Arkansas’ First and Only HVACRNewsMagazine What’s in the News…… Tax Credits Act 1042 provides up to $2000 per apprentice…… MARCH CHAPTER MEETINGS Chapters Partner with DOT for Paperwork Compliance…… When Does Health and Safety Take Precedent Regulation vs De-Regulation…… 453A--Drop In for 22? Ferris State University’s John Tomczyk Says it Will Work…… Duct Blast Testing Little Rock Ordinance May Require New Construction Testing…… Humidity May Bite You Some say it already has…… AGC Sponsoring OSHA 30 Training Discount Offered for Association Members…… Staying Hydrated is a Winter Necessity It’s not just for summer……
Table of Contents
Chapter Meeting Schedule
Feature Article (DOT Policy and Form Training)
Editorial & Opinion (When Does Health & Safety Take Precedent) PG 9
R453A—A Drop in for R22?
PG 17 PG 17 Pg 22 20
Mold & Mildew—They Will Bite You Is There a Thief in Your Ductwork
Pay Now or Pay Later (Importance of Background Checks) Hydration in the Workplace – (It’s Not Just for Summer)
Code, Regulation, Legislation Little Rock Considers Ordinance for Testing New Construction Duct
Premier Dealer Program
Rebate Programs & Incentives
Recipes, Eateries, Huntin’, Fishin’ & Fun
Central Chapter 4 th Tuesday
February 27 March 27 April 24
6:00 Meal : 6:30 Program Location: Golden Corral
5001 Warden Rd North Little Rock
Hot Springs Chapter 1 st Thursday 6:00 Meal : 6:30 Program Location: Smokin’ in Style BBQ 2278 Albert Pike Hot Springs 501/767-9797
February 13 March 13 April 10
February 6 March 6
Ft. Smith Chapter 1 st Tuesday
5:30 Meal : 6:00 Program Location : Golden Corral 1801 S. Waldron Road Fort Smith 479/484-1040 North Central Chapter 4 th Thursday 6:00 Meal : 6:30 Program Location : Western Sizzlin’ 905 Hwy 62 – 65 North Harrison 870/741-1545
April 3 May 1
February 22 March 22 April 26
North East Chapter 3 rd Tuesday
February 20 March 20 April 17
6:00 Meal : 6:30 Program Location : Western Sizzlin’ 2405 East Highland Jonesboro 870/ 336 - 4417
North West Chapter 2 nd Thursday
February 8 March 8 April 12
6:00 Meal : 6:30 Program Location: Western Sizzlin’ 3492 W Sunset Ave Springdale 479/750-3663
South Central/ Camden 1 st Thursday 6:00 Meal : 6:30 Program Location: Ouachita Partners for Economic Development 625 Adams Avenue Camden 870/ 836 - 9354 South West / Texarkana 3 rd Thursday 6:00 Meal : 6:30 Program Location: SW AR Electric Co-op 2904 E. 9 th Street Texarkana 870/772-2743
February 1 March 1 April 5
S tate, National, Chapter News Feature Story
Just as a review, Who Needs This Information? Well, it is amazing how small an operation you can be and still be considered operating a commerical vehicle. If you have a 3/4T truck and pull a tandum axle trailer you exceed the 10,000 lb maximum GVWR. Truth is, unless you have an accident or get stopped for speeding or a broken tail light, you may be able to slide; however, if you do get stopped, you probably will have an internal audit. When that happens, you’ll be glad you came to this class. Failure to comply with DOT paperwork regs is not fun and can be very expensive. When you weigh that against a free class, a free meal, and a free compliance manual—well, you get the point. The following chart is the list of March chapter meetings. By the way, you do not have to be a member of the Association to attend.
