Articles by Kimberly Schwartz

HVACR Instructors Rise to Challenges

HVACR instructors are facing a host of challenges these days, from teaching with new technologies to recruiting for full enrollment to dealing with funding cuts. Yet many are rising to meet these challenges with success and are optimistic about the future.
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HVAC Votech Schools Get Rebranded

While many in the industry still use the term votech, or vocational/technical, to describe the educational programs that prepare individuals to enter the HVAC trade, that term is being increasingly discarded. Instead of votech, educators and administrators are using the phrase Career and Technical Education, or CTE.
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Promoting Small Business on Capitol Hill

I just returned from the annual HARDI fly-in in Washington, D.C. Distributors from around the country converged on Capitol Hill for a jam-packed day of lobbying on behalf of their businesses.
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Instructors Gather to Learn and Certify

In late March, instructors from around the country gathered at the annual HVACR & Mechanical Instructor Workshop. At the three-day annual event, which was hosted by the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), they shared their experiences and brushed up on industry knowledge and skills.
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Congress Approves Repeal of 1099 Reporting Requirement

On April 14, President Obama signed into law House Resolution 4 (H.R. 4), which repealed an unpopular provision of the new health care law that would have created a paperwork burden for many small businesses. The passage of H.R. 4, which repealed the 1099 reporting requirement, was the culmination of months of effort by small businesses across many industries.
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And the Award for Best Social Media Skills Goes to...

There are many stereotypes about stodgy old HVAC contractors who completely ignore social media. But there are progressive contractors who are using online social tools to grow their businesses. Here are three contractors I’ve stumbled across who have impressed me with their mad skills in social media.
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Extended Warranties Can Help Contractors Expand Their Sales

Extended warranties have long been considered another potential source of revenue for contractors, but many companies that offered these programs in the past have not succeeded in the market. Nowadays there’s a new player seeking to change the extended warranty market.
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Dakota Contractor Digs New Technology

Randy Mathern has been in the business for 36 years. But it wasn’t until 2001 that he decided to start his own company. To get started, Mathern decided he needed to become an expert in a progressive technology, and since geothermal technology had been around for a little while, he decided to jump into it.
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Senate Bill Would Combine DOE and EPA

I keep hearing buzz about how much money the federal government could save if it eliminated and consolidated duplicative programs. In response to this, a senator from North Carolina recently sponsored a bill that would combine the DOE and the EPA.
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Musing on the Windy State and Alternative Energy

There’s a lot of talk about energy efficiency in the HVAC industry, but not as much talk about energy sources. Perhaps that’s because this is the business of using energy to achieve comfort, and it’s easier to leave the worrying about the source of that energy to someone else.
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2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: Jason Vogelbaugh

Jason Vogelbaugh of Alpha Controls drops in to the NEWSMakers podcast to discuss his role with the company, the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance, and current energy-efficiency projects being worked on. Posted on Sept. 26.

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NEWS 09-29-14 cover

2014 September 29

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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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2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

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

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