Articles by Joanna R. Turpin

Crafting an Effective Rule for Tools

Tool policies should be reviewed at least annually to confirm that contractors and technicians are both satisfied with the arrangement, as well as to ensure that everyone is clear on who provides which tools and what the rules are for broken, lost, or stolen tools.


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Contractors Embrace Energy Star Program

HVAC contractors are embracing Energy Star for New Homes Version 3, with many noting that even though they must now become certified to participate in the program its stricter guidelines improve quality, reduce callbacks, and raise the bar for the industry.


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Changes in Store for Energy Star

This year will bring plenty of changes to the Energy Star program, including implementation of Version 3 of its New Homes program. Most of the new guidelines became mandatory on Jan. 1. The rest kick in after July 1.


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Celebrating 10 Years of Innovation

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the AHR Expo Innovation Awards. Highlighted in this article are each of the 10 product category winners.


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Going Mobile Benefits Contractors

Most contractors have already given their technicians some type of basic mobile device — often a cell phone or two-way radio — while others have invested in total mobile solutions that include tablet PCs and portable printers. With the cost of mobile technology decreasing, now may be the perfect time to see if it makes sense to go mobile.


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Choosing the Right Software for You

All contractors want to use software that will streamline operations while keeping data safe, organized, and easy to manage — and they don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it. Finding that dream software package can be a challenge, though, because every contracting firm has different needs.


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On The Job: Profiles in QA

The ACCA Quality Assured(QA)program, which launched earlier this year, was created to recognize contracting businesses that follow proper procedures and practices to design, install, and maintain home heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.


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Hydronics Are in High Demand

Even though the first cost of hydronic equipment is usually more expensive than forced-air units, customers often remain willing to pay the premium for the constant, even temperatures a properly designed hydronic system can provide.


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Contractors Optimize Boiler Efficiency

The obvious method to keeping energy bills in check is for homeowners to have regular maintenance performed on their gas boilers to ensure they are running optimally. Another way to cut down costs is to make strategic retrofits that can improve the efficiency and safety of older boiler systems.


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Critical Skills Gap Still Widening

The not-for-profit organization, ACT (www.act.org), notes that a significant segment of today’s labor force does not have the requisite skills that employers demand. This information probably does not come as a surprise to HVAC contractors.


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2014 SMACNA Annual Convention

Views from the 2014 SMACNA Annual Convention in San Antonio.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Chris Mathis

Chris Mathis, president of Mathis Consulting Co. and vice chair of ASHRAE’s residential ad hoc committee, talks about ASHRAE’s exploration into the residential market. Posted on Oct. 17.

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2014 October 20

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EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

DOE has denied AHRI’s petition for reconsideration of walk-in standards. Is it getting harder to reach consensus on efficiency standards?
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2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

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