Monthly Archives: December 2017

Jackson Systems Best Products of 2017

2017 brought the contractor many innovations and upgrades in controls especially in zoning, Wi-Fi thermostats, home automation and specialty controls. Here’s some of our top picks for 2017 based on our own experiences, sales, and feedback from our customers:

 

Zoning 

ZoneESP:
 *

iO’s zone control systems, with built in ESP static pressure control, eliminate the need for a bypass damper. iO’s zoning is the most contractor-friendly zoning available today! Zone ESP systems are available in many panel configurations and operate all sizes of motorized dampers for residential and commercial applications.

 

6-Zone Universal Zone Control Panel:

The iO-ZP6 with ESP is a 6 zone, two-position forced air zone control panel that can be expanded to as many as 12 zones. The panel can be used with single-stage, multi-stage, heat pump or dual fuel equipment with up to 4 stages of heating and 2 stages of cooling.  This panel also comes with built-in Zone ESP, eliminating the need for a bypass damper.

 

Carrier, Bryant, Trane, and American Standard Replacement Dampers:

While not new, they still remain a contractor favorite. Why? Because we offer the widest selection of motorized dampers that are compatible with the Carrier Infinity®, Bryant Evolution®, Trane® ComfortLink II™ and American Standard AccuLink® zone control systems and they’re in stock…always! Order today; ships today…that’s our goal.

Carrier, Bryant, Trane and American Standard Compatible Zone Dampers in stock.

 

 

Wi-Fi Thermostats

eobee4:

This newest model of ecobee Wi-Fi thermostat provides built-in Amazon Alexa voice service so you can ask your smart thermostat to set a timer, read the news, even set the temperature using your voice. It also comes with one wireless room sensor. Users can control the room temperature and settings from the thermostat or anywhere the wireless sensor may be placed with an Android, or iOS device, including Apple Watch. (You can actually add a total of 32 for averaging for individual sensor control.)

Free ecobee training

 

White-Rodgers Sensi Touch:

JD Power gave the Sensi Touch a ‘Highest in Customer Satisfaction’ award with smart thermostats and so do we! The high-definition color touchscreen display features easy-to-read temperatures and intuitive menus. Smart alerts notify homeowners of extreme temperature or humidity levels. Compatible with smart home platforms Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Wink. Free logo/phone number imprinting is available on the Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector exclusively from Jackson Systems.

This White-Rodgers favorite is available from Jackson Systems

 

NestE:

The Nest E offers ​a​ ​friendlier,​ ​streamlined design​ ​that​ ​fits​ ​into​ ​any​ ​home. Instead​ ​of​ ​a​ ​bold​ ​design​ ​piece​ ​for​ ​your​ ​wall,​ ​the​ ​Nest​ ​Thermostat​ ​E​ ​and​ ​its​ ​frosted​ ​display quietly​ ​blend​ ​in.​ ​This​ ​new​ ​display​ ​diffuses​ ​the​ ​light​ ​from​ ​the​ ​screen,​ ​so​ ​you​ ​see softly​ ​glowing​ ​text​ ​and​ ​graphics​ ​–​ ​along​ ​with​ ​a​ ​simplified​ ​interface​ ​–​ ​that​ ​are​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​read.​ ​And when​ ​it’s​ ​off,​ ​the​ ​frosted​ ​display​ ​takes​ ​on​ ​a​ ​glacier-gray​ ​color​ ​and​ ​fades​ ​into​ ​the​ ​background. Like the original Nest Learning Thermostat, it turns itself down when you’re away, so homeowners don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty home, and knows when to turn itself back up when your come home. Control it from anywhere with the Nest app.

New Nest Thermostat E

Lux KONO:

PC Mag gives the Lux KONO a 4 out 5 rating and so do we! The Lux KONO is smart, sophisticated and full of design details with the contractor in mind: like push terminals, an easy knob interface and a Pro-installed five year standard warranty. With the customer in mind, the Lux Kono offers the best at-a-distance display. Works alone or sync with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.

 

 

Home Automation

Lyric C2 Wi-Fi Security Camera:

Honeywell has released the Lyric C2 Wi-Fi Security Camera to further expand the ability to monitor and automate a home from afar. Pair with the Lyric app to access live streaming for recorded events that will alert when something is seen or analyzed like a smoke/CO detector going off or even a baby crying, giving peace of mind to homeowners. The Lyric C2 integrates with GoogleHome and are HomeKit. Also pretty great is the easy to install, lower cost Lyric C1 Indoor Camera.

