If there’s a need, want, or interest in any way in something, there’s likely an app designed for it. That not only applies to one’s personal interests, but for work as well. There are many apps available to make HVACR work simpler, and more efficient; including the EzyZone: System Design App, which claimed the gold in the 2013 DDA Contractor Service & Software category.
EzyZone is an app for Android and iPad tablets designed to help contractors design, quote, and order a zoning system while they are on the job site. Based on data regarding the layout and equipment input by the contractor, the EzyZone generates a bill of materials along with estimated labor time to calculate and produce a suggested quote for the homeowner customer. EzyZone also generates a comfort plan detailing where thermostats will be located and how many zones are needed, which can be emailed to the homeowner for consideration, allowing the contractor and customer time to discuss and design a system that fits their comfort needs and usage patterns.
The homeowner receives a comfort plan, helping her understand the basic operation and layout of her zoning system as it relates to her home.
The app generates a list of materials which can be emailed for simple ordering, streamlining the purchasing process. The app’s system-design feature guides contractors through the entire zoning layout process and helps them select the correct components to complete the job based on equipment type, duct access, and dimensions. Contractors can match the customer’s home with sample floor plans to determine the number of zones and which rooms will be grouped together. Each room of the home is broken out into its designated zone and how many runs go to each. Dampers are selected based on whether the zone is trunk or branch dampered, and if there is access to the ductwork. Contractors can type in exactly which size damper they will need to fit the runs for each zone.
Colleen Weston, director of marketing at Arzel Zoning Technology Inc., said that the company was made aware of a need for such a tool through contractor communications. She said 18 months of research went into the app’s design.
Weston said one helpful aspect for contractors is the app’s ability to estimate labor time, because it “provides an estimated labor time associated with each recommended part to ensure there is enough time built into the quote to cover all labor expenses.”
She summed up the app as a great sales tool “that gives contractors the necessary resources to feel confident in making the offer and closing the deal with all their homeowner customers.”
Gold Winner Highlights
Arzel Zoning Technology Inc.
EzyZone: System Design App
Aptora Mobile II
Aptora Corp.’s Mobile II is a Web-based application that allows technicians to view, create, and edit work orders or invoices. It offers the ability to capture a signature, process a payment, and complete a work order/invoice in the field. Some of the features include adding a customer, purchase order, work order, estimate, invoice/sale, and a full-functioning time sheet entry. Customer equipment and history can be viewed from the mobile device as long as the user has the security enabled to allow it. There are features added specifically for management, such as the executive summary, an income statement, and other financial metrics to view when managers are away from the office.
Silver Winner Highlights
Aptora Mobile II
The free Browning® Toolbox Technician™ app delivers a toolset for HVAC contractors and maintenance personnel, including calculation tools, conversion tools, a GPS-enabled distributor locator, and informative reference, installation, and troubleshooting guides for everything from bearings to V-belts. It is compatible with iOS and Android devices and is available in English, Spanish, German, and Northern Sami. The troubleshooting option lists a series of symptoms, allowing contractors to scroll through, select the one they are experiencing, and then view the list of possible remedies. The V-Belt ID Wizard allows contractors to enter a part number to quickly identify an installed belt. If no part number is available, the Find-My-Belt tool provides a series of questions to help identify the correct belt.
Silver Winner Highlights
Emerson Industrial Automation
Browning® HVAC Toolbox Technician™
Genteq E-Lab Training App
The E-Lab™ Training App by Genteq, a division of Regal Beloit Corp., allows contractors and technicians to access Genteq’s training videos anywhere. Downloadable to iPhones, iPods, and iPads, the e-Lab Training app includes 19 training sessions covering a variety of motor and capacitor topics, all taught by Genteq’s master trainer Christopher Mohalley. The app is intended for students, instructors, technicians, service managers, distributors, and manufacturer reps. The e-Lab Training app is available for free on iTunes.
Bronze Winner Highlights
Genteq, a division of Regal Beloit Corp.
E-Lab™ Training App
Publication date: 7/22/2013