13 Digital Marketing Tips for HVAC Contractors

To survive in today’s marketing landscape, HVAC contractors fully understand that an online presence is required. Resistance to digital marketing techniques was rampant in the heating and cooling industry, until failure to implement such techniques started to directly impact the livelihoods of contractors and their families. What was once considered a forward-thinking outlook, is now one that is non-negotiable. Any small to medium sized business owner can relate to the concept of adapt or die. So yes, internet marketing can be time consuming, frustrating, and downright painful, but it is also a path to earning revenue, and supporting your employees and their families. Here are 15 digital marketing tips to get you started on the right track:

1) Follow The Data

There’s lots of old habits in the internet marketing industry, and many of them are no longer effective. Just because something worked 10 years ago, doesn’t mean it will today. So how can contractors determine what will work? Follow the data. Using tools like Google Analytics, the performance of websites, pages, and advertisements can be tracked and analyzed. Here’s what data might lead an HVAC contractor to:

  • Audience: Who your audience is and what they value
  • Engagement: Which types of content engage consumers mores effectively
  • Process: The consumer’s journey proceeds through several checkpoints, all of which must be optimized

2) Track Everything

It’s not possible to follow data that doesn’t exist, which brings us to our next tip: track everything. The aforementioned Google Analytics is a great tracking tool, and it’s free. Other paid options like Moz and SEMRush allow companies to track their online campaigns, and services like SpyFu even empower companies to track the campaigns of their main competitors. Here’s what to look for:

  • Clicks: How many users are clicking on your site after seeing it on search results
  • Links: What kinds of links are coming to your website
  • Rankings: How are your Google rankings fluctuating over time

3) Be Social

You don’t have have to go to fundraisers to connect with other businesses in 2018. All of it can be done online through social media. Whether its B2B networks like LinkedIn or more customer-centric platforms like Facebook and Instagram, there’s no shortage of options for HVAC companies looking to expand their brand awareness. Some of the best content to publish on social media includes:

  • Blog Posts: Written posts from your website’s blog
  • Curation: Endorsements of 3rd party content that your audience might find helpful
  • Promotions: Discounts or other promotional materials

4) Content Quality Over Quantity

Flooding the net with 300 word blog posts won’t draw any meaningful attention to your brand. Instead focus on crafting higher quality, longer-form blog posts of 800 words or higher. These pots have a greater chance of being shared via social media, as well as linked to from 3rd party websites. There’s no shortcuts to creating great content, it takes time and consistent efforts to reach its full potential. Quality content is:

  • Engaging: Holds the average reader’s attention
  • Unique: Cannot be found elsewhere on the web
  • Valuable: Offers important or noteworthy info to the reader

5) Brand Your Company

To establish a favorable online presence, consumers should associate each instance of your company with its overall ethos. To do so, a web-ready logo must be included with every representation of your company. That means business listings, social media, and perhaps most importantly, your company website. An effective digital brand is:

  • Appealing: Provides distinguishable value to the consumer
  • Consistent: Remains uniform in image and description
  • Visible: Is regularly apparent on all corners of the web

6) Stay Flexible

In a realm as uncertain as internet marketing, it is important for HVAC companies to refrain from becoming attached to a single idea or methodology. Because Google regularly evaluates its algorithm, change is the only constant. Contractors should be ready to adapt to new information, and to implement processes that might not align with initial theories. To be a digital success in 2018, the status quo must be relinquished. Changes come in the form of:

  • Behavioral Tendencies: Changes in the behavior of your target consumer (i.e. increased use of voice search)
  • Data Shifts: Prompt and considerable changes in tracking data
  • New Information: Recently released info regarding algorithms or new technology

7) Out With The Old

Manipulative tactics used to rule the SEO industry, but Google has gotten much better at detecting and penalizing such behavior. Tactics that fall under this category are known as black-hat SEO tactics. Link schemes, sneaky redirects, and the aforementioned keyword stuffing. Just because these methods worked 15 years ago, doesn’t make them worthwhile today. In fact, the opposite is true. Steer clear from:

  • Auto-Generated Content: Low quality content written by AI for SEO purposes only
  • Keyword Stuffing: User intent matters more than verbatim keywords in today’s market
  • Link Schemes: Posting URL’s in blog comments and forums to drive up inbound links