 

Nest Secure, Nest Tag & Nest Detect:

For TIME magazine’s annual ranked list of the ‘best inventions of the year’, they evaluate thousands of newly released products from all around the world. This year, the new Nest Secure made the list…and we agree that it’s something special! With the Nest Secure, doors can be unlocked by waving a key fob at it instead of using a key or typing a pass code. Smart features have been programmed into the fob so that they will work within certain time frames on some days and not on others. For example, if a babysitter or dog walker needs access to the home for the time they work there, say Monday through Friday 3:00 to 6:00 pm, Nest Secure can be programmed to allow their access for those limited hours. Nest Tag key fob and Nest Detect window and door sensor makes your access to coming and going easier, but makes it difficult for intruders to gain entry.

 

Lyric Wi-Fi Water and Freeze Leak Detector:

The Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector keeps your customers connected to the water heater or other vulnerable home systems to help protect against leaks and water damage. The easily installed, connected device alerts homeowners to water leaks before they become costly problems. Use with Lyric app for immediate notifications on smart devices. Free logo/phone number imprinting is available on the Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak Detector exclusively from Jackson Systems.

Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor:

Improvement to indoor air quality (IAQ) is increasingly in demand by home and building owners, challenging HVAC professionals to provide solutions. Meet Footbot, the Indoor Air Quality Monitor. Footbot is been designed to work with the heating and cooling system to improve indoor air. It monitors the air in a home and communicates to the HVAC system’s air cleaner or dehumidifier to clean it when it detects combustible gases, CO, VOCs or allergen-triggering particles. When Foobot senses a danger, the app responds by sending you a message with the data in red. Quality air readings are in blue. This way, you can immediately distinguish whether or not there is a problem that needs attention. Foobot works with Alexa, Nest, Ecobee, Lux and IFTTT to provide automatic reactions to bad air readings.

 

Specialty Controls

iO Wireless Relay Kit:

Missing or broken wires? The iO Wireless Relay Kit is a contractor-friendly, quick, and easy solution for those HVAC projects where you need to wirelessly control some home systems. The Wireless Relay Kit can control or monitor heating and/or cooling equipment, condensing units, fan and pumps, lighting or other industrial equipment. The iO Wireless Relay Kit can energize a relay up to 100′  (depending on the construction of the building). And, a limitless number of Wireless Relay Kits can be installed in the same building. The base module has 3 transmitting channels and 1 receiving channel. The satellite module has 3 receiving channels and 1 transmitting channel. Each transceiver module uses a redundant transmission protocol for fail-safe protection.

Web Comfort Energy Management System:

Energy costs are second only to payroll as the leading costs to most businesses. As a result, they’ve been challenged to find ways to improve their energy efficiency and achieve costs savings while maintaining comfort and uninterrupted, smooth operations. Web Comfort is that solution! Web Comfort manages schedules, alerts and demand response across multiple premises. Its software communicates via the Web Comfort Energy Manager to lighting controllers, motion sensors, thermostats, fans, meters and plugs using a secure wireless communications network. Web Comfort’s Portfolio Manager is a hosted software solution for managing the temperature, lighting and energy consumption of multi-site facilities…controlled by the internet. The Web Comfort Energy Manager constantly receives input to make adjustments to lighting, HVAC, fans, networked PCs and plug devices in real time…minimizing energy waste.

 

 

iO Titan Universal Thermostat:

The iO Titan is a programmable, universal, low-cost touchscreen thermostat. High operating temperature makes it ideal for hot yoga rooms. The Titan can be battery powered or hardwired which makes it ideally suited for use in residential and light commercial application. FREE IMPRINTING of logo and phone number is included.

Universal, programmable, touchscreen thermostat with free logo imprinting

 

Honeywell T4 Pro Thermostats:

Honeywell’s T4 series Pro Thermostats are setting the new standard for simple! The T4 Pro non-connected thermostat features on-screen menus that are familiar to the installer.  The T4 Pro replaces 8 legacy FocusPRO® & PRO Series thermostats. When your customer is ready to upgrade, the non Wi-Fi connected T4 Pro can easily be replaced with a Lyric Wi-Fi thermostat because the mounting system is the same for both versions. Includes flexible programming options and filter change reminders. Free logo/phone number imprinting is available on T4s…only from Jackson Systems!