Paperwork Just As Important As Road Work The old adage of the job isn’t finishing until the paperwork is done is true with DOT compliance as well. The Arkansas Highway Police conducted a round of sessions during our November chapter meetings. In March they will teach sessions on how to do the required paperwork. Just in case you are wondering if this has any value. This could cost you a few hundred dollars if you hired a compliance company and they wouldn’t come to you. We are fortunate to have a Highway Police Department that has the spirit of public service. The training session will be connducted in the regular March chapter meetings and will take about an hour so come prepared to take notes and stay a little longer than normal. It would be a good idea to bring your office manager. Whomever is responsible for keeping you out of trouble: taxes, insurance, and now DOT—bring them. There are several policies and forms you must implement. ~10,000 lbs. GVWR Watch Your Email For Classes on Setting Up Your DOT Compliant Paperwork ~7,000 lbs. GVWR
Is this you? You have a Commercial Vehicle 3/4T Truck (F250) + 12’ Trailer Tandem Axle Trailer = Potential GVWR -- ~17,000 lbs One vehicle company published this information on their F250 Gross vehicle weight rating : 9,950 to 10,000 lbs Curb weight : 5,683 to 6,695 lbs Towing capacity : 12,300 to 13,300 lbs
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When Does Health And Safety Take Precedent The battle for and against licensing did not die with the Arkansas 2017 legislative session. It is now stronger than ever before. “ On November 7, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission’s Economic Liberty Task Force hosted a roundtable to examine empirical evidence on the effects of occupational licensure.” (1) The first line of their report said, “Nearly thirty percent of American jobs require a license today, up from less than five percent in the 1950s. For some professions, licensing is necessary to protect the public against legitimate health and safety concerns. But many more occupations could be practiced safely and effectively with fewer, or no, licensing requirements.” ( 2) Even this roundtable admits that health and safety risk can be of sufficient For some professions, licensing is necessary to protect the public against legitimate health and safety concerns. Economic Liberty Taskforce concern to merit licensing. Herein is the problem. How does one determine when the public health and safety is at such risk that the occupation merits licensing and even continuing education? It is subjectivity in search of objectivity which frequently gets slanted by the economic interests of those making the decision; i.e., an individual that
wants to do electrical or plumbing work without going through an apprenticeship program. That economic motivation can easily cloud an otherwise objective decision. Anyone having spent any time with code formulation and adoption can tell you that objectivity is an elusive commodity. So how is one to evaluate and quantify the potential risks to a consumer and find that line at which an occupation requires a license? So how is one to evaluate and quantify the potential risks to a consumer and find that line at which an occupation requires a license? There are many licenses in Arkansas. In fact, there are 179 occupations listed by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services 2015 (3) and many have multiple licenses under the main category. For example, HVACR is listed as one but there are 7 licenses or registrant statuses (4) available but no person would be required to have more than the one that is applicable to their craft. Since there are so many required licenses in Arkansas, it would be easy to look at one or many and assume that it is an example of government over reach; however, I would not presume to sit in judgment of each occupation. I have no or little understanding of the complexities of their craft or the level to which they could create a health and safety problem for the public.
licenses have valid reasons, particularly when they focus on health and safety. Certifying skills and specialized knowledge helps consumers.” (7) I have never met anyone in the heating and air conditioning industry that cherished licensing for the purpose of restricting competition. In fact, most don’t like licensing and regulations but feel they are a necessary evil to protect the health and safety of Arkansans. Maybe it is the crowd that I “run with” but all are passionate about public health and safety. They are the most qualified to talk about the need for licensing because they go behind the unlicensed and untrained and witness the “unbelievably unsafe and ineffective status” of heating and air conditioning systems in many homes and businesses. They hear the stories of homeowners who paid large sums “to get the job started” only to have the job left unfinished and/or in a manner that risks the health of the homeowner. The legitimate contractor wants to help the victimized consumer and generally gives them a break on the repair but there is only so much that they can do. Another group in Arkansas that can attest to the need for licensing and regulation is the state and local mechanical inspector. Another group in Arkansas that can attest to the need for licensing and regulation is the state and local
One needs to have first-hand knowledge of what is required to make the licensing and regulation decision. So, who is closest and should be the most capable of making that decision? Obviously, it is a person with first hand knowledge-someone employed within the occupation in question. This, of course, brings up the primary charge by those wanting to eliminate or seriously restrict licensing. They charge that persons in the industry want to restrict licensing in order to protect themselves from competition. One publication asserted “ occupational licenses primarily benefit licensed workers themselves.” ( 5) Forbes contributor George Leef summarized Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta’s July 21 st speech to American Legislative Exchange Council as follows, “Acosta’s crucial point is that occupational licensing is often used by interest groups simply as a means of preventing competition in their markets…” (6) I do not doubt that there may be some in some occupations that want to use licensing as a means of protecting their own business: but, don’t forget to include the fact that Acosta also said, “ Granted, many I have no or little understanding of the complexities of their craft or the level to which they could create a health and safety problem for the public.
