rescue Rooter eagerly adopted this program, and many branches elect to do multiple installations a year.

    “Employees look forward to participating in these installations,” Slott says. “Many donate their time for the work done, and the day is full of laughs, tears and other memories that make this program so special. ARS/Rescue Rooter is a very big family, and our communities are our homes.”

    Community outreach and volunteerism through programs like ARS Cares, participating in Tim Tebow Foundation’s “Night to Shine” and sponsoring many non-profit organizations nationwide is critical to the morale of the organization.

    “Community outreach is a great teambuilding resource, and employees love sharing photos and stories from these activities,” Slott says. “ARS will always be an organization that realizes our communities are of the upmost importance.”

    Slott believes both consumers and prospective talent are attracted to companies that are socially responsible. ARS knows that doing the right thing is essential to its success.

    Online-Access, Inc.

    Over the past year, Online-Access, Inc. developed and tested its Helping out Locally program to give its more than 400 contractor clients the ability to shift marketing dollars into local giving — and do it profitably.

    “My brother and I were raised with the belief that giving back is a privilege — not a burden,” says David Squires, president of Online-Access. “We spent a year testing and refining it so that our clients can easily run competitions between organizations in their community, to engage their community in a way where everyone wins and they dramatically increase their brand awareness.”

    When they started testing the program in their HVAC company, Vincent’s Heating and Plumbing, they made sure their employees knew about the goals and had input into the local groups they work with, which gave them employee buy-in.

    “Our team at Online-Access loves the fact that with just our existing clients alone, helping out Locally has the potential to put more than two million dollars a year into deserving local organizations all around the country” Squires says. “Our clients have really loved the fact that we have the program for them to use and that it is totally turnkey.”

    Vincent’s Heating and Plumbing has also benefited tremendously from the program. In one charity competition they sponsored, there were more than 12,000 votes from a total of about 4,000 people.

    “All of the voters were local, and they went to our HVACR company website to vote,” Squires says. “The odds are good that those four thousand people that were on our website an average of three times in three months, that if their equipment breaks down in the near future that they will recognize our name when they are looking for a contractor.”

    Considering that Vincent’s market area is only 30,000 homes, having 13 percent of the entire market area engaging with the company for less than a $2,000 donation is a decent return on a good deed.

    “This plus the fact that we now have email and SMS information from everyone that voted and we know what they are passionate about, gives us the ability to do affinity marketing with offers that when acted upon help their charity as well,” Squires says. “What contractors need to realize is that the number one reason customers will choose them is familiarity.”

    When you start to engage with the community, you become memorable because you’re involved in what they are passionate about.

    “This is much better than trying to get them passionate about a metal box on the side of their house that they don’t even know exists until it breaks,” Squires says. “By making the program a fun competition between charities, not only our company promotes it, but their donors promote it to all their friends making it go viral locally.”

    It’s important today for contractors to learn how to engage their clients to create familiarity. The days of cheap leads through Internet search are quickly coming to an end as Google monetizes their local business search.

    “The best way to make sure you are your potential customer’s choice is to be a familiar part of their world,” Squires believes. “In the 40 years I’ve been in this Industry, the fundamental truth of marketing remains, ‘People do business with people they like — and people like them.’”


    Lennox, as a corporation, has five focus areas of giving: youth, environment, health, arts and education. On the residential side of the business, Lennox has concentrated on the environment side and how to serve the community and make their environment comfortable.

    “Most people would maybe take environment as more of a sustainability nature, but we’ve taken more of a softer approach,” says Stephanie Bond, director of marketing and communication at Lennox. “We have 125 plus years of experience as a business leader … we like to say we have the privilege and the power, and we have the position to really positively impact our communities while also benefiting the bottom line.”

    Formerly called Lennox Heat Up, the new Feel the Love program provides free HVACR installations to those in need.

