ACHRNEWS

Web site describes itself as a 'book' for the hvac trade

May 9, 2000
To hear Jim Abdella describe it, you would think he was talking about a printed book instead of an Internet Web site. But that is how he describes his new warmair.com Web site, designed for hvac professionals and their customers.

“Warmair.com is a book about residential heating and cooling which was written by contractors with over 40 years of experience,” he said. “The book was published on the Internet instead of in print, thus allowing ‘readers,’ or visitors, to interact with the pages.”

Abdella did not start out with the intention to design a Web site that was so elaborate and informative. In fact, he didn’t plan it at all.

“We wanted to get a Web site for our hvac company,” he said. “We found that warmair was available and reserved it.

“We got carried away with the Web site and just started to build it up.”

Web site features

The Web site currently has six interactive properties and 46 different subject categories. The interactive properties include:
  • Energy conservation calculators;
  • Area code search for heating and cooling professionals;
  • Classified ads;
  • Bulletin board;
  • Advertising info; and
  • Membership info.

“The active bulletin board is made up mostly of homeowners who are looking for help,” Abdella said. “The heat loss calculators can be used by tradespeople and homeowners.”

A visitor to the bulletin board recently described a problem he was having with the limit switch on his furnace, stating, “The continuous tripping of the limit switch has caused the main circuit board to fail a number of times.”

Because the company that serviced his furnace was stumped by the problem, the homeowner turned to the Web site for answers. And answers he got.

Seven messages were posted over the next two days with the hope that one of them would lead to a solution to the homeowner’s dilemma.

Anybody can join in the discussion free of charge. If a contractor wants to have a listing on the website, there are three options. He can have his name and address listed for free, e-mail address listed for $3/month, or a home page designed by warmair.com for $9.95/month.

There has already been substantial interest in the site.

“We’ve been up and running for seven months and have signed up 300 professionals,” Abdella said. “In that time we’ve had around 125,000 hits.”

Seeking sponsers

Adbella added that he is still looking for sponsors to help with the costs of maintaining the site. Some of the first manufacturers to sign up have included Thermo Pride, Burnham, and Amana.

“At this time, the Thermo Pride line of oil and gas furnaces have been integrated into the heat loss calculator, as a convenience to their dealers and contractors,” Abdella said.

Along with his brother Joe, Abdella is hoping that this Web site will provide the impetus for developing other hvac Web sites down the road, tentatively named roomtemp.com and wetheat.com.

“We are looking for advertising revenue to build new sites,” he said. “We are also looking to develop Web sites for manufacturers.”

Abdella said that his love for the trade and his background in solving problems has been a key to the success of warmair.com. “After 30 years in the business, we knew what people were going to ask us.”