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.”
Future Trends for HVAC Industry
By Betty Stephens
HVAC technology is constantly changing due to new discoveries and influences outside the industry. As recently as this century, central, indoor climate control was available to only a privileged few. Today, even central air-conditioning in homes is common in the U.S. Improvements occurred through a number of factors such as technical, market changes, energy and environmental concerns, and political decisions. Changes continue to occur and they benefit of our customers and are our part of our future.
The environment has possibly had more influence on HVAC technology than has energy. The environment will continue to impact the industry into the foreseeable future.
Policies regarding climate change have also directly impacted our industry. As we design and operate more energy-efficient equipment and systems, we use less energy, energy that, in many cases, comes from burning CO2-producing fossil fuels.
The environment will continue to impact the industry. The industry has proven that it can respond in a timely way. As new environmentally friendly products are developed, those products are also more energy efficient. Adopting new technologies and supporting research will help our industry meet the challenges of the future.
While smart, Wi-Fi-connected thermostats promise significantly increased energy efficiency, the real draw for homeowners seems to be how easy the interfaces are to operate. Take the Nest Learning thermostat, for example. It is programmed by the user to remember his preferred temperature settings. If the user prefers the thermostat to kick in a faster, warmer temperature, on cold, wintery mornings, the Nest thermostat will store that information and adjust the temperature accordingly. The thermostat also monitors temperature with humidity and activity sensors, and it can determine regional climate by the user punching in their zip code
Wireless-controlled thermostats present HVAC data in a language that contemporary consumers understand. Homeowners are accustomed to easily digestible, visual representations of information and data. The reporting tools that smart systems include take the mystery and obscurity out of an industry that has been thriving on overall complacency from its customers.
DEVap Air Conditioning
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed the DEVap (desiccant-enhanced evaporative air conditioner) in 2011 and estimates that it reduces air conditioning energy usage by 40-90 percent. So far, DEVap is found primarily in commercial buildings, and the technology is so new that it’s difficult to find for residential use. But, given how promising the innovation seems, and how cost-effective it has already proven to be, and is anticipated great gains in the future.
Zero Energy Buildings
Zero-energy buildings that produce energy instead of just using large quantities will gain traction with companies that target eco-friendly employees and consumers. Many businesses are already headed in this direction with geothermal heating and cooling, solar-powered systems, and white roofing. If HVAC manufacturers can work to design structures that are both energy efficient and comfortable for their residents, we’re sure to see some fresh companies take on the challenge.
Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems
A popular trend in Eastern markets, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) is the future of the HVAC industry. Though US market have yet to reach the demand experienced abroad, VRF systems are establishing their place as in-demand items for housing and commercial cooling needs. Simple and elegant in design, VRF systems connect an outside condensing unit to several fan coil units throughout the building. Each coil and evaporator in the system can be controlled individually to reduce waste from over-allocated resources. The shift will stimulate job growth and overall economic development throughout the HVAC sector that will continue well into the coming years.
Current industry trends indicate a future growth rate of nearly 28% nationwide. This trend is predicted to continue until 2018, a total period of researching and studying 10-year industry trends beginning in 2008. Studies have revealed that once the results of that research and those studies are complete, there will be nearly 395,000 individuals who make their living in the HVAC industry, and choose to make this their lifelong career Choice. The rate of change in our industry will be exponential. Some changes will be caused by improvements in technology whereas others will be the result of influences outside our immediate control. As engineers, we have an obligation to be proactive in encouraging changes that are of benefit to the society we serve. This in turn will have direct benefit to our industry and to each of us individually.
Building Management Systems and air-conditioning controls systems will develop to become:
• Intelligent self-learning systems that measure the performance characteristics for the building and its systems for different ambient and occupancy conditions and using thermal modelling technology are able to operate the buildings systems to provide the require conditions whilst minimizing energy consumption and plant wear and tear.
• Self-checking systems that are able to eliminate the fly by wire problems that many systems suffer from, which the head end computer is thinking one thing is happening however in the field the actuality is very different.
• Self-diagnosing systems that are able to determine fault conditions analyses the cause and report or even rectify the condition, systems that are able to recognize fault situations that are resulting in excess energy consumption or unacceptable equipment wear and report.
• Systems with seamless remote access, diagnosis and control functionality.
• Systems with the flexibility to take advantage of wireless technology and the onboard intelligence that is already starting to be installed in items of central plant
Split Ductless Systems
By Betty Stephens
A ductless air conditioner, also called a mini-split system, has two major components: a unit mounted on an inside wall that delivers cool air to the room and a unit mounted on the outside of the house. A pair of refrigerant lines that runs between the two systems one delivering electricity, the other one taking away condensate. The system also has thermostatic control and a variable quiet blower.