inspector. They see problems, both small and great, all the time. When an inspector discovers a problem, a licensed contractor is usually quick to make a correction; however, an unlicensed contractor has little to lose. Without a license, the state has no carrot to dangle in front of the problem contractor; i.e., you can continue to operate your business if you correct the code violation and make the consumer whole. Every inspector will tell you that when a company has a license and wants to continue to operate within their community, they are much more likely to rectify a problem they created. This, of course, is far better for the consumer than a civil suit. Even though a claim could be $10,000 or more, most claims are too small to justify hiring a lawyer and winning in court only to find out that the malefactor has no money. (Just an aside. Administrative lawyers are frequently the ones that suggest bringing a civil suit when there is a problem; but, a practicing attorney will tell you it is seldom beneficial to the consumer.) So how do we determine when licensing and regulation is necessary? Remember that all licensing in Arkansas is the result of a law passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by the governor. Extensive vetting has already taken place. These are the elected representatives of the people whose job it is too protect the health and safety of the public. In the case of the HVACR industry, it took two
attempts to get a licensing bill passed and signed into law. One in 1989 and another in 1991. It was not an easy process but one that many in our industry believed in and sacrificed significant time to get passed. The point is that while some licensing may need to be revisited and repealed, the Arkansas HVACR Licensing Program is not one of them. Andrew Gavil, the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission said, “The FTC and its staff recognize that occupational licensure can offer many important benefits. It can protect consumers from actual health and safety risks and support other valuable public policy goals.” He went on to say, “…However, that does not mean that all licensure is warranted…” ( 8) It is important to state that everyone I know in the HVACR industry is against unnecessary regulation and licensing. Anti-regulation is the gravy on our biscuit; however, you can get too much gravy and you can get too much anti-regulation. We need licensing and regulation to protect the public safety in the HVACR industry. That takes us back to the issue of, “Who should make the decision on the necessity of licensing and regulation and by what “yard stick” should they measure the need. Even though the legislature and the governor in 1991 made that measurement and determined the
impaired judgment, memory and coordination.” (9) The EPA went on to say, “CO is called the "silent killer" because if the early signs are ignored, a person may lose consciousness and be unable to escape the danger.” ( 9) The elderly and the unborn are among the first to suffer and there can be long term neurological issues such as learning and memory impairments. (9) It is also more common among Hispanics and African Americans. I assume because of poorer housing conditions, use of unventilated appliances, and lack of service on central heating systems. (That is my assumption.) While CO poisoning is obviously dangerous, HVAC contractors also deal with mold and mildew. Regretfully, this is an often ignored health risk. Appendix C of the EPA , Building Air Quality, a Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers ,pages 141 – 146, goes into great detail about methodology for reducing humidity and thereby reducing the likelihood of mold and mildew problems. (10) A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home states, “…moisture control is the key to mold control.” (11) “Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity.” (11) Maintaining proper humidity is the job of the HVAC HVAC contractors also deal with mold and mildew.
need for license, let’s look at a few facts that may underscore the need for HVACR licensing. Heating contractors install heat pumps, electric heat, and gas and propane furnaces. Gas and propane furnaces give off varying degrees of carbon monoxide, a natural result of incomplete combustion of a carbon fuel; i.e., natural gas and propane. We all know that even minimal parts of carbon monoxide is dangerous. It is frequently called the silent killer. Why, because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. The EPA stated that “carbon monoxide (CO) is the most common cause of poisoning death in the United States? Unintentional CO poisonings are responsible for about 500 deaths and 15,000 visits to emergency rooms annually. (9) Even though carbon monoxide poisoning may seem rare because you do not know anyone that died from it, many, perhaps even you, have experienced non-lethal CO poisoning and never knew it. “…the first signs of exposure to low concentrations of CO include mild headache and breathlessness upon moderate exercise. Continued or acute exposure can lead to flu-like symptoms including more severe headaches, dizziness, tiredness, nausea, confusion, irritability, and CO poisonings are responsible for about 500 deaths and 15,000 visits to emergency rooms annually. (9) Environmental Protection Agency
industry through design, sizing, and installation of the air conditioning system. It is not an easy science, cannot be accomplished in today’s new houses using past defaults, and is not intuitive. So a person needs Maintaining proper humidity is the job of the HVAC industry through design, sizing, and installation of the air conditioning system. It is not an easy science, cannot be accomplished in today’s new houses using past defaults, and is not intuitive. training and the public expects a contractor to know what they are doing and for the State to license persons who know what they are doing. So why do we care if there is mold or mildew in the home? A study by the World Health Organization stated, “building dampness and mould (mold) are associated with approximately 30–50% increases in a variety of respiratory and asthma- related health outcomes.” (12) The study also stated there was suggestive evidence between mold and lower respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children. (12) The potential dangers to the elderly, children, and persons with even minor respiratory problems should not be underestimated. In addition to public health and safety, we have not even addressed issues of designing and installing systems that deliver the level of
