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The Importance of Continuing Education

Posted by Brittany Yeager on Oct 24, 2014 @ 04:45 PM

The HVAC industry is an ever-changing field. New technologies such as app-driven systems and touchscreen thermostats are entering the industry every year; and manufacturers are constantly making improvements on products. A great way to keep up with these changes is through continuing education classes.

Continuing education (CE) classes are important for every contractor in the HVACR field for various reasons. Staying on top of the industry trends and newly introduced technologies keeps you better informed and makes you a valued consultant to homeowners. Knowing about all the changes and understanding the ins and outs of the products and their features allows you to provide them with more options for their home comfort; and your up-to-date knowledge will earn their trust, landing you a repeat customer. According to the NATE website, there is a stark lack of properly trained HVACR technicians –currently just over 32,000 of them are NATE certified; these classes allow you to renew your contracting license as well.

CE classes also let you to keep up with your competitors, and maybe even get ahead of them. Knowing information about products they haven’t kept up on will give you a boost with clients over other HVAC contractors.IMG_0468

The NATE website also states that half of homeowners put off retro-fit jobs and new installations because they aren’t sure which contractors have knowledgeable technicians. They live in less than comfortable homes because they aren’t sure which contractors can be trusted to do the job accurately. When you tell them you’re educated on the current industry, you’ll give them a better sense of security, knowing that a trusted, valued consultant is getting the job done right.

 

 

See when Arzel's next NATE approved Comfort College takes place:

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Topics: Comfort College, hvac training, Arzel Zoning, quality install

Get to Know Arzel: the CoolMizer System

Posted by Brittany Yeager on Aug 20, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

Autumn weather is quickly approaching. The air outside begins to cool down, but our homes are often times still warmer than we would like them to be. The fresh, cool air outside seems like just the solution, so we open the windows; but letting those windows hang open brings safety issues, allows unwanted pests inside, and can bring a too-warm home to a too-cold home more quickly than we would like.

coolmizer

What if you could have all the pros of fresh air in your home without the cons? The Arzel CoolMizer allows you to do just that. When outside conditions are favorable, the system will open the dampers to the outside, allowing the air to be drawn into the home and be distributed throughout the duct system. When outside conditions are no longer beneficial to use, the CoolMizer system closes those dampers and returns to using the regular mechanical system.

This gives the homeowner an abundance of benefits: free heating and cooling; fresher air inside the home; peace of mind, as they’re receiving all the advantages of open windows with none of the risks; reducing their carbon emissions by not using extra electricity or gas; and improving the indoor air quality by dismissing VOCs, odors, and chemical gases.

It also offers many contractor benefits: easy set up; it can be assimilated with any forced-air system already in the home; ideal for retrofit and new-construction; and it offers field-proven technology in commercial applications.

It’s a win-win product for contractors and homeowners. Contractors can work with a system that’s easy and fast to set up, and homeowners get a system that offers so many different benefits and pays for itself in energy efficiency in no time.

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Topics: Contractor Marketing, CoolMizer, residential zoning applications, hvac, energy efficiency

Allergy Season and Indoor Air Quality

Posted by Brittany Yeager on May 15, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

After this past winter, I’m sure we’re all glad that the snow has melted and spring has finally found its way here; but warmer weather comes with its own set of problems. Within days of being able to see the grass again, allergy sufferers were reminded of what they were missing for the past four months.Dandelion_Ghost

Snow melts and the pollen count rises. It’s the same vicious cycle every year. However, HVAC contractors don’t have to suffer with the rest of the world. Allergy season is actually a great season to sell HVAC systems.

When the outside world fills up with pollen and spores, people with allergies retreat indoors; but they’re not as safe from suffering as they think. Dust mites, animal dander, and even cockroaches can attack allergies in the home. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that eight out of ten people in the United States are exposed to house dust mites, and six out of ten are exposed to pet dander. Then there are the homeowners who still want to try to get the fresh air from outside and will throw open their windows and doors to try to bring it inside, not bothering with window filters. Of course, bringing in that new spring air will also bring outside pollutants in with it. You don’t need to be a math genius to figure out that that adds up to a lot of people putting up with allergies.

