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Registration opens for ACCA 2015, IE3 Expo

December 9th, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — ACCA, the Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association, has opened registration for ACCA 2015, the Business Solutions Conference for Indoor Environment Contractors. The 47th annual event is being held in conjunction with IE3: The Indoor Environment & Energy Expo, at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas, March 16-19, 2015.

ACCA assembled a Conference Faculty to present learning labs in seven tracks, including: Residential Contracting; Commercial Contracting; Business Operations; Leadership; Building Performance; Radiant & Hydronics; and Quality Assurance.

The MainStage events for 2015 are going to be even bigger and better than previous years. Some of the featured events on the MainStage for 2015 are:

  • Fast Forward with Lowell Catlett: Lowell Catlett has been a popular keynote speaker, and is back for the first time in five years because the world has changed in five years, and he has a lot to say about it.
  • Creating the Future: The CEOs of the top HVACR manufacturing companies come together in an open forum to address contractor issues. This year, they are going to take questions directly from the audience.
  • The Big Bang: Part celebration, part rally for contracting success, The Big Bang will give attendees the energy and enthusiasm needed to head back home and make a difference in their business, community, and lives.

“ACCA’s conference brings so many contractors together in one place to learn, share, and grow together, which ultimately makes the entire industry more professional,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, president and CEO. “To encourage even more contractors to attend in 2015, we have a special pre-registration going on between now and December 15 that will allow attendees to save $300. This is an amazing value for contractors, because ACCA 2015 gives them access to over 35 learning labs and over 200 industry partners that will all help them get to the next level of success in their businesses.”

IE3: The Indoor Environment & Energy Expo is the industry’s biggest and fastest growing marketplace and product showcase. In 2015, the IE3 is co-presented by ACCA and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). The show floor is filling up fast, as HVACR suppliers gear up to present contractors the latest in improvements and technological advances aimed to make contractors’ businesses more efficient and productive.

The official hotel of ACCA 2015 is the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. Book rooms at the special ACCA rate starting at $199 per night plus applicable taxes by calling 877-491-5138 and mention code ACCA2015. This rate is only good until February 20, 2015, or when our block is sold out, whichever comes first.

To register for the event, and take advantage of the $497 registration fee until December 15, visit the ACCA website. This is also where program information, the schedule of events, and hotel and travel information are located.


ACCA releases video series for code officials

December 8th, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — ACCA, the Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association, released a video series aimed at helping code officials understand the residential HVAC design process. The three-part series, “What Code Officials Need to Know about HVAC System Design,” gives an overview of the steps involved in doing a load calculation, the equipment selection, and duct sizing in accordance with ACCA Manual J, Manual D, and Manual S, which are referenced in the model building codes.

In order to aid in the enforcement of code requirements related to HVAC system design, each video also presents ACCA-recommended verification points for a plan review to ensure that a system design followed the process.

“Code officials and inspectors are under the gun to uphold code requirements, but few resources are available to help them understand the standards that contractors are using,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, president and CEO of ACCA. “These training videos provide the understanding for inspectors to easily ascertain whether the contractors have followed code-specified design criteria.”

The videos can be viewed on the ACCA website along with other resources for code officials and contractors. ACCA is a non-profit association serving more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the indoor environmental and energy services community. Founded more than 40 years ago, today ACCA sets the standards for quality comfort systems, provides leading-edge education for contractors and their employees, and fights for the interests of professional contractors in every state in the country.


AHRI announces new officers, presents awards

December 5th, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) held its Annual Meeting November 16-18 in Carlsbad, Calif., during which it elected its new officers and presented awards to industry leaders.

“We are pleased to recognize these thoughtful, tireless leaders, and thank them for their service to AHRI and the HVACR and water heating industry,” said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek.