energy efficiency promised by the manufacturer of the equipment. An unlicensed and untrained person can reduce delivered, installed efficiency by several percent and thereby create a higher utility bill for the consumer for the life of the equipment, perhaps 15 to 20 years. As we have stated before, we do not doubt that some licensing and regulation may be overextended in some occupations; however, that is not the case in the HVACR industry. We have established that (1) the heating and air conditioning industry directly affects the health and safety of families by the installation of heating and air conditioning systems. (2) the trade is not intuitive, requires training, and we further assert that the public expects the State to properly license businesses and individuals involved in the trade. (3) that the HVACR industry can deliver a highly efficient HVAC system which delivers comfort for an affordable price or can mis-design and mis-install one that serves as a siphon into the pocket book of the homeowner for up to 20 years. The case for licensing and regulation of the HVACR industry is clear; and, because of the complexity of the trade, any licensing and regulation should be promulgated, overseen, and reviewed by members of the HVACR industry in consultation with the legislature, governmental agencies, and consumer representatives. That is exactly what we have now. The
Arkansas HVACR Licensing Board is comprised of two class “A” contractors, two class “B” contractors, one representative of the commercial contractors, one engineer, one consumer representative, and one person from the Health Department who provides the supervision and direction of the program. (13) The program has operated under the same structure and fee schedule for the almost 27 years of its existence. Rather than serving as a barrier to honest work and the preservation of the incumbent contractor, the licensing program in Arkansas is an opportunity to those wanting to serve the public in a trade that welcomes those who are trained and willing to continue to hone their craft for the service of their community. Entry to the trade is easy and affordable. A person only needs to work for a licensed company and pay a $25 annual fee as a registrant. Virtually all companies pay the fee for the registrant. After two years of experience, the person can sit for an open book test, earn a score of 70, and then pay the appropriate license fee, $100 to $200 depending on the size / capacity of equipment and type of service offered to the public. As a licensee and entrepreneur, they may offer their service the public as a business to install and service equipment according the appropriate codes which are designed to protect public health and safety and equipment efficacy. Code and regulation compliance is inspected
by state and city inspectors. When a mistake is found, contractors are always given the opportunity to make the correction. It is a methodology of consumer protection that serves the public and educates and encourages the contractor. Only when a person refuses to make the necessary correction are they called before the Licensing Board for a review of the claim. Even then, the defendant may appear to present their case or reasoning. Regretfully, when it has gone that far, the malefactor usually does not appear in the same way that they “ran out” on the homeowner. The Board may then assess a penalty and suspend the license. This gives the defendant an opportunity to review their behavior, make the customer whole, pay outstanding fines, and renew their license. Hopefully the result will be a rehabilitated licensee who is now ready to serve the public in a manner that is safe and honorable. So when does Health and Safety trump anti-licensing and deregulation? The answer is clear, when the health and safety of the consumer is at risk. Who should be involved in the determination of licensing? Again it is clear--those involved in the industry in consultation with the legislature, governmental agencies, and consumer representatives. The HVACR industry does not fear an honest review of our law and our industry. We do feel that it should be a partnership rather than a rush of group think which could leave the
public without protection. To the end that the public is protected and the doors of opportunity are open to those wanting to enter the HVACR industry, we the Arkansas HVACR Association pledge to support efforts to reduce unnecessary licensing and regulation. (1) Federal Trade Commission; The Effects of Occupational Licensure on Competition, Consumers, and the Workforce: Empirical Research and Results https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events- calendar/2017/11/effects-occupational-licensure- competition-consumers-workforce (2) Federal Trade Commission; Economic Liberty: Opening Doors to Opportunity https://www.ftc.gov/policy/advocacy/economic- liberty (3) Directory Of Licensed, Certified And Registered Occupations In Arkansas”, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services http ://www.discover.arkansas.gov/Portals/136/Publications/License d%20Occupations/DLO_2015.pdf (4) 17-33-303, Arkansas HVAC/R Law, p. 10,11 http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/p ublications/hvacrlaw.pdf (5) “License to Work : A National Study from Burdens of Occupational Licensing” 2 nd Edition, Protectionist Origins of Licensure; Carpenter, Knepper, Sweetland, McDonald p. 29 file:///I:/Back%20up%20of%20Seagate/Seagate%20Backup%20Plus %20Drive/Arkansas%20HVACR%20Association/Licensing%20Atta cks%20and%20Justification/License_to_Work_2nd_Edition.pdf (6) Trump's Secretary of Labor Attacks One Of Our Worst Job Barriers, Forbes Contributor George Leef, August 21, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2017/08/2 1/trumps-secretary-of-labor-attacks-one-of-our-worst- job-barriers/#484a543821c0 (7) U.S. Secretary Of Labor Acosta Addresses Occupational Licensing Reform Secretary Of Labor, Alexander Acosta, News Release 7/21/2017 https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/opa/opa201 70721 (8) “Competition and the Potential Costs and Benefits of Professional Licensure” FTC prepared statement before COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WASHINGTON, D.C. JULY 16, 2014 https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_ statements/568171/140716professionallicensurehous e.pdf (9) “Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 2009” EPA https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/P1002RC8.txt?ZyActionD=Z yDocument&Client=EPA&Index=2006%20Thru%202010&Docs=& Query=&Time=&EndTime=&SearchMethod=1&TocRestrict=n&T oc=&TocEntry=&QField=&QFieldYear=&QFieldMonth=&QField Day=&UseQField=&IntQFieldOp=0&ExtQFieldOp=0&XmlQuery Tom Hunt, Executive Director Arkansas HVACR Association
=&File=D%3A%5CZYFILES%5CINDEX%20DATA%5C06THR U10%5CTXT%5C00000006%5CP1002RC8.txt&User=ANONYM OUS&Password=anonymous&SortMethod=h%7C- &MaximumDocuments=1&FuzzyDegree=0&ImageQuality=r75g8/r 75g8/x150y150g16/i425&Display=hpfr&DefSeekPage=x&SearchBac k=ZyActionL&Back=ZyActionS&BackDesc=Results%20page&Maxi mumPages=1&ZyEntry=1# (10) EPA , Building Air Quality, a Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers ,pages 141 – 146 https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/000000GG.PDF ?Dockey=000000GG.PDF (11) A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home, p. 10, 11 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016- 10/documents/moldguide12.pdf (12) WHO Guidelines For Indoor Air Quality : Dampness And Mould”, Pg 67, 68 file:///I:/Back%20up%20of%20Seagate/Seagate %20Backup%20Plus%20Drive/Energy%20Talk/ Mold/World%20Health%20Organization.pdf (13) HVACR License Law, pgs 6, 7, Act 277, 1991 17- 33-201
License? I don’t need a license. I’ve been cutting my own hair for years.