    “We asked, ‘what can we do to bring comfort, align it to our business goals and bring it to homeowners that otherwise would potentially not be comfortable in their home?’” Bond says. “And that was really the beginning of Heat Up, which has now become Feel the Love.”

    There are three key ingredients to the Feel the Love program. First, all HVACR equipment is donated by Lennox. The second ingredient is where the contractor validates a homeowner in need, and they go in, and they install that HVACR equipment for free where their employees are donating their time, and they’re donating all the parts, supplies and the labor to get that done.

    “But it really all starts with the community, so the third ingredient is where the community goes in, and they nominate someone in need,” Bond says. “They’re nominating someone that has given back to their community or their country, and most likely never gives to themselves. So, this is someone that is needing but isn’t needy.”

    This year, 155 Lennox dealers across 24 states and provinces participated in Feel the Love Day, doing roughly 165 installations for families in need.

    It’s no secret that recruiting and retaining employees in this industry is difficult. Bond believes another benefit of Feel the Love is the sense of purpose it gives employees of its dealers.

    “There are so many statistics out there right now around employees really looking for organizations, businesses, companies that have a higher purpose and get behind a cause,” Bond says. “Ninety-three percent of employees want to be a part of something bigger, want to work for a company that is part of something bigger, so this program is outstanding in terms of how you can recruit and retain employees.”

    Corporate Social Responsibility programs can also have a tremendous impact on recruiting new customers. There are also statistics that say a homeowner, or a customer is more likely to choose a business or a product when they give back and they have higher purpose.

    “People are really searching for a well-rounded, well respected business, and so this can be the difference of why a consumer chooses a Lennox dealer over a competitor,” Bond says. “You also see the benefit of even more profit and revenue, because people are more willing to buy a more expensive product, as well.”

  • Monday, February 03, 2020 3:03 PM | Deleted user

    Show You CARE

    Originally published: 10.01.16 by Jim Baston

    Four Components to Communicate Trust with Your Customers

    Not only is the old axiom true “All things being equal, people like to do business with people they like. Not only does this old axiom hold true, it turns out when things are not equal, people still like to do business with people they like.

    The core ingredient for a good relationship is trust. Without trust, it’s possible to have a relationship, but it will not be good. The level of trust in a business relationship therefore, is a major determinant of whether a customer will choose to continue to do business with you.

    So, how do you earn the trust of your customers? The obvious answer is to be trustworthy. A few con artists aside, it’s difficult to pretend you’re trustworthy when you’re not. For most organizations, if they’re not trustworthy, it somehow has a way of catching up with them.

    Trust, at least in the service business, is certainly not a case of “fake it ‘til you make it.”

    Simply being trustworthy is not enough. Somehow, you have to communicate you’re trustworthy so you can earn the trust of your customers. You can do this through your actions and your deeds — and these must be consistent across the breadth of your organization.

    Every customer contact, whether it is a telephone conversation, email or personal visit, must communicate the same message — that you’re trustworthy.

    As managers, you can control the message and ensure it’s consistent regardless of who interacts with the customer or how they do it. You can provide training and guidelines to ensure every customer interaction communicates your trustworthiness and correspondingly reassures the customer.

    Here is an acronym called CARE representing the four major trust builders. If you can ensure every interaction communicates one or more of these, then you’ll earn the trust of your customers.

    C — Competence

    A — Accountability

    R — Reliability

    E — Empathy

    By helping your customer-facing personnel communicate CARE through their everyday interactions with your customers, you can earn your customers’ trust and their business.


    A major component of trust is the level of confidence your customers have in your competence. Competence tells the customer they’re in good hands and they’re being well served. It creates assurance they’ve made the right decision in choosing to do business with you.

    The challenge you face when you deliver an intangible service is the customer usually cannot directly measure the quality of the service or the competence of the person delivering it.

    How do they know if the part really needed to be replaced? How do your customers know the hour it took to troubleshoot the problem is remarkably short or unnecessarily long? How do they know the dispatcher ably dispatched the most competent person to address their concern? The answer to all questions is that they really don’t know.