8) Link With a Purpose

Earning quality links from 3rd party sources can be a slow but rewarding process. The best way to earn links is by writing objectively great content, that provides value to your target consumer. While inbound links are rightfully appealing because of their potential influence on SEO, they aren’t the only type of link worth pursuing. Internal links from one website page to another is helpful for navigation, as are external links leading to relevant content. Every link should be:

  • Helpful: Provides value to the user through assistance of some kind
  • Relevant: Relates to the topic of both the linked and destination page
  • Sensible: Applied with anchor text that makes sense to the reader

9) Monitor Business Listings

Some heating and cooling companies wonder how listing directories gather their contact information, if they have never manually submitted it to a given website. The answer is data aggregation. Services like Neustar and Acxiom collect contact info from public records, and disseminate it to directories throughout the web. Because businesses often change some aspect of their contact information during the company’s tenure, misinformation can spread quickly. Make sure listings are:

  • Accurate: Possess accurate name, address, phone number, and website info
  • Branded: Display your company logo and about-us description
  • Claimed: Are controlled by your company, usually through business verification

10) Map Your Location

Modern searches utilize location information to match users with nearby business. To be matched to appropriate consumers, you must map your business location using geo-coordinates. Once your business is marked on Google Maps and other GPS devices, customers will find your information more easily and therefore be more likely to contact you. You’re HVAC company is also more likely to appear on:

  • Google 3 Pack: The map portion of Google search results
  • Knowledge Graph: The boxed profile on the right hand side of search results
  • Mobile Search: Results for nearby mobile users

11) Target Mobile Users

Most website visitors in 2018 access your site via mobile device, most commonly their smartphones. While desktops have not been removed from society completely, their usage rate has lowered significantly, and it is time for businesses to adapt. Design a website with the mobile user in mind, first and foremost, and make it as simple as possible for smartphone users to locate and contact your HVAC company. Aspects of mobile usage includes:

  • Display: How your site presents on a smartphone or tablet
  • Location: The presence of geo-coordinates for mobile matching
  • Navigation: How simple it is to navigate your site on smartphone or tablet

12) Define Your Audience

With more information available than ever before, defining your target audience is critical. To properly market to consumers, you must know their respective needs and preferences, and trends that manifest in the aggregate. This way, you can narrow your focus and appeal to a defined group, with the hope that many convert into leads. For example, your market might be especially interested in energy efficiency tips. Here are some ways to define your audience:

  • Age: The age range
  • Location: The general location
  • Needs: Which services they need most frequently

13) Hire a Professional

As prideful as they are, many heating and cooling professionals believe they can handle every aspect of their business without outside influence. Of course anything is possible, but the question for contractors should always be, what is best for business? In this case, what is best for business is investing in an HVAC internet marketing service to handle your online promotion. Marketing pros help with:

  • Content Quality: With more resources at bay, pros can produce higher quality content
  • Scheduling: A professional doesn’t forget to post on social media because they’re busy, it is their job
  • Time Management: Outsourcing digital marketing services gives contractors the time necessary to devote on their everyday operations

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About The Author

HVAC Webmasters is a digital marketing company for heating and cooling technicians across the country

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HVACWebmasters

Providing Great Customer Service in the HVAC Industry

The Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Industry has been a thriving industry for some time. And with the influx of newer and more efficient central systems, the growth is projected to continue the upward climb. When was the last time that you walked in a home or business office and they didn’t have some sort of temperature controlled system? I’m sure that if you had, it would probably be the last time that you back to that commercial or residential property.

Becoming an HVAC technician is not an easy task. There are many certifications and training programs that HVAC servicemen have to complete in order to becoming a practicing technicians. This training curriculum has been great for producing highly skilled HVAC repairmen/installers. Their training will be great understanding problem solving techniques that can be used for solving multiple issues with HVAC Repairs/Installation. So, why is it that you, as a business owner have skilled technicians, but your business is showing little growth? Maybe additional technical courses or additional experience is not the answer to your problem. Your focus maybe better served in training your employees on providing the best customer service experience available instead.

Hearing the words “customer service” probably causes you to think about the shopping or food industry. These are probably two of the most well-known industries that religiously focus on the customer service experience. But, similar to these industries, one bad experience can destroy a potentially long lasting relationship with your customers. I’m sure however, that if you provide great technical service, as well as great customer service, your business will grow dramatically. Now, the question now is, what are the strategies that you can use that will increase your customer’s experience?

Making sure that you hire the right people.

