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The Case for Disability Insurance: Part 2   Recently updated !

A major disability is something that happens to someone else… until it doesn’t!  The sad fact is most Americans are better prepared to die than they are to deal with disabilities.  In the last blog, we made the case for having disability insurance.  In this blog, we will make the case for affording disability insurance.

 

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that as of April, 2016 there are about 122.74 million people working on a full-time basis.  According to the chart below, only about 37% of private sector employees are covered by long-term disability insurance.  This would suggest that only about 45 million full-time workers are covered by long-term disability.

 

 

According to Kaiser Health News, only 47% of employers offer long-term disability coverage to their employees, and companies with at least 100 employees are almost certain to offer some sort of disability benefit.  Furthermore, they report that the majority of people with disability coverage get it through their jobs.  The chart below offers a glimpse of disability insurance coverage by occupation group.

 

Access to disability benefit combinations, by occupation group, private industry workers, March 2014
Occupation group Percent with access to both short- and long-term disability insurance Percent with access to only short-term disability insurance Percent with access to only long-term disability insurance Percent with no access to insurance
All workers 25 15 9 51
Management, professional, and related 42 12 17 29
Service 6 14 4 76
Sales and office 25 13 9 53
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance 21 18 6 55
Production, transportation, and material moving 25 22 7 47
Note: Costs calculated from Employer Cost for Employee Compensation (ECEC) published estimates.

Source: National Compensation Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The cost of providing both short- and long-term disability insurance access to all private sector workers would be approximately 1.0 percent of total compensation. This would cost an employer $624 each year for a full-time (2,080 hour) worker, as illustrated below.


Estimated cost of access to short- and long-term disability insurance, by occupation group, private industry workers, March 2014
Occupation group Short-term disability insurance Long-term disability insurance
Percent with Access Benefit cost per hour worked Employer access cost per hour worked Percent with Access Benefit cost per hour worked Employer access cost per hour worked
All workers 40 $0.06 $0.15 34 $0.05 $0.15
Management, professional, and related 54 $0.10 $0.19 59 $0.09 $0.15
Service 20 10
Sales and office 38 $0.04 $0.11 34 $0.03 $0.09
Natural resources, construction, and maintenance 40 $0.09 $0.23 27 $0.03 $0.11
Production, transportation, and material moving 47 $0.06 $0.13 31 $0.06 $0.19
As seen in table 6, the cost of access for short-term disability and long-term disability across all private industry workers is $0.30 per hour worked ($0.15 each). The estimate ranges from $0.11 for sales and office workers to $0.23 for natural resources, construction, and maintenance workers. There are no reliable estimates for service workers, which is not surprising given that few service workers have access to employer-provided disability insurance. As a whole, however, the cost of providing both short- and long-term disability insurance access to all private sector workers would be approximately 1.0 percent of total compensation cost ($0.30/$29.99). This would cost an employer $624 each year for a full-time (2,080 hour) worker.

Note: Costs calculated from Employer Cost for Employee Compensation (ECEC) published estimates. Dash indicates data not available or applicable.

Source: National Compensation Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Of employers that offer disability coverage 37% paid the entire premium in 2010, down from 49% in 2002.  As of 2011, voluntary programs (meaning the employee pays the full cost) make up 50% of all long-term disability offerings, up from 41% in 2002.  According to the Council for disability awareness, however, when employers add disability insurance as a voluntary benefit, participation is only around 40%.

 

Sources

Forbes

Counsel for Disability Awareness

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Kaiser Health News


The Case for Disability Insurance

A major disability is something that happens to someone else… until it doesn’t!  The sad fact is most Americans are better prepared to die than they are to deal with disabilities.  If you are in your twenties, the chances are you rarely think about this.  But you should.  Just over one in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire.In fact, over 37 million Americans or about 12% of the total population are classified as disabledMore than 50% of those disabled Americans are between the ages of 18-64.  At the end of 2012, 8.8 million wage earners representing more than 5% of the entire workforce were receiving Social Security disability insurance, (SSDI) 2.5 million of these were in their twenties, thirties or forties.  But I’m careful, I eat healthy and work out you say.  As it turns out, accidents are NOT usually the culprit.  Statistically, about 90% of disabilities are caused by illness.  Cancer, heart disease and other illnesses cause the majority of long-term absences.  Consider the following statistic for a 35-year-old male.

These costs are immediate, expensive and often not covered by insurance!

These costs are immediate, expensive and often not covered by insurance!

A non-smoking male, 5’10”, 170 pounds, who works an office job with some outdoor physical responsibilities and who leads a healthy lifestyle has the following risks:

  • A 21% chance of becoming disabled for 3 months or longer during his working career
    • Of these, 38% run the chance that the disability will last 5 years or longer
    • the average disability length for this person is 82 months

 

Similarly, a 35-year-old female weighing 125 pounds has a 24% chance of becoming disabled for 3 months or more during her working career.  As you can see, the chances are simply too great to ignore for the average working person.  Furthermore, most people think that Workers Comp or Social Security Disability insurance will cover their needs if they become disabled.  According to the Council for Disability Awareness, less than 5% of disabling accidents and illnesses are work-related.  The other 95% are not, meaning Workers Compensation does not cover them.  In addition, according to the Social Security Administration, 65% of initial SSDI claim applications were denied in 2012.  The average SSDI monthly benefit payment for males was $1256 and for females was $993, with 93% of all recipients receiving less than $2000 per month.

 

Given these numbers, how well prepared are American workers for disability?  Not very.  Forty-eight percent of US families do not save any of their annual income, and one third of working families have no retirement savings.  Consider the following chilling statistics.