Non-connected new T-series thermostat from Honeywell

APC In-duct Smoke Detector and Duct Mounted CO Detector:

The APC Duct Mounted Smoke and CO Monitor detects harmful levels of smoke and/or CO and shuts down air handling systems, preventing further spread of danger and alerting building maintenance of the problem. APC’s patented CO sensor is pre-set to trigger shut down at concentrations deemed hazardous by OSHA and NFPA. The kit includes the detector, our brand new FAST Tube Sectional Sampling Tubes and a MSR-50CO Remote Accessory programmed with temporal 4 sound and LED strobe, as well as all mounting hardware.

 

FilterFetch, Furnace Filter Delivery Program for Contractors

Our Final “Best Of 2017” has to be FilterFetch!
While not introduced in 2017, the program grew tremendously with 800+ contractors signing up to become dealers. “If our contractor and OEM clients need something special or unique, we have the team in place that can provide it,” says Tom Jackson. “FilterFetch enables contractors to sell filters without having to physically inventory them.” Filter Fetch is a web-based app that enables contractors to sell filters. The filters are then delivered directly to the homeowner. This year, we added an app to help technicians easily sign customers up for the service and manage filter product selections, deliveries, orders and renewals.

 

Jackson Systems strives to provide the most innovative, contractor-friendly products at all times…but, 2017 really brought it!  With the growing trend of IoT (Internet of Things) in our industry, we are really looking forward to supplying even more great products in the coming year.

Happy New Year and thank you for your continued interest in our products and services.

 

*Ranked by Jackson Systems twirls. Best possible:   

Sources: Zoning, ZoneESP, Zoning ESP video,  6-Zone Universal Zone Control Panel, Zoning basics video, iO-ZP6, Carrier Infinity® Replacement Dampers, Bryant Evolution® Replacement Dampers, Trane ComfortLink II™  Replacement Dampers, and American Standard AccuLink Replacement Dampers. Wi-Fi Thermostats, eobee4, ecobee training video, White-Rodgers Sensi Touch, NestE, Nest training video, Lux KONO, Lux training video, Home Automation, Lyric C2 Wi-Fi Security Camera, Lyric C1 Indoor Camera, Nest Secure, Nest Tag, Nest Detect, Lyric Wi-Fi Water and Freeze Leak Detector, Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor, Specialty Controls, iO Wireless Relay Kit, Web Comfort Energy Management System, iO Titan Universal Thermostat, Honeywell T4 Pro Thermostats, Imprinting Services, Imprinting Video, APC In-duct Smoke Detector and Duct Mounted CO Detector, Web Comfort, Web Comfort videoFilterFetch, FilterFetch training video, FilterFetch contractor video

PC Mag Reviews the Lux KONO Smart Thermostat

December 27, 2017

One of PC Magazine’s Editors, John R. Delaney, recently reviewed the Lux KONO WiFi Thermostat, giving it a rating of 4 out of 5. Here’s why he rated it “EXCELLENT”:

When we reviewed the Lux Geo smart thermostat last year, we gave it high marks for style, ease of installation, and intelligent scheduling features, but wished it worked with other smart home devices. The Kono ($149.99) represents the company’s next generation of smart thermostats, and like its predecessor it’s stylish, easy to install, and offers the same handy scheduling options. It also offers support for Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands, and uses geofencing to adjust your home’s temperature based on your location. That said, it doesn’t work with other smart home devices and doesn’t offer remote room sensing like our Editors’ Choice for smart thermostats, the pricier Ecobee4.

Design and Features

The Kono thermostat works with most conventional two-stage heat/one-stage cooling systems, as well as most heat pump systems with two-stage heat/one-stage cooling and auxiliary heat. It supports gas and oil furnaces as well as electric furnaces.

At 4.5 by 4.5 by 1.0 inches (HWD), the Kono is roughly the same size and shape as the Ecobee4. It uses a removable faceplate and can be ordered in one of five shades including Midnight Black, Deep Blue, Hibiscus Red, Sea Green, and True White, or you can order a paint-it-yourself faceplate. If you decide to repaint the room, don’t worry: You can order additional faceplates for $10 each (the paintable faceplates go for $15).

The front of the thermostat contains a brushed aluminum knob for raising and lowering the temperature, navigating menus, and selecting settings, and a 1.7-by-1.7-inch white backlit LED that shows the current temperature, the set temperature, the heating/cooling mode, and the fan mode. Press the knob to activate the menu system with buttons for System mode (turn the system on and off and set it to Heat, Cool, or Auto) and Fan mode (On, Off, Auto, IAQ). IAQ mode allows the fan to periodically run to circulate fresh air even if the system is not operating in heating or cooling mode. The Calendar button lets you adhere to a heating/cooling schedule (created in the app) or hold at a constant temperature for a set period of time. The Gear button opens the installation screen, and the Wi-Fi button lets you configure network settings.