What does it mean to hire the right people? Should you go and hire the most technically skilled service man that has very little communication/people skills. Or, should you hire someone with great communication skills, but that possesses little technical skills. Believe it or not it might be more beneficial to choose the latter candidate. Technical skills and knowledge can be taught from on the job training or additional technical courses. Having great communication skills however, is something that is harder to learn, and if your employees aren’t sold on your vision, than they probably won’t buy in. During the interviewing process, it is important to note how the person is communicating with us. Do they practice eye contact while answering questions? Are they confident in their answers? Are they answering questions with a positive attitude? Do they leave a great lasting impression on you? Although these questions can seem very tedious, it is important that you realize that the people that you hire represent your business.

Training to promote the great customer service.

Now that you have hopefully hired the right person, the next questions should be, what additional training is needed and how to train the people that you already have? It is important that you realize that providing great customer service is a habitual process. Setting up a good training program is very important for continued growing success. An example of training new people would be to complete 2 months of a “Ride Along” period. During this time, the new person will be matched with a more experienced person that may already have great customer service skills. They can complete the tasks together and afterwards provide the customer or client with a survey. This survey will be used gather information about the interaction between your employee and the customer. Calling customers after providing services for them can also be a great tactic in gauging the level of customer satisfaction. Even if you have to entice your customers with special offers or rebates for their feedback, it will be worth it in the end, because now you have a satisfied customer. Satisfied customers continue to conduct business with you as well as refer other people to your business. I also recommend implanting a bi-monthly or quarterly customer service training class. This goes along with the continuing to ensure that your employees remember and practice great customer service practices.

What next?

Customer service is an important part of your business’s growth. Although it may be true that great customer service doesn’t always warrant rave reviews, bad reviews can most always take away from your business. By understanding the importance of this additional service, you can implement it and ensure that your employees practice theses services. I’m sure that over time your business will dramatically grow and you will dominate your local market, by understanding that the most important asset of your business is your customers.

About Author

Jaki Redden is a Web Designer and Content Writer that enjoys writing for local business owners in order to provide them with all the tools that they need of their market.

HVAC Contractors, Are You Ready For The New Efficiency Standards?

 

Get ready for new HVAC efficiency standards in 2015

2015 is bringing some big changes to HVAC systems. Both commercial and residential systems will have their minimum efficiency standards raised in most states, affecting any HVAC systems that are installed on or after January 1st. But how do these standards affect you, the contractor?

If you’re feeling lost, you’re not the only one. A recent survey revealed that some three quarters of contractors are unaware of several major components of the new standards. Even more alarming, only 12% of those surveyed had begun training their technicians or retooling their inventory for the new standards. The 2015 changes will have a profound effect, not just on manufacturers, but on you and your distributors as well.

We’ve put together this guide, to help you prepare your business for the 2015 HVAC efficiency standards.

Know Your Region

2015 will bring one major change to the HVAC business: efficiency standards that vary by region. For the first time, standards will not be equal across all states. Instead, the US will be divided into three major regions: North, South, and Southwest.

To comply with standards, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with your specific region. Contractors who work in multiple states might be working in more than one efficiency standard region as well, so if you cross state lines, the HVAC standards might change. Especially affected will be the northeast corridor, as Pennsylvania and New Jersey fall in the North region, while Maryland and Delaware are in the South. HVAC contractors in the Cincinnati area will also have to comply with different standards if they install units in neighboring Kentucky, to name another example.

Keep your clients cozy with the right HVAC system inside and out.

Under the new HVAC efficiency standards, contractors will have to carefully calibrate residential outdoor systems with indoor ones. In addition to the regional variations, an outdoor system’s SEER rating will depend on the indoor system that it’s connected to, as well as other components like the blower and coil. This means that an outdoor system’s ultimate rating will be determined by its corresponding indoor parts. It also means that outdoor systems can be matched with different indoor systems for overall regional compliance. An outdoor system with a SEER rating of 14 may not automatically mean an overall SEER rating that’s the same, whereas an outdoor system with a slightly lower rating could possibly qualify for higher overall number, using the right components.

Luckily, the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute includes a searchable database of system performance ratings, to help HVAC professionals meet the new requirements. Of course, packaged systems will still come with overall SEER ratings, which can’t be changed through matching or switching out parts.

Who’s Watching Over?

As 2014 draws to a close, some big questions remain about how the new efficiency standards will be enforced in the coming year.

While Congress is still hashing out the exact enforcement guidelines, it’s very likely that everyone in the HVAC industry will be involved with some aspect of enforcing the new standards. To what extent that includes contractors remains to be decided, but contractors should be prepared to participate in some capacity. Luckily, the DOE has released a helpful guide to the three possible approaches to enforcement.

