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Building HVAC Science -Comfort, health & energy efficiency
28 minutes | 4 days ago
EP47 Insights from ENCON: A Unique, Generational Mechanical Contractor
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” George Santayana Bill is joined Marty and David Indursky, a father and son team that have built Encon, an award winning, NJ-based HVAC/building solutions company. Hear how David has reinvigorated the company by implementing modern technology techniques after he took it over from his father who founded ENCON in 1968. They share best practices and what sets ENCON apart. We also hear about and what David envisions for the future of the industry. You can follow Encon via their website, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube. https://enconmech.com https://www.instagram.com/enconmech/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/encon-mech https://www.facebook.com/enconmech https://www.youtube.com/enconmech This episode was recorded in August 2020.
37 minutes | 7 months ago
EP46 A new refrigerant born from science and sweat with Peter Capuciati Founder of Bluon
“I grew up thinking that a research scientist was a natural thing to be.” Stephen Hawking There’s physical science. And there’s a kind of science as to how the mind works and how people achieve their dreams. Blend one-part plasma fusion physics with one-part commercial real estate and stir this in an open and creative mind and you have Peter Capuciati, the Chairman and Founder of Bluon and the guest of today’s podcast. Starting in 2011, Peter has led the team at Bluon to develop a true solution for R-22 replacement. It’s called TdX-20 (R-458a), something unlike anything the HVACR world has ever seen. It truly is an energy saving product, as they are demonstrating amp draw decreases of 10-20% and increases in capacity of 3-6%. We love digging into the science of HVAC in this podcast, and Peter is the perfect tour guide for the challenging journey of creating a refrigerant chemistry that has been proven to perform in about 80% of R-22 systems. This is backed up by real-world testing on equipment, not just simulations After an easy, free registration and testing process, techs can gain full access to the operating manuals of over 22,000 types of R-22 units as well as individual retrofit instructions and compatibility ratings for each unit. Beyond all this, Bluon provides the training, know-how and demonstrates (sometimes in person) the skills necessary to successful do a successful conversion. If this sounds like a commercial for Bluon, it sort of is, as we sell Bluon at TruTech Tools. However, this is exactly the kind of product we love selling; smart, well supported and one that relieves a major pain point for our customers. Plus, it’s fun working with the energetic Ninja team at Bluon, or as Peter calls them the Analog Renaissance Cowboys. You can learn more about Bloun at www.BluonEnergy.com and join the thousand technicians every month that are downloading and using the app.
34 minutes | 9 months ago
EP45 Making Homes Perform better – HVAC tips with John Semmelhack
“The only think I have learnt over the years is that if you enjoy your work and put in best efforts it will show. If you follow this process, things work out. But if you go chasing a formula, success will elude you.” Mahesh Babu While building his own house, John Semmelhack’s innate curiosity grew as he researched the best was to design and build a home. This lead him to start his own business, Think Little. The name of his business is deceptive as John is truly a big thinker, who acts in quiet ways to create comfortable, energy efficient and durable homes that have excellent indoor air quality. Lend us your ears to learn how following simple, yet important processes lead to amazing results. We discuss HVAC Air filtration and why and how to get super-inexpensive, extremely effective filtration He employs test and measurement at every appropriate juncture as well as post work, continuous monitoring for IAQ, energy and comfort. These factors are easier to measure than ever before! John also reviews aspects of running this type of business including the variety of services he has developed over the years. John Semmelhack is the owner of Think Little (www.think-little.com) and co-owner of Comparetto Comfort Solutions, a pair of home performance consulting and contracting firms based in Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia. Think Little specializes in building enclosure and mechanical system design and commissioning for single-family and multi-family Passive House and zero-net-energy homes in the mid-Atlantic. Comparetto Comfort Solutions focuses on high performance HVAC installations for new homes in the Charlottesville and Richmond markets, as well as home performance contracting to help meet clients’ comfort, indoor air quality, durability and energy efficiency goals.
55 minutes | a year ago
EP44 What's new in Home Performance 2.0 with Nate Adams
“True genius lies not in doing the extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” General Louis H. Wilson, Jr. Building science principles are few and fairly straightforward; ordinary, perhaps. HAM: A lot of it amounts to control the flow of Heat, Air and Moisture. But, like so many things in this world, the devil is in the details. Listen in as I chat with my good friend Nate Adams (a true genius) to get an update on his extraordinarily execution of ordinary measures in his new concept of Home Performance 2.0. This is a follow up to Episode 36, where I interview two of the HP 2.0 practitioners, Neil Comparetto and Michael Housh. Measurements (so near and dear to my heart) are at the core of what he and his HP 2.0 army are all about. For a more complete overview, tune in to a recording of his recent webinar on HP 2.0: www.bit.ly/NATE-HP20 Nate’s book, The Home Comfort Book, is perfect for consumers or practitioners alike and can be found at TruTech Tools or on Amazon. You can reach Nate at Nate@EnergySmartOhio.com.
38 minutes | a year ago
EP43 Radon 101 with Dick Kornbluth
May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin Yep, Radon is force of evil. Pure evil. Colorless. Odorless. Deadly. But sneaky. It’s deadly over decades. My good friend Dick Kornbluth joins me to unravel the intricacies of all aspects of Radon – a colorless, odorless, poisonous radioactive gas. Dick explains how and where radon is formed, how it gets into the air we breathe and the health impact it has on us. He reveals where the famous 4 picocuries per liter exposure amount comes from, underscoring that there is NO SAFE LEVEL. The US EPA has a treasure trove of information on Radon at www.epa.gov/radon Dick shares with us his extensive and practical experience in how radon gas moves through a structure, how it is measured and how Radon mitigation systems work along with a note about radon resistant construction. Dick is very engaged in the home performance world, and believes an improved understanding of Radon is key part of the home performance goals of healthy, more durable and energy efficient homes and buildings. You can reach Dick at Dick@DickKornbluth.com TruTechTools carries a broad array of radon detectors. Learn more at this link: https://www.trutechtools.com/radon
36 minutes | a year ago
EP42 Smart buildings and HVAC Controls- News you can use with Eric Stromquist of ControlTalkNow Podcast
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. Jimmy Dean While we picked a specific topic, this is a wide-ranging episode with my friend in the industry, Eric Stromquist of Stromquist.com – 2nd generation controls distributor based out of Atlanta, GA. We discuss our thoughts and opinions on: How hard it is to actually get access to people – cold calling is basically dead Closed vs. open architecture in building automation systems C suite execs focus on productivity, which ties in to all building systems How the internet has changed the way information is shared- knowledge hoarding is done The psychological effects of improper lighting And much, much more. Eric teams up with Ken Smyers to manage a ton of educational and informative resources centered around building controls and automation that you will find at www.ControlTrends.org They even have their own Awards ceremony that takes place before the AHR Expo! Eric is an avid podcaster and actually had me on his show in Episode 311! YouTube link: http://bit.ly/YT-ControlTrendsBS Podcast link http://bit.ly/ControlTrendBS starting 31:39
46 minutes | a year ago
EP 41 Great Indoor Air Quality Can Improve Your Health with Ty Newell of Build Equinox
To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. Buddha HVAC and building performance contractors are seeing more homes built or retrofit to tighter levels. Blower door test outs like 3, 2, 1 ACH50 or less. What do you do when the “house can’t breathe?” Hopefully, you see the humor in that statement. Of course - you build it tight and ventilate it right! (Credit for that phrase likely goes to Earle Perera and Lynn Parkins as the title for their article in the June 1992 Building Services Journal a UK publication) Listen in as Ty Newell founder of BuildEquinox shares with us how he got to the point of feeling the need to create his own ventilation product, the CERV2: Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator. This unique product senses when to run, ventilates or recirculates the “fresh air stores” in the space using a small variable output heat pump. It incorporates slick controls and internet connectivity. Plus, I cannot wait to be using it the new high-performance home we are building for occupancy by the summer of 2020. Learn more about the product and more importantly the philosophies behind the product by surfing over to www.BuildEquinox.com The BuildEquinox site has numerous white papers, tech specs & installation info, recording and upcoming webinars and more. You can also learn about the net zero house (which includes the CERV 1) that Ty built.
