Kansas & Missouri State Compliance Alert

Kansas

Equal Employment Opportunity—Effective July 1, 2015, employers can adopt an employment policy that gives hiring preference to veterans who meet job requirements.

Military Leave—Effective July 1, 2015, employees in Kansas are covered by the military leave provisions if they are members of any state’s military force and are called or ordered to active duty by any state.

Missouri

Unemployment Insurance—Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the taxable wage base is $13,000, tax rates for experienced employers that have not implemented a shared-work plan range from zero to 9.75 percent and new employer tax rates range from 1.3 percent to 4.362 percent.

tips for building long term relationships with customers

Tips for Building Long-Term Friendships with Customers

There is an old story about a salesman that’s about to embark on an overnight business trip to a big city. His young son begs to go with him, yearning to take a vacation with his dad and not fully aware of what going away on business actually entails. The man agrees to take his son with him but briefs his son about the trip. The salesman will meet with several clients and his son is welcome to tag along provided that the young boy is courteous and keeps to himself when necessary. The boy agrees, suddenly welcoming the opportunity to see his dad hard at work, one day dreaming of being a salesman like his father.

After a full weekend of successful meetings with clients, the father and son return home. “How was your trip?” the salesman’s wife asks her husband and son, then says to the boy, “Did your dad work hard?”

“He didn’t do any work!” the boy replies. “All Dad does is talk to his friends all day!”

The Importance of Customer Relationships

This charming story is often used to highlight the importance of businesses developing friendly relationships with their clients. Seemingly, the friendly rapport between the salesman and his potential customers is what allows him to win them over.

The importance of these relationships cannot be underestimated. Because a reliable client base separates successful businesses from temporary ones–especially in an industry devoted to repairs, in which you are supposed to represent the solution to people’s problems–it is vital for maintaining and growing a client base in which long-term friendships are nurtured between service provider and customer. Also, do not forget the importance of personal business referrals for your company.

While crossing the threshold between the stoic business-and-customer relationship to a casual, friendly one can seem difficult, or even strange, there are a few simple ways to ease this process. Here are a few tips for developing lasting, friendly relationships with your customers.

Nurture the Relationship

Remember that being professional does not mean being distant. Politeness and mutual respect exists in good friendships, so feel free to nurture this type of relationship with a client. While good, polite service is appreciated, the level of trust in your services skyrockets if you and your client develop a friendship. Who do you trust more, a professional waiter or a close friend? Trust, after all, is one of the most important factors determining whom a client chooses to perform their repairs.

Don’t Be Too Casual

Being friendly with a client does not mean speaking to them the way you speak with friends outside of work. These people are participating in a goods-for-currency exchange with you, after all. Do not curse, discuss lewd subjects, argue, or delve into private matters with your client. Being polite and distant is one extreme, but being strangely casual with clients is the opposite vice. You will still need to thank them, greet them professionally, and maintain your dignity as a businessperson by putting your work first.

Be a Good Listener

tips for building long term relationships with customersThe keys to a good balance of being professional and friendly with clients is smiling, welcoming conversation, and engaging in long conversation with your clients. Everyone is different; be a good listener and follow the path toward friendly interaction your client welcomes. Some people might enjoy talking about their home, travels, spouse, favorite sports teams, or career. As with every new friendship, take this small talk and allow friendly, continuous discussion to sprout.

Be Honest

Be genuine and honest with your clients. If you think one of your coworkers can best handle a certain job, allow them to take over a delicate process. If you have made a mistake, admit it and apologize promptly. If your client asks for a recommendation, give a good and reliable one. This is what friends do.

Stay in Touch

Most importantly, stay in touch with all of your clients. This cannot be stressed enough. Sending letters reminding people to make appointments is one thing, but calling a customer to ask if their appliances are in good shape and if they have any concerns takes things to the next level. Your client will feel that you have a personal commitment to them that goes beyond stale, ordinary business contact.


 

About the Author: Noah Franklin is the owner of AC Pros HVAC, LLC, a professional Austin Air Conditioning and heating company. The business has been up and running for just over four years. Noah is fully experienced in all aspects of the Land business, having previously been a Landman at T. S. Calkins & Associates, Inc., Osage Land, Arrington Oil & Gas Operation, LLC, and Petroleum Landman. He is a very intelligent man known for his diligence and dedication to his clients

Communication Gateways Between HVAC VRV

Daikin, Mitsubishi, Toshiba VRV / VRF / Split Air- Conditioning Systems Seamless Integration and Remote Control Operation

The latest generation in Air-Conditioning Systems incorporates advanced VRV/VRF technology that saves energy and is extremely quiet in operation. These systems are no longer as rare as they were in the past and are now getting the attention they deserve together with increased market share.

The most prominent manufactures of such Air-Conditioning systems are Japanese with companies like: Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Sanyo / Panasonic and Toshiba. Daikin for instance, was the first company to introduce this technology, called ‘VRV’ (Variable Refrigerant Volume). All other HVAC manufacturers followed Daikin with their own version of the technology called ‘VRF’ (Variable Refrigerant Flow). Additional players outside of Japan producing VRF air- Conditioning systems are Koreans with companies like: LG and Samsung with other large players from China as Gree, Midea and Haier.

VRV / VRF Air-Conditioning systems have been distributed and installed all over the   globe for about 35 years. At the start their market penetration was slow but has increased dramatically in recent years once individuals and companies began to understand the significant energy savings of 30% and even higher, these systems may provide.

Countries in Europe, Far- East and South East Asia, with China leading by far, have been world leaders on the number of systems installed and increasing market share compared to those in the U.S. The U.S. started embracing the technology within the last 5 – 7 years with a significant growth in usage every year.

Realizing the benefits of these systems, leading Air-Conditioning companies in N.A have started to use the technology by forming alliances with existing manufacturers from Japan and Korea. For instance, Johnson Control with Sanyo / Panasonic and Hitachi; Carrier has formed a joint operation in the States with Toshiba naming it: Carrier-Toshiba and Trane allied with Samsung to introduce their OEM VRF version.

As the U.S. started its economic recovery following the crisis that hit the U.S. in 2008, it is now possible to notice the growing penetration of VRV/VRF Systems in the U.S market; a fact that was firmly confirmed by Will Scott a Sales Manager for Mitsubishi in the U.S. already in 2010:

” VRF shipments have continued to enjoy double-digit growth throughout the economic downturn. And as more engineers and contractors have successfully applied VRF across a wider spectrum of market segments, we expect their comfort level with VRF to translate into accelerated growth as we begin our economic recovery,” (achrnews: Nov 22 2010).

VRV / VRF / Split Air-Conditioning Systems – Control and Monitoring

VRV and VRF Air-Conditioning systems along with Splits from the same manufacturers are more sophisticated in their control systems incorporating built-in communication means, unlike the traditional Central and Split Air- Conditioning systems that typically incorporate only a basic form of on/off control logic.  The control and monitoring of VRV / VRF and their Split Air – Conditioning Systems is done with solutions provided by the HVAC companies who offer Central Controllers, Communication Gateway / Converters and thermostats to control and monitor outdoor / indoor units on issues like: On /Off Control, Cool, Heat, Fan, Dry Mode selection, Temperature set, Fan speed, Swing, Filter reset, Group operation, (all On all Off), Failure Codes etc.’

Communication protocols of VRV / VRF Air-Conditioning are not published or disclosed by the manufacturers, and each maintains its own unique protocol. This situation limits the supply of control solutions only to those offered by the manufacturers preventing third party suppliers from competing and offer solutions with better design, functionality and pricing to accommodate today’s modern house design and advanced communication means.

 

Integration of Control4, Crestron, Savant etc’ CONTROLLERS  with VRV / VRF and Split Air-Conditioning Systems –  Not an Easy Task!

The world market for Smart Home Systems, also known as Home Automation, has grown dramatically in recent years to reach several billion dollars a year. H/W Systems and applications are designed and built to satisfy the increasing demands of the modern house in areas like electricity, lighting, shades, security (cameras, gates), climate, entertainment and more.