A split system has several advantages over a traditional window unit, first and foremost a thermostat that can keep the room at a constant, comfortable temperature instead of blasting on and off. Also, you don’t have to move a spilt system in and out of the window as the seasons change, and you don’t have the open-window security concerns of a moveable unit.
The rapid growth in recent years of duct-free air conditioning systems in the U.S. has been impressive. In a contracting unitary market, Ductless mini-split style systems are very common in major markets in Asia and Europe; they have not made significant penetration into the United States. In spite of the recent growth in the U.S. market, they still only represent around 5 percent of the U.S. unitary air conditioning market. This low penetration is probably due to the huge installed base of larger U.S.-style homes and businesses that already have ductwork in place.
Also, with the decline of new construction in the U.S., air conditioning purchases have been dominated by system replacements. And when an air conditioner needs to be replaced, it is usually easier and less expensive to continue using the existing ductwork and just replace the system with a traditional outdoor unit and indoor coil or air handler. Still, there are obviously some situations where ductless solutions make sense.
Duct-free air conditioning provides good, economically sound solutions for smaller spaces which have no existing ductwork, and sales of these systems into U.S. applications will likely continue to grow to meet this demand. The top concerns about duct-free systems are indoor airflow and air quality, ease of service/troubleshooting for technicians, higher-than-expected costs and some concerns about general appearance.
A ductless mini split has three main components:
1. Outdoor condensing unit.
2. Indoor air handler/evaporator.
3. Conduit (3″-4″ diameter) housing a power cable, refrigerant tubing and a condensation drain.
The condenser is installed outside the home or structure and the conduit is run from the outdoor unit to individual offices, bedrooms, living rooms, computer/server rooms, basements, anywhere a controlled temperature is desired. Wall-mounted interior units are then placed in the desired spaces to cool or warm air as needed by means of refrigerant flowing between the outdoor and indoor units through tubing in the conduit.
Ductless systems manage environments individually with remote, handheld thermostats that control the temperature and air flow for each room. The heating or cooling is directed precisely where it’s needed, with less energy wasted to heat or cool empty areas. This capability also means temperatures can be set according to individual preference, with each room warmer or cooler than the other…
Over half of all the ductless systems installed were 1.5 hp and below (less than 22,000 Btuh) and the majority were 2 hp and below (less than 27,000 Btuh). Over two-thirds of all ductless installations are done with single evaporator models. Approximately 85 percent of all ductless systems are probably installed in commercial applications. The most common ductless mini-split applications in the U.S. would typically be those going into single space, commercial buildings and, to a lesser extent, some suitable ductless applications in small residential spaces such as those involving room additions or smaller, zoned apartments.
Units can be difficult to install, and it’s harder to find qualified professionals to do the work, as most are used to putting in duct systems. Second, Ductless split air conditioning units have leaks. There are leaks that occur, which are hard to fix. Third, it’s important to purchase the right sized unit, as a unit that is too small will not effectively cool the home and one that is too large will not remove enough moisture.
The price of ductless split air conditioner units range from around $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the BTU and overall efficiency. These units typically cost $1,500 to $2,000 per ton (12,000 BTU per hour). The overall cost of the unit will depend on the square footage that is needed to cool and the type of efficiency needed. Choosing to get a high-efficient air conditioner, such as a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) brand, costs more money for the actual system, but saves money on energy bills.
Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)
By Betty Stephens
What is AHRI?
AHRI is a trade association of manufacturers and maintains and publishes over 80 standards, mainly related to equipment performance, and many AHRI standards are accepted as ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards. AHRI’s rating standards, when teamed with ASHRAE’s methods of tests, provide a method to test and rate heating, air-conditioning, ventilation, commercial refrigeration, water heating, boiler and radiant panel equipment.
AHRI Standards and Guidelines are used by designers, manufacturers and installers of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment. They are also used by architects and mechanical engineers to specify equipment.
The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), formed in 2008 by a merger of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) and the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA), is a North American trade association of manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment. The organization performs political advocacy on behalf of its member industries, maintains technical standards, certifies products, shares data, conducts research, and awards scholarships.
AHRI standards and guidelines are used throughout the world. They stimulate innovation and creation and are the stepping stones to improving product performance.
Through the use of industry standards and voluntary participation in AHRI’s certification programs, consumers can be assured manufacturers’ performance claims are accurate and rated uniformly, enabling fair comparisons. AHRI provides access to its standards and guidelines, as well as information about how they are developed and advanced globally.
