How to avoid or fix a humidity problem

One of the problems that we run into during the summer months is “Our space humidity is too high”.

Or, “We would like to design our space temperature and humidity to be “68 degrees and 45% RH,” for example.

The purpose of this post is to help you quickly determine if standard unitary equipment will do the job, or if you will need a more customized solution (both of which we can help with).

In order to learn this subject, all you need is an open mind and a psychrometric chart. If you don’t have a psychrometric chart handy, don’t worry, we will show you all the info you need below.

Discussion #1

How to design for a specific space temperature and humidity requirement:

1. Choose the design space temperature and humidity requirement

2. Plot this point on a psychrometric chart

3. Draw a line straight to the left to determine the MAXIMUM discharge air temperature

4. Add reheat if necessary

5. Vapor barrier and other considerations may come into play depending on building construction and project requirements

The major point to note here is that standard air conditioning equipment is typically designed for a discharge temperature between 55-58 degF. So if the required discharge temperature is close to this, you can probably get away with unity equipment.

If, however, the required discharge temperature falls into the 40s or lower, you will need to look at a custom solution. Either way, ask your distributor or manufacturer’s rep to run an equipment selection to verify that you can achieve the necessary discharge temperature for your application.

Discussion #2

How to correct a space humidity issue:

1. Plot the current space temperature and humidity on a psychrometric chart

2. Plot the desired space temperature and humidity on a psychrometric chart

3. If you can draw a straight line to the right to achieve your desired set point, simply raise the space temperature set point

4. Vapor barrier and other considerations may come into play depending on building construction and project requirements

This is the very first step to take when diagnosing a humidity issue. It’s a common misconception that lowering the space temperature reduces the relative humidity. As you can see from the psychrometric chart, when you lower the dry bulb temperature, you actually RAISE the RELATIVE humidity.

If this doesn’t fix the problem let us know and we can help you find a solution that will work for your project. Many times an airflow or building envelope tweak can fix the issue.

Do you have a humidity problem we can help fix?

Are rooftops a commodity? Maybe.

Are rooftops a commodity?

Maybe.

But there is a lot to think about when replacing an existing unit, or doing a design/build job.

Is quick and easy access important? Maybe we should look at a unit with hinged and toolless access and a slide out blower.

Is comfort critical? Maybe we should look at more cooling stages and adding a VFD.

Is this a mission critical job where no downtime is important? Maybe we should add Fault Detection & diagnostics to give us early failure warning sign alerts.

Do we need to keep utilities on budget? We might want to look at a high efficiency unit, or adding a VFD.

Is ease of scheduling important? Then we might want to look at a control solution, which could require a special MODBUS, Bacnet or N2 board.

What are the existing controls? Maybe there is a proprietary control system that won’t communicate with a standard rooftop board.

Do we need cooling year round? There are lots of ways to do this- economizer, condenser fan cycle control, condenser fan speed control based on liquid pressure, condenser fan speed control based on liquid temperature. Which method is the best for the application? Maybe it’s a combination?

What city is the job in and what are the local energy and mechanical codes? Does code require an economizer? Should that economizer be dry bulb, enthalpy, or dual enthalpy?

How many stages of cooling does code require?

Does code require CO2 sensors or a smoke detector? Maybe two smoke detectors depending on the unit size?

If we have to meet ASHRAE 90.1-2010 we will need to add a VFD if the unit is 10 tons or larger.

Is there a humidity requirement? Might need to consider hot gas reheat. Or we might need to design to a 45 or 50 degF discharge temperature (grab your psychrometric chart first!).

Is it important to have replacement parts available quickly? Might need to make sure we select a unit supported by a distributor with a local stock of parts.

Is building pressure control important? Should we look at on/off power exhaust? Or modulating exhaust with a VFD and building static controller?

And…the list goes on.

Either way, this LONG list is the reason we ask so many questions when we get asked to price a rooftop unit.

We want to make sure we get the right unit on the job the first time.

What questions did we forget to address?