AHRI’s new Chairman is Ed Purvis, Executive Vice President, Emerson Climate Technologies. The officers and executive committee are as follows:

  • Vice Chairman: Doug Young, Lennox International Residential Heating and Cooling
  • Treasurer: Chris Drew, Burnham Holdings
  • Immediate Past Chairman: Robert McDonough, Carrier/UTC

The Executive Committee is:

  • Dennis Appel, Luvata
  • Gary Clark, Goodman Manufacturing
  • John Galyen, Danfoss
  • Nick Giuffre, Bradford White
  • Bill Johnson, HillPhoenix
  • Chris Peel, Rheem Manufacturing Company
  • Earle Pfefferkorn, Cleaver Brooks
  • Dave Regnery, Trane
  • Rod Rushing, Johnson Controls
  • Bill Steel, Bard Manufacturing, and
  • Kevin Wheeler, A. O. Smith

The Richard C. Schulze Award is given for distinguished service and commitment to AHRI and the industry’s goals and objectives. AHRI congratulated:

  • Ron Duncan, Magic Aire
  • Phillip Johnson, Daikin Applied
  • Dave LaGrand, NORDYNE
  • Bill McQuade, Johnson Controls
  • Rajan Rajendran, Emerson Climate Technologies

The AHRI Public Service Award recognizes deserving individuals or organizations that have made a significant contribution to the HVACR industry and in furthering AHRI’s goals. AHRI congratulated Cedric Sloan, recently retired Director General of the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA), based in the United Kingdom.

The AHRI Distinguished Service Award is AHRI’s highest award and recognizes individuals who are leaders in the industry and who have made significant contributions throughout their careers. AHRI congratulated C. David Myers, formerly Vice President and President, Building Efficiency at Johnson Controls who has served the HVACR industry with distinction, energy, honor, and humor throughout his long career.

AHRI is a trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, commercial refrigeration, and water heating equipment. An internationally recognized advocate for the industry, AHRI develops standards for and certifies the performance of many of these products. AHRI’s 300 plus member companies manufacture quality, efficient, and innovative residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment and components for sale in North America and around the world.


RSES releases Geothermal Manuals for Sustainability Series

December 4th, 2014

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — RSES’ Understanding Geothermal Heat Pump Fundamentals and Understanding Geothermal Ground Heat Exchangers are two additional titles in the RSES Sustainability Series, making the geothermal-based series now complete. The final title was introduced at the RSES Conference and HVACR Technology Expo in October and joins the previously released title, Understanding Geothermal Systems, in the three-manual series.

Understanding Geothermal Heat Pump Fundamentals, written by Harlan Krepcik, CMS, explains geothermal heat pumps (GHP) and is designed as a gateway to understanding this amazing technology. Study topics include: heat pump fundamentals; systems; principles; compressors; flow controls and accessories; electrical systems and components; thermostats; supplemental electric heat; water-source heat pump systems; heat pump piping; and troubleshooting water-source heat pumps.

Understanding Geothermal Ground Heat Exchangers, written by John Clapp, focuses on the design and installation of the ground heat exchanger (GHX) in a GHP system and provides the steps required for a contractor to execute the basic design of a residential or light commercial GHX, apply it to a layout, installation, testing and more. Study topics include: preliminary project planning; vertical GHX design; vertical GHX piping; piping for building entry and GHP equipment connection; testing flow and pressure in GHX piping systems; and more. Each manual may be purchased as a hard copy or in PDF format for immediate download.

RSES is a leading education, training and certification association for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration professionals. RSES credentials include its Active Specialized Member, Certificate Member and Certificate Member Specialist categories, as well as one of the largest EPA Section 608 certification programs in the industry. Founded in 1933, RSES is a non-profit organization of members in chapters in the U.S. and Canada, as well as affiliate organizations worldwide.


A. O. Smith plant earns sustainability award

December 3rd, 2014

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. – A multi-year effort to reduce electricity and natural gas consumption, conserve water and increase material recycling culminated as the A. O. Smith Corporation Ashland City, Tenn. plant earned the 2013 Chairman’s Green Star Award for resource conservation. The 1,100 Ashland City employees were recognized by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ajita G. Rajendra in a special ceremony.

“Ashland City is one of the largest water heater plants in the world, and the work you have done to conserve resources is truly impressive,” Rajendra said. “Equally as important, you have made a point of involving the entire team in the effort, and this has multiplied the impact throughout the facility.”