Ensuring human comfort, productivity, and safety, while practicing environmental stewardship is the mission of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). Their 300 member companies produce more than 90 percent of the residential and commercial air conditioning, heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment made in North America. Through their certification program, standards, advocacy, and other activities, they strive to help save energy, improve productivity, and ensure a better environment. Link to their official web site: LINK
AHRI Certified Reference Numbers
The AHRI Certified Reference Number (or AHRI Number) is a unique number assigned to equipment by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). The AHRI tests the performance of commercially available equipment, and assigns a unique identifying number to matched equipment that can be used to look up performance information for that equipment.
It’s a good idea to look up equipment information using the AHRI number before installing equipment for any customer who may be participating in Complete System Replacement program. This way, both you and the customer are choosing equipment with the confidence that it is eligible for a rebate.
They suggest you place the AHRI Number on customer invoices for Complete System Replacement-eligible installations. By doing so, you can avoid getting call-back questions from customers who are completing a rebate application, and make the rebate process faster and easier for everyone – including yourself.
The fastest and easiest way to obtain an AHRI Certified Reference Number on your equipment is to go straight to your distributor and request it. Most wholesalers keep a list of AHRI Numbers for the equipment in their inventory, and requesting this number will save you the trouble of looking up these numbers manually.
Rather than requesting AHRI Numbers on a case-by-case basis, you may save yourself time by requesting a full list of AHRI Numbers from your distributor for the HVAC products you carry and keeping this list handy for future Complete System Replacement installations.
Homeowners and AHRI
The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) extended the section 25D tax credit to geothermal heat pumps, effective January 1, 2008. In February of 2009, the credit was further enhanced by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1) which removed the maximum credit amount for all eligible technologies placed in service after 2008.
A taxpayer may claim a credit of 30% of total investment for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States that is owned and used as a residence by the taxpayer. Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and for piping or wiring to interconnect a system to the home.
AHRI is viewed as a resource for industry shipment data, education and workforce information, and research. AHRI is an industry powerhouse, providing members with one industry voice, both domestically and abroad.
EPA Regulations on R-22 / SEER Ratings
By Betty Stephens of Quest Media
The EPA has begun phasing out the production of R-22 and has banned the production of HVAC equipment that uses R-22 in compliance with Title VI of the Clean Air Act. The refrigerant that replaces R-22 is R-410A. R-410A is an HFC refrigerant blend with common trade names such as GENETRON AZ-20®, SUVA 410A®, Forane® 410A, and Puron®.
R-22 will be manufactured on a limited basis after this year and after 2020 will not be manufactured after… The EPA suggests that contractors to recycle and rescue as much R-22 to be used to continue to service existing units…
R-410A requires more pressure to cool, so therefore it requires new compressor and piping. Both the outside and inside unit must be replaced and current piping would need to be flushed with a special chemical.
The use of R-410A, as opposed to R-22, does not affect the HVAC unit’s energy efficiency. The energy efficiency is determined by a system’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). As of 2006, the minimum SEER rating allowed to be manufactured in the U.S. is a 13 which is 30% more efficient than a 10 rating. To receive the ENERGY STAR, a system must have a minimum 14 SEER rating. Currently, you can find a residential split-system with a SEER rating of 20 or more, but at a substantial cost over the standard SEER 13 units.
Systems with R-22 may find as the manufacturing of the product is reduced, the supply becoming difficult to find. “Also the price of R-22 is rising. Although the continued use of existing appliances with R-22 is not banned nor is the EPA mandating all R-22 equipment be converted, that is a factor that a homeowner should take into consideration when faced with repairing or replacing their system. More factors to take into consideration are the cost, energy efficiency, reliability, and performance. The life span of the outside condensing unit is usually around 15 years and the furnace around 20 years.
To learn more click the following link for EPA’s phase out of R-22 and R142b:
Habitat for Humanity
Written By: Betty Stephens of Quest Media
Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. They build and repair houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations. The partner families purchase these houses through no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans or innovative financing methods. They operate Worldwide. The operational headquarters are located in Americus, Georgia and the administrative headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
How Habitat Works
They work through volunteer labor and donations. Homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
• Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with
• The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more
They build decent, affordable houses. Decent, affordable housing dramatically changes a family’s life:
• The cycle of poverty is broken.
• Health, physical safety and security improve.
• Educational and job prospects increase.
• A sense of stability and dignity grows.
• Money is freed up for other essential needs.
Families Receiving Habitat Houses
Families in need of decent shelter may apply to local Habitat affiliates. The affiliate’s family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the loan. Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families who receive Habitat houses.
The affiliates are community-level Habitat for Humanity offices that act in partnership with and on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International. Each affiliate coordinates all aspects of Habitat home building in its local area.
Donations are Distributed and Used
Habitat for Humanity relies on gifts from individuals, corporations and other groups to fund their house-building mission worldwide. All donations of any amount are deeply appreciated and help to build more decent, affordable houses with more families across the globe. Designated donations are allocated in support of the U.S. affiliate, national organization or program of the donor’s choosing. Undesignated gifts are invested through the Global Impact Fund where they can have the greatest impact.