Starting next year, contractors may have to produce detailed records for their distributors, about where different systems are installed and their standard compliance. Whatever lawmakers decide, it’s a good idea to keep these records for your own business. No matter what, you’ll be required to prove that all your installations comply with the efficiency standards of your region.

Just like staying up to date on your licenses and bonds, complying with efficiency standards is a necessary part of the HVAC business. Don’t wait until the very last minute to find out how the 2015 changes will affect you; instead, familiarize yourself with the new standards now to stay ahead of the competition.

How are you preparing your business for the changes in HVAC efficiency standards? Do you still have questions about how you’ll be affected? Leave us a comment below!

 

Todd Bryant is the President and Founder of Bryant Surety Bonds. He is a surety bonds expert with years of experience in helping HVAC contractors get bonded and start their business.

Todd Bryant Author

Air Filter Logistics – Why Buying Direct Allows HVAC Contractors to Save Big

Whether you are a HVAC technician, a maintenance crew, or a DIY homeowner, an air filter is a nuisance. Air filters are bulky and expensive to store and handle, while the price that can realistically be charged for them to the end user rarely justifies the hassle. However, for an HVAC technician, they are a necessary evil often used as a loss leader in order to get more lucrative maintenance business.

At the end of the day, the air filter business is a logistics business. While we wrote an extensive article on the logistics of the air filter business, at the basic level if you look at the traditional flow of an air filter, from an HVAC contractor the logistics cost of the filter starts with the raw material (bulky) being trucked into a filter manufacturer. After the filter is made, it has to be boxed and shipped out to distribution centers. Once shipped to distribution centers, the filters are touched again, re-packed on to trucks, and sent off to the local distributors / contractors. Those local distributors have to store the filters in their warehouse, and either ship to larger end customers or carry them on install visits.

AirFilterBuy.com is a service that is designed to alleviate the burden by offering direct access to the manufacturer. We are the direct producer of all of our filtration products and we ship directly to the end user, minimizing the logistics costs associated with an air filter purchase. We work with companies throughout the country to provide just-in-time delivery to either the HVAC companies themselves or drop shipped to the companies where the HVAC companies have a maintenance contract, with the filters arriving just in time for installation.

If you have a residential service business, we also offer the ability to drop ship directly to your end users without any pricing included on the packing slip. We offer whole house replacements for over 30 different branded units in Merv 8, 11, and 13 ratings at a fraction of the cost of the OEM filters. Whether you are looking to replace a common Trion Air Bear filter or a less common Trane / Airtite unit, we have a replacement filter that can work for your customer at a fraction of the cost.

We specialize in pleated air filters but carry a wide array of fiberglass filters, bag filters, ring panels, and an assortment of other filtration products. For wholesale pricing, which generally starts with orders of $750 or more, visit our wholesale website at wholesale.airfilterbuy.com. We will then set up a quick phone call to discuss your actual needs. As we explained above, the pricing of an air filter is as much (or more) about logistics as it is raw material costs. We speak with each one of our wholesale customers to get an idea of the type of purchases and quantities that they need so that we can set them up on the most competitive pricing program possible.

To find out more, visit our website, email us at info@airfilterbuy.com, or gives us a call at 855-FILT-BUY.

Embracing Social Media for Your HVAC Business

Social Media is an Important Part of Marketing your HVAC Business

You provide a service business that relies heavily on advertising and word of mouth. But what about finding other streams of income for your business? Has your company started embracing social media? Below are some suggestions to help you get started.

Referrals

When dealing with water heaters and air units, your company likely also encounters water damage and mold at times. Many water mitigation companies pay a referral fee to contractors that refer new business to them, even repeat business. In this scenario, the contractor goes out to do a duct job and finds mold. He calls XYZ company to handle the mold and gets a referral fee for the job. Or perhaps the water heater needs fixing and a flood is present, again the water mitigators would be called to dry the area. I have witnessed this scenario more times than I can count. Call around to a few of the local companies and ask what they’re going rate is for referrals.

Blogging

I’m often surprised by the amount of companies that haven’t yet joined the social media age, starting with a blog. While the purpose is to market your services, you can expand your reach to an audience around the world by providing information; not to mention it’s good for your brand. You can write posts that offers how to articles and videos and photos. Also, on these posts you can use programs such as Adsense to make money and also affiliate marketing. Blogs are fairly easy to install these days with WordPress and Fantastico that is available with most hosting programs. The more content you provide, the more helpful your site is, the more worth that the search engines give it. Be a resource of help to visitors in your areas and ones that are also not in your area.