Manufacturers and suppliers in Home Automation are divided according to their expertise where some focus and specialize in a particular area; others provide complete H/W and S/W solutions for control and monitoring of the entire home. Prominent players in this market are Crestron, Control4, Lutron, Vantage, Savant, AMX, RTI, HAI, ElAN and many others.

The controller display unit, usually supplied with the Home Automation system, provides the home owner with the ability to centrally control and monitor almost every peripheral around the house without the need to abandon his couch. This becomes even of a greater necessity when living in large luxury houses having many rooms and big distances to cover.

Nevertheless, one major area that has been overlooked and not properly addressed by the home automation companies is the ability to centrally control and monitor the Air-Conditioning units especially VRV / VRF systems, thus totally ignore the increasing use of these A/C systems.  In the absence of adequate control solutions, the home owner has no choice but to use the cumbersome and expensive control equipment as supplied by the HVAC companies.

integration

Integration – Not an Easy Task!

CoolMasterNet – Seamless Solution Integrating Home Automation / BMS Controllers  & Daikin, Mitsubishi VRV / VRF Split Air- Conditioning Systems

Cool Automation has identified that need for seamless integration and control solutions for such HVAC applications.

Cool Automation, is a company specializing in the development and supply of innovative gateways for the integration of Home Automation Controllers and HVAC Systems in general and VRV / VRF and Splits in particular.

The flagship product of the company is CoolMaster that is successfully distributed and installed in more than 60 countries via distributors, home automation integrators and HVAC installers.

CoolMaster is an innovative communication gateway that by using just a pair of wires may quickly connect to terminals on the VRV / VRF air- conditioning communication line to control and monitor the air- conditioning systems most essential parameters.

From the Home Automation / BMS side CoolMaster provides common RS232 / RS 485 interfaces requiring trivial s/w commands only, for a seamless integration process therefor to avoid the tedious and complex re-programming job that would otherwise be required.

Recently, the company has introduced the successor of CoolMaster, the CoolMasterNet. In addition to the above functionality this new product provides also with IP connectivity, touchscreen panel for control and multiple HVAC brands support along with additional useful features, all at the same cost as the previous CoolMaster.

This hassle-free integration process for home automation Integrators, and HVAC installers, enables the home owner to control and monitor all his HVAC indoor units for Air-Conditioning most essential parameters, all from the Home Automation’s controller,   something he cannot do from his HVAC equipment.

For VRV / VRF air- conditioning systems CoolMasterNet supports most of the existing brands with one H/W platform that can be used for all different HVAC brands.

For Home Automation systems, CoolMasterNet is compatible and may simply integrate with all major brands. This has been well recognized by home automation companies who either purchase CoolMasterNet directly, or recommend it for their distributors and integrators everywhere as an integration solution with their controllers and HVAC.

CoolRemote – A User Friendly Remote Operation for Daikin, Mitsubishi VRV / VRF/ Split Air- Conditioning Systems

Recently, Cool Automation has introduced CoolRemote, a web based control solution that with CoolMasterNet hooked to the Internet enables the remote control and monitoring of HVAC units from mobile or fixed platforms. The operation is user friendly and offers very attractive colored based icons for intuitive selection. If there is no need for Home Automation tasks other than centralized HVAC control, the usage of CoolRemote in conjunction with VRV /VRF HVACs is an ideal cost effective solution well appreciated by home owners that are cautious with their energy spends.

CoolRemote Cloud – In addition to home users, professional service providers and HVAC companies can have access to their customers’ HVAC data for service assessments and operation.

coolmaster

CoolMasterNet + CoolRemote – Easy Integration and Control of VRV / VRF HVACs

About the author: Ofer Ben-Nathan is in the position of a marketing and sales manager for CoolAutomation – HVAC controls and integration experts, a company that specializes in the design, manufacture and supply of integration and control solutions for a seamless connectivity of advanced HVAC systems from companies like Daikin, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, LG etc’ and Home Automation /BMS controllers. Company’s unique solutions sell in more than 80 countries worldwide.

fleet tracking for hvac companies

3 Ways Fleet Tracking Can Cut Costs For HVAC Companies

fleet tracking for hvac companiesWith customers always looking for a deal on large ticket items like furnaces and air conditioners, HVAC companies must find ways to lower their overhead and pass those savings to customers. Fleet tracking is one tool that HVAC companies can use to reduce their expenses, and here are three ways it can do so:

1. Cut Fuel Costs

One of the biggest benefits to fleets using GPS technology is the lowered fuel costs. How does GPS fleet tracking lower fuel costs? First, it decreases time on the road. When you know where your vehicles are at all times, you can dispatch the closest one to the next job. You can also route drivers around construction and other traffic delays to ensure they do not spend too much time sitting in traffic, using fuel but getting nowhere.