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to R-453A. This allows an existing R-22/mineral oil system to retain its original oil once retrofitted to R-453A, preventing moisture sensitivity problems associated with newer or retrofitted systems incorporating polyolester lubricants. Because R-453A is a 400-series refrigerant blend, it has fractionation potential and a temperature glide. To avoid blend fractionation, R-453A should be charged into the system as a liquid instead of a vapor. However, if the entire contents of the cylinder To avoid blend fractionation, R-453A should be charged into the system as a liquid instead of a vapor. are to be used in the charging procedure, vapor charging can be performed. Just be aware that all the refrigerant in the cylinder must be used in charging the same system when vapor charging, otherwise fractionation can occur. R-453A is a safe refrigerant blend can be both recovered and reclaimed. Leak detectors used for any HFC- based refrigerant can be used for R- 453A. Capillary, fixed orifice, or variable expansion refrigerant metering devices can be retrofitted
Drop In for R-22 R-453A is a hydrofluorocarbon /hydrocarbon (HFC)/(HC) based, non-ozone depleting, low-global warming potential (GWP), direct drop-in replacement refrigerant blend for HCFC-22 (R-22). It can be used to replace R-22 in both air conditioning and refrigeration applications across the temperature ranges where R-22 is commonly used. Refrigeration applications using R-453A can reach down to a minus 20°F evaporator temperatures. Applications for R- 453A include air conditioning, commercial and industrial refrigeration, chillers, beer cellars, cold storage, refrigerated transport, supermarkets, appliances, dairy chillers, and others. LUBRICANT AND SERVICING R-453A is compatible with the traditional lubricants and newer synthetic lubricants in the HVACR industry, including mineral oil, alkylbenzene, and polyolester. No oil changes are required when retrofitting an existing R-22 system
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with R-453A without any lubricant or hardware changes. Also, the same equipment can be used with R-453A as with R-22. THE RETROFITTING PROCEDURE Below is a brief list of retrofit guideline procedures for converting an R-22 system to R-453A. As with any refrigeration or air conditioning system being retrofitted, always follow the detailed retrofit guidelines from the equipment or refrigerant manufacturer. Establish baseline data with temperatures, pressures, super- heat, and subcooling; Record compressor oil level and No oil change is needed. However, if polyolester lubricant is used to replace the mineral oil or alkylbenzene lubricant already in the system, replacing the o-ring seals before starting the system is recommended; Evacuate the system to 200 microns, and charge the system with R-453A to 90 percent of the original R-22 charge; Start the system, and take a system check. Record pressures, temperatures, superheat, and refrigerant charge; Recover the R-22;
subcooling. Compare to baseline data. Adjust the thermal expansion valve (TXV) pressure controls, evaporator regulator, and/or condenser controls to maintain desired temperatures; Check the system charge, and add refrigerant if needed to reach the original charge level; Carefully monitor the oil level in the compressor. Add or remove more oil if required to maintain the correct level; In system with receivers or long and complex piping where oil return to the compressor could be an area of concern, the replacement of up to 25 percent of the oil charge with a polyolester lubricant is recommended; Check the system for leaks, and Label the system with the new refrigerant. (This article was condensed and “Reprinted with permission of the Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration NEWS,” www.achrnews.com ACHR NEWS is rich in content and we recommend Arkansans to subscribe.)