Twitter

If your company is not yet tweeting you really need to jump on the bandwagon. Start by tweeting helpful tips and finding people of interest to follow. While the intended purpose is to get more people to your site, don’t just blatantly sell your business. You need to have a tone to share as well as information. Twitter is about communicating and sharing information and can be hugely successful in drumming up more traffic and interaction for your site. If you don’t have the time to do this for yourself, consider hiring someone to do it for you with the understanding that the twitter account is yours and you will retain it. They are being hired to tweet on your behalf. Once you build up your Twitter account and have a good number of interactive followers you can get paid to tweet.

Facebook

Most companies do have a Facebook page for their customers. Many of those pages lay dormant. Interact with the people that like your page and business it encourages referrals and future business. A small personal touch goes a long way.

Pinterest

One of the hottest social media sites nowadays is Pinterest! You can share, find and bookmark information on anything from making a bow to making beef jerky and cleaning tips – literally anything and everything can be found. You can just as easily share your own work photos.

Tying it all together

Start by signing up for all the social media sites using your business profile and most importantly, after you have signed up and you are using your profiles make sure they are linked too on your website so it is easy for people to follow you and interact. It may seem like a daunting task at first but once you get started you will see that it’s not as bad as you thought. Takes only a few minutes a day and can equal a greater deal of business and/or traffic for your site no matter your industry.

Gabrielle Greene is a co-blogger for TipsOnHowToSaveMoney.com

Social Media is an Essential Part of Marketing Your HVAC Business

Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning

 

 

There are Many Benefits to Using Ductless HVAC Systems

If you had any doubts that summer was on the way, then last week’s crazy high temperatures in Chicago should have convinced you. It was in the mid-nineties in mid-May! Yes, the temperatures are spiking and everyone is scrambling to stay cool. The boots have gone into storage and the sandals have made their debut. It is a fun time – with summer concerts starting, and all sort of outdoor adventures underway – but it is also a sweaty time. A lot of people are thinking about their air conditioning systems and whether they are prepared for the hot summer that is sure to come. If you are wondering what kind of air conditioning system you need, then you should learn about the benefits of ductless air conditioning.

Starting with the basics, what is a ductless air conditioner? Ductless air conditioners, also known as split air conditioners, have a long history on the market. They have a strong and solid reputation, but still a lot of people have not heard of them. However, as more and more people learn about the advantages of split air conditioners and mini-split air conditioners, they are choosing these systems to cool their homes. These air conditioning systems do not have ducts that course through your building or home. Instead, they cool and heat without ducts. The units are installed strategically throughout the edifice, both in the wall and free standing.

What are the benefits of ductless air conditioners? There are a number of benefits to ductless air conditioners. Below are several of the most appreciated by the people who use them.

Benefit #1 – They are more efficient. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the typical American family spends about a thousand dollars every year on heating and cooling their homes. Switching to a ductless air conditioning system can save people 20-30 percent on their energy usage every month.

Benefit #2 – Higher efficiency means lower bills. Whenever you are cutting your energy usage, you are simultaneously lowering your energy bills, as well as cutting down your carbon footprint. A ductless air conditioning system can cut your energy costs by as much as 20-30 percent every month. Over the course of a year, that can add up to hundreds of dollars.

Benefit #3 – Installation is a cinch. Unlike central air conditioning which requires a professional to install, ductless air conditioners can be installed quickly and easily by almost anyone. Unlike the two man crew taking at least a week to install the ductwork, a ductless air conditioning system can be finished and installed in less than a day.

Benefit #4 – Ductless air conditioning is easy to operate, too. According to superpages.com, “Most ductless air conditioners have a remote control that enables you to easily increase or lower the temperature of the air coming from your unit. Feeling too cold in bed? You can adjust the room temperature with your remote control, without getting out of the covers. Try doing that with a central air conditioning system.”

Benefit #5 – They won’t bother you with noise. A lot of traditional air conditioning systems are noisy and keep people up at night, bother them during their favorite television shows, and make for lousy background noise. Ductless air conditioners, though, are a lot less bothersome. The only noise they make is a quiet hum, it will not drown out conversations, television or music.

