What is the cost of “rolling a truck” to service an HVAC system, and how can you maximize the efficiency of such a call while minimizing the cost? On the second day of AHR Expo in Orlando, several companies mentioned the benefits of various diagnostic and analytics systems that can be accessed remotely and that provide information for a technician about the nature of a problem, and what parts are needed, before he or she leaves for the call. It’s an example of how technology can make life easier for HVAC companies.
Technology can help HVAC companies in other ways, too. For example, AHR Expo exhibitor Jobber offers software to help small businesses, including HVAC companies, to be more successful. The company focuses on providing software for various home and field services industries — there are more than 50 of them in all. The software is designed for any small- to medium-sized company, from a sole proprietor up to a company with 50 employees. The cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) offering can be accessed through a web app or a mobile phone.
Several companies mentioned the benefits of various diagnostic and analytics systems that can be accessed remotely and that provide informationWhen a service request is received, whether by phone or over the internet, the Jobber software “takes over” and guides the process through quoting to scheduling to dispatching crews to invoicing and collecting payment.
"The HVAC market is in the early adopter stage for implementing the technology, and demand is increasing", says Shawn Cadeau, Jobber’s Chief Revenue Officer. Jobber currently focuses on the North American market and is available in English only. Monthly fees start at $29, and a larger system might cost up to $249 per month.
Some of the equipment on display at AHR Expo is also designed with contractors in mind. Rheem is announcing more models in its Renaissance line of light commercial products designed to be installed on the Carrier footprint. The equipment is designed for the contractor. Rheem brings contractors into the design process, so the “service mentality” that helps contractors do their jobs is included in the design.
Minimizing Energy Consumption
Heat Transfer Products Group (HTPG), the refrigeration business of Rheem, is showing off their EcoNet-enabled controller that minimizes energy consumption in critical cooling applications by monitoring the compressor to eliminate excessive runtime. One trend is away from mechanical components and toward more One trend is away from mechanical components and toward more electronicselectronics. For example, an electronic expansion valve provides more control and eliminates the need for mechanical thermal expansion valves.“People are excited about electronic control solutions,” said Raleigh Thompson, HTPG Marketing Manager. For medium and large-size systems, HTPG will launch new platforms in April, in anticipation of new Department of Energy efficiency standards.
Daikin announced the Rebel Applied Packaged Rooftop System that combines high performance and a compact, configurable footprint. It features a casing design for ultra-low air leakage, which can save thousands per year, and Copeland ZPKZ scroll compressors.
Reducing Costs and Staying Ahead
Emerson makes the compressors, designed for superior part load efficiency and to reduce customer costs. Technology innovations of the compressor include a new hermetic motor, a scroll discharging value to optimize performance and oil-injection to mitigate heat. The Daikin Rebel system far exceeds minimum efficiency requirements through 2023.
Emerson also highlighted the Sensi smart thermostat, the Multiple Thermostat Manager for property-wide comfort control, and the Sensi Predict 10-sensor system that analyzes the HVAC and displays how the system is performing so technicians can stay ahead before failure occurs. Detailed monthly performance summaries are provided, and real-time alerts are generated in the event of system of decline or failure — more information to help HVAC contractors.
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