Video Review and Brief Overview of Installation
Video Review and Brief Overview of Installation
Video Review and Brief Overview of Installation
Economy Issues Affect Change in Consumer Shopping Habits
By Betty Stephens
American household buying habits accounts for around 70% of the U.S. economy. What consumers shop for is seperated into two main categories. First, they spending on such items as food, clothing and shelter. Second, there is more discretionary spending. This is on items such as entertainment or non-essentials.
The good fortune of some and mis-fortune of others have caused financial ups and downs and a shift in the shopping habits of Americans have led to uneven outcomes for retailers. Companies like WalMart and Mattel have continued to struggle as people spend more cautiously in this type of uncertain economy. Amazon has however done well, as more consumers choose to shop on line.
Americans are very price conconscious, and will check as many as seven store or web sites for the best price before makes their purchases. I believe frugal is the the best word to describe the average American these days. Internet shopping rose 10% to $46.5 billion in November and December, according to research firm Comscore. However, sales at retail stores rose just 2.7% to $265.9 billion, according to ShopperTrak, which tracks data at 40,000 stores in the U.S. And the number of customers in stores dropped 14.6%.
Industry exucutives are starting to say this new American frugallity may be beccoming a new reality and a new permanet way of life in America and they don’t expect to see it go away anytime soon, if ever, even as the economy shows signs of improvement. With family budgets under pressure since the recession of 2008, consumers have headed to discount stores, switched from name brand goods to private-label alternatives and shopped more often at discount stores or online rather than spending on expensive fuel to drive to out-of-town hypermarkets.
Those trends have benefited discounters as well as retailers that have the widest own-label ranges and networks of smaller stores, prompting consumer goods firms to retaliate with brand promotions and smaller packaging.
“If you look at data from Millennials, who have really sort of grown up with this, price is more important to them than it was to the last generation,” WalMart U.S. Chief Executive Bill Simon told the Reuters Global Consumer and Retail Summit, referring to the generation born between 1980 and 2000.
WalMart U.S. is the largest unit of WalMart Stores Inc (WMT.N), the world’s largest retailer which benefited from trading-down during the recession, but cut its forecasts last month, citing weak results in many key markets.
The U.S. economy is expected to pick up towards the end of the year, helping cut unemployment, while Europe’s lack luster recovery looks set to continue, although wage growth will continue to lag inflation, hurting consumer purchasing power.
The Dollar Channel
Dollar store has been on an upward trend for several years now. They have had a big impact on the discount store market and are competing head to head with other discount stores on the routine shopping trip stop. The Family Dollar Stores are adding cooler space to more than 1,000 locations this year, and Dollar Tree is adding to its food and beverage assortment as well as opening a third-party pharmacy in a Florida location. Efforts like these have contributed to dollar retailers winning over shoppers from other discount stors. The most sizeable change is the shift of heavy drug store shoppers—the top one-third of spenders within the catagory -into the dollar store family of stores. This is not a big surprise, as the both dollar stores and drug stores carry many of the same type of goods and both are well positioned, geographically, for easy-access, fill-in trips.
During the last year, Americans have been making less but larger shopping trips. Trips declined across grocery and large box stores. You might think the decline in stock-up trips would hurt Sam’s Club and Costco type stores, however trips have actually increased by 2.1% during the past year due to a number of factors. The club retailers are expanding the number of stores. Also, club trips are being bolstered by lower gas prices and low food inflation, which makes it easier for them to absorb bulk pricing. The dollar stores also saw trips increase significantly during the past year, which reinforces the notion that consumers are viewing dollar stores as a “smarter” choice for affordable solutions.
While people will continue to shop, the question now is what will they purchase, when will they purchase and where will they purchase. Name brand items are taking a backseat to generic or store brand products. Malls are beginning to show signs of weakness – a lot more stores are closing while consumers make their way to other, more affordable alternatives. Instead of going to one of the mall’s “anchor stores,” they are now going to places like WalMart, Target or K-Mart to purchase the things their families “need” rather than the things their families “want.”
Phase-out of R134A Refrigerant for Cars
By Betty Stephens
Environmental Protection Agency
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a pair of decisions that begin a changeover of the refrigerants that do the cooling in car air conditioners. Over the next few years, it will be out with the old (HFC-134a) and in with the new (HFO-1234yf). Cars will be cooled with less global warming.
Both chemicals are hydro fluorocarbons, but the 134a in a car today is a “super greenhouse gas” with 1,430 times the global warming kick, pound for pound, of carbon dioxide. The new refrigerant, 1234yf, has just 4 times the global warming potency of CO2 and cuts the climate damage from car air conditioning by more than 300-fold. Changing over to 1234yf is a big step forward, because car air conditioning is one of the biggest, leakiest, and fastest growing uses of HFCs worldwide. And if HFC growth is left unchecked, these chemicals are responsible for a major share of future climate change.
The other new alternative to R134A is HFO-1234YF, which has similar properties to R134A but meets the new European global warming standards. Refrigerant HFO-1234YF has a global warming potential rating as well as an ozone depletion rating, and as of yet, the HCO-1234YF is the only refrigerant that meets both EPA and European standards. HFO-1234YF is also a Class 2 flammable gas although slightly less flammable than the R152A.