    Since they’re not able to actually see the quality of the work or the competence of the person doing it, your customers look at those things they can see and use them as a lens through which they judge the quality of the service itself.

    For example, are your technicians dressed in an appropriate manner for the job at hand and are they clean and well groomed? Do your employees interact with them professionally? Does the written work order or the invoice communicate the value of the work performed? Does the technician’s body language and mannerisms communicate confidence? Did the dispatcher’s voice tone and language communicate their competence and create assurance?


    Everyone wants to deal with a company that stands behind its word. We all would like to know the service firm we’re working with not only does great work, but also is there when mistakes happen and are willing to make it right. If you think about how you’d like to communicate this to your customers, then you can provide your teams with guidance on how to handle situations when things don’t go just right.

    One of the things you can do is empower your front line employees to make decisions to address customer concerns. Within certain guidelines, they can immediately make things right and you reap the benefit of a more loyal customer base.


    Reliability is a significant trust builder. Here is another area where you can provide guidelines and expectations for your front line personnel so they communicate reliability through their interactions.

    For example, you can teach your employees to follow through on their commitments — that is, do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it. But even with the best of intentions, the most “reliable” of your team may be perceived as unreliable if the customer’s expectations of what was promised differ from those of your team member.

    Not only do your front line personnel need to follow through on their commitments, they must also ensure both they and the customer agree on what those commitments are. Another simple, yet critical, example of communicating reliability is responding on time and calling if there is any cause for delay.


    Empathy can be defined as, “the capacity to understand or feel what another [person] is experiencing from within the other being’s frame of reference.” Your customers want to know you care about them and the equipment you’re servicing.

    If you recognize how your technicians communicate this, then you can provide guidelines and training to ensure they communicate their empathy consistently.

    What can they do to communicate empathy when they arrive on site? How does their greeting demonstrate empathy? What questions could they ask to show concern for the equipment when they arrive to perform routine maintenance? How can they communicate empathy in the way they complete their tasks? Do they keep the work area clean and safe?

    Do they advise your customers of any possible inconvenience that may be caused by their work and suggest ways to minimize any disruption? Are there questions that could be asked before leaving the site to communicate empathy? Are there steps that the technician can take to reassure the customer the work has been properly addressed?

    You earn the trust of your customers by being trustworthy and communicating this through your everyday customer interactions. As managers, you can work with your teams to help them understand the importance of these factors and provide guidelines to ensure they do indeed communicate them. That way you can show you care by showing you CARE.

  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:34 PM | Deleted user

    Sales and Marketing Alignment: 3 T’s for a Clear Path to Success

    Like family dynamics, sales and marketing dynamics can be….


    Having been on both sides of the equation, I’ve seen how lack of alignment gets in the way of everyone’s best intentions.

    BUT just like there is a path to a drama-free Thanksgiving, Sales and Marketing alignment is possible. To me, it’s about the “3 T’s”: 

    1. Trust
    2. Transparency
    3. Timing 

    … and possibly a 4th: Tequila. 

    The 3 T’s all go back to data and insights — which most of us don’t have. And its why customer insights, revenue operations, and a platform approach are critical.

    To set ourselves up for success it’s important to get to the root of our issues. 

    B2B buyers are now in control of the information flow during the buying process, leaving sales and marketing teams to operate in the dark for most of the journey or the “Dark Funnel.” And it’s getting worse. 

    With more buyers involved in decisions, less desire to talk to salespeople, and more anonymous research, it is wreaking havoc on our existing systems built for leads (one person) and known activity. 

    In fact, only 12 percent of B2B sales and marketing teams have confidence in their data. 12 percent!! 

    Sales and Marketing alignment is hard when we are all fumbling around in the dark with data that we don’t even trust. 