Now here’s the kicker: controlling the air quality in your home can reduce your seasonal symptoms. Putting in a new HVAC system or having an old one maintained can decrease the misery. According to Web M.D., many pollutants (like pollen and particulate matter) are water-soluble; and since air conditioners are made to remove water from the air, they remove the pollutants as well. Removing the pollutants means a more enjoyable time in your own home. And if that’s not enough to seal the deal on a new system, good indoor air quality can also reduce negative health effects, lower the costs associated with illness, and can improve quality of life (Indoor Air Quality.com).

Think of yourself as Superman: when the evil Allergens come to invade homes, you can stop them in their tracks just by growing your business.
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Topics: blog, Indoor Air Quality, residential zoning applications, central air, hvac

Toolbox Talk: Digital Manometers

Posted by Brittany Yeager on Mar 27, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

One of the most common phrases coming out of our Technical Support department during a troubleshooting call is, “We recommend a digital manometer for that.” If you are used to working mostly with motor-driven systems, you may not have had as much of a need for one; but (besides being fun to say) manometers are very helpful tools when you’re working on HVAC equipment and air-driven systems like Arzel’s.

Manometers are used for accurately measuring individual and differential pressures. They work by comparing two different pressures between fluids or gases; in this case, gases – specifically air.

When working with HVAC and air-driven zoning systems, manometers come in handy in quite a few instances:

  • Troubleshooting in a variety of low-pressure systems (e.g.: pneumatic or air-driven systems

  • Reading incoming and manifold gas pressures

  • Testing pressure switches

  • Performing Pitot tube traverse readings within ducts

  • Observing differential pressures across filters or coils

  • Measuring both supply and return static pressures in ductwork

  • Diagnosing glitches that cannot necessarily be seen, such as a leak in a damper or pump or a weak vacuum

Besides being advantageous in various cases, they’re also extremely reliable: in addition to being found in your toolbox, manometers can be found in self-service blood-pressure devices.

While the more accurate and reliable models can run a little on the expensive end, they’re bound to be the best backup quarterback you’ll ever have for troubleshooting and diagnostics.

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Topics: dampers, Arzel Zoning, technical support, hvac, zoning products, digital manometer, air driven, HVAC tools

HVAC Industry Trends and Arzel’s Response to Them

Posted by Brittany Yeager on Mar 05, 2014 @ 03:17 PM

Like every other industry and business concept, the HVAC industry has its ebbs, its flows, and its trends. In the past year or so, a couple different trends have floated to top of the list:

1)      The Green Initiativerecycle 147287 640

I can already hear the groans pouring forth. Aren’t we done with “going green?” Hasn’t that been run into the ground yet? Yes and no. While the terms are more worn out than five-year-old socks that have been converted into wash rags for your car, the concept still stands solid. I don’t think any of us would say we are tired of making this planet a healthier and cleaner place for ourselves and future generations; and the HVAC industry has found out that they can do their part as well.

Arzel’s answer: the Evergreen system. It uses 30-50% less electricity than PSC motors. This makes for clean comfort as well as happy homeowners when they get those lower utility bills.

2) User-Friendly Technology

Everyone today is driven by the latest gadgets and gizmos, but they still want it to be easy to use. What good is technology if we can’t figure out how to use it? That kind of defeats the purpose, right? The same concept applies to home heating and cooling systems. A homeowner doesn’t want to have to call his or her contractor in the fear of messing something up every single time he or she wants to change the temperature settings in the home. What homeowners want is a system where they can walk over to the thermostat, push that little button, and get exactly what they were trying to get.

Arzel’s answer: any of our systems. All of the Arzel zoning systems are compatible with whatever thermostat the homeowner is comfortable with, so they can make their home as high-tech or low-tech as they would like.

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Arzel Zoning Names Rick Wilson as Director of Sales and Marketing

Posted by Cathy Langer on Dec 13, 2013 @ 04:00 PM

Cleveland,OH December 13, 2013

Rick Press Release Pic 2 resized 600 Arzel Zoning is pleased to announce that Rick Wilson  has joined the Arzel team as Director of Sales and  Marketing.  In this new position, Rick will lead the Sales  & Marketing team to higher levels of excellence in both  customer service and sales by utilizing a customer-  centric approach and drawing on his 25+ years of sales  experience.