HOW-TO Access Your UPGnet Profile and Change A Password

 

“Can you reset my UPGnet.com password?” is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from our dealers. With technology hacking these days, a strong password is vital to keeping information secure. But it can also be annoying when every website you use has different password requirements and different expirations. Most people take advantage of the browser password storage option. The big downside to that is you get used to using the storage option then when you need to remember your password, you can’t see what the password is, and you can’t remember it on your own.

Such is the case with many of our dealers and UPGnet.com. UPGnet has a set amount of time before they expire a user’s password and require a password change. That’s where I come in. As one of your UPGnet Administrators at cfm, I have easy access to go in and reset your password. However, this isn’t always the easiest or quickest option if for some reason I am unavailable. So here are a couple of easy steps to get you into your UPGnet.com user profile so you can update your password and settings to get an email from UPGnet when your password is about to expire.

Step 1.

First log in by going to www.upgnet.com. Once there, you will be asked to enter your username and password. Your username is all lower case and all one word (johnsmith). Enter your password and hit LOGIN.

Step 2.

Once logged in, you will see the screen below. Feel free to click the DO NOT SHOW THIS PAGE AGAIN link if you want it to take you straight to the homepage.

Click on the GO TO CENTERS button to head to the UPGnet.com home screen.

Step 3.

Click on the ADMIN AND HELP CENTER link to the left.

Step 4.

Click the PROFILE button

Step 5.

You should now see a screen like the image below that gives you access to your UPGnet.com profile. You will see all of your information such as phone, address, email etc.

About halfway down on the screen you will see a check box called * !PasswordExpEmail!. Check this box and click UPDATE PROFILE to ensure that a “Password Expiration” email goes to the email address in the user profile. UPGnet.com usually sends an email reminder 2 weeks before your password is set to expire.

And lastly,

Step 6.

At the bottom of your profile screen you will see a spot where you can update your password. Please make note that you must know your old password to update a new password on UPGnet.com.

All passwords must include the following:

  • one uppercase letter
  • one lowercase letter
  • one number
  • one special character such as: !@#$%^&*

NOW YOU’RE ALL SET with step-by-step instructions on how to access your UPGnet.com user profile and password. Please remember that if you ever need any assistance with UPGnet.com, contact your cfm Marketing Team and we will always assist you.

Get In The Millennial State of Mind

Millennials are the digital generation, they’re smart, savvy and socially conscious and they make up the largest generation today, with estimated 79-80 million members. Why is this important to your business? The larger the population, the bigger the impact on culture, opportunities, behavior, trends and so much more. If they don’t fall within your businesses target audience they should because this generation will be valuable down the road.

These young adults are also some of the most educated individuals in US History with over a third earning a four-year degree or higher. This tech-savvy generation researches brands and services and do their homework when it comes to finding a brand, product or service. They look for companies who are authentic, honest and are upfront with pricing.

More and more millennials are purchasing homes and the rise of this generations home buying has been growing year over year. Last year was the largest increase of any age group over a previous year.

So how do you advertise to this progressive, fearless and tech savvy generation? It’s certain that they find most of their information about products and services through social media, online research and referrals from friends. This group has the highest use of the internet as the main source of gathering information so you need to be at the right place at the right time to capture their attention. Below are several key factors to consider when marketing to millennials.

  • Emphasize Digital Marketing

Make sure your website is up-to-date and mobile friendly, if not, they will pass you by. Have a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Digital display and video ads that run across multiple devices (especially a mobile device). You can retarget them with your ads as they move along the internet. Millennials would rather watch a video or see a graphic ad than read text. Remember, this group has grown up with technology and this is the norm for them.

  • Appearance and Style

Show the difference between your product and service and your competitors; that way the “all of these look the same” mindset is gone. Talk to them about digital thermostats and how HVAC units are more digital than ever before. This will intrigue them and they will respect that you took the time to give them additional information even though they’ve done their research online prior to calling you. After all, this is the most tech savvy generation.

  • Referrals

Word of mouth is still the best type of lead and it holds true with this group since they are social media gurus. Reviews and recommendations on your social sites and other review sites is imperative if you want to be considered by a millennial. Ask for a reference from another millennial that you’ve done work for and use that to gain additional millennial customers.