    And because our traditional marketing efforts are no longer cutting it — emails are going to “unsubscribe island,” and prospects aren’t showing up for events, for example — pipeline isn’t progressing, and we have no understanding of why. 

    This all really sucks and breaks down the trust between teams.

    So how can we get out of the dark funnel and get back on track with our sales and marketing efforts? 

    To enable alignment and the 3 T’s (trust, transparency, and timing), we must look to: 

    1. Light up the dark funnel with customer insights 

    To create a message that resonates with the right buyers — buyers who are ready to act now — you need to be able to collect, connect and act on customer insights. 

    Combining third-party intent signals with your organization’s first-party marketing automation and CRM data gives revenue teams insight into every known and unknown behavior, allowing them to create personalized and targeted outreach

    With these insights, we know the keywords prospects care about, so we incorporate those words and phrases in our subject line, confident our emails will get opened… 

    We know Arizona has more late-stage buyers than Los Angeles, so we set up our Field Marketing dinner there… 

    We know the pipeline isn’t progressing because our accounts are researching competitors, so we strategically place messaging and display in front of those accounts to get them familiar with our brand. 

    These insights help align sales and marketing, putting them on the same page, helping them engage better, get into deals sooner, and win more often.

    TIP: Make sure you’re collecting data that gives your insight into customer needs, desires, and behaviors. Make sure you’re also using that data to engage buyers when they’re ready to act.

    Take SailPoint for example, the Texas-based cybersecurity software company that delivers identity governance to enterprises all around the world. The company has leveraged customer insights through the power of AI and big data to become much more strategic in their execution. 

    Now, the SailPoint revenue team goes after accounts and launches campaigns according to fit and intent scores, which has led to an increase in opportunity creation and pipeline velocity.

    2. Invest in RevOps to optimize your resources

    One of my most embarrassing executive meetings was one where the Head of Sales and I both came into a meeting with our own set of numbers, neither of which really tied out because we were operating in different silos with our own systems. We both looked like idiots. 

    I don’t want to look like an idiot but, more importantly, I want to have an impact. To have an impact you have to: 

    • Get teams mobilized towards common goals
    • Fix the data silo problems 

    Here is where Revenue operations, or RevOps, can help. 


    It truly is the next frontier of competitive advantage in B2B. RevOps streamlines processes, communications, key metrics, and technology across the entire revenue team — homing in on data that reveals trends over time and areas for improvement. 

    And when teams are aligned, they generate 38 percent more revenue in 27 percent less timeIt’s a game-changer. 

    With RevOps as the unbiased single source of truth about sales, customer experience, and marketing, everyone can come together to look at pipeline, win rates, deal size, velocity, customer adoption, and churn — and determine the best place to deploy resources. 

    At any given time, one or a few of these things may need more attention. For example, we recently found we had ample top-of-the-funnel coverage. Instead, our issue was with BDR coverage to work in-market accounts and convert. So, we knew we needed to employ more BDR’s to hit those accounts. 

    Too often marketing is just associated with top-of-funnel pipeline, which is a very limiting view that doesn’t show you other areas of success. 

    TIP: Develop a RevOps person/team (if you haven’t already) to give objective oversight of your entire operation. Allow them to shuffle resources, so your teams are more efficient and profitable.

    Let’s look at PGi, the leading global provider of conferencing and collaboration solutions for over 25 years, as an example of a successful revenue team. With limited resources but an interest in separating themselves from the competition, the PGi team knew they needed to do more with less — and aligning sales and marketing efforts was the key. 

    By establishing a common focus on goals, like increasing average deal size and time to contact, sales and marketing worked in tandem to create tailored strategies for each target. PGi’s sales and marketing teams molded into one powerhouse, increasing win rates by more than 75 percent!

    3. Invest in a platform that brings AI insights and orchestration to every member of the revenue team

    Okay, we’ve established that sales and marketing must work together to move prospects through the funnel. Yet, siloed tech stacks are pushing sales and marketing teams apart, interfering with their ability to deliver a great prospect experience. 