The Global Impact Fund helps:
• Design and replicate innovative programs to serve more low-income families.
• Build the capacity of our network of U.S. affiliates and national organizations.
• Cover other costs necessary to ensuring that Habitat fulfills its mission with excellence.
• Habitat’s most recent audited financial statement is available online.
Management of Habitat for Humanity International
An ecumenical, international board of directors who are deeply concerned about the problems of poverty housing around the world manages the organization. The Habitat headquarters are operated by an administrative staff, professional and support employees, and volunteers.
Become a Volunteer
Contact your local Habitat for Humanity for their volunteer opportunities and explore their Get Involved section. Explore the Get Involved section. There are many different volunteer programs. Click this link to volunteer.
This Old House
Split Ductless System Demo
Daikin Industries Bought Goodman Global
Written By: Betty Stephens of Quest Media
Daikin Industries (Japan) has struck an agreement to buy Goodman Global for about $3.7 billion, completing the Japanese air-conditioner maker’s long quest to buy its American rival. Goodman is currently owned by the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which bought the company in 2008 for about $1.9 billion. Founded in 1975, Goodman makes heating, ventilation and air-conditioning products for homes and businesses.
Daikin had 1.22 trillion yen of sales in the year ended March and employs more than 44,000 people globally, with manufacturing and sales in more than 90 countries. Daikin generates 10 percent of its revenue in the Americas, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Air conditioning accounts account for 85 percent of its global sales.
Daikin Industries, Ltd History
Daikin Industries, Ltd. (ダイキン工業株式会社) is a Japanese multinational air conditioner manufacturing company headquartered in Osaka. It has operations in Japan, China, Australia, India, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America.
The company was founded in 1924 by Akira Yamada in Osaka, Japan. Daikin was founded as a chemical corporation, with a focus on air conditioning systems. It has since diversified its manufacturing division to take advantage of experience in fluorine chemistry. Daikin began as a manufacturer of aircraft radiator tubes and fluorine refrigerants, entering the air-conditioning business in 1951.
In 2006 Daikin purchased OYL Industries. This made Daikin the second largest HVAC manufacturer in the world after Carrier Corporation. Daikin co-developed a R-410A refrigerant with Carrier and is an innovator in the Split System Air Conditioning Market, and is the inventor of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air conditioning systems.
Daikin developed the hybrid hydraulic systems using technology from their Air Conditioning division. Facing the global demands on C02 reductions and the serious energy issues facing the world, this product aims to cut energy consumption in the manufacturing sector. The acquisition of Goodman expands Daikin’s presence in the United States and in duct-type air-conditioners, and makes Daikin the world’s largest maker of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
Daikin is the official sponsor of Galatasaray Daikin women’s volleyball team
Daikin’s large financial resources allow them to buy its American competitor. The company reported about $510 million in profit for the 12 months ended June 30. And it had some $1.5 billion in cash and short-term investments on its books as of June 30. The deal would be the third-largest overseas acquisition by a Japanese company this year. The deal gives Daikin more than 900 distribution points as it tries to boost sales for home heating and air-conditioning systems. The deal is an opportunity for Daikin to increase its business and will also help it expand in emerging and high-volume markets.
Goodman Global History
Goodman Global is a company which manufactures commercial grade room air conditioners and specialty cooling products for residential and light commercial applications. The company operates under the Goodman, Amana and QuietFlex brands. The company was founded in 1975 and is based in Houston, Texas.
Goodman Global, Inc. is the second largest domestic manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning products for residential and light commercial use based on unit sales. Their products include engineering, manufacturing, assembling, marketing and distributing an extensive line of HVAC and related products. Their products are predominantly marketed under the Goodman® and Amana® brand names. Goodman® is one of the leading HVAC brands in North America and appeals to the large section of the market that is price sensitive and desires reliable and low-cost climate comfort, while their premium Amana® brand includes enhanced features such as higher efficiency and quieter operation.
Goodman began as a manufacturer of flexible air ducts and plastic blade registers. In 1982, the company acquired Janitrol and entered the HVAC market, expanding its product offering in 1986 to include gas heating products.
In 1997, Goodman acquired Raytheon Appliances, the predecessor of Amana Corporation, a manufacturer of appliances and HVAC units. In 2001, Goodman separated its appliances business from its HVAC business and sold the appliances business to Maytag Corporation. In 2004, Goodman was acquired by Apollo Management firm for approximately $1.43 billion. April 2006, Goodman completed an initial public offering, listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
October 2007, Goodman acquired by Hellman & Friedman a San Francisco-based private equity firm in a $1.8 billion transaction. In August 2012, Hellman & Friedman