The Kono uses the same Android and iOS mobile app as the Lux Geo and can also be controlled via a web console. The main screen displays the name of your home and all installed thermostats. It also has a Set Away button that puts the thermostat into Away mode to help conserve energy, and a Radius button that lets you configure a geofence perimeter that will automatically put the Kono in Away mode when you leave and Home mode when you return. Tapping the thermostat name takes you to the main screen, which displays the current room temperature and the target temperature. It also displays the outdoor temperature, but lacks the detailed extended weather forecast you get with the Ecobee 4 and Honeywell Lyric thermostats.

Near the bottom of the screen are buttons for Mode, Fan, and Hold (which bypasses the schedule to maintain your current temperature). Below those are four more buttons. Schedule allows you to set up a heating and cooling schedule based on your typical weekly activities. For example, you can create a fixed schedule for all days of the week, or create one with different temperatures and times for each day or just the weekends. The app offers a handy heating preference efficiency guide that shows you how much more it will cost you percentage-wise if you set your temperature to, say, 74 degrees versus 68 degrees. Once you choose a preference, you can use the sliders to set times for the heat to come on and go off depending on who will be home.

The Offers button lets you know of any rebate programs in your area and helps you enroll. The Runtime button opens a screen that displays a chart with heating and cooling temperatures by the hour, but it doesn’t provide the granularity that you get with the Ecobee 4, which shows you the outside temperature and the average humidity during heating/cooling periods. The Settings button lets you set an Away mode temperature, recreate a schedule, and rename the thermostat.

The Kono supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands, but actions are limited to raising and lowering the set temperature. You can’t turn the thermostat on and off or ask it for the current room temperature. Missing is support for IFTTT applets that let you configure mini programs to have the thermostat react to other IFTTT-enabled devices such as fans, lights, smart switches, and motion sensors. However, you can use Apple’s HomeKit platform to change temperature settings using Scenes to raise or lower the temperature and change the system mode.

Installation and Performance

The Kono is relatively easy to install, but if you’re not familiar or comfortable with low-voltage electrical wiring, you may want to have it done professionally. It uses a C (common) wire, but as with the Ecobee 4, it comes with an adapter for systems that do not have a C wire.

Before installing the Kono, I downloaded the mobile app and took a picture of my existing wiring prior to removing my old thermostat. Since I have a basic two-zone heating system, I connected my wires to the Common, W1, and R terminals on the mounting plate and snapped the thermostat into place. It immediately powered up and prompted me to select my system type (F for furnace or boiler, HP for Heat Pump) and fan type (gas, electric, boiler). Next, the screen prompted me to select an OS (Android or iOS) and open the mobile app to search for the device. My Kono was discovered immediately and required a few seconds to be added to my Wi-Fi network. I removed the cover and scanned the HomeKit code when prompted, and waited another couple of seconds for the thermostat to come online. I gave it a name and setup was complete.

The Kono performed wonderfully in my tests. It reacted quickly to temperature changes made using the app, the web console, and the manual dial, and it followed my schedule to a tee. It also followed my Alexa voice commands to raise and lower the set temperature, and always switched to Away and Home modes whenever I left my set perimeter and returned home.

Conclusions

PROS: Stylish, customizable design. Easy to install. Supports multiple voice platforms. Works with Apple HomeKit. Usage reporting. Geofencing.

CONS: Does not integrate with other smart home devices. Lacks IFTTT support. No external room sensors.

BOTTOM LINE: The Lux Kono Smart is a sharp-looking, HomeKit-enabled thermostat that you can control with a number of voice assistants or with a thoughtfully designed mobile app.

The Lux Kono is a reasonably priced smart thermostat you can customize to fit your home decor. It’s relatively easy to install and offers lots of smart features including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siti voice control, geofencing, and smart scheduling based on your family’s lifestyle. But although it provides runtime usage reports, they lack certain details that can affect your heating and cooling behavior such as outdoor weather conditions and humidity levels. And while you can control the Kono using HomeKit scenes, you can’t trigger it with other smart devices using IFTTT applets. That said, the Kono performed flawlessly in our tests, and the mobile app and web console make it easy to create schedules, set up geofencing perimeters, and manually adjust the target temperature.

If you have an extra $100 to spend, our Editor’s Choice, the Ecobee 4, is one of the most feature-rich smart thermostats around; it has Alexa voice technology built in and can do everything that an Amazon Echo can, uses remote sensors to maintain a steady temperature throughout your house, and works with plenty of third-party devices via IFTTT. If that’s out of your price range, the Nest Thermostat E is another solid option with extensive third-party support.

For more information or to purchase the Lux KONO, call your Jackson Systems representative at 888-652-9663 or visit us at https://jacksonsystems.com/products/lux-kono-smart-wifi-thermostat.html

 

Realcomm Interviews Industry Pro, Ken Sinclair from AutomatedBuildings.com

Great interview by Realcomm with Ken Sinclair from AutomatedBuildings.com on “The Uberization* of Comfort, Satisfaction and Well being.” https://youtu.be/wa208v_SFhY

Most notable is the part of the conversation on how the IoT (Internet of Things) crossover is quickly taking over our industry. Says Sinclair about new HVAC internet technologies  , “If we don’t come to understand the new ways of doing stuff, we’ll be useless. We have to retrain ourselves…”

Hear also what Sinclair thinks of our aging workforce and how to bridge the skills gap.

*By “Uberization”, Sinclair means to copy the successful formula of Uber and apply it to our industry.

Web Comfort

Web Comfort Helps Manage, Monitor and Control Energy Usage in Schools

Energy costs are second only to payroll as the leading costs to a school. As a result, schools have been challenged to find ways to improve their energy efficiency and achieve costs savings while maintaining comfort and uninterrupted, smooth operations.

 

Web Comfort helps control and manage energy usage in schools.

Forward thinking boards members and school facility managers are turning to Web Comfort for better energy management. Web Comfort help schools manage and distribute energy by using the technology to better “monitor and control” energy usage. Web Comfort helps significantly reduce systems that are over used.

Web Comfort is a district wide solution because its portfolio manager directs schedules, alerts and demand response across multiple premises. Its software communicates via the Web Comfort Energy Manager to lighting controllers, motion sensors, thermostats, fans, meters and plugs using a secure wireless communications network. Web Comfort’s Portfolio Manager is a hosted software solution for managing the temperature, lighting and energy consumption of multi-site facilities…controlled by the internet.

The Web Comfort Energy Manager constantly receives input to make adjustments to lighting, HVAC, fans, networked PCs and plug devices in real time…minimizing energy waste.

Other features include:

  • Data storage retains all system events for over one year. Event data can be analyzed to optimize energy usage and savings.
  • Easy to install and configure; Web Comfort Wirelessly Communicating Thermostat control the communications.
  • The Web Comfort Energy Management System wirelessly controls up to 400 devices.
  • Optional connectivity to Modbus® and BACnet®
  • Secure wireless 2.4GHz ZigBee® communications with other networked devices
  • Graphical views of real-time and historical energy usage provide comprehensive and actionable information to users.
  • Scalable to manage a single building or an entire campus
  • Web Comfort products operate independently or as an integrated solution.
  • Made in the USA (ARRA Compliant)

It’s expensive to power a school especially when HVAC, lighting, appliances, computers and many more plugged in devices are on for more than 12 hours per day, if not all of the time. In fact, the EPA reports that schools “spend approximately $205 per student per month on gas and electricity used to run it.” But for a learning environment to be successful, these energy demands are necessary. The solution may simply be to have better control using a wireless, comprehensive, cost effective system to improve, control, manage and report on the energy usage in schools. Web Comfort is that solution!

To learn more about Web Comfort, view the videos at https://jacksonsystems.com/products/web-comfort-energy-management-system.html.

HVAC Shop Talk Features Tom Jackson

Brand new HVAC Shop Talk podcast featuring Tom Jackson from Jackson Systems. Listen as Tom tells all his best stories from his experiences at the AHR Expo.

https://secure-hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/9/f/0/9f0dd11af9ea6f75/Tom_Jackson_-AHR_Show_Final.mp3?c_id=18262937&destination_id=476094&expiration=1513782204&hwt=51dd76dadf5d63dc6a9f8ac798b14b18

AHR Expo is January 22-24, 2018, at McCormick Place in Chicago. Visit https://ahrexpo.com/ for more information.

Jackson Systems Fall Training Season is Nearly Concluded…Watch Them All On-demand NOW!

Our fall training classes are available FREE to all contractors on-demand in high quality recordings from our state-of-the-art training facility and recording studio.