    We have tactical apps and legacy systems that create mountains of disconnected data — making it impossible for either team to analyze and orchestrate it into meaningful outreach in a timely fashion. It’s a bit of a stack-show. 

    Prospect behavior changes all the time, new personas come into the mix, new competitors enter a deal, a key analyst report gets released… 

    So we need a single platform that shows sales, marketing, and customer success teams the entire buying journey. In real time. Showing us what prospects are reacting to and what our best action should be, so we can get into deals FIRST. 

    To me, the most critical part of this is understanding timing. 

    According to Forrester, the early bird catches the worm, with a significant 74 percent of all deals going to the provider who helps “establish the buying vision,” while only 26 percent goes to the vendor who “responds to a request.” 

    So even though prospects want to remain anonymous and not talk to sales, we still have to be first to engage. 

    When we all know what phase of the journey the buyer is in (especially if they are “in market”), sales, marketing, and BDR’s can work in parallel, targeting these prospects with the right message, at the right time, making our tactics much more effective. 

    But in order to analyze, orchestrate, and execute in real time — so we don’t miss the boat and become part of the 26 percent — we must look to technology and the power of AI. 

    With so many martech solutions out there, we run the risk of piecing together a frankenstack. And this frankenstack keeps us so busy that we have become an IT shop instead of our original ABM goal. 

    TIP: Rather than buying 5 solutions to try to accomplish ABM, look to one platform that integrates seamlessly with your CRM, giving sales the transparency to see every touch across the buyer’s journey, enabling sales and marketing to engage critical personas in real time. 

    Aprimo understands the value of a unified platform that can get them in front of qualified accounts with tailored content before contact is ever made, putting them ahead of the competition. 

    Since adopting their all-in-one tool, Sales is closing larger deals faster than ever before, increasing their trust in Marketing and ABM. And their sales and marketing teams are able to work together, in tandem with a cohesive, effective message.  

    Bottom Line

    It’s all about the economics of winning by uncovering and influencing the buyer early before the deal is already baked or an RFP is issued. 

    With the revenue teams united and able to see high-intent signals early, you can actually market to accounts before the prospect becomes known in the funnel.

    But you must achieve real sales and marketing alignment. You must commit to the 3 T’s: Trust, Transparency, and Timing. 

    Don’t forget the tequila! Not because your marketing strategy is a mess, but because you are celebrating the fact that you have a way to align your sales and marketing teams, putting them on a clear path to success. 

  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:18 PM | Deleted user

    Educate Your Customers on System Care

    Originally published: 07.01.19 by Joel Frederick

    By educating the customer on how to care for their systems, we can garner greater customer satisfaction as we place the power back in their hands.

    Even the most skilled HVACR technicians know that becoming well educated in the field takes time, hard-work and does not simply happen overnight. Many of the clients we service on a day-to-day basis are unfamiliar with the industry and are looking to us, the experts, to provide more. Educating our customer where we can is a great way to build the relationship, establish trust and provide transparency.

    It all boils down to customer service. It’s the number one priority for any service driven business. Our technicians do what they can out on the job to make sure that the customers receiving services are confident and comfortable when we leave.

    A part of making sure we deliver a quality job is providing the client with base level knowledge of their HVACR status and how to best take care of their system when we are not on site.

    By educating the customer on how to care for their systems, we can garner greater customer satisfaction as we place the power back in their hands.

    Provide Tips

    There are some tips about owning an HVACR system that every homeowner should know. Surprisingly, not many folks have ever had the opportunity to have that knowledge shared with them, especially from a source as reliable as a technician.

    Tips such as keeping your system clear of debris, periodically changing the filter and bi-annual routine maintenance are all pieces of information technicians can offer that homeowners should know.

    Another way to further educate the customer is to explain in layman’s terms any work that was provided during the service.

