I’ve Got an Idea

If you are attending the ACCA show in Orlando this year, don’t forget to attend the “I’ve Got an Idea” session on March 1. Many ACCA participants look forward to this session every year. We have standing room only at last year’s event. This year’s “I’ve Got an Idea” will feature host Vince DiFilippo and his camera crew working through the audience, ready to put you and your great idea on the “big screen.” We will also be giving away 2 iPad minis for the top 2 ideas. Don’t worry if you won’t be at the show, we will post some of the great ideas we hear on our blog and Facebook page.

Regional Standards Lawsuit Settlement Reached

The American Public Gas Association (APGA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have filed a settlement agreement in the ongoing lawsuit over regional efficiency standards. Intervening parties in the lawsuit, including the Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) and Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), now have 10 days to file a response with the court, after which time the court will accept or reject the settlement agreement.

 

The settlement would vacate the residential nonweatherized gas furnace and mobile home gas furnace standards, which were to become effective on May 1, 2013, and begin the process for developing a new standard within a year of finalization of the settlement agreement. The DOE has agreed to amend some of its data collection and information sharing procedures for this rulemaking. Click here for the full article from ACHR News.

Anti-Metal Theft Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate – Article courtesy of ACCA

It’s no surprise to anyone reading this that theft of precious metals (copper in particular) found in HVAC equipment is an ongoing issue. Recently Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced S. 3631, the “Metal Theft Prevention Act” to make it an explicit federal crime to steal metal from critical infrastructure. In Charlie McCrudden’s latest Hot Air! blog, he covers what the bill includes and how it would help law enforcement crack down on these thieves. For more information, read Charlie’s Hot Air Blog.

Some Tips to Start off the New Year! by Frank Besednjak

We know this post is a little lengthy, but the content is terrific. This comes from our friend Frank Besednjak who has helped many companies with improving customer service, process mapping, leadership and overall business excellence. We hope you enjoy!

 

You know just about every time I get on social media, check my email or open my regular mail, I find some sort of ad or information telling me how, with their system, I can increase my business by getting my phone to ring more with their new marketing strategy and so on. Most of the time I just get annoyed and I’m sure you do too.

 

I’m a customer, and I’m not stupid. So most of these gimmicks may work short term, but you know . . . I believe in a few fairly simple, important things that will increase sales and profitability, and guess what? They always work.

 

Here they are:

 

Number one: Location is everything! Be where the customers are. This includes social media, offering free advice. Get involved with local media outlets, churches, charities and other civic organizations.

 

Number two: Have real people who are happy answering your phone. I will hang up on a recording, but I won’t hang up on a person.

 

Number Three: Always show up on time. Always follow through on what you promised. Always call people back immediately. Don’t think someone will wait three days for a call back.

 

Number Four: Since you have spent all of this time,money and effort trying to get into the customer’s home than don’t be in such a big rush to get out of it. Make it worth the visit and perform whole house checks. Both you and the customer will be happy you did.

 

Number Five: Don’t be afraid to make money and raise your price. Everything costs your more doesn’t it? I meet so many contractors that are so afraid to lose business that they work for almost nothing.

 

If you are going to make no profit, why work? Just go fishing or play golf every day, it is more fun, easier and pays about the same!

 

Number Six: It’s okay to fire a customer. Look at it this way . . For any of you who have gone through divorce, I’m sure you remember it being very expensive.

 

You know why it is so expensive? Because it was worth it, that’s why! Firing a customer is sometimes like divorce, so don’t be afraid to spend money doing it.

 

Number Seven: Be worth it and believe it. Customers’ measure value on the experiences encountered and promised. Just because you can do the repair with your eyes closed doesn’t mean anything to the customer. It is a combination of every interaction they have had, are having, and will have with your organization that will either add to or detract from the overall perceived value. People go to expensive restaurants not because they are hungry and need food. They go because they expect an experience that makes it worth the investment. So make the experience worth it to them.

 

Number Eight. Integrity . . . Be upfront and honest in everything you do. This to me is a zero tolerance rule. For you and all of your employees.

 

Number Nine. Work as a team. Have rules, processes, procedures and policies in place that everyone understands. Make a plan for anything that could happen and write a policy or procedure on how to handle it. Sure you can bend the rules or change them occasionally but at least you have some basic guidelines to follow.

 

Number Ten. Educate, train and practice. Even sports professionals educate themselves and practice regularly because they want to be the best at what they do. Don’t get left behind.

 

Number Eleven. Keep score and set goals. If you don’t know how you are doing, how do you know what you need to improve on? Also, if you set no goals, it is kind of like having no destination on a trip . . . Odds are you will never make it.

 

Hopefully you are or are planning on implementing some of these guidelines. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Frank directly: http://frankpresents.com/Dot_ContactUs.asp

Washington and California New State Laws Require Carbon Monoxide Detectors in 2013

Effective Jan. 1, 2013 state law in California will require carbon monoxide detectors in all condominiums and apartments with fossil-fuel burning appliances.