These are the obvious ways that fleet tracking reduces fuel costs, but it also helps in other ways. First, driver accountability lowers fuel costs. Drivers will drive more safely and spend less time idling when they know their behavior is monitored. Also, fleet tracking limits problems with personal trips taken in company vehicles. Therefore, drivers will likely stay on task and be more productive knowing that their locations are monitored.

These fuel savings are significant. Idling for 15 minutes uses a quarter of a gallon of gas. Across multiple vehicles, excessive idling will add a large expense to your budget, all without your drivers spending any time on the road. Aggressive driving can also add to wasted fuel. Chrysler tested this fact, and found that one aggressive driver used 43 percent more fuel than a driver using safe driving practices on a test course. The average fuel savings with safe driving practices is around 20 percent.

2. Cut Labor Costs

If you are paying your team for their time, not just at the job but also on the road, your labor costs can be cut significantly with GPS fleet tracking. Consider this scenario: You receive a call from a customer with a furnace emergency that cannot wait long to be addressed. The technician you think of first is on the other side of town, and you know he just finished his job. Thinking this is the fastest way to address the customer’s concern, you dispatch that technician, not knowing that a technician working just a few blocks away is also nearing the end of his job. In reality, the closer technician not only could get to the customer first, but also would take less time, and therefore cost you less, to do so.

While it may seem that it would be easy to track vehicles, any company owner knows that once the day starts, it’s difficult to keep tabs on the locations of multiple drivers and multiple vehicles, especially when making split-second decisions about which one to dispatch to an emergency. Instead, with GPS fleet tracking technology, you can glance at your monitor and see exactly where your technicians and vehicles are. Noting that one is located close by, you can call that technician and see where he is with his work. Knowing that he will be done soon, you can schedule him to address the emergency customer. Not only will you get the technician to the job faster, but you will also save money on labor costs.

3. Cut Insurance Costs

Insurance providers recognize the benefits of GPS fleet tracking in protecting the fleet, and offer discounts for GPS fleet tracking. When GPS fleet tracking is installed on vehicles, driver behavior improves because of the accountability the systems provide. This, then, reduces the risk of collision or crashes that would require an insurance payout.

Also, when GPS fleet tracking systems are installed on vehicles, recovering stolen vehicles is easier. These two factors combine to reduce the risk to insurance providers, and they reward that reduced risk with lower insurance rates. Automotive Digest indicates that insurance rates could drop up to 15 percent with the use of GPS fleet tracking. Across multiple vehicles, that discount grows quickly.

Fleet tracking systems do represent a cost, but that cost is dropping as systems are getting smarter and more streamlined. For the HVAC company, the cost savings easily outweigh the costs of the system. Consider adding fleet tracking to your company, and watch the savings grow.

robert hallRobert J. Hall is president of Track Your Truck, a leader in vehicle tracking GPS software and systems for small and mid-sized companies.

calgary furnace repair

Furnace Repair – Hire A Professional

If you are looking for Calgary furnace repair services, make sure to find a qualified professional. Having an unskilled person try to repair your furnace could cost you major money. When your furnace is on the fritz and it needs to be repaired fast you will want to call a professional repairman to handle your needs.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional

When winter is here and your furnace is not operating properly you will want to be able to call a qualified professional furnace repairman to get your unit operating again. As you start your search for a furnace repairman, ask your family, friends, and coworkers for who they use. If you are unable to find a professional furnace repairman through personal references check on the internet. The best way to find a professional furnace repairman in your area is to go to a search engine and type in furnace repairman in my area. When the list generates, click on a link to go to the company’s website. Most reputable companies will have a website that lists their services. Once you have determined if the company you chose will be able to handle your needs, call them to come out and give you a quote.