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Moisture, mold, and mildew are not your friends. They’ll bite you! Ron Hughes Tight houses with inadequate ventilation can result in moisture, mold, and mildew. Since the “V” in HVAC stands for “Ventilation,” who do you think might be held responsible? HVAC contractors are learning the hard way to not install HVAC in foam encapsulated houses without providing mechanical ventilation. In addition, do not oversize the AC! You can get some slack with a variable speed blower, but an oversized builder-model AC with a one-speed blower in a tight house is begging for trouble. This is not limited to foam encapsulated houses. The combination of a good caulk package and a house wrapped in a ZIP system with all the joints taped can test just as tight as a house encapsulated in foam. This may be the first of several articles to cover why ventilation is important, when do we need to, how best to do it, and how much ventilation may be required. Houses don’t have to breathe, but people do. Ventilation is a health and safety issue, a code issue, and a
liability issue. Houses need ventilation
when code requires it
and when good air quality is a priority. Ventilation must go beyond
a “make-up” air duct from the outside to a return. That behaves more like duct leakage more than ventilation. Ventilation needs to be “controlled” with a motorized damper and controls programmed with run times to satisfy the number of occupants and address humidity. Arkansas’ 2010 Mechanical code requires ventilation of no less than 15 cfm/person if the air leakage of the house is less than 0.35 air changes/hr. which we can expect almost all new homes to be and certainly all that are foam insulated or ZIPPed. I prefer ASHRAE 62.1-2010 which calls for 7.5 cfm/occupant plus 1 cfm for every 100 sf of conditioned space. This means a 2,000 s.f. house with three bedrooms (plus 1 = #occupants) requires 50 cfm running continuously 24/7, or, intermittently at, say, 100 cfm running off and on for 12 hours total during the 24 hour day. Either way, that is 72,000 ft 3
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(think 72,000 basketballs!) of fresh air every 24 hours! Do we need that much ventilation? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends a lot on clean (or not clean) living habits, but ASHRAE 62.1-2013 calls for even more ventilation, although it gives credit for whole house leakage if you blower door test. Is your brain hurting yet? Tune in next month for more on new code requirements, and ventilation strategies. If you have any questions or need some help duct testing, blower door testing or calculating ventilation, give me a call. (Ron Hughes, Energy Rater, trainer, and owner of HERS, Inc. in Little Rock can be reached at 501-680-8675 .)
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cooling systems from doing their job properly, resulting in hot or cold rooms, and humidity problems. Worse yet, duct leaks can create air quality problems by pulling pollutants and irritants directly into the house. Here are just a few of the problems resulting from duct leakage: • Leaks in the supply ductwork cause expensive conditioned air to be dumped into the attic, crawlspace or garage instead of into the house. • Return leaks pull outside air (hot in summer, cold in winter) into the duct system reducing both efficiency and capacity. In humid climates, moist air being drawn into return leaks can overwhelm the dehumidification capacity of air conditioning systems causing homes to feel clammy even when the air conditioner is running. • Heat pumps are particularly susceptible to comfort complaints from duct leakage, especially during the heating season. Duct leaks can cause the air coming from heat pumps to feel luke-warm or even cold during the winter. In addition, leaky ductwork has been found to greatly increase the use of electric strip heaters in heat pumps during the heating season.
Is there a
There are more than a million miles of ductwork in U.S. homes, and industry experts estimate that more than two-thirds of them are leaky enough to justify sealing or repair. Leaky ducts can significantly increase air conditioning and heating bills, dramatically reduce equipment capacity and performance, as well as result in potentially dangerous indoor air quality problems. In fact, duct leakage is responsible for many of the comfort complaints experienced by homeowners today. Why Is Duct Leakage Important? Leaks in forced air duct systems are recognized as a major source of energy waste in both new and existing houses. Studies indicate that duct leakage can account for as much as 25% of total house energy loss, and in many cases, has a greater impact on energy use than air infiltration through the building shell. Just as important, duct leakage can prevent heating and In Your Ductwork Frank Spevak, Marketing and Sales Manager, The Energy Conservatory
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adopted the IECC requirements. Some states have delayed the adoption of duct leakage testing, they are all looking to add it in future updates to the building codes. Measuring Duct Leakage A duct leakage performance test involves pressurizing the duct system with a calibrated fan and simultaneously measuring the air flow through the fan and its effect on the pressure within the duct system. The tighter the duct system, the less air you need from the fan to create a change in duct system pressure. Testing procedures can be set up to measure only duct leaks which are connected to the outside, or to measure total duct leakage (i.e. leaks connected to the outside and inside of the house). Duct leakage measurements are used to diagnose and demonstrate leakage problems, estimate efficiency losses from duct leakage, and certify the quality of • A Duct Blaster fan is used to directly pressure test the duct system for air leaks, much the same way a plumber pressure tests water pipes for leaks. • The Duct Blaster fan is first connected to the duct system at duct system installation. Duct Blaster® System
• Leaks in return ductwork draw air into the house from crawlspaces, garages and attics bringing with it dust, mold spores, insulation fibers and other contaminants. • Household depressurization from duct leaks and imbalanced duct systems can cause spillage of combustion products (from furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces) into the house. International Energy Conservation Code Because of these and other issues, the International Code Council created the International Energy Conservation Code, IECC. The Code Council makes recommendations for building construction codes. These codes are adopted by states, counties and/or cities. Since 2009 the IECC portion of the building codes has included the requirement to measure and seal leaky ducts in new construction. Some states, such as California started requiring duct leak measurement and sealing since 2006 for both new and existing homes. At present there are 42 states that have adopted the IECC 2009 or better, with 20 states adopting IECC 2012 or better. While some states have not adopted the IECC, there are a number of cities and counties around the country that have
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the air handler cabinet, or a return grille. After temporarily sealing all remaining registers and grills, the Duct Blaster fan is turned on to force air through all. • The fan speed is increased until a standard test pressure is achieved in the duct system. A precise leakage measurement is then made using the DG-1000 pressure and flow gauge connected to the Duct Blaster fan. • Estimates of efficiency losses from duct leakage can then be made from the leakage measurements.