Other Class 2 refrigerants found on the market, but not recommended for automotive use include R1143A, R142B and R143A. In February, after a long review, EPA approved 1234yf as an acceptable alternative for use in new cars. That action was supported by DuPont and Honeywell (who are ready to make the chemical), by most domestic and import automakers, and by NRDC. Two other compounds have also been approved, but car makers appear to favor 1234yf because it requires the smallest design changes to the air conditioning equipment.
Reaction among the car makers appears mostly positive. General Motors started using 1234yf in some 2013 models. Many other car companies are quietly making arrangements with chemical suppliers.
Car makers actually have incentives to act quickly, because switching refrigerants earns them significant credit towards meeting the global warming standards set under the Obama administration’s landmark Clean Car Peace Treaty. Those standards, applicable to 2012-2016 model cars, cover four greenhouse gases – CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and HFCs. Switching from 134a to 1234yf yields twice as much credit towards the “CO2-equivalent grams per mile” standard as merely cutting leakage of 134a.
Online Sites for HVAC Do-It-Yourselfers
By Betty Stephens
Need help in getting started on a Do-It-Yourself HVAC project? Here are some links to resources that may help you out.
Ductworks: The Original On-Line DIY Heating & Cooling – A Help site for Do-It-Yourself homeowners and builders to set them save money by offering initial help when they cannot find what they are looking for. May call or fill out a “Contact Us” form and they will find it for you. They are providers of HVAC products
Mold in HVAC System – Mold Removal Guide | Air Conditioner
You are guided through the steps for your DIY air conditioner mold removal project.
HVAC Parts: If you’re not, changing the filter once a month, it will help. You’ll be … You may read this “Fix It Yourself or Do It Yourself” material online and it sounds great. You try it … You won’t find any professional hvac site that will teach how to installs it.
Need assistance finding your furnace or air conditioner parts? This site caters to do it yourself (DIY) homeowners and handymen, as well as HVAC Help Desk. McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud..
Website and internet advice for HVAC businesses: Office manager or unlucky ones that been told to “get us on the internet” or “fix than website! A couple of great do-it-yourself website software), goal is to cut through the noise and demystify the online marketplace, and to help you achieve a better understanding.
HVAC Maintenance Tips • For Home Improvement Homeowners choose to take on duct sealing as a do-it-yourself project. Do-It-Yourself Air Conditioning Repair – YouTube
Denver, CO Plumbing & HVAC Parts Department:
Do it yourself plumbing and HVAC projects in the Denver area: If an exact replacement is no longer available, we’ll help you find the best HVAC Training Videos, Watch and learn how to do hvac.
Do It Yourself Geothermal Installations:
Web site for HVAC Repair Beginners. If you are having problems with your heating or cooling system, you should be able to find most of the common problems by using the air conditioner, furnace, heat pump, or boiler troubleshooting.
Do-it-Yourself Heating, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation: Contact for all of your do-it-yourself heating, air-conditioning, and ventilating needs.
HVAC Installation: Doing a home HVAC installation is rather straight forward. Do it yourself what you may think will be the easiest part of a home HVAC installation is probably is not.
Ductwork Design Services and heating & cooling products for the Do-It-Yourself homeowner. The design services start at $275 and include a Free Step-by-Step Ductwork Installation DVD with each design package. Half of your design fees can be applied to the purchase of your complete HVAC system.
By Betty Stephens of Quest Media
Home Advisor was formerly known as Service Magic. Service Magic a 13-year-old company with $205 million in annual revenue officially relaunched as HomeAdvisor. Home Advisors connects service professionals with consumers seeking help with home improvement and repair projects. They help home owners find trusted home improvement contractors.
Home Advisor is the one of the most powerful lead generation tools around. Home Advisors offers customers with expertise and resources from the Home Advisor’s industry-leading service marketing department. Over 80,000 contractors count on Home Advisor. Since 1998, Home Advisor has been helping home improvement professionals generate new business by delivering highly targeted, real-time leads. Home Advisor maximizes marketing efforts by giving businesses total control of their customer experience.
They advertise that over 25 million home owners use their services. They offer homeowners the following features:
1. Free to use – never have to pay a membership fee.
2. Service pros pass a criminal and background check.
3. They can offer over 2 million ratings and reviews from home owners.
4. They have 24/7 emergency home owner support.
How Does It Work?
Steps: The customer tells about their project.
1. The customer selects a category for their repair or project.
2. The customer is then matched to the right pro for the job.
3. The customer receives four pre-screened pro reviews.
4. The customer selects a service pro.
5. Home Advisors sends the customer information to the service pro.
6. The service pro contacts the customer.
Link to their Web site: http://www.homeadvisor.com/how-it-works/
Their Web site is very informative and customer friendly. Its Suite of Tools allows you to review their Cost Guide, Resource Center, and Home 911 feature.
The Cost Guide feature allows you to review typical costs for project under these categories: Home Spaces, Home Features, Home Professional, and Home Solutions.
The Resource Center provides a list of articles and advice on projects.
The Home 911 section provides you with a Download Feature for your iPhone that allows you instant access to their service pros…
Cons: There have been complaints that customers have received calls from more than FOUR contractors. Some contractors just showed up at homeowner’s door without even calling, and some contractors were overly aggressive.
Note: Remember not all contractors give free estimate on things like repairs. Replacements and remodel projects, yes. But if you are expecting a technician to spend time diagnosing a problem, you will be expected to pay for his knowledge, expertise and time. Technicians don’t usually work on commission, salesman do. Keep that in mind.