 Rick states, "I am very excited to join a company that  has such a long history of putting the customer first  while at the same time continues to lead the industry  with new, innovative products."

 Rick has a technical background and throughout his  career has progressed from Field Engineer to Sales  Manager to Senior VP of Sales & Marketing, and most  recently held a dual role as Co-General Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing.  All of which qualifies him for the challenge of positioning Arzel Zoning for success in the highly competitive HVAC and Zoning industries.

Please join us in welcoming Rick to the Arzel Zoning team.  He is well-qualified to lead Arzel Zoning to the next level of excellence.

Arzel Zoning is an industry leader in providing innovative, dependable zoning products and Solution-Based Comfort for both residential and light commercial applications.

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Topics: 2013, Arzel Zoning

Revisiting a Classic: 3 Elements of Outstanding Customer Service

Posted by Sandy Kelty on Oct 02, 2013 @ 02:30 PM

Written by: Sandy Kelty, Customer Service, Arzel Zoning 

Excellent Customer ServiceWhile I won’t argue its a wonderful convenience brought to us by automated payment services, or websites full of FAQ’s that can answer many of your concerns right there on your computer, sometimes you want the reassurance of speaking to a real person. It is incredibly frustrating when you have one question to ask, only to end up on the phone for fifteen minutes trying in vain to reach a real person. Getting routed from menu to menu can be enough to make you want to scream! There is something satisfying about a friendly voice, some polite and helpful conversation and being able to ask questions specific to your situation. 

A good first impression:

Answering phones may not seem like a glamorous part of one’s job description, but it is more important than you might think. At Arzel, we answer the phone with "Its a great day at Arzel! How may we help you?" We have found that it typically starts the conversation on a positive note and assures the caller we are here to help them. It’s incredibly encouraging for your customer to know they can reach a knowledgeable and amiable person at the other end of the phone line and can definitely make the difference in whether they decide to do business with your company again.

The quality of the contact:

People are so appreciative when they find a true willingness to help, especially in this electronic age of quantity over quality. Most people have multiple user names, online profiles and things that can make us seem like more of a faceless commodity than a human being! Corporations may miss the big picture by wanting to focus on reaching as many people as possible without considering the quality of the contact. For instance, if I answer a question, but am in a hurry to get off the phone and on to something I deem more “important”, the person on the other end of the line can tell, and may feel dismissed! Alternately, if we spend as much time talking as needed, to make sure you come away from the conversation informed and feeling satisfied with the outcome, that’s going to be a positive experience that will be remembered. That is what makes lifetime customer relationships.

A good attitude:

Sometimes easier said than done, a positive attitude can make or break a customer experience. You never know what you’re going to hear on the other end. The person may be unhappy, angry or already anticipating a problem. Sometimes they will automatically assume they will need to be put on hold and you won’t be able to help them.  Remaining calm and friendly, while reassuring the customer that you will answer the question or resolve the problem is key.

One of my favorite phrases if I can’t handle a situation by myself is “I can’t answer that question but I’m going to get you right to the person who will.” Realize that you can make all the difference in a person’s view of your company simply by a willingness to help and a good attitude. And many times I’ve had the person on the other line make MY day by making me laugh, being silly, friendly or just having a quick chat about the weather. Sometimes I appreciate the demeanor of the person on the other end of the line just as much as they appreciate my assistance.

Customers and colleagues should not be looked at as profits and statistics. They are all people who deserve respect and compassion, and being in a customer service position that is what we are here to do: serve.

I may not have all the knowledge on every aspect of zoning, but I’ll tell you what I know and then find the right person to fill in the blanks. And maybe we’ll find we have something in common and have an enjoyable chat which is just the icing on the cake!  

Sounds off on your customer service experiences or how you provide excellent service to your customers!