If you want to take advantage of this generation and their buying power you’ll need to stay up-to-date on their trends and incorporate your marketing strategies and advertising tactics to attract and retain them.

Do you need help marketing to millennials? Give me a call today and I can help you construct a plan.

EER, IEER, SEER, IPLV, HSPF… What do all of these efficiency terms REALLY mean

EER, IEER, SEER, IPLV, HSPF… You have probably seen all of these terms before and never even thought of what the heck they stand for, or why you would care to look at one over the other. In order to look out for the best interest of the building owner, however, it is important that all of us in the industry can articulate the differences to our customers to ensure the proper equipment is selected.

With the Department of Energy changes on the horizon, I thought I would take the opportunity to dive into what all of these efficiency terms REALLY mean, and what impact they have on end-users and the environment.

EER – (Energy Efficiency Ratio)

This value shows efficiency when operating at peak load capacity (when you could fry an egg on the sidewalk). Although it is a good reference, it can be a misleading representation if you live in a part of the country with seasons.

Defined as “the ratio of the cooling capacity of the unit (in Btu per hour) to the power input (in Watts)” – Energy.gov. This is calculated at 95/75 degrees DB/WB (AHRI Standard Rating Conditions).

IEER – (Integrated Energy Efficiency Ratio)

This value is more representative of the actual efficiency you will get out of your HVAC equipment. To calculate this value, efficiencies are reported at different loads (outdoor temperatures ranging from 65 to 95 degrees F) and then given weights to obtain an overall efficiency value. Surprisingly, the peak load efficiency only counts for 2 percent of the overall value! IEER is calculated as follows:

IEER = (0.02 * A) + (0.617 * B) + (0.238 * C) + (0.125 * D)

Where as:

A = EER at 100% net capacity at AHRI standard condition (95 deg F)

B = EER at 75% net capacity and reduced ambient (81.5 deg F)

C = EER at 50% net capacity and reduced ambient (68 deg F)

D = EER at 25% net capacity and reduced ambient (65 deg F)

SEER – (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)

Calculated very similar to IEER above, however, this is more common for residential equipment.

IPLV – (Integrated Part Load Value)

More geared towards Chillers, but still calculated the same way, and gives a standard for real-world efficiency comparison. The formula from AHRI is below:

IPLV = (0.01A) + (0.42B) + (0.45C) + (0.12D)

Where:

A = COP or EER @ 100% Load

B = COP or EER @ 75% Load

C = COP or EER @ 50% Load

D = COP or EER @ 25% Load

So, if you are designing for a space with somewhat constant internal loads that are independent of outdoor air temperature, EER is a good indicator. These types of applications come about from time to time in commercial and industrial spaces so it is important to make sure to use the correct basis for comparison.

However, in the much more likely scenario that you live in a place with varying outdoor air temperatures and internal loads, IEER and SEER will be your best bet!

Thoughts?

What is the difference between Marketing Strategy and Advertising Tactics?

Many small to medium size businesses struggle with how to find the right advertising tactics to meet their marketing strategies or objectives. Let’s define what each of these terms mean and then you can determine the road map to implement your marketing strategy and the advertising tactics to achieve your goals.

A marketing strategy is just that, a strategy or “game plan” for reaching your specific goal. The strategy is a broad goal, such as gaining new customers or to build name or brand recognition in your community. Regardless of your marketing strategy, using the correct advertising tactics to execute it is imperative.

A tactic is the vehicle or advertising platform that will be used to effectively and efficiently reach your customers. Here are a few examples of tactics or advertising platforms.

  • Digital Display Ads
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Newspaper
  • Tradeshows

The most effective way to accomplish your strategic objective is to have a clear corresponding set of tactics and to know your ideal customer. Knowing the following items will be your first step in executing your advertising tactic.


  • Customer’s age
  • Gender
  • Annual income
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Where do they get their information (Online, TV, Radio, Social Media, etc.)

Once you know who your target audience is then you can choose the correct tactics and advertising platform to reach them.

