Dan Jones (left), Cal Johnson (second from left), both of Tri-County Heating, Les Davis of Willis Heating, and Todd Bonnell (right) of Tri-County Heating discussing the new Trane Clean Effects air cleaner at the Cincinnati Trane district sales office.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Indoor air quality (IAQ) is taking a front seat in the Trane markets of Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio. The company-owned distribution sales offices (DSO) has been holding training sessions about every other month in the two locations on topics as varied as technical service of filtration systems to the nuances of selling 13 SEER in the new age of air conditioning about to take hold on Jan. 23, 2006.

At recent meetings held two days apart in both cities, nearly 50 contractors attended a special launch for the new Trane Clean Effectsâ„¢ product line. Ron Fantozzi, Trane DSO marketing specialist, said the general attendance at these meetings is increasing as the anticipation of new products in the market is coinciding with the advent of the 13 SEER transition.

Both meetings were approximately three hours in length, and were dedicated to the discussion of product, applications, and sales training. The dealers in attendance are involved in the residential and light commercial markets. The meeting was focused on the needs of replacement retail salespeople.

One topic covered was with regard to the results of Ohio DSO customer surveys. The surveys are part of Trane's national process of gathering consumer input and sharing the results with Trane dealers. Consumers are asked to comment on their level of satisfaction with regard to various aspects of Trane dealers' performance. Fantozzi noted that the results of the Ohio surveys were slightly higher than the national averages. It is likely that the higher numbers could be the result of the high degree of attention given to training in the Trane Ohio DSOs.

IAQ was next on the agenda. Fantozzi led a discussion about the reasons that IAQ opportunities in HVAC are growing so rapidly. He pointed out that sales of an ionic room air cleaner product available in the retail market, though twice receiving less than stellar reviews in Consumer Reports, is still expected to continue to skyrocket as consumers become more interested in their personal health and living environments.

This provided a natural segue into the newest product introduced by Trane, the CleanEffects system. Dealers had a chance to inspect the product as it was dismantled and passed around the classroom, while they listened as the DSO team reviewed application and service procedures.

According to Fantozzi, the Trane CleanEffects delivers more clean air throughout a home than any other air cleaner, removes up to 99.98 percent of particles all the way down to 0.3 microns, the size that eludes most air cleaners, and is 100 times more effective than a standard 1-inch filter.

Also, Fantozzi noted that the Trane CleanEffects has been performance-tested by LMS Technologies and by Environment Health & Engineering Inc. under real-world operating conditions.

The Ohio Trane DSO has brought guest speakers in from other parts of the HVAC industry in an effort to broaden the training effort. At the Columbus and Cincinnati meetings, Mike Murphy, editor-in-chief and manager of conferences for The NEWS, spoke about opportunities in the IAQ market, the tax credits associated with the Energy Act of 2005, and Energy Star programs incentives.

According to Jim Richardson, Ohio DSO sales manager, Trane CleanEffects is more efficient than available HEPA filtration products and has an extremely low pressure drop, a popular feature among the contractors in attendance at the meetings. Trane has an eight-year exclusive on an IFD technology used in the CleanEffects product, and thereby expects this product to be very successful as it sets Trane dealers apart from other competitors.

Publication date: 01/23/2006