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Topics: customer, service, Contractor, hvac

7 Ways to Succeed at Your Next HVAC Homeshow

Posted by Colleen Weston on Sep 05, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

Guest blog: Kristie Jones-Damalas, VP Sales & Marketing, Skyline Event Services

Arzel Zoning Display at Home ShowAs summer draws to a close, my phone usually starts to ring with contractors requesting brochures, displays and other materials to use in their booths in fall home shows. 

While a booth in a home show is a great venue for getting in front of potential customers and showcasing your business, how do you know if you are truly maximizing your time and investment at these events? Kristie Jones-Damalas from Skyline Event Services shares some tips on how to get the most out of your home show booth:

  1. Have a Theme Having a theme or consistent message that carries through your booth will make your exhibit and company more memorable. Make sure that the theme or message you choose is professionally executed to ensure you are communicating the right image for your company.

  2. Less is More Everyone has heard the saying “less is more” and that is definitely the case in exhibiting. When a booth is cluttered with products, demonstrations and information attendees become overwhelmed and intimidated. Instead, highlight your newest, most important information and products that appeal to the specific audience at the show.

  3. Open & Neat Booth Space Make sure you keep an open, neat exhibit   space to allow attendees to move freely through your booth. By utilizing the “less is more” theory you will keep your booth from becoming cluttered. Keep tables and counters to the back of the booth so attendees feel free to step in from the aisle without having to maneuver around furniture or display materials.

  4. Use Movement to Create InterestMoving exhibits tend to create a more exciting environment that attracts attendees to see “what the buzz is about.” You can create movement in your booth with rotating signs, lights, audio visual, etc. If you have a laptop available, provide a continuous Power Point slide show for attendees to stop and watch, giving you an opportunity to strike up a conversation.

  5. Use GraphicsCatch attendees’ attention with big, bold graphics.   These graphics should be clear and concise, raising people’s interest but not providing too much information as attendees may become overwhelmed. Graphics should answer the following questions: “Who are you? What are you selling? Why should customers buy it?” Ask your manufacturer partners for assistance with graphics or posters. Many have displays they can offer on a lease basis or utilize a co-op program to cover some of the expense. 

  6. Booth Giveaways Have brochures, fact sheets, or a trinket with your company logo available to hand out to qualified attendees that visit your booth. Keep it simple and inexpensive as 90% of these items are disregarded after the show. Save the detailed & more costly information for serious customers & mail information directly to the prospect after the show.

  7. In-Booth Demonstrations Having a demonstration in your booth will create activity and movement, which attracts attention. Manufacturers, like Arzel Zoning, offer demo units for a minimal cost or on a lease basis. 

Be sure to have some method to collect booth visitor contact information. A popular option is to run a contest for a giveaway item, iPad, Kindle, money, that people are interested in winning. Have them fill out a form or collect the information on your smart phone or tablet. There are many apps that help you collect contact data and help you pick random winners for the giveaway. This gives you a lead list you can follow up with either a mailer, phone call or some other method. 

For more help on your next home show booth or display questions, please contact Kristie Jones-Damalas at Skyline Event Services.  kjones@skylinees.com or 216-642-6180x105

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Topics: home show, trade show, Contractor, marketing, hvac

Zoning In Guest Blog: Training is a Must for Effective ECM Technology

Posted by Colleen Weston on Sep 03, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

Guest post by: Christopher Mohalley, ECM Master Trainer, Genteq Motors

If you have worked in this industry long enough, you may remember when there was just onePSC Motor type of direct drive indoor blower motor, the Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) multi-speed motor. No, I didn’t forget about the shaded pole motor, I just didn’t want to date myself. It’s hard to believe it’s been over 25 years since the introduction of the Electronically Commutated Motor (ECM). This motor technology changed everything for how we understand and control airflow. 

Constant Airflow (Variable Speed) ECMThe first ECMs, which are still installed today, use 24v or PWM communication inputs instead of speed taps. These motors also have the ability to self-adjust motor torque and speed to regulate airflow when the Total External Static Pressure (TESP) changes. These motors are often referred to as Variable Speed, however they are more accurately termed Constant Airflow. Adjusting the motor operation is accomplished with DIP switch or jumper pin selections on the HVAC system control board. 