calgary furnace repairMost furnace repair companies can replace your furnace, repair your furnace, or perform maintenance on your furnace. After you have received a quote make sure the company has a license and is legally allowed to do the work in your state. Once you have found a licensed furnace repair company that fits all your needs have them set up a maintenance schedule for your furnace. A maintenance schedule will allow them to perform maintenance on your furnace twice a year. This maintenance will keep your furnace running efficiently. Most maintenance includes washing or changing filters as needed, checking and cleaning condenser and evaporator coils as needed, checking all electrical connections, checking and clearing all drains, and checking all amp draws. The skilled technicians will find any issues and repair them at an additional cost to you. Allowing a technician to perform regular maintenance on your unit will extend the life of your furnace and keep your utility bills down. Having a furnace that runs efficiently will help you to save energy.

When you have issues with your furnace, make sure to find a furnace repair company you can trust. It may seem like an irritating task to find a reputable furnace repair company, but having a skilled professional you can trust to call will make all the difference. Most companies will also perform after hour emergency calls as needed. Ask your technician if this is a service their company offers. Finding a trustworthy furnace repair company will put your mind at ease when your unit is on the fritz.

HVAC Maintenance

How Regular AC Unit Maintenance Can Reduce Your Needs For Repair

HVAC MaintenanceKeep your air-conditioner (AC) unit serviced and you will not just cut costs on your Hollywood home energy use, but you will additionally lengthen its life-span, spending less on expensive early replacement. An air conditioner needs regular maintenance to ensure it is working at the maximum efficiency. The optimum time to make use of these tips is just before every air conditioning season begins.

Before turning on the cool air of the A/C, make sure you have given your reliable HVAC system its annual check-up. Air conditioning units need regular servicing to operate at their peak. If you stick to this maintenance every year, you will be staying cool and saving money on your energy bills and unforeseen AC repair Hollywood FL expenses. Things you can do include:

Changing The Filter

Central air units must have their filters changed a minimum of every couple of months. But when you’ve allowed the chore to slide to the back of your mind, then right now is as good a time as any to get that filter changed.

Clean The Vents

Again, a routine dusting a few times annually is a must. However when you’ve been slacking, it should be done now. You can also think about having an expert give your air ducts as well as vents a cleaning.

Air Conditioning Coils

The air system’s evaporator coils and condenser coils gather dirt over the months as well as years of service. A thoroughly clean filter stops the evaporator coil from getting dirty quickly. In time though, the evaporator coils will nevertheless gather dirt. This dust decreases airflow and insulates the coils, decreasing its capability to absorb heat. To prevent this issue, examine your evaporator coil each year and thoroughly clean it as required.

Outside condenser coils may also become very unclean if the outside atmosphere is dusty or when there are leaves close by. It is simple to see the condenser coils and observe if dirt is actually gathering on its fins. You need to reduce dust and debris close to the condenser unit. Your clothes dryer vents, leaves dropping, and lawn mower are possible causes of dirt and particles. Cleaning the region around the coils, eliminating any dirt and trimming leaves back a minimum of two feet (0. 6 meters) will allow sufficient airflow around the condenser.

Hiring a Professional

When your air conditioning unit requires a lot more than regular servicing, hire an expert AC repair Hollywood FL service specialist. A well-trained specialist will find and repair issues in your air conditioner system.

The specialist should:

  • Look for proper quantity of refrigerant
  • Run a test for refrigerant leakages utilizing a leak detector
  • Catch any refrigerant that needs to be evacuated from the unit, rather than illegally releasing it into the environment
  • Look for and close off duct leakage in central units
  • Calculate airflow through the evaporator coils
  • Verify the right electrical control sequence and make certain that the heating and cooling unit cannot run at the same time
  • Examine electrical terminals, thoroughly clean and tighten up connections, as well as apply a nonconductive covering if required
  • Check belts and oil motors for wear and tightness
  • Examine the precision of the thermostat.