52 minutes | a year ago
EP40 Why You need to Pay Attention to National Standards Affecting HVAC Installations with Jeremy Begley
In this age of high technology and Jedi Knights, we often overlook the need of personal involvement, but we do so at our own risk. William H. McRaven (American Solider) Attention all HVAC Techs: Soon someone will be looking over your shoulder. Not it’s not the Homeowner, with severe coffee breath and a million little questions, it’s going to be a Home Energy Rater giving a grade to your HVAC installation. What???!!! Yes, like it or not, this will happen. And it is justified. It’s because the work done by HVAC Technicians is so important; important to the occupant’s comfort, safety and health as well as their utilities bills AND the utility companies in general as they try to balance the supply and demand of energy. Residential HVAC energy demand is a big topic in the utility world. (We’ll do a podcast on this later.) Listen in as Jeremy Begley of HVAC Design Partners of Cincinnati, OH shares with us how paying attention to standards as helped to shape his entrepreneurial career. Specifically, the upcoming ACCA/RESNET standard on Grading the Installation of HVAC Systems. One timely note here: the comment period on the first draft of a new RESNET standard (BSR/RESNET/ACCA 310-201x, Standard for Grading the Installation of HVAC Systems) closes on Aug 6, 2019. If you want to review and/or comment go to this link ASAP www.bit.ly/RESNET-ACCA-310 Jeremy’s got a lot to share with the both the HVAC and Building Performance industries. He came on the podcast to encourage others to review and engage in this and other important HVAC Standards. The methodology in the standard has five steps – a design review, a total duct leakage test, a Blower Fan CFM test, a Blower Fan watt draw test, and a non-invasive evaluation of refrigerant charge (NIST found in MeasureQuick). These five tasks should be completed in sequence and upon completion the results are evaluated for compliance with thresholds. The result of this process is anywhere from a failing system to a grade 1, 2, or 3; with 1 being the top grade and all grades yielding extra points in the HERS rating. Besides being important to HERS ratings, it is basic physics and the methods described have positive impact outside of the rating world. Learn more about the standard itself by going to http://bit.ly/RESNET-310-INFO, where you will find a link to RESNET conference slides on this topic and a link to the other podcast I host, RESTALK, where I interviewed Wes Davis (ACCA) and Den Gamble (EPA) on this standard. If you want to learn more about the services and training (coming) that Jeremy offers you can reach out via the contact form on his website: www.HVACDesignPartners.com
23 minutes | 2 years ago
EP39 Learn about HVACR Chemicals & Sealants with Mike Walton of CoolAir Products
Looking to be a better HVACR Tech? One key aspect is keeping up to date with changing equipment, products and techniques. And that is no mean feat. In order to do so, you need to help yourself to training and education where ever you can get it. Like this podcast… especially because it is on a lesser known topic: HVACR Chemicals and sealants. Mike Walton of CoolAir Products in Maryland, joins us on this episode to focus on 2 of the products he has brought to the US market: AC SmartSeal External- a line and coil repair product and AC SmartSeal Quick Shot, the 3 in 1 internal seal, lube and leak check dye. Interestingly, these two products work best together. Mike discusses how and why he formed the company starting in his garage in 2014. He describes his company’s focus on the technician, by making products that are safe, effective, and easy to use. Part of this ease of use comes because all products are 100 % safe to the touch, non-toxic and non-flammable. That means no warning labels and for our friends in California, no prop 65 issues. Plus, he backs up the product with 3rd party lab testing by Intertek Mike’s got a lot to share with the industry. You can buy Mike’s products at wholesalers across the US or online at www.trutechtools.com/Cool-Air-Products If you want to learn more you can reach out to Mike at www.CoolAirProducts.net or MikeWalton@CoolAirProducts.net
47 minutes | 2 years ago
EP38 Personalized Home Performance - Bill Spohn's new home construction Part 1
Today we turn the tables and your host becomes the guest! As you may or may not know Marilyn and I are building a new high-performance home this year (2019). Even though I have been involved in home performance for 30 years, it was in the narrow field of test and measurement, not in construction detail and aspects. And because it is our home and our money, everything about it is personal and I have a real hunger for the details which tends to complicate decisions! So, I asked my thoughtful pal, Nate Adams to pitch some questions at me to get me to talk about the subject and share our journey up to this point. We were calling it a high-performance house, but recently I’ve changed that to a new concept (in my mind): personalized performance – it’s what we want our home to be. I hope you enjoy the listen. If you want to learn more you can reach out to Bill at Bill@trutechtools.com or Nate at Nate@energysmartohio.com via his website: www.NateTheHouseWhisperer.com
35 minutes | 2 years ago
EP37 From Building Plaques to Building Performance A discussion with Ryan Miller of NCBPA
I’ve never thought about entrepreneurship when it comes to trade associations. I just thought they always existed. Well, in the nascent world of building performance, I should have known better. Listen in as we chat with Ryan Miller, the founder and executive director of the North Carolina Building Performance Association, as he describes his vision for the future of building performance. He believes poor building performance is one big problem to solve and he aims to do it in his state by connecting all the stakeholders with education and information, as well as lobbying and training. And he is not just stopping in his state as he supports and gets involved with like-minded organizations across the country. Pay particular attention to the four points he notes in his strategic plan: Market Valuation Policy and legislation Work Force DevelopmentAnd Consumer Education If you want to learn more you can reach Ryan via his website: www.BuildingNC.org
43 minutes | 2 years ago
EP36 What is Home Performance 2.0?