Let’s say that you sell high end luxury items but your advertising tactics have been focusing on individuals who like low price bargain shopping. If you are targeting individuals that buy based on low prices then this would be ideal for your business. However, you sell high end luxury items so you may want to consider changing your tactic to targeting individuals who enjoy luxury vacations, high end vehicles and expensive jewelry.

It’s important to have a strategic marketing objective in place for your business each year. While the goals may remain the same the strategy and advertising tactics can change.

Do you need help identifying who your ideal customers are? Give me a call today! I am here to help you coordinate all of your dealer marketing needs.

Hail Storms & Air Conditioners – They are not friends!

A significant hail storm just came through your neighborhood and beat up the condenser coil on your air conditioner or heat pump and flattened the fins. What does this mean?

First let’s understand that with an air conditioner the condenser coil releases heat to the outdoor air that has been removed from inside your house. For a heat pump, during the heating season, the coil picks up heat from outdoor air and transfers it inside the house. To perform these functions, the coil must have the ability to have the appropriate air move through it.

Coil fins that are flattened because they have been struck by hail reduce the amount of air that can move through the coil and therefore reduces the amount of heat transfer to or from the inside of the house. This means that the unit may not be able to cool or heat your house to your satisfaction, even though it is still the correct size unit to do so. It also means the unit will use more energy and reduces efficiency which raises your electric bill and it means it can shorten the life of the unit because of the added strain on other critical components.

Many people will have their flattened coils fin combed out to try and straighten them the best they can. This answer is better than doing nothing but will not get your unit back to the manufacturers specifications of the coil. How much will the performance, energy consumption and life of the unit be affected? I have not been able to find documentation that defines this. Some manufacturers use Enhanced Coil Technology that make it nearly impossible to straighten the stamped slots of the coil.

The other part of this equation is how a unit that is still under the manufacturer’s warranty will be affected. Hail or any type of outside damage to the unit or condenser coil is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Manufacturers also will not cover a part, like a compressor, that fails because of damage to the coil under warranty either.

Many questions need to be answered when your air conditioner and hail collide. Do you have the fins combed out or straightened out and get the unit back to something better than before the hail? Do you have the condenser coil replaced? Do you have the entire air conditioning unit replaced?

The best answer is to work with your trusted heating and cooling company and your homeowner’s insurance company to get to the best resolution for you and your home.

Are you different than your competitor?

This is what we all strive for in HVAC retail sales.

Why would Mr. & Mrs. Homeowner choose me when most likely they have at least 3 bids and they are most likely confused? I gave them a Good, Better, Best offer so they can choose which system fits best into their budget. But wait a minute, didn’t your competitor give them three options also? And the next company gave them 4 options. And on. Now they have 9 – 12 new system options. Whew!

With potentially 12 options sitting on the consumers dinner table, how do they choose the right one for them?

Let’s start with the System Solutions questionnaire. This means you must dig into the homeowners needs, wants and expectations. Hot spots, cold spots, allergies, the wood accents in the house drying and cracking, finishing the basement, want a quieter system, overall comfort level in the house, efficiency or carbon footprint desired, budget, etc. These are all important topics for the questions you must ask. But wait, asking is not the only vital part. The key to success is LISTENING! Then the key is successfully communicating your System Solutions for their needs, wants and expectations.

“I wake up in the morning with a bloody nose sometimes on a really cold winter morning.” “Wow, Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner that sounds serious and like something we need to address. Would you like me to include an option to take care of that in my System Solutions?” “Yes, absolutely.”

Now, almost every one of your competitors will put a humidifier on this system but do they quantify why they choose the humidifier they offer? Doubtful? Do they size it according to the structure needs? Doubtful. Do they explain why they have chosen a 2-stage furnace or a modulating furnace to get more run time to keep the humidity level more consistent? Doubtful.