    Information such as the status of their systems and an overview of any services that were provided during a visit can make the client feel like your company is being transparent and going the extra mile to make sure the customers are in the loop.

    At the end of the day, the work we provide is important to the customer, be they a homeowner or commercial landlord. The more transparency we can provide while educating the client, the better levels of customer satisfaction we can achieve.

    Lastly, recommend resources that your customer can tap into after your visit.

    Recommending books or websites that have relevant and useful information gives your client the opportunity to learn more on their own time, should they choose to do so.

    Preventative Maintenance Deals

    Preventive and routine maintenance deals are a part of many of our business models.

    These deals are valuable to homeowners and commercial property owners in establishing good rapport.

    Providing discounts on services is a way to demonstrate the business is willing to accommodate budgets of all kinds.

    They also give your customers the opportunity to participate in discounted programs that offer recurring services, such as purchasing two bi-annual routine visits at a discounted rate.

    In this manner, sales are able to happen upfront and the customer is able to save money through taking advantage of a discounted rate.

    Recommend Social media

    One of the easiest and modern ways to educate your customers is to use social media. Video tutorials and instructional videos are valuable tools in teaching clients how to asses and care for their own systems.

    For example, if a technician finds a particular video online they think does a thorough job of explaining maintenance tips, then they can easily refer the video to a client so they can look into it themselves. It serves as something that can be referenced even after the technician has left the site.

    Another way to educate your customers on proper maintenance is to post general tips on your company social media account and website. This strategy is an easy, convenient, affordable way to teach and tell customers how to care for their appliances once you leave.

    Additionally, this method has the potential to increase your social media following and therefore increase your brand awareness.

    The relationship between us and our customers is one we respect, and we show this through providing top-notch customer service. We hope you are able to take these tools and implement them into your next jobs.

  • Monday, January 20, 2020 12:16 PM | Deleted user


    Cliché or not, the fact is that disruptions are on the horizon for the HVACR industry, and that means a shift for the zoning market. These primary shifts will likely come as a result of three factors — smart homes, performance-based contracting, and predictive maintenance.

    “We live in an era where the consumer demands to have control at their fingertips,” said Jarred Duebel, national sales manager for iO HVAC Controls. “This is a great thing for the zoning industry. Zoning is becoming increasingly attainable, affordable, and available to the end user.”

    MARKET ADVANCES: Technology enhancement examples include smart home compatibility, the ability to control bypass air with smart bypass technology (SBD), and modulating supply dampers that are compatible with today’s high-efficiency communicating protocols.

    According to Duebel, zoning contributes to the customized comfort options promised with smart homes and the improved control and energy savings from performance-based contracting.

    “Zoning integrates well with smart controls such as Wi-Fi thermostats, and because zoning requires multiple thermostats, it is a natural progression that the end user would want one place to program and control their system,” he said. “There is no better way than through smart home connected devices.”

    Justin Hilaire, national sales manager for EWC Controls, echoed this matching of zoning technology to the current shifting trends and added that monitoring and controlling all the thermostats within a home from across the nation could be described as amazing.

    “Hot water valve zoning originated in the 1950s, and forced air zoning followed shortly after in the ‘60s,” he said. “Today, while the concept of zoning has not changed, enhancements have made it easier than ever.”

    Hilaire went on to describe some of these enhancements, including smart home compatibility, the ability to control bypass air with smart bypass technology (SBD), and modulating supply dampers that are compatible with today’s high-efficiency communicating protocols, to name a few. He explained that with these advancing zoning technologies, contractors are not only able to embrace zoning and smart homes, but they are also able to marry zoning and predictive maintenance technologies to provide increased control and real-time monitoring.

    “Zoning gives the homeowner a more detailed picture by breaking down the home in sections for closer observation,” he said. “Zoning today’s multi-staged and variable speed, high-efficiency equipment is a perfect match and provides more comfort to the homeowner than ever before.”

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