Monthly Archives: February 2011


How friendly are your policies to your customers?  How easy are you to do business with?  What's your company's hassle factor?

My wife bought a couple of pallets of pavers for a backyard project from Home Depot.  When it came time to return the left overs, we took them to a different Home Depot and were informed we could only get store credit.  We could get cash if we returned them to the original Home Depot.

I looked at the big stack of very heavy pavers we unloaded from the SUV on to the cart, which we wheeled from the parking lot to the return desk.  I didn't want to push the cart back to the parking lot, reload the SUV, drive to the original store, unload them to a different cart, and push them to that store's return desk.  I protested.  The clerk didn't budge. We ended up taking the store credit.

Still irritated, my next home improvement purchase was made from Lowe's. I bought a couple of items I didn't need and returned them.  Because I wrote a check I expected to get the "We need to issue store credit or wait 31 days for the check to clear" nonsense.  To my surprise, I was handed cash back, without a fuss, without arguments, without a hassle. To be honest, I don't care whether I buy from Home Depot, Lowe's, or some other store.  Yet, going forward I intend to buy from Lowe's.  The retailer has won my business.  And it was easy to win.  All they had to do was be a little easier to do business with than the competition.  Price was not a factor.

Unless Lowe's does something to blow it, I'll drive past their competitors and go out of my way to buy from them.  Why?  Fewer hassles. Just like I'm agnostic about home improvement purchases, your customers probably don't care who they call for service.  Simply by answering your phones after 5:00 p.m., allowing consumers to schedule service online, offering service on the weekend, accepting credit cards, and otherwise being easier to do business with than your competition will win you business.  Ask yourself how you can reduce your hassle factor.

(c) 2010 Matt Michel

Controlling Duel Fuel without an Outdoor Temperature Sensor

White Rodgers Heat Pump 90 Series thermostats use a temperature control algorithm to determine the optimum time to activate the second stage or auxiliary heat. The thermostat constantly monitors 1st stage performance and produces a time delay based on the result. The time element of the delay (0-30 minutes) varies depending on the performance of the first stage. As an example, in Heating, assume for the last 2 hours the thermostat is set on 70° and the room temperature is 70° with the equipment using only the first stage of heat. The thermostat calculates (internally) the performance of the system. Since the equipment is keeping the temperature within 1° of setpoint, the thermostat will delay second stage for a longer time if the room temperature quickly changes. Once the second stage comes on, it will come on sooner the next time there is a difference between the setpoint and the room temperature. The thermostat is constantly monitoring the performance of the system and the systems ability to keep the area within about 1 degree of setpoint so even raising the temperature in heating or lowering it in cooling will not always force the thermostat to bring the second stage on quickly. The net effect of the staging program is when the first stage is capable of making temperature the second stage will delay longer. When the thermostat calculates that first stage cannot make temperature in a reasonable time, the second stage will come on sooner. This is a built in function that automatically optimizes the use of additional stages of heat or cool. A thermostat on a Dual Fuel system uses a staging algorithm like the one described above and also turns off the compressor(s) when the furnace is energized.

It is not possible to change the algorithm to prevent the thermostat from staging but staging is always based on performance.


TK-400 Twinning Kit

The Jackson Systems TK-400 is a universal twinning/paralleling kit designed to allow a single thermostat to control multiple HVAC units. The TK-400 was engineered to incorporate solid-state, diode relay logic with all components and wiring terminals mounted on a single, compact, printed circuit board. The PC board is mounted on a Snap Track base to facilitate ease of installation. The twinning kit can be used with single stage ( 1 heat / 1 cool), multi-stage (2 heat / 2 cool) and heat pump (3 heat / 2 cool) equipment. Only standard 18 gauge thermostat wire is required and the HVAC units and thermostat can be located up to 300 feet from the panel. When used in a single panel array, the TK-400 can control two HVAC units. Two TK-400 panels can be twinned together to control four units from a single thermostat. A separate 24 volt, 40VA transformer provides power for the panel and controlling thermostat. When used with fossil fuel furnaces sharing a common supply duct, back draft dampers are required and the controlling thermostat must be equipment compatible. The TK-400 represents a very affordable twinning solution that greatly reduces installation time for the contractor.