This fall, our schedule included:

  • Honeywell Fall Products Overview; Presented by Honeywell
    • Topics Include:
      T-Series Thermostats
      • C2 Cameras
      • Water Leak Detector
      • In Line Ventilator
      • HM750 Electrode Humidifier
  • Combustion Products; Presented by Honeywell
    • Topics Include:
      Overview of Honeywell Combustion Products
      • How Universal Parts Can Reduce Truck Stock
      • Which Universal Controls You Should Always Keep On Your Truck
      • Selling and Service Opportunities
  • ecobee Smart Thermostats; Presented by ecobee
    • Topics Include:
      Who is ecobee
      • Features and benefits overview
      • Integration with smart home
      • Installation and setup review
      • Registration review
  • Gas Detection; Presented by Jackson Systems
    • Topics Include:
      Installation focused training
      • Live Demonstration of gas detection systems
      • How to layout gas detection systems for parking garages, laboratories and other buildings
  • Humidification; Presented by Honeywell
    • Topics Include:
      Sizing
      • Selection
      • Installation
      • Control Wiring
  • Lux WiFi Products; Presented by Lux
    • Topics Include:
      Industry change to IoT
      • Smart Thermostats
      • The New KONO Smart Thermostat
      • Existing Wi-Fi products
  • And, back by popular demand: FilterFetch; Presented by Jackson Systems
    • Topics Include:
      Putting contractors in the filter business
      • Recurring revenue for filters
      • Averaging $15,000 per year in profit without stocking a filter
      • Free App to help your technicians share the program with homeowners

Learn watch you want; when you want! Watch all of our contractor trainings taught by industry professionals who bring you knowledge and applications experience FREE! Our trainings are recorded and are available now so you can watch them anytime, anywhere on-demand! https://jacksonsystems.com/category/demand-trainings.html

 

BUY 12; GET 2 FREE on the iO Titan Universal Programmable Thermostat

Our best deal on our favorite programmable thermostat is going on now!!! But, hurry…Buy 12; get 2 free on the iO-Titan universal, programmable, touchscreen thermostat is only here until Dec. 31st. FREE IMPRINTING of logo and phone included. And, shipping of orders over $100 are always FREE! Learn more about this great t-stat and our free imprinting service here: https://jacksonsystems.com/products/io-system-ut32-titan-touchscreen-thermostat.html

White-Rodgers Sensi WiFi Thermostat

White-Rodger’s Sensi WiFi thermostat is all the rave…smart device remote control access and seamless smart home compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Wink.  The color background changes from blue to orange when in heating mode. Check it out this video on the Sensi here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp2YT7tPlSA&feature=youtu.be

To order, visit https://jacksonsystems.com/products/whiterodgers-sensi-touch-wifi-thermostat.html. Imprinting of your logo and phone number is free when ordering 6 or more.

NCI Vendor Spotlight Focuses on Jackson Systems

Reprinted from NCI’s High Performance Today, May 2017

Keeping Customers Comfortable

 

Making Customers Comfortable: Jackson Systems CEO Tom Jackson

 

 

Tom Jackson is the CEO of Jackson Systems, LLC., Indianapolis, IN

 

 

 

According to Tom Jackson, his father – Ron Jackson — has the HVAC Industry in his blood. Ron studied it in high school, worked on it while serving in the U.S. Air Force, and landed his first real job working for an old HVAC controls manufacturer known as Barber Coleman (which eventually became Robertshaw). Ron Jackson served as the Barber Coleman service manager in Indianapolis.

In the 1960s he left Barber Coleman and started his own company – Jackson Controls – which is still in operation today. That company had the distinction of being the very first independent Honeywell commercial distributor in the U.S. It focused purely on the commercial marketplace, building giant control panels for use in large commercial applications across the Midwest.

When Ron sold that company in 1981, it was so he could pursue the path of a full-time inventor. He developed a zoning system which he sold to a company called Enerstat of Ottawa, Canada. After working for this company for 12 years, during which time he was responsible for all their zoning operations, Ron decided he was ready for another change. So in the early 1990s, Jackson parted ways with Enerstat and returned to his roots as an inventor. Ultimately, he invented and developed a new type of zoning system that targeted the residential marketplace.

In the meantime, Tom Jackson graduated from Purdue University. His first job was with Indiana Supply – a Trane Distributor in Indiana. He and his parents decided to start a residential zoning company together and so on January 1st 1997 Jackson Systems was born.

“Once we started, all we did was zoning,” Tom Jackson says. “We sold primarily in Indiana and the Midwest.”

Contractor-friendly Controls for the Residential Market

He says the initial focus was on developing contractor-friendly controls that were easy to install, troubleshoot, and repair.

“We knew the “big boys” focused on cutting edge technologies,” he says.

By “big boys,” Tom is referring to the large controls manufacturers like Johnson Controls and Honeywell.