Some of our listeners have likely heard of the term Home Performance. But have you heard of Home Performance 2.0? Michael Housh and Neil Comparetto join us to describe how they are helping to develop this new approach to serving customers with total home performance. This is a systems being developed by Nate Adams and Ted Kidd. They describe a well performing home as one that is healthy, comfortable, safe, durable and, as a side benefit, uses less energy. Michael and Neil are both trained and experienced HVAC technicians; mechanics in their own words. They discuss how some simple changes in the approach to the way technical work is presented is resulting in better business and happier clients. They describe the HP 2.0 process as consisting of 6 steps: client education, initial PAID consult, a comprehensive planning process, executing the project, QC, and continuous optimization with monitoring. A large part of the client education consists of the resources available at www.NateTheHouseWhisperer.com – there you will find an inexpensive book that educates consumers (and techs!) on home performance, as well as 2 free downloads(chapters from the book) to share with Clients: Home Comfort 101 and HVAC 101. These steps help to remove the pain of being a residential HVAC business owner: (Much of this is based on the Sandler Selling Process) Avoid fights over stuff you can’t fix More Happy Clients - Actually SOLVE client problems, no band aids Smooth out monthly sales with large HP projects in off seasons Onboard Staff Faster-with something else for apprentices to do Fewer Unhappy Clients Reduce Mold Risk Reduce Boredom with Challenging projects and new twists all the time Reduce or eliminate free quotes Increase Ticket Sizes w/o Home Performance Jobs Lower sales and marketing costs, with better word of mouth and paid consultations. Bigger, more satisfying jobs vs Small jobs with lots of up-front work that often don’t solve problems If you want to learn more you can reach Michael at MHoush@HoushHomeEnergy.com and Neil at Neil@ComparettoComfort.com or Nate Adams and Ted Kidd at Nate@EnergySmartOhio.com
35 minutes | 2 years ago
EP35 Let's get TECnical @ AirFlow hoods with Steve Rogers of the Energy Conservatory
You may know the answer to this question: “Why would I want to use an air flow hood?” You might not know the answer to this one: “How do I find a good air flow hood?” Steve Rogers, President and Owner of the Energy Conservatory, joins us to answer both of these questions as well as provide a rich background to his company and his career. We hear how a customer ride-along stimulated a multifaceted investigation into the critical parameters involved in making great residential airflow measurements which could lead to a breakthrough product in the future Steve explains how milkshakes help him focus on customers’ needs in the product development cycle. Visit www.EnergyConservatory.com to learn more about their products and training resources which are available through several distributors including TruTechTools, www.trutechtools.com/EnergyConservatory If you read this before January 24, 2019, you can sign up to watch the webinar Steve will present with TruTech Tools on this topic: sign up link is www.bit.ly/TEC-FLOW If you read this after that date, a recording of that video will be present on the TruTech YouTube channel: www.bit.ly/TruTechTubes
33 minutes | 2 years ago
EP 34 CompanyCam - a tool for stress relief
Smartphones are great communications tools for contractors and techs. But how do you organize and effectively share the right photos at the right time? Listen in as Luke Hansen, former roofing contractor and inventor of the CompanyCam App, explains his journey from concept to successful business. His low-cost service allows techs to share rich photo information without clogging up their photo library. Rich info accompanies each photo: date, time, GPS location, user info and mark-ups & notes can be shared in your company, with the customer or with anyone you give the link to. Photos can later be sorted or filtered with data mentioned above. If you’ve tried managing photos in DropBox, you know that takes a lot of discipline to keep things organized. This app will save you hours of time cataloging photos or searching for ones you knew you took. Video functionality is coming soon. Go to www.CompanyCam.com/BHS for a special offer to listeners of this podcast.
37 minutes | 2 years ago
EP33 When will homes be on auto-pilot for healthy IAQ?
How can an IOT (internet of things) based device help home dwellers and home performance contractors? Listen as our guest Jacques Touillon, inventor of the foobot describes what got him started on the journey from a concept to a successful product sold around the world. Jacques’ describes his vision of a future homes that has “invisible” sensors control systems to maintain superb indoor air quality. We discuss the importance of data and data processing, as well as recent environmental events (the wild fires in the Western United States) which shape the continuing development of this product He tells of Home Performance and HVAC contractors using the foobot and similar products to diagnose and solve home owner problems related to indoor air quality and comfort.