The bottom line? While some air conditioning servicing can be done by an experienced homeowner, it is nevertheless essential to have a professional technician examine the system regularly.

air conditioner repairman

Common AC Problems That Could Require Repair

air conditioner repairmanWhen summer is on the horizon, many homeowners start to get ready to turn on their air conditioning units, dreaming of days where summer’s heat and humidity are kept at bay by their air conditioning systems. But what happens when your AC doesn’t work properly? When problems arise requiring AC repair NYC, residents must call in a qualified service technician to fix the problem. Below is a list of common problems that can arise with an AC system that will require repair.

Neglect

Your AC unit has sat idle all winter long. Because of that, it can take a little coaxing to start up properly the first time out of the gate. Similarly, if you run your AC for long periods of time without having routine maintenance done, it can lead to problems that will require repair. Just as how problems with your health can get worse and require intervention if you don’t catch them early at a regular checkup, problems in your AC system can worsen and require repairs if you don’t address them early. The best way to catch a problem is to schedule regular maintenance.

Parts failure

Anything mechanical will sometimes experience failure of one or more of its parts. An air conditioning system is no different. Because there are so many parts to the system that need to work together, it’s not unusual for one or more parts to sometimes fail. In the case of an air conditioner, among the most common parts to experience failure are the compressor and the fan. If your system is cycling on and off frequently, it could be an indication that one or more components of the system is failing.

Issues with the thermostat

There is a host of things that can potentially cause your thermostat to fail. It could be as simple as a dead battery in the thermostat or something more complex like an improperly calibrated sensor or simply a faulty unit. If your home doesn’t seem to be staying as cool as it once did, one of the best things to do first is to check the batteries in your thermostat. If it’s been a while since you changed the batteries, this could be an easy fix for the thermostat problems. If that doesn’t work, you may have to upgrade your thermostat to a newer model.

These days, thermostats are quite sophisticated, allowing you to program multiple temperatures all at once, for example, if you want the house to be cooler during the day but don’t require such a cool temperature at night, you can set the thermostat to automatically adjust at a certain time of day. Or, if you are at work all day and don’t want to spend the money to cool an empty house, you can set your thermostat to come on just a couple of hours before you come home, so you can enjoy a cool house when you arrive.

New Unit Installation

Is your unit older than 10 years old? Are you paying a lot of money for unit repairs? The time has come to replace your unit. While this can be an expensive cost, it is something that has to be done. If you are looking for a professional technician to check your unit and give you installation options check with premierheatingandcoolingsystems.com for all your needs.

Benefits to Installing a New Unit

Installing a new unit can cost up to $20,000. While this is a lot of money, it can actually save you money in the long run. If your unit isn’t running efficiently it will cut off and on and run all day. This runs your electric bill up. By upgrading your unit to an energy-efficient unit, you can cut your electric bill in half. Another major issue is the safety of your family. If your unit is old and not functioning properly you run the risk of having electrical fires or gas leaks in your unit. Some people hear the price of a new unit and think they will just keep getting repairs done.

Most consumers do not realize that you can get your new unit financed and make monthly payments until it is paid off. There are also several other financial incentives such as tax incentives and manufacturer incentives. When you install a new unit you are also getting a manufacturer warranty. This warranty usually pays for all repairs needed up to a certain time, then it pays a prorated amount towards parts and labor on repairs needed. Also, some companies will add in a year of free maintenance. When you have a unit, to keep it functioning properly you will need to have service performed twice a year.

This service includes cleaning or replacing filters as needed, checking all electrical connections, checking all drains and cleaning as needed, checking and cleaning coils, and performing any repairs needed. This maintenance ensures that your unit is running at full capacity and running efficiently. A skilled technician will also be able to set your thermostat so that your unit will run at a comfortable temperature for you and your family. No one wants to have to spend money, but sometimes you have to spend money to save money.

Replacing your unit is one of those times. Having a skilled and qualified technician replace your existing unit with an energy efficient unit can save you money. An energy efficient unit will lower your utility bill and ensure you that your unit is running properly. Once you have decided to install a new unit make sure to sign up for a regular maintenance service plan to secure your new investment.