A. O. Smith created the Chairman’s Green Star Award in 2009 to encourage natural resource conservation efforts throughout the company. The award is earned by the plant that achieves the most year-over-year reductions in natural gas consumption, electricity usage and water consumption. A total of 15 facilities worldwide competed for this year’s award.

Individual initiatives throughout the 1.5 million square foot facility focused on saving electricity, conserving water and increasing the amount of material the residential water heater plant recycles, and these initiatives have had a major impact according to Kevin Harrell, environmental safety and health engineer in Ashland City.

“There have been a number of projects aimed at resource consumption and energy consumption,” Harrell observed. “Over the last few years, we have made an effort to coordinate those activities.”

As a global water technology company, A. O. Smith has emphasized making the most efficient use of its water resources and finding ways to save water. In Ashland City, this translated into modifying the process the plant uses to wash residential water heater tanks. The team introduced a “reverse cascading” approach to the four-stage tank washer so that rinse water used in the later stages is pumped to earlier stages of the process. This reduces the need to refill tanks, not only saving water but also the amount of detergent needed in the cleaning process.

As a result of this process change, Ashland City reduced its water usage approximately 36 percent, with annual consumption down nearly 21 million gallons.To reduce electricity consumption in the plant, the team has installed high-efficiency electric motors on equipment and conveyors as well as high-efficiency, low-watt lighting in the plant and distribution center. As an added conservation effort, the team installed motion sensors so that lighting shuts down during inactive times. Electricity usage has declined nearly 20 percent in the Ashland City plant.

The Ashland City leadership team, encouraged by Plant Manager Keith Auville, has enlisted the support of employees in the energy conservation efforts. During department meetings throughout the facility, employees were asked to shut down equipment, fans and heaters at the end of their shifts to reduce energy usage and cost.

“In a facility this size, if you leave the equipment running, you can waste a lot of energy,” Harrell observed. “It was not difficult to get our employees to participate in this initiative, and now it’s a part of their standard operating procedure.”

In addition to electricity and water, the Ashland City team has reduced its annual natural gas consumption nearly 12 percent. Although Ashland City has recycled materials for many years, the team has taken the effort to a new level in recent years. Recently, it began re-using the wooden pallets a sister plant uses to ship components to the plant, reducing the amount of wood waste going to landfills and saving approximately $50,000 each year.

The recycling quickly adds up. Last year, the plant recycled more than 11,000 tons of steel—the equivalent of 5,500 small cars. It also recycled more than 960 tons of other material including cardboard, paper, batteries, electronic waste, oil, and fluorescent lamps. Last year, the plant recycled nearly 22,000 gallons of spent solvent from its water heater painting operation. The material is distilled and returned to Ashland City as clean solvent. New initiatives under way include recycling the plastic bands that are used on crate packaging.


Piping video released by Copper Development Association

December 2nd, 2014

NEW YORK — The Copper Development Association (CDA), a trade association representing the U.S. copper tube and fittings industry, launched the latest video in its “Do it Proper With Copper” series. The “Soldering of No-Lead Copper Alloy Fittings, Valves and Components” educational video serves as a resource for plumbers, contractors and technicians installing or working with new copper alloys.

In a previous how-to video from the “Fluxing & Soldering Techniques” series, CDA staff demonstrated the proper technique for making high-quality soldered joints between copper tube and copper fittings, as well as copper alloy fittings, like brass and bronze. However, with the Federal Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act that limits the amount of lead that can be contained in plumbing components in contact with drinking water, CDA developed the new DIY video to demonstrate how to properly solder copper tube and fittings to the lead free brass and bronze copper alloys.

“Many component manufacturers are now using new, no-lead copper alloys that use bismuth, silicon or other elements in place of lead to make their components,” said Andrew Kireta, Jr., vice president of CDA. “Even though these components may look the same as the older metals they are replacing, they can be a bit more difficult to solder. That’s why it’s important that we revisit these soldering techniques.”

With the help of Kireta and CDA Project Manager Dale Powell, the association produced a 7-minute video that adds to its growing plumbing and architectural series. The new video not only demonstrates the proper soldering techniques for new alloys, but offers an explanation as to why they must be treated differently from the old ones.