Product Application
The TK-400 can be applied where multiple HVAC units are used to condition large spaces such as church sanctuaries, fellowship halls, recreation areas, warehouses and manufacturing facilities as well as other applications where large packaged RTUs can not be applied due to roof pitch and load restrictions. The TK-400 can be applied to HVAC units sharing common or separate supply and return ducts.

Ease of Installation
The TK-400 saves hours of installation time by incorporating dedicated terminals for all system wiring. Only standard 18 gauge thermostat wire is required. The panel can be mounted in the most convenient location up to 300 feet from the HVAC units and controlling thermostat. LEDs provide visual confirmation of equipment mode of operation, fan, reversing valve (heat pump only) and staging status which simplifies servicing of the system. The panel does not require any system setup.

Competitive Difference
The TK-400 is compatible with both heat / cool and heat pump equipment with no special setup required. The TK-400 can be expanded to control up to four HVAC units from a single thermostat. A separate 24 volt transformer provides power for the panel and thermostat which isolates the twinning kit from equipment transformers thus eliminating transformer phase problems. Status LEDs provide visual confirmation of system functions which simplifies service and diagnostics.

Installation & Service Benefits
The TK-400 has clearly labeled dedicated terminal blocks for HVAC equipment, thermostat and transformer wiring. Only standard 18 gauge thermostat wire is required. LED status indication simplifies test, check and startup as well as service diagnostics.

Jackson Systems announces 2011 Training Schedule

Jackson Systems has released their training schedule for the first two quarters of 2011.  All of the training classes will take place at Jackson Systems in their training room from 5:00pm-7:00pm.

  1. Honeywell Training for Contractors
    Tuesday, February 22nd
    New Products
    Class taught by Tom Giorgio of Honeywell
  2. ecobee Training for Contractors
    Thursday, March 3rd
    Class taught by Jay Cress of ecobee
  3. Belimo Training for Contractors
    Thursday, March 17th
    Class taught by Don Everson of Belimo
  4. Intro to DDC for Contractors
    Thursday, April 14th
    NATE Certified
    Class taught by Joe Jackson of Jackson Systems
  5. Jackson Systems Wireless Zone Control for Contractors
    Thursday May 5th
    Class taught by Phil Kimble and Mike Holscher of Jackson Systems

Contractors can RSVP for any training class by visiting RSVP forms will be available approximately three weeks before each training.

Ecobee thermostat, remote sensor and discharge air temperature

Ecobee thermostats now have the capability of adding a Remote Sensor Module (RSM) that enables you to connect up to 4 remote sensors to your ecobee smart thermostat. The RSM is pre-configured to support the following sensors. 

Honeywell C7189U indoor sensor and C7089U outdoor sensor
Tekmar D076 indoor sensor and D079 slab sensor
Johnson Controls HT-6703 humidity sensor 

Other temperature sensors can be supported by just entering the B value or the resistance reported by the sensor at 70°F during the configuration process

What remote sensor would you use if you wanted to monitor the discharge air temperature?  None of the above pre-configured sensors have a high enough operating range to handle the high discharge temperatures, say above 130°F.  Therefore I would recommend using the Jackson Systems Z-600-DAS.  This is the discharge air sensorused on our Z-600 panel.  It is a Type 3 NTC 10k ohm sensor and will work with the ecobee thermostat.  The Z-600-DAShas a resistance value of 11,903ohms at 70°F.  This is the value in need to enter during the configuration process.  The Z-600-DAS has an operating range of 0-180°F


Motion Sensors Coming to HVAC

For many years, one of the most common solutions for saving energy has been to “turn out the lights and dial down the thermostat.” It’s a given that unoccupied space is one of the biggest energy drains in a building. Yet occupants continue to heat and cool rooms even when there are prolonged vacancies — perhaps hours or days. Now that is energy waste.

One of the technologies that has popped up in recent years is the motion (occupancy) sensor — room sensors that automatically detect the presence of an occupant and adjust lighting or comfort conditions while the room is in use. This technology is designed to save energy costs beyond the traditional options of turning off lights and dialing down a thermostat.

But can this technology find a place in the HVAC contracting world? Very likely, if it hasn’t already.

Click Here to read the full article.

Article By: John Hall