He continues, “That was not our approach. We wanted simple designs that contractors could easily install and troubleshoot. That remains our focus today. Our products must be contractor friendly.”

Jackson Family -- Founders of Jackson Systems, LLC.

Jackson Systems, LLC., is a family-owned manufacturer of zone control systems and thermostats. Company CEO Tom Jackson (left) is pictured here with his mother Bette, and father (and founder) Ron.

Jackson Systems today isn’t only known for their zoning control systems. Tom says that a natural component of a well-designed zoning system is a good thermostat. Which is why they became very involved with thermostats.

“In 1999, we began a thermostat private labeling program. Today people know us more for our thermostats than our zoning. We represent all the major thermostat manufacturers, so we do sell Honeywell, Aprilaire, White Rodgers, Ecobee, and Nest. Not only are we a manufacturer, but a distributor as well,” Jackson adds.

“We want the contractor to be the brand. I want consumers to know they are working with a quality contractor who cares about their comfort.”

Product Development that Turns on a Dime

To grow the company, the Jacksons needed to build more development infrastructure. Tom and Ron simply couldn’t do all the work necessary and they wanted to stop using third party developers. So, according to Tom, they began bringing in people to help with product development in the early 2000s. As a result, today they can design products, manufacture them quickly, and manufacture them in small quantities – something their big commercial competitors can’t or won’t do.

“This is one of our strengths,” Jackson says. “If our contractor and OEM clients need something special or unique, we have the team in place that can provide it.

FilterFetch is a program developed by Jackson Systems LLC“At Jackson Systems, keeping in tune with our mission to have easy-to-use and service products for the contractors means we work very hard on our technology on the back end. Therefore, four years ago we developed a program called Filter Fetch which enables contractors to sell filters without having to physically inventory them. Filter Fetch is a web-based app that enables contractors to sell filters. The filters are then delivered directly to the homeowner.”

One reason for this program is to help contractors better deal with the retail-vs. professional channel issue that pervades the HVAC Industry. He says many of their customers don’t like working with suppliers that sell products direct to consumers through big-box stores or online.

According to Jackson, Filter Fetch helps contractors battle retailers like Lowes and Home Depot.

The latest product/tool the company is working on for contractors is the Jackson Systems App. This is a smart phone two-way video app that technicians can use to connect with live technical help at Jackson Systems. The technician can show a picture of the zone panel or thermostat they are having troubles with and the Jackson Systems tech can see what the problem is and offer suggestions on correcting it. This is real-time help. The app will be available in both the Google and Apple app stores soon.

Jackson Systems Zone ESP Product group

Pictured here is the Zone ESP group of zone controls by Jackson Systems. Click here for more information.

Jackson Systems and NCI

Because of their strong focus on the HVAC contracting community, Tom says they like being partners with those groups that work hard to promote the HVAC industry and who focus on the technical side of things.

“NCI was on our hotlist almost from the beginning. Over the years, we came to know NCI’s technical capabilities and the type of contractors who are NCI members. That is to say these contractors are very sharp. They design systems to provide their customers whole house comfort and that syncs very well with our mission.”

Jackson adds that NCI and Jackson Systems have synergy where zoning intersects with energy savings and comfort. “I believe the latter two things are part of NCI’s Performance-Based credo. At the end of the day I feel both groups want to provide customers comfort. Understanding static pressure and temperature, and having the tools to measure and manage airflow through duct systems that NCI has developed, is powerful when it comes to creating a comfortable customer. I also feel that we are all working toward that same goal.”

Comfort thermostat from Jackson Systems LLC

T-32 thermostat with imprint of contractor’s name at the bottom. This puts the contractor’s brand first in the consumer’s eyes.

In that light, Tom says he wants Jackson System to be a resource for NCI’s contractor members when they’re looking for additional ways to improve customer comfort. He says, “We would like them to think of us as a resource – whether it’s a zoning system or a thermostat that does something special. These are things we are very good at.”

The HVAC Industry in General

Indeed, part of the Jackson Systems mantra is to help contractors be more professional. Helping contractors to solve consumer comfort issues is their mission. So Jackson Systems works hard to simplify their products and services so contractors can easily apply and service them. But to do that, especially in the residential market, their controls need to be able to play nicely with other controls contractors may find in a customer’s home.

“However, that is usually not the case,” he says. “There are no real standards when it comes to residential controls communications protocols. I’d like to see that change. As a third-party controls manufacturer, we are locked out of communicating with most of the larger control systems out there. I believe it would be good for the industry if the residential controls sector paralleled the commercial sector where communications barriers are being driven down using BacNet and Lonworks, and controlled using Tridium.”