The key is being a counselor, teacher, informant, etc. The key is digging the emotion out of each of the needs, wants and expectation. Your homeowner has most likely done some sort of research on a new heating and air conditioning system on their phone. The information they perceive to be accurate may or may not be. You must be patient in your questioning, listening and your delivery of the proposal of your System Solutions. Make sure to show them how you considered their budget with your System Solutions. You can get 14 SEER out of the 13 SEER Air Conditioner with the appropriate matched standard ECM motor in the 2-stage furnace, as one of the options. Now you not only provide them with the solution for a great furnace to help with a more consistent humidity level in the house but you also differentiate your company because you gave them a 14 SEER system using a 13 SEER A/C which costs them less money to install than the competitor who gave them a 14 SEER A/C and a standard PSC motor in a single stage furnace. Give them the relief of knowing you are the right person and company before you leave their house.

These are just a few ways to create differentiation from your competitor and win the trust of the homeowner. You earned their trust, took care of their needs, wants and expectations, as well as listened and communicated effectively.

Good Selling!

2018 Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday with a white money bag with a green background.

2018 Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday

We are excited to announce Missouri’s 2018 Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday! The Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday runs from April 19th-25th. People who purchase new ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances in Missouri during the holiday will not have to pay STATE sales tax (4.225%) on their purchases.

ENERGY STAR®-labeled appliances from cfm that qualify for the sales tax exemption are:
Air conditioners
Heat Pumps
Furnaces
The following are the cfm-stocked York models that are ENERGY STAR® qualified:
York Air Conditioners: YXV, CZH and YCG
York Heat Pumps: YZV, YZH and YZF
York Furnaces: YP9C, TM9V, TM9Y, TM9E

The sales tax exemption only applies to the first $1,500 on each appliance. If an appliance costs more than $1,500, the regular sales tax rate is in effect for any of the purchase price above $1,500.

These qualifying sales must be purchased and picked up at either our Kansas City, MO or Springfield, MO location only. The qualifying equipment sale can also be shipped to you (if you are a dealer located in Missouri) from our Kansas City, MO or Springfield, MO location. The sales tax credit is available only for dealers who are currently paying sales tax on purchases from cfm Distributors. If a dealer is currently purchasing items on a tax exempt basis from cfm, the dealer must handle the credit for sales tax with the retail customer and Missouri Department of Revenue.

In addition, a Kansas Dealer who is currently paying sales tax on purchases from cfm can get the sales credit if the item is picked up at the Kansas City or Springfield warehouses.

Counties, Cities, & Districts Participating in Sales Tax Holiday

Some counties and cities within Missouri have also decided to participate in the sales tax holiday which will then wave the county and city sales taxes in those counties and cities.

Participating Counties Waiving County Sales Tax:
Adair
Cass
Clay
Gasconade
Jackson
Johnson
Macon
Moniteau
Nodaway
Perry
Platte
Ste. Genevieve
Washington
Participating Cities Waiving City Sales Tax:
Airport Drive
Arnold
Aurora
Belton
Bethany
Bowling Green
Brookfield
Butler
Carrollton
Cottleville
Crestwood
Desloge
Dexter
Fenton
Fredericktown
Fulton
Gladstone
Hannibal
Hazelwood
Hermann
Hillsboro
Ironton
Jackson
Kahoka
Kansas City
Kirksville
Lebanon
Lee's Summit
Lexington
Liberty
Macon
Maryville
Memphis
Osceola
Overland
Park Hills
Perryville
Platte City
Raymore
Republic
Rock Hill
Rock Port
Salisbury
St Elizabeth
Ste Genevieve
Sunset Hills
Tarkio
Town & Country
Union
Warrensburg
Washington
Wentzville
Participating Districts:
370/Missouri Bottom Rd/Taussig Rd Transportation Development District
Antioch Center Community Improvement District
Belton Town Centre Transportation Development District
Central Jackson County Fire Protection District
Columbia Mall Transportation Development District
Douglas Square Transportation Development District
Douglas Station Transportation Development District
Fulton South Business 54 Transportation Development District
Hawthorne Development Transportation Development District
Kingsmill Transportation Development District
Raintree Lake Village Transportation Development District
Richardson Crossing Community Improvement District
Strother Interchange Transportation Development District
Tori Pines Commons Community Improvement District
Town Plaza Community Improvement District
Tuileries Plaza Transportation Development District
US Hwy 65 & Truman Dam Access Rd Transportation Development District
Victoria Crossing Community Improvement District
For more details on the program, visit http://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/green/.