44 minutes | 2 years ago
EP32 Tersh, Bryan and Bill chat about entrepreneurism
Curious about what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Well, so are these three guys. Listen in as business owners Tersh Blissett (Icebound HVAC & Refrigeration), Bryan Orr (Kalos Services) and Bill Spohn (TruTechTools, LTD) discuss what it means to them to run their own businesses. This wide-ranging discussion produced many good nuggets of info as we discuss visionaries, idealism vs. realism, and breaking from the status quo amidst tons of other topics. You can reach these members of the BlueCollar Roots network at Tersh@BlueCollarRoots.com Service Business Mastery Podcast Bryan@HVACRSchool.com HVAC School Podcast Bill@BlueCollarRoots.com Building HVAC Science Podcast
36 minutes | 2 years ago
EP31 Called to the Long Game-Bryan Orr’s Educational work in Haiti
We veer a little off the technical path in this episode as we discuss with Bryan Orr his educational missionary work in Haiti. For the past 2 years, Bryan has led a small team of volunteers to first scope out and recently (November 2018) begin delivering basic trade education to native Haitians as young as 8 years old. We hear about the leap of faith he has taken and how it has proven out in the overwhelmingly warm feedback from the people he has touched. Learn how he addresses the logistical, practical and communications challenges he encounters with a systematic approach in a way similar to the way he breaks down the technical and business challenges in his everyday life as an HVAC Contractor/Owner. We also gain insight into what is coming next for his work in Haiti. If you want to learn more or get involved, reach out to Bryan@HVACRSchool.com
53 minutes | 2 years ago
EP30 Making Beautiful Music in the Home with Grace & Corbett
You’ll note no last names in this episode title, as I know Grace & Corbett so well. And I think you need to know them better, too. Grace McPhillips Lunsford and Corbett Lunsford have embarked on a road to change the culture of how home performance is perceived by homeowners and galvanize them into action. A major section of this road opens in January 2019, where their TV Show, Home Diagnostics launches on PBS. You can help spread the word on this topic by asking your local PBS station programmer to carry it. Learn more about this and see show clips (“the sizzle reel”) at www.HomeDiagnosis.tv We explore how the topic of home performance is so personal and how the human characteristics of curiosity and playing games (metrics) can transform the market where all can benefit. We also learn what a “tent pole” is and how it has not yet been erected in the field of home performance. Find out how these brave souls continue to walk the talk after their 32-city tour in a tiny lab and into the construction of their new high-performance home in the Atlanta area. Listen as we gain insight into how their technical minds work in a musical fashion: how melody, harmony and timing are analogous to the relationships between materials and systems in the home and the sequencing and consequences of the decisions made in choosing, using and install these systems. This is a really rich episode, so please listen closely! And I will have them back on the podcast. The hub for all their activities is found at www.buildingperformanceworkshop.com/
33 minutes | 2 years ago
EP29 Stop Waiting on the World to Change, a conversation with James Childre
In this episode, Bill chats with James Childre, founder of RedPointMontana.com, a home performance specialist. James shares with us his enthusiasm for the field and describes his persuasive persistence in preaching home performance in his role as a rater and a home inspector. James discusses his approach with contractors and consumers as well as where he looks for improving at his trade. We explore the topic of making change happen and not losing faith in spite of the apparent slow movement in the industry of home performance. A review from his website well characterizes James: thorough, professional and considerate. “I knew that James would be thorough in his inspection, Professional in the way he handled himself and be considerate in answering my sellers’ questions.” You can reach James by email at James@RedPointMontana.com or visit his website at www.RedPointMontana.com
30 minutes | 2 years ago
EP28 The Happy Scientist at Refrigeration Technologies
After 31 years in business, 3 major career changes and 10 products (and counting) later, John Pastorello shares with us how, and more importantly why he built his business, Refrigeration Technologies. John shares with us how growing up in the Atomic Age spurred his curiosity about the atom and yearning to be a nuclear physicist. Fast forward 30 years later and John has managed to create a successful family owned and operated specialty chemical business focusing on all aspects of the air conditioning and refrigeration trades. Learn from John how he approaches his work and gain some insight on how he transitioned from bench chemist to HVAC Contractor, then contracting business owner to the founder of Refrigeration Technologies. Oh, and we also find out how Nylog got its name and how this product was developed by accident. You can reach John at JP@RefrigTech.com or visit their website at www.RefrigTech.com
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