“The answer lies in the metallurgy, or physical properties of the alloy,” Powell stated. “Some of the new alloys, especially those containing silicon, have much lower thermal conductivity than their earlier counterparts, or than the copper parts that they are being joined with.”

CDA has been an expert resource on soldering copper and copper alloys for more than 50 years. CDA was not only instrumental in developing the soldering procedures that are now standard in the copper and plumbing industry, but has since taught these procedures to hundreds of thousands of installers across the country and throughout the world.

To view “Soldering of No-Lead Copper Alloy Fittings, Valves and Components,” or any other videos in the “Do it Proper With Copper” video series, visit the CDA website or YouTube channel.


American Standard honored for SaTo Sanitary Toilet Pan

December 1st, 2014

PISCATAWAY, N.J. ― The SaTo hygienic toilet pan, created by American Standard Brands as a life-saving safe sanitation solution for developing countries, is a winner in R&D Magazine’s 52nd annual R&D 100 Awards. The international competition recognizes the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year, encompassing a wide range of industries including Fortune 500 companies, academia and federally funded research institutions.

The SaTo (derived from “Safe Toilet”) is a cost effective, sanitary toilet pan initially designed for use in Bangladesh, where most people use non-hygienic open pit latrines to defecate. The SaTo pan uses ingeniously simple mechanical and water seals to close off pit latrines from the open air, thereby reducing the transmission of disease through direct and indirect contact with waste. Additionally, the unpleasant sights and smells of the open pit latrine are eliminated for users, encouraging use of the SaTo toilet pan versus unsanitary open defecation.

After the creation of the SaTo pan, American Standard launched the Flush for Good campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the global sanitation crisis and creating innovative sanitation solutions to improve the quality of life in developing countries. This program donates one SaTo pan for every Champion toilet sold in North America during 2013 and 2014.

The company has partnered with organizations including BRAC, Save the Children, Water for People, Plumbers Without Borders, UNICEF and other NGOs to distribute this pioneering SaTo sanitary toilet pan that is easy to use and inexpensive to produce, incorporates local bathroom practices, and effectively reduces the transmission of disease. In 2013 alone, American Standard donated more than 530,000 SaTo sanitary toilet pans to residents of Bangladesh, with further distribution in other developing countries expanding in 2014.

“What an honor it is to be ackowledged with the R&D 100 award for our SaTo toilet pan. We are proud to be in the company of so many esteemed organizations over the 50-year history of this prestigious awards program,” said Jay Gould, president and CEO of American Standard Brands. “We are equally as proud that this outstanding design solution created by our engineering team can effectively address the critical global sanitation issue and help save lives around the world.”


Facebook contest announced by Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical

November 28th, 2014

HOUSTON — Abacus launched a Facebook campaign, which will end on December 21, to encourage its customers and the public to write stories about their favorite, local charity. The winning essay or nomination will be selected by Abacus employees the week of Christmas, December 22, and that winning charity will be given a $1,000 donation by Abacus on behalf of the person who had the winning nomination.

Alan O’Neill, CEO of Abacus stated, “There are so many great charities in Houston, we felt this contest would be a great way to let local Houstonians brag about the charities they care about. And this will help promote these charities to hundreds and thousands of people in the Houston area, hopefully creating opportunities for volunteerism, donations, and just more awareness.”

O’Neill continued, “In a day and age where there is so much bad news, we wanted to focus on the good news happening every day in our community. There are so many great people working in charitable organizations, tirelessly giving without any regard for financial gain or notoriety.”

Abacus supports various charities throughout the year, such as the Houston Food Bank. Abacus employees spent part of a Saturday loading up food boxes for seniors. Abacus is actively sponsoring the JuCan Foundation, a local family from Kingwood, Texas, who are currently walking across America (from Disney to Disney) in order to raise awareness and donations for pediatric cancer research, spurned on to do this in honor of their daughter, Julia Cobb, who lost her battle to Ewing’s Sarcoma, the second most common bone cancer in children, in October 2013.