Better Duct Systems for Home Heating and Cooling “Typical systems with ducts in attics or crawl spaces lose from 25% to 40% of the heating or cooling energy that passes through them. In an era of increasing concern for energy efficiency, this is no longer acceptable.”
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after a certified individual leaves the employer. New record keeping requirements for appliances containing 5 to 50 pounds of refrigerant become effective. Technicians must keep records of; the location, date of recovery, and type of refrigerant recovered for each disposed appliance, the quantity of refrigerant by type recovered from disposed appliances in each calendar month. In addition, the quantity of refrigerant, and type, transferred for reclamation or destruction, the person to whom it was transferred, and the date of the transfer. All requirements for the maintenance, service, repair and disposal of CFC and HCFC are extended to HFC and HFO refrigerants. The EPA requires new wording on certification cards issued January 1, 2018 and beyond. As a result, any new and replacement certification cards will have a new look. The wording on new certification cards includes: “[Name of person] has successfully passed a [Type I, Type II, Type III, and/or Universal, as appropriate] exam on how to responsibly handle refrigerants as required by EPA’s National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program.” A new Section 608 EPA Certification Exam has been developed to incorporate the new regulations. It is currently being reviewed by the EPA prior to release. Cards issued prior to January 1, 2018 remain valid.
EPA Section 608 Changes –
Effective January 1, 2018
Effective January 1, 2018 HFC and HFO refrigerants are now included in the sales restriction. These refrigerants may only be sold to technicians certified under Section 608 and Section 609 of the Federal Clean Air Act. Wholesalers and others who re-sell refrigerants must maintain invoices that indicate: purchaser name, sale date, and the quantity of CFC, HCFC, HFC and HFO refrigerants purchased. These records must be maintained for no less than three years. Employers must require proof of certification for technicians and must maintain a copy of their certification at their place of business for three years Effective January 1, 2018 new regulations impacting the way refrigerants are handled and sold go into effect. Additional regulatory changes will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
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When the new exam is available, all registered proctors will be notified. Until such notification, registered proctors should continue to use the current exam. It should be noted that currently certified Section 608 technicians do not need to be re-certified. Effective January 1, 2019 Section 608 regulations include new leak inspection and verification test requirements for owners/operators. Leak inspections are required for appliances that have exceeded the applicable leak rate, per the information below. All visible and accessible components of an appliance must be inspected, using a method or methods that are appropriate for that appliance. Comfort Cooling with a charge of 50 or more pounds must have a leak inspection once per calendar year until the owner/operator can demonstrate through the leak rate calculations that the leak rate has not exceeded 10% for one year. Commercial Refrigeration and Industrial Process Refrigeration (IPR) with a charge of 50 to 500 pounds must have a leak inspection once per calendar year until the owner / operator can demonstrate through the leak rate calculations that the leak rate has not exceeded 20% commercial refrigeration or 30% IPR for one year. Commercial Refrigeration and IPR with a charge of over 500 pounds must have a leak inspection conducted once every three months until the owner/operator can demonstrate through leak rate calculations that the leak rate has not exceeded 20% for
commercial refrigeration or 30% IPR for four quarters in a row. (Article by Esco Institute and HVAC Excellence, Howard Wise, EVP) The Important Differences Between a Quote, Estimate, Bid, and Proposal FIELDPULSE TEAM · There’s more terminology you use to make your offer can affect how the project develops – and your bottom line. While in-house you may use the terms quote vs. estimate with flexibility, it maximizes your efficiency to be consistent when talking to your potential clients. Clarify your terms and clinch the deal. You’ll also reduce confusion and frustration once those projects are underway, if the customer has clear expectations from the beginning. Quotes – Precise, and Based on Your Scope These are the most precise way to present your offer to potential customers. Think of how you “quote” in daily life; you mean those words to be an exact representation of what someone else said. Your clients have similar expectations, even if it’s only subconsciously. If you win these projects, the expectations will be much than one way to begin a new project with a potential customer. Which
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closer than if you presented another type of offer. “You quoted me $800,” is a different expectation from your clients than an estimate. Quotes are best for those easily quantifiable projects, whether from your years of experience, or because a project has few variables. If you offer a flat rate service, or you’re selling a product with a defined installation cost, quotes might be the right choice. Avoid quotes if you don’t expect your final tally to be very close to your beginning offer. Think of your quote as a defined scoped based on quantifiable data. Estimates – A Variable Price Because of Unknowns Not able to offer that kind of firm price? Estimates may be the solution when the customer just wants a ballpark figure. Often, they expect the project to have surprises, and are less attached to the final price being tight on the margins. You should still be accurate – forty percent overruns don’t make for pleasant results – or reviews. Offer estimates for projects where you want to account for variables. If your estimate only covers the normal scope of work, then you can offer extras or upgrades in addition. Is the estimate too high? A customer feels more confident in negotiating based on options to get the project in line with their expectations. That negotiation can win you projects that a quote can’t. If precision isn’t key to getting the job done, consider the power of the estimate – and expect a bit more give and take to seal the deal. Bid – Responding to Specifications