About seven years ago a different type of ECM was introduced with 24v speed taps. These ECM look and operate more like a PSC. They are not Constant Airflow, instead they are referred to as Constant Torque. This means they regulate torque only when TESP changes, which produces an airflow curve similar to a PSC but a little better. Constant Torque Multi-Speed ECM

If you haven’t kept up with these changes in motor technology or are new to the industry, what you have read so far probably sounds like information overload. However, understanding how these motors operate, what their capabilities are and how to diagnose them if they are not working properly is not an insurmountable task.

The future of HVAC is tied to more sophisticated technology and more expectations for contractors to have a system performance mentality. The learning curve for understanding all the differences between ECMs and how and why there are used is growing. There is a real challenge for contractors to stay on top of the ever-changing technology of motors and airflow control. 

Drawing from over 20 years’ experience as a contractor and instructor, I have helped develop content and provide training classes that relate the motors to the HVAC systems they are used in with basic airflow fundamentals. 

Genteq Motors provides numerous avenues for self-training and in-class training on all of their ECM products. Self-training begins with a visit to their website www.theDealerToolbox.com. There you will find videos, webinars and downloadable text and service manuals. In-class training is provided all over the country including quarterly classes at Arzel Zoning in Cleveland, OH which covers all of the ECM motors used in residential and light commercial HVAC for the last 20 years.

The knowledge gained in this course will help all HVAC professionals gain the confidence and competence needed to discuss the benefits of, and install ECM driven systems to operate at peak performance and provide maximum comfort, as well as diagnose and service these systems if needed.

Interested in learning more on ECM & induction motors? Regal Beloit is hosting a two-day training in October for contractors, distributors and educators. 

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Topics: multi-stage, ECM technology, PSC motor, Zoning Systems, variable speed, hvac

4 Ways to Provide Energy Savings with a Zoning System

Posted by Colleen Weston on Aug 27, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

Energy Savings with ZoningWe all want to be comfortable, so it makes sense that 70% of our customers purchase zoning to increase comfort.  But most of us also need to reinforce our decisions with a more tangible purpose.  For many, the concept of saving energy, or getting a greater benefit from the energy dollars we do spend, is the way we justify the decision.

When discussing energy savings and zoning, remember to make your customer aware of how the following factors can drastically impact their overall energy usage:  

  1. Thermostat programming: Show them how they can program their thermostats to mirror their usage patterns throughout the home and emphasize how setting their thermostat back in areas that are only occupied during certain parts of the day can help them save year-round on their utility bills.

  2. Usage Patterns: Make sure when you design the zoning system, you advise the homeowner to group rooms with similar usage patterns together. Have your customers map out their weekday and weekend schedule of room occupancy. This will help you and your customer determine which areas make sense to group together based on how and when they are using areas of their home.

  3. Condition of Duct work: When installing a zoning system, you have a good opportunity to examine the condition of the existing duct work and address any potential problems. While zoning can overcome challenges presented by poorly designed duct work, it cannot fix leaks or other damages. Offer to seal ducts or repair any sections that are beyond functional.  

  4. Add-on options: In addition to zoning, there are other energy saving product solutions available that can decrease your customer's overall energy usage. For instance, in some regions, consumers can greatly benefit from options like a residential economizer to take advantage of optimal outdoor air conditions for free cooling and ventilation. Click here for a free, comprehensive guide to residential economizers/fresh-air intake systems.

  5. Innovative control technology: Introduce them to the next generation of web-based thermostats which allow them to monitor their home remotely and take control where previously they had limited control.  

You are their comfort and energy expert and your customers look to you for solutions and education on the latest HVAC technology. Be sure to spend ample time informing your homeowner of what they should expect from their system as far as comfort and energy savings.  All the work you have just done to deliver the homeowner the comfort system you promised will mean nothing if they don’t understand how to use it effectively.

Zoning can reduce energy usage, but homeowners must be practical and proactive to realize these savings. These discussions can lead to other sales opportunities for additional accessory options, further improving your customer's comfort system and adding to your profits. 

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Topics: economizer, Zoning Systems, hvac, energy efficiency

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