Abacus also sponsored and donated funds to Team Will & Grace at the local Houston area JDRF One-Walk event to help end Type 1 Diabetes. Another local charity Abacus recently sponsored was the Houston Ground Angels, and organization and team of volunteers who provide free transportation for out of state cancer and terminally ill patients coming to Houston for medical care.

“We wish we could do more,” O’Neill said, “but this contest and promotion on Facebook is just one, small way to help raise awareness about the many charities and organizations in our great city of Houston, and encourage other organizations and citizens to get involved in helping the people of our city.”

Abacus was founded in 2003 and provides residential plumbing, air conditioning, heating and electrical services to homeowners throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area. Abacus is an accredited member of the Houston Better Business Bureau and has received seven Awards of Excellence.



Mestek announces new Residential Sales Representative

November 26th, 2014

WESTFIELD, Mass. — Mestek, Inc., parent company to over 36 HVAC related specialty companies, announced its partnership with URELL, Inc., a premiere full-service manufacturer’s representative servicing the New England region.

Founded in 1949, URELL specializes in the commercial plumbing, mechanical, and HVAC market segments. They bring unprecedented hydronic systems experience as well as superior sales and technical support to the Mestek, Inc. family of high efficiency boiler and water heater products. URELL is located in Watertown, MA and operates a 75,000 square foot multi-faceted facility which includes a full-service warehouse, product training lab, meeting rooms and customer service center to support the needs of their valued partners.

From design room to boiler room, URELL’s dedicated team of technical sales professionals provide pre and post-sales support to engineers, architects, designers, distributors, contractors and end-users. URELL is a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and will represent leading Mestek companies, including Advanced Thermal Hydronics (ATH), manufacturer of the first-ever condensing cast-iron boiler, RBI, and commercial Smith Cast Iron Boilers.


Franklin Electric introduces enhanced constant pressure drives

November 25th, 2014

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Franklin Electric Co., Inc. introduced the enhanced SubDrive family of constant pressure drives that provide easier setup and configuration through advanced features and Wi-Fi connectivity for simplified monitoring and troubleshooting. Featuring a NEMA 3R (Type 3) enclosure, the constant pressure drive is rated for both indoor and outdoor use, providing a degree of protection against falling rain or sleet. Its most innovative feature is Wi-Fi capability through the FE Connect mobile app.

The app is a more convenient way to set up and configure the drive in fewer steps. Once configured, it allows real-time monitoring of key system data, adjustment of advanced features and settings to optimize the system to your specific application, and access to your fault history of up to 500 detailed entries that can be emailed for enhanced troubleshooting capability. The new SubDrive retrofits to most pumping systems utilizing a Franklin motor, making the transition smooth and simple for current systems. Basic setup allows users to be ready to pump water with the flip of two switches.

In addition, the new Franklin Electric SubDrive family offers a numerical LCD display that provides important operation statuses and faults. An updated and improved electronic design includes front-facing terminal blocks and components for easy installation. A modular sensor input provides added lightning protection, while easy-to-replace components simplify overall maintenance. The SubDrive family also has a new naming system to better correlate with their respective motor capability. The new, quieter models are named the SubDrive15, SubDrive20 and SubDrive30 (replacing the SubDrive75, SubDrive100 and SubDrive150) and are compatible with Franklin Electric’s three-phase and single-phase three-wire motors. The new SubDrive family also includes the MonoDrive and MonoDriveXT. Sold as a standalone SubDrive or integrated into the market-leading Franklin Electric QuickPAKs (which include a pump and motor), there is a water system solution to fit your constant pressure needs.

The SubDrive constant pressure drives do exactly that: provide constant pressure by continually adjusting the speed of your pump to match water demand. Instead of draining and filling a large tank, the SubDrive pumps more or less water as you need it. It ensures that the user will never lose water pressure, even when using the shower, running the dishwater, doing laundry and watering the lawn – all at the same time. Ideal applications include residential homes, schools, restaurants, car washes, farms and landscape irrigation systems.

Franklin Electric is a global leader in the production and marketing of systems and components for the movement of water and fuel. Recognized as a technical leader in its products and services, Franklin Electric serves customers around the world in residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, municipal, and fueling applications.


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