Line by line, detailed expectations – those are the power of bids. Often used in government or large corporate projects, bids have a different niche for your business than either quotes or estimates. Expect more rules and regulations as to how you submit your information. With the bidding process, the customer is the one setting the expectations and requirements. And expect competition, too. While you might be the only company submitting a quote, you’ll likely be one of at least two or three bids. These customers want to compare your bottom line. They also may be looking at your labor costs, quality or price on materials against the others bidding. Once you submit bids, there’s little room to negotiate, unlike estimates. It can be a longer process, as well, especially for larger government entities. If you understand your competition well, and the expectation of those requesting bids, this can be an excellent process of taking your business to the next level. Like quotes, these projects are fully defined in scope. Proposal – A Chance to Differentiate Your proposal can be a hybrid of all three of the previous methods. Proposals usually lend themselves to projects where you have multiple options or solutions for the client. You can have a proposal with multiple components where one part can be an estimate and another part a quote. Think of a proposal as your comprehensive package of your offer. Complicated projects benefit well from this approach. You can also
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include more information as to why certain methods or skills are needed. This is a great way to market any advantages that you have over the competition. Are you more expensive than average because you have patented technological advantages? Are you less expensive because of efficiencies bought out of experiences? The proposal is the time to illuminate your unique position. You can also use technology more effectively. Got great photos of similar projects? A proposal highlights your work better than a bid alone. Bring in the best of specifics from quoting, your negotiation skills, and the competitiveness of bids to serve up a winning proposal. Be open to customers desiring proposals, even if the offer is of the same nature. Some customers want multiple estimates, one with just the basic, necessary work, and another with upgrades or different ways of accomplishing the same thing. A business willing to create a comprehensive proposal stands out from the competition only focused on their usual way of doing business. Choosing the Right Terminology Most contractors will utilize many, if not all, of these strategies for winning new business. Some clients will respond better to one kind of offer over another. Some projects lend themselves better to certain offers – for example, bids for government contracts. Know when to use a quote vs. estimate, for example, based on what works for your clients. And don’t be afraid to use all of these
techniques. Businesses that know which method will win which client have the best success in growing their companies . (Editor’s note: Be very careful when making a sale not to promise anything you can’t deliver. For example: a person wants their swimming pool kept at a particular temperature—cooled or heated. If you promise to maintain a temperature of 76° degrees at an outdoor temperature of “x°”, your system must deliver that 76°. If you promise a specific comfort condition, you are legally bound to deliver that level of comfort. You are liable for your promise. If the design and equipment does not work to your expectations, you can’t just give them their money back and walk away. You must deliver what you promised regardless of the additional cost to you. Moral of the story--under promise and over deliver.)
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a. Some wanted to pay for the apprentice’s education expense up front. It was a way to attract a good prospective employee. b. Others felt that reimbursing the student at the successful completion of the semester was a better option. That way the student had some “skin in the game” and were more likely to be dedicated to the course work as well as being a more motivated employee. c. A few felt that This seemed to be motivated by a fear that the employee would leave anyway and the contractor would lose any value his training dollars should have earned the company. This, of course, did not take into consideration the fact that apprentices are much more likely to stay with their employer than someone that was a typical hire with OJT only. With the apprenticeship tax credit, the employer only has to consider when to reimburse the employee the tuition and book expense—before or after they complete a semester’s classwork. What if the business has no tax liability one year? The tax credit can be carried over up to two years. $2000 Tax Credit That is serious money! the employee received the greater benefit and should “fit the bill” without the possibility of reimbursement.
provides up to
$2,000 tax credit. In the 2017 legislative session Senator English sponsored SB505 to expand the youth apprenticeship tax credit to include workers 16 years and older. There is now no upper age limit so it really isn’t a youth apprenticeship tax credit anymore. It’s a worker apprentice tax credit. The law allows an
employer to claim a tax credit equal to $2,000 or 10% of the employee’s wage,
whichever is greater. For the HVACR industry wage scale, that means $2,000. The employer can claim up to 5 apprentices or $10,000.
This is a huge positive movement for the HVACR industry. It does away with the cost of the education component associated with apprenticeship training. In fact, it should cover the cost of the tuition and the books for most if not all the apprenticeship programs. Since tuition and books must be paid at the beginning of each semester, fall and spring, someone has to front the cost. Prior to this announcement, most contractors were willing to pay the expense. The question was when to pay it.