That would go a long way to make residential HVAC contractors’ jobs a little easier. It also is a great segue into the home automation movement, which Tom thinks is important and that HVAC contractors should keep their eyes on.

“Home automation and ‘The Internet of Things’ provide a tremendous opportunity for add-on sales,” he says. “The key is to properly train your sales and service team in how to apply these systems. Wireless technology makes it really easy to get into that space.”

The Contractor is the Brand

Finally, Tom offers this bit of advice to the HVAC contracting community: “In all things I believe the HVAC contractor IS the brand. Not the distributor. Not the manufacturer. The contractor. As a small manufacturer, I believe that contractors are the face of the industry. They own the relationships with their customers. The key to keeping that relationship is the contractor’s ability to differentiate themselves from the pack. For the NCI membership, I see the key differentiation as the performance-based contracting approach to customer comfort, with a bit of self-branding thrown in.

Contractors: 2018 is the Time to GET CONNECTED!

The contractor’s ‘Plan for Success’ in 2018 MUST include home automation products. Here’s why…

Nearly everyone has a smart phone and the connected consumer won’t accept anything else! No time before has the contractor had a growth opportunity like he or she does today with home automated WiFi products as part of their product and service portfolio.

2015-2017 were “teasing years” for consumers who saw tons of connected home products introduced. The features, convenience and low-price points made these products desirable by nearly anyone who had a smart device. Because of this, they flew off the shelves of retailers.

Contractors asking these questions, home automation is your answer:

So, what does this mean for the contractor who only does heating and cooling? For a contractor, home automation can become a new profit center, providing more add-on products to HVAC service calls than anything else. There were few upsells before connected products. Today, the contractor can offer WiFi thermostats that talk to hubs that also manage the home cameras, security system, CO/smoke detectors, doorbell, locks, water sensors and so much more. Opportunity for revenue growth using an ecosystem of connected home products is boundless. And, consider this, if you don’t sell and install it, someone else will.

And, how is that the HVAC contractor is right person to sell home automation? The answer is simple…you are already in the home as a trusted contractor, you have the opportunity to simply ask the question, “do you want fries with that?” What we mean is that WiFi cameras, locks, sensors and other connected products are easy products to sell to a homeowner when you are already discussing their safety and comfort. And, installations are even simpler. Most connected products are plug and play.

From a consumer’s point of view, connected products make all of the home systems a little easier to operate. With compatibility to — or already built-in — hubs like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit and others, most operations can be done by the sound of your voice or the swipe of a finger on a smart device.

Connectivity is the biggest trend to hit the HVAC industry in a long time. And, with continual innovations and affordable prices, home automation products are only going to grow in popularity with homeowners. Every day, something new is being introduced…and if they are designed to make consumers home lives less complicated, you can bet your bottom line that they’ll be buying!

Jackson Systems provides more brands of home automation products than any other supplier in HVAC, including Nest, Lux, ecobee, Lyric, Sensi and more. For our comprehensive offering of WiFi thermostats, cameras, sensors, security locks and so much more, visit https://jacksonsystems.com/category/home-automation-1.html.

To order, call us at 888-652-9663 or order online at www.jacksonsystems.com

 

HR Coaching Celebrates 50th Episode…and We are Celebrating With Them!

#HRCoaching is celebrating its 50th podcast episode…and Jackson Systems is celebrating with them!

Congratulations Brad and thanks for letting us be a part of Episode 10: https://www.hrcoaching.com/sbh10/

Learn more about HR Coaching or view all of their podcasts by following them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HRCoachingTeam. HR Coaching: developing small business culture to solve problems attracting, hiring and retaining employees through human resources coaching.

UNIVERSAL, PROGRAMMABLE TOUCHSCREEN PRIVATE LABEL THERMOSTAT: BUY 12 GET 2 FREE!!!!

We’re doing it again! Our universal, programmable, low-cost touchscreen private label thermostat is BUY 12 GET 2 FREE!

Our best selling iO System UT32 Titan Touchscreen Thermostat can be battery powered or hardwired, which makes it ideal for most every residential or light commercial application. Order today…promo code: 1712TITANPS to get your discount!

Add your logo and phone number with purchase of 6 or more absolutely FREE! And, shipping is always FREE on all orders over $100!

Learn more about this great thermostat here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=525Dq5UCrso

To order, call your Jackson Systems representative at 888-652-9663 or visit https://jacksonsystems.com/products/io-system-ut32-titan-touchscreen-thermostat.html

Offer expires 12/31/2017