 

The law now applies to landlords, tenants, condominium owners and Homeowner Associations. Click here for more information on the new California law: http://www.ehow.com/list_6674598_california-carbon-monoxide-detector-requirements.html

 

Washington State has also passed its own law about CO detectors. This new law requires most existing apartments, condominiums and single-family residences to install carbon monoxide detectors. Landlords must install detectors outside of each separate sleeping areas and on each level. For more information on the Washington State law, click here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=19.27.530

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GO BANANAS! By Steve Coscia

A fresh start – isn’t that what everyone wants at the beginning of a New Year? People crave a chance to wipe the slate clean and begin anew with no reminders or guilt about the past. Having an opportunity to start over again is a wonderful gift don’t squander it. This year, I urge service professionals to kick start their goal-setting and rational thinking potential by making more positive snack food choices. Yes, that’s right snack food. Monitor your sugar intake during the course of your workday. Lots of sugar may give you a quick energy boost, but the effect soon wears off leaving you more tired, irritable, anxious or depressed.

 

The US Food and Drug Administration Dietary Guidelines recommend choosing foods and beverages with little added sugars. Added sugars are sugars and syrups added to foods and beverages in processing or preparation, not the naturally occurring sugars in fruits. Major sources of added sugars in the American diet include regular soft drinks, candy, cake, cookies, pies, and fruit drinks. Sugars such as fructose, sucrose, honey or corn syrup–are metabolized in the same way. Likewise, the sugar found in a banana and that in a can of soda are both digested similarly but the banana contains added benefits. The main difference is that most soda and candy are nutritionally empty, whereas the banana contains fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Bananas are handy, easy to carry (about the same size as a candy bar) and they have tremendous health benefits. But wait – it gets even better. A banana also contains an essential amino acid called Tryptophan which our body converts into serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate a person’s feelings and it enables a person to make rational decisions. Service professionals who make rational decisions are more likely to experience heightened self-esteem and career advancement – all that from a banana. Improved mental health is the required catalyst which can set your goal setting activities into motion.

 

Do not procrastinate when it comes to your physical and mental health. So the next time you reach for that thick caramel or cream filled candy bar, pause and consider the implications. This year, choose healthier snack foods and reap the rational thinking and health benefits which will help you achieve your goals. Happy New Year!

AHRI Releases October Shipment Data

U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces for October 2012 increased 14.5 percent, to 229,459 units, up from 200,470 units shipped in October 2011. Oil warm air furnace shipments decreased 32 percent, to 4,215 units in October 2012, down from 6,199 units shipped in October 2011.

U.S. shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps totaled 294,678 units in October 2012, up 25.1 percent from 235,603 units shipped in October 2011. U.S. shipments of air conditioners increased 29.9 percent, to 193,665 units, up from 149,048 units shipped in October 2011. U.S. shipments of air-source heat pumps increased 16.7 percent, to 101,013 units, up from 86,555 units shipped in October 2011.

For the full AHRI report, click here: http://www.ahrinet.org/App_Content/ahri/files/Statistics/Monthly%20Shipments/2012/October2012Stat-Release.pdf

Branding Tip#33 from Greg McAfee, HVAC Business Consultant

Brand Your Company

Coca Cola™ was just named the number one most valuable global brand of 2012 by brand consultancy firm, “Interbrand”. It’s really no surprise as the renowned soda distributor spends more than $2.6 billion annually on advertising and has millions of fans spanning the globe.

Now you are probably thinking, “They should be #1 since they spend that much”, right? However, $2.6 billion was about 6% of their total revenue for 2011.

What percentage of your revenue are you spending to brand your company?

Carry On!

Sincerely,

Greg McAfee
HVAC Business Consultant

www.gregmcafee.com

Jackson Systems Celebrates Employee Tenure

We would like to give a big thank you and celebrate some of our employees for their hard work and dedication. Celebrating 5 years with Jackson Systems: Ryan Feyerabend, Mike Holscher, Jake Stilabower and TJ Terrell. Celebrating 10 years with Jackson Systems: Doug Engel and Joe Jackson. Thank you all for helping the company grow and for your commitment to excellence everyday!

Service Leaders Make a Difference by Steve Coscia

It happened slowly. The service, which used to be terrific, was showing signs of degradation.

For me, it’s the little things that count. It’s a welcome smile, an invitation to be seated, a quick request for my beverage order and frequent visits to my table just to make sure everything was OK. The restaurant owner, who was almost always present in the past, had been absent during my last few visits.

She was a lovely woman with a pleasant disposition and boundless energy. Her entire demeanor just exuded and attitude of “welcome to my place.” It was as though “her place” was her house and she meant to show off just how comfortable and relaxed you could become by just being there. I’d say she held the bar high and encouraged those around her to stretch their capabilities and step outside their comfort zones so that visitors to her place would feel welcome, relaxed and well-served. She demonstrated her role as a leader and in any service industry good leadership is essential. Read more at http://www.coscia.com/service-leaders-make-a-difference.

