Articles by Barbara A. Checket-Hanks

Risk Reduction Is Contractor's Strategy

You probably wouldn’t think that something as seemingly basic as hand washing would be a critical component in a risk-reduction strategy. However, contractor Ken Bodwell regularly presents an hour-long session on how techs should wash their hands using the correct type of soaps.
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Contractor Scores With Free Benchmarking

Hospitals are among the nation’s most energy-intensive facilities. But, it often takes more specific information to get a hospital interested in making efficiency upgrades. This was the experience of contractor Sauer Inc., which was trying to bid an energy retrofit contract with Fayette County Memorial Hospital.
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The Loyalty of Contracting Families

There are just a couple of weeks left for you to enter The NEWS’ Best Contractor to Work For contest. Some companies, those that rise like cream, go further than the norm. They offer a place where employees feel proud to work. Beyond the privilege of having a job, they feel downright lucky to work where they do.
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A Builder's Perspective

Ideas may be shifting in the home construction market, as a way to increase the attraction to potential buyers. Bryan Kim (B.K.) Turner, Red Rock Builders, Edmond, Okla., said he believes homeowners are getting more involved in the equipment selection, through either the builder or the HVAC contractor.
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Air Movement Trend: Old Names, New Apps

Just about every U.S. industry has been coming up with new ways of applying their older products, changes often prompted by the economy and energy trends these days. HVAC is no different. These two examples are a microcosm of what’s been going on in two areas of air distribution products.
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Feels Like a Season of Change

In some ways, the end of summer feels like the end of the year. Many of us can start to feel the seasons changing; kids are going back to school; etc. It almost feels like a good time of year to make resolutions - better than New Years, in fact. Most of those resolutions are made at the spur of the moment, and often under the influence of alcohol.
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The Computer in Your Pocket

Apps for smart phones have been multiplying, including several introductions to the HVAC industry. Is this a revolution, evolution, or flash in the pan? According to Daniel Burrus, technology forecaster and business strategist, “The main computing tool is becoming our phone. The power of the computer is in your pocket.”
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Energy Audits in HVAC

This year has seen a virtual explosion in energy audits - from the number of auditors to the companies that offer training and certification. Contractors involved in this market are sounding back with mixed reviews on its profitability. In general, though, they are finding opportunities ahead. In some ways, it’s reminiscent of the early days of mold and IAQ remediation.
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Wireless Technology Breathes Life Into Mature Market

Wireless technology in HVAC can offer benefits similar to being able to control a marionette without strings: It opens up new opportunities. In the HVAC industry, it opens up market potential in a segment that was thought to be fully matured - and it couldn’t be happening at a better time. Here we look primarily at residential and light commercial markets.
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Are Energy Audits for You?

A lot of savvy contractors have been turning their attention to providing energy audits to help validate energy-saving measures to their customers in all markets. Both government and utility incentives are helping to drive this market - which includes validation tools and training programs.
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2014 World Energy Engineering Congress

Scenes from the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson,an experienced trade school and community college instructor, discusses the HVAC industry and his column in The NEWS, ‘The Service Ticket.’ Listen now for a hint to the Not Enough Heat question from the Dec. 15 issue. Posted Jan. 30.

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2015 January 26

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Regional Standards

With regional standards for a/c equipment going into effect in 2015, how do you think it will impact the industry?
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2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

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