Benefit #6 – Your ductless air conditioner also functions as a heater during the winter. At the end of the summer, once all of the barbeques are done and the fireworks have all been set off, you will start preparing again for the cold weather. It can be a little sad to think about now, but if you get a ductless air conditioner it will be one less thing to worry about later. The built in heat pump in your ductless air conditioner is efficient and can adequately heat your home without a problem.

Benefit #7 – They are eco-friendly air conditioners as well. Besides being quiet, easy to use, easy to install, and extra efficient, ductless air conditioners are also environmentally friendly. If you are concerned with the environment, then a mini-split air conditioner is an ideal choice. They use less energy and allow you to target the room you are cooling so you do not need to cool the entire house when you will only be in one or two rooms.

If you have further questions about the benefits of ductless of air conditioning, you can contact the professionals at Controlled Comfort Heating & Cooling located in Chicago, Illinois and they will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

 

Benefits of Zone Control and Programmable Thermostats

 

The Benefits of Zone Control and Programmable Thermostats

Energy efficiency is a growing concern for almost every industry, and the HVAC world is no exception. There are several excellent options for builders, homeowners, and businesses that want to go green while increasing comfort. Programmable thermostats and zone control systems are two great ways to reduce consumption and add luxury to any building.

Installing a programmable thermostat into a building allows the residents or owners to have complete control over when and how much the heating and cooling systems turn on. What this means for the average resident is improved comfort and lower utility bills. The thermostat can be set based on time and day, and special settings can be input for travel or harsher conditions.

If a homeowner needs to leave town, the temperature control system can be set to stay off or nearly off during their absence, then to kick back on in time for their arrival back home. For day to day comfort, it can be programmed to let the house cool down somewhat at night, but ensure that it’s back up to normal in the morning. It can keep the air conditioner off all day while the owner is at work, but turn it back on again at just the right moment to provide comfort when he or she returns at night.

Zone control systems facilitate an even greater level of personalization because they make it possible to set the temperature of each room individually. Nearly every household has experienced some level of conflict over temperature control, ranging from good-natured teasing to constant bickering to all-out war. Zone control eliminates these showdowns by allowing each resident of a home to be in a room where they are comfortable, without having to create discomfort for their family members.

While each of these updates will add luxury and comfort to any home or office, they will also reduce the environmental impact and cost of maintaining that building. By not requiring power in order to heat or cool a house that isn’t in use, these will reduce monthly utility bills and take your building one step closer to green.

Author Info:

Frank Newhouse is a freelance writer who currently writes for Air Conditioning Florida, which connects people in the Miami area with the HVAC services they need.

 

Modern Air Conditioning: from the 1700s to Now

A Brief History of the Modern Air Conditioning

                Air Conditioning in 2013 is among the most under-appreciated advancements in technology since the 1700s. Even though many parts of the world lack adequate heating and cooling, air conditioning remains a part of life that most shrug off. Nevertheless, air conditioning has a rich history steeped in engineering and ingenuity.

Ding Huan

                One of the very first instances of air conditioning being used dates back to second century China. During this time, inventor Ding Huan was putting the finishing touches on a 3m wide archaic rotary fan, comprised of seven wheels. Because it was manually powered, Huan’s design unfortunately didn’t become popular until another inventor got a hold of it in the 740s.

Liang Tian, employed by Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty, adapted Huan’s initial idea and used it to construct a “Cool Hall” in the emperor’s palace equipped with water-powered fan wheels. Following the trend of Xuanzong and the two inventors, rotary fans became commonplace for many of the Chinese people looking to beat the heat for centuries to come.

  • The first instances of air conditioning date back to second century China.
  • Ding Huan pioneered the first ever rotary fan.
  • Liang Tian adapted the idea and constructed the first temperature controlled room.

Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley

                It comes as no surprise that Benjamin Franklin played a role in the invention of modern air conditioning. As the story goes, Franklin and cohort John Hadley were experimenting with the evaporation of volatile substances such as alcohol and ether as a way to lower an object’s temperature below freezing.

Using a billows pointed at the bulb of a mercury thermometer to speed up the reaction, the two men evaporated the alcohol and ether which lowered the temperature of the bulb from sixty-four to seven degrees Fahrenheit. After noticing a thin layer of ice forming on the bulb, Franklin was reported to have said, “…from this experiment, one may see the possibility of freezing a man to death on a warm summer’s day.”

  • Ben Franklin and John Hadley believed that evaporating volatile substances could lower temperature.
  • The two men lowered the temperature of a bulb to seven degrees Fahrenheit
  • After noticing ice on the bulb, Franklin concluded a man could be frozen to death on a summer day.

John Gorrie

                The first mechanized air conditioner was built in the 1830s by physician, John Gorrie, as a way to fight yellow fever and malaria in Florida. After encountering throngs of people afflicted by these diseases, Gorrie believed that by cooling patient rooms he could formulate a cure.

His initial design was a steam-powered air compressor, which siphoned the air through metal pipes to create basins of ice that hung from the ceiling of patient rooms. Gorrie’s refrigerator received a United States patent in 1851 but unfortunately failed to make him any money, forcing him into bankruptcy until his death in 1855. Although the machine worked, it was often leaky and bogged down with other performance problems.

  • John Gorrie hypothesized that colder temperatures could cure yellow fever and malaria.
  • Gorrie’s initial design compressed air that siphoned through metal pipes which created ice basins that hung from the ceiling of patient rooms.
  • Unfortunately, Gorrie’s refrigerator performed poorly and eventually bankrupted him.

Willis Carrier

                What started as a humidity problem at Brooklyn, New York’s Sackett & Wilhelms Lithography and Printing Company, became the setting for Willis Carrier’s legacy as the “Father of Cool.” At the time exceedingly warm temperatures and humidity were causing alterations in the paper which led to inconsistencies in the multicolor printing. These harsh conditions were responsible for excessive waste and even lost production days.

Carrier’s apparatus, as opposed to Gorrie’s, utilized cold water and heating coils rather than steam to chill the air. By allowing the water to flow through the coils, Carrier was able to balance both the temperature of the coils and the rate of air flow to lower the temperature of the room. By the summer of 1902, the first AC unit was installed at Sackett & Wilhelms and modern day air conditioning was born.

  • Willis Carrier’s apparatus utilized cold water and heating coils rather than steam to chill the air.
  • Carrier was able to control not only temperature but also humidity with his device.
  • Upon installation at Sackett & Wilhelms, modern day air conditioning became a commodity for business, and inevitably homeowners, from the 1900s to now.

Jason Wall is an HVAC technician and baseball enthusiast who writes for Griffith Energy Services, a provider of air conditioning services and heating maintenance.

 

 

New Solutions for Old HVAC Problems

 

How Modern Technology is Being Used to Overcome Common HVAC Problems

The continuous increasing cost of electricity is a common concern for everyone.  HVAC manufacturers recognize this need so they keep on finding ways to make energy-efficient and eco-friendly products. There are several HVAC components available in the market and these three are some of the most effective innovations in HVAC technology.

Ductless Split System –This type of HVAC system has been used primarily for residential buildings. However, ductless split systems are now being applied to business and institutional facilities as their primary HVAC component. The system consists of both a heating and cooling system which can cover up to five areas in a building. Refrigerant lines link together an outdoor condensing unit and an indoor ductless air handler. Units of this system look like ordinary window air conditioners and are operated in the same manner. The difference lies in the physical partitioning ofthe indoor and outdoor portions of the system.

The selling factor of ductless split systems is the size of the interior unit. Since it is not bulky, the system can be installed almost anywhere. You can run the refrigerant lines that connect the two portions through a small hole on a wall. Another great feature is how quietly it operates. Unlike the compressor of ordinary AC units, the compressor of ductless split systems is separated from the other parts of the system.

The best part about ductless split systems is they can help in saving energy and money. Costs of ducted systems are significantly higher. Since there are no ducts where air can leak in or out of, this type of system is also energy efficient. It is also this lack of ducts which make this system advantageous for facilities that undergo constant remodeling or renovations.

Oil-Free Compressors –Generally, you need to apply oil to compressors in order to lubricate internal bearings. This may seem helpful but it can actually cause the inefficiency of you HVAC system if the refrigerant transports the oil to the evaporator and condenser. Oil may then coat the internal parts which will obstruct the transfer of heat. This in turn makes the unit work harder so it uses up more energy. Frequent maintenance is also needed for compressors that use oil to be sure that the oil is not contaminated. Otherwise this will damage the entire system. Furthermore, application of oil does not totally eliminate the risk of friction. Friction can cause deterioration of the bearings which could eventually lead to replacement of the unit.

Oil-free compressors do not face these problems. Magnetic bearings suspend the impellers and rotating shaft so they move as a single unit. This feature makes oil-free compressors more efficient and it eliminates the need for frequent maintenance.

Ranging from sizes between 60 to 160 tons, oil-free compressors have an operating efficiency of between 0.35 and 0.55 kW per ton. Conventional compressors have operating efficiencies ranging from 0.50 to 0.75 kW per ton.  This could lead to an improvement in operating efficiencies to about 30%.

VRF Systems – Variable Refrigerant Flowsystems or VRFs are considerably new in the field of HVAC technology. This type of system balances the flow rate on the refrigerant from the compressor to the heating or cooling load of the facility. There are two major types of VRF systems. One type circulates the refrigerant between a solitary outdoor unit and multiple indoor units. VRF works best for small to medium sized buildings which require different levels of heating or cooling for every zone. The refrigerant flow is controlled by a compressor operated by a variable frequency drive. When the heating or cooling load increases, the variable frequency drive speeds up the compressor to increase the flow of the refrigerant.

The other type of VRF system works best for bigger buildings which require simultaneous heating and cooling for separate zones.  This consists of water-source heat pumps for individual zones, supplemental boilers, a plate and frame heat exchanger, a cooling tower, and piping for the circulation of water for the pumps and exchanger.

When it is cold, heat pumps from individual zones transfer the heat through the heat exchanger to the cooling tower which can make the area cooler. On the other hand, heat is emitted to individual zone heat pumps by the water circulation loop heated by boilers to make the area warmer. This feature transfers the heat from areas that need cooling into areas that need heating.

 

Jove Arthur is an expert guest blogger who focuses on the home improvement and construction industry. He is the online sales manager at Door Emporium, which provides a great selection of wood entry doors.

Improve Efficiency of Your HVAC System

Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your HVAC System

By Rachel Kopp of One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

Utility bills take a large bite out of your monthly budget, but you may not take the time to figure out which of your home’s conveniences consume the most energy. Statistics from the Department of Energy show that energy required to heat and cool a home is responsible for about 54 percent of an average utility bill. If you have not taken steps to conserve energy or to improve energy efficiency, these are some things that you can do:

  • Change air filters
  • Get a tune up
  • Use a ceiling fan
  • Set thermostats
  • Make interior and exterior adjustments

Most of these tasks are inexpensive, and they can make a difference in controlling the amount of energy that you use.

Choose a Quality Air Filter

Resist the impulse to buy the cheapest air filter. The purpose of a filter is to prevent particles of debris from entering your HVAC system, and you can test yours to see how effectively it performs.

  • Hold the filter over a white sheet of paper.
  • Sprinkle black pepper on it.
  • See if pepper lands on the white paper.
  • Get a filter that is good quality.

Some filters need changing every month, but you can check the manufacturer’s recommendation to make sure.

Routine Maintenance by a Professional

The evaporator and the condenser coils need cleaning annually, and refrigerant levels are likely to need topping off. Your HVAC technician can help you extend the life of your equipment significantly by performing inspections and routine maintenance on all moving parts. A check of your duct work can detect leaks that waste energy.

Ceiling Fans as Attractive Accents

Your décor dictates the style of fan that can look nice in your home, and there are many models that match almost any decorating style. They cannot produce cool air, but they help an air conditioner cool a room by moving the air around. A slight assist in cooling reduces the energy load on your air conditioner. The cost of a tune up by a professional can more than pay for itself in energy savings and prevention of breakdowns.

Take a Reasonable Approach to Temperature Settings

A programmable thermostat can maintain the heating or cooling level that you prefer, and it can do many things to help you control energy consumption in other ways. Settings are available to match the way your family lives, with patterns of usage that match five work days and two weekend days or other helpful combinations. You probably do not need to cool or heat your house as much when no one is at home, but remember to make it comfortable for your pets. Set the thermostat to prepare the house for your return home.

Setting the temperature controls that you prefer are a matter of personal preference, but keep in mind how much each degree of warm or cool air costs you. Experts recommend setting the thermostat at 78 degrees F in the summer. You save about two percent if you increase the temperature setting by one degree. In the winter, start at 68 degrees F and give everyone a sweater.

Adapting Interior and Exterior Spaces to Save Energy

Drapery that covers windows can make a difference in your energy consumption. Use them as a barrier to keep out cold drafts in the winter and hot sun during the summer. Make sure that the drapes do not cover the HVAC vents.

Give the compressor that sits on a concrete pad outside your home room to breathe. Remove weeds or shrubbery to give it a border of at least two feet on all sides.

 

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning Carolinas provides air conditioning and heating repair in Fayetteville, NC.

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