New App Allows Download of 400+ Thermostat Manuals on Smart Devices

The RTFM Thermostats app features access to over 400+ name brand thermostat manuals to be accessed and shared. Manuals can be searched by brand name and model number. The selected manuals are automatically saved to your mobile device after download. You have the ability to request IOMs that will email to you, as well as the ability to forward manuals via email to your customers, technicians or office team at the touch of a button. The app is available for Androids and iPhones. For a limited time, you can get the app (a $3.99 value) for just $.99. The free version of the app allows you to test it prior to purchasing. This version has limited access to manuals and part numbers. Go to Google Play or The App Store to download your copy today! Search for RTFM Thermostats.

The ecobee EMS Beta App is now available for BlackBerry OS7 touch screen devices.

The new EMS App was developed in partnership with you, our commercial customers who range from HVAC contractors and distributors, to facility managers and business owners. The EMS App was created to provide you with a simple and easy way to monitor and control all of your EMS and EMS Si thermostats while on the go.

With the ecobee EMS App, you can be more responsive to your tenants, employees and customers, address problems quickly, decrease the number of expensive on-site service calls and increase your overall efficiency.

Some exciting features of the EMS App we think you will enjoy include:

Watch List – you can create a custom watch list of thermostats to quickly keep tabs on priority spaces and locations with repeat issues.

Alerts List – conveniently summarizes all current issues and maintenance actions, allowing you to address problems immediately.

Access On the Go – you will gain remote visibility into each of your ecobee EMS/EMS Si thermostats and have the ability to make simple adjustments.

No Excuses! Presented by Greg McAfee, HVAC Business Consultant

It’s the month of Christmas, and I title my newsletter “no excuses”? You would think I’d come up with something a little happier, cheerful or merrier, right?

Well, a couple weeks back, I met a guy by the name of Kyle Maynard for the first time live. I had hired Kyle to come in and speak to my son’s (Travis) high school, along with Travis’s team at the football banquet later that evening. During both of Kyle’s talks, you could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium. The Principal even said “I’ve never heard the juniors and seniors more quiet than this!” Kyle Maynard was born with arms that end at his elbows and legs that end near his knees – yet he has already accomplished more than most people will in an entire lifetime. Why? Because he gave up on making excuses, and started living the life he was intended to live.

I’ll wrap up this last 2012 newsletter with this video clip of Kyle Maynard. I hope he challenges you, and inspires you to live the life you are intended to live!

May you, your family and your business have a Merry Christmas!

Visit Greg’s Web site at gregmcafee.com to see how he can help your business become more efficient and profitable.

Utility Rebates for Programmable Thermostats

Your local utility company may offer rebate programs to save your customers money when replacing old or installing new appliances. What does that mean for the contractor? An easy selling point! Why not use this information to your advantage by explaining to your customer they can save even more by installing a qualified product.

The rebate programs are available for residential and commercial customers. Go to http://www.dsireusa.org/ to check what rebates are available in your area.

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An Important Safety Reminder

Carbon monoxide, smoke and fire alarms make healthier, safer indoor environments and save lives. Do you know the guidelines in your state? Educate yourself and your business partners!

 

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It is a leading cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when burning any fuel: gasoline, propane, kerosene, natural gas, oil, wood and coal. When CO is inhaled it can lead to difficulty breathing, impaired judgment and memory, damage to the nervous system, cardiac trauma, brain damage, coma and even death. It can kill in hours or minutes depending on the level in the air.

 

Safety Tips:

  • - Install CO alarms in central locations to provide an early warning of CO accumulation.
  • - Test CO alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year.
  • - Schedule annual inspections of fuel-burning household heating equipment.
  • - Never use your oven to heat your home, crack a window when using kerosene heaters and only use barbecue grills outside.
  • - Remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.

 

State Carbon Monoxide Code

 

Fire is the cause of thousands of deaths each year. Smoke and gases typically spread farther and faster than heat so most fire victims die from smoke and toxic gas inhalation – not as a result of burns. Ionization detectors respond quicker to fast flaming fires and photoelectric detectors respond quicker to slow smoldering fires but fires are never predictable so both types should be installed for quick detection. Smoke and fire alarms can be interconnected to improve audibility during a fire. Alarms can be hard wired, battery powered or both.

 

Safety Tips:

  • - Install smoke and fire alarms in and outside each bedroom and on each level of a building.
  •  – Test smoke and fire alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year.
  • - Schedule annual inspections of heating, cooling, and water appliances.
  • - Do not leave candles burning, use appliances with damaged cords and always be attentive while cooking.
  • - Never place portable heaters too close to combustible items or leave them unattended.

 

State Fire Marshal Standards

 

* Know the difference between the sound of CO alarms and the sound of smoke alarms.

* Have an evacuation plan to ensure all residents get out safely if an alarm sounds.

* Install air safety alarms to protect living spaces and prevents fatalities.

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