  • 68% of adult Americans have no savings earmarked for emergencies
  • 65% of working Americans say they could not cover normal living expenses even for one year if their employment income was lost.
  • 38% could not pay their bills for more than 3 months.

So what does the average family do when confronted with a disability?  They begin running up expenses on their credit cards, get a 2nd mortgage, cash in their 401(k) or take out a home equity line of credit and ask family and friends for assistance through sites like go fund me.  As you might guess from the above numbers however, these solutions are inadequate.  According to a Harvard study, 62% of all personal bankruptcies and over 50% of mortgage foreclosures are a consequence of disability, and many end up on Medicaid for insurance.  Keep in mind that while Medicaid rules vary from state to state, the general requirements for income are less than $931 per month and countable assets of $2000 per person, not including your primary residence (with limitations based on your home equity), personal property and household belongings and up to one motor vehicle.  ($3000 per couple living in the same household)

 

What is the answer then?  Disability insurance!  How common is it?  Consider:

  • 65-70 % of workers in the private sector have no long-term disability insurance
  • That equates to about 75-80 million private-sector workers who are without long-term disability income insurance
  • Worse yet, only 46% of workers have even discussed disability planning

 

Next Blog: Access To And Cost of Disability Insurance

 

Sources

American Journal of Medicine

US Social Security Administration

Counsel for Disability Awareness

US Federal Reserve Board

American Payroll Association

Get Sick, Get out: The Medical Causes of Home Mortgage Foreclosures


Memorial Day

Memorial DayOh that first long weekend of the year!  Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and it’s mere mention conjurers up thoughts of picnics, parades, grilling out and adventure travel.  Pretty much everyone knows that Memorial Day commemorates those who have given their lives in service to their country.  But do you know the history of Memorial Day?

 

The practice of honoring those who have fallen in battle actually dates back thousands of years.  The ancient Greeks and Romans held annual days of remembrance for loved ones killed in battle, festooning their graves with flowers and holding public festivals and feasts in their honor.  One of the first known public tributes to war dead was in 431 BC, when the Athenian general and statesman Pericles delivered a funeral oration praising the sacrifice and valor of those killed in the Peloponnesian war.  (An ancient Greek war fought by Athens against the Peloponnesian league led by Sparta)

 

In this country, Decoration Day as it was originally known, dates back about 150 years.  In 1868, Gen. John Logan issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the Civil War.  According to legend, Logan chose May 30 because it was a rare day that didn’t fall on the anniversary of a Civil War battle.  Logan Circle in Washington, DC is named in honor of this general.  By 1890, every former state of the union had adopted it as an official holiday.  But for more than 50 years, the holiday was used to commemorate just those killed in the Civil War.  It wasn’t until World War I that the tradition was expanded to include those killed in all wars, even though Memorial Day did not become a federal holiday until 1971.

 

The term Decoration Day was used for more than a century until it was changed to Memorial Day by federal law.  In 1968 Congress moved Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May.  Did you know that Memorial Day has a “birthplace”?  In 1966 President Johnson signed legislation declaring Waterloo, New York as the official birthplace of Memorial Day.  In 2000, Congress passed legislation encouraging all Americans to pause for a national moment of remembrance at 3 PM local time.  So this Memorial Day as you are enjoying all the festivities of the holiday weekend, take a moment to think about those who served and sacrificed to make it possible!

 

Source: The History Channel

 

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Excerpt from letter written to Mrs. Bixby of Boston, Massachusetts by Abraham Lincoln on November 21, 1864, after two of her sons were killed in battle.

 


Could Energy Star Be Eliminated?

Could Energy Star Be Eliminated?Unless you have been living under a rock, you have almost surely heard of a program called Energy Star.  A recent industry publication cited a statistic that as of 2016, 91% of US households recognize the Energy Star label.  Beyond mere recognition however, what is Energy Star and how does it work?  Energy Star is a program established by the EPA in 1992, and it sets energy efficiency standards for appliances, electronics, houses and buildings.  It’s not a regulation however, as businesses decide on their own whether or not to design products that comply with the standards.  So, what’s my point?  Early reports indicate that the 2018 budget of the Trump administration may reduce the EPA’s budget by 31%, eliminating nearly 4000 jobs.  One of the programs rumored to be cut as part of this reduction is the Energy Star program.  Is that a good idea?

 

There is much agreement that the rate and volume of rule promulgation by the EPA in recent years has added cost and questionable benefit for consumers as regards the development of HVAC equipment.  Energy Star is different however.  Instead of compelling business to adopt specific energy efficiency standards, it seeks to encourage by promising recognition and consumer support.  The theory is that consumers seeking to purchase energy efficient products will rely on labels such as Energy Star to help guide their choices.  According to Energy Star, the program has been extremely successful.  They report that since its inception, Energy Star has helped families and businesses save $362 billion on utility bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2.4 billion metric tons.  In addition, about 1.8 million Energy Star certified new homes have been built.  What do HVAC companies have to say about all this?

 

Two HVAC contractors recently interviewed by the ACH & R News didn’t believe that their businesses would be hurt much if the program was to go away.  On the other hand, one felt its disappearance would negatively impact the HVACR industry.  Steve Lauten of Total Air and Heat in Plano said, “It gives incentives to provide air-conditioning systems that deliver installed efficiencies versus rated efficiencies… particularly in residential and new home construction.  Energy Star means the duct system is sized and sealed like it should be and it means that equipment is checked out and charged like it should be.  Energy Star provides some level of confidence for consumers and ensures they are making good decisions.”  Conversations with contractors in the article seemed to imply that the more your company talks to the consumer in terms of total building efficiency and installed versus rated efficiency, the less they might be impacted by the elimination of this program.  For the tens of thousands of contractors however who sell on the basis of rated efficiency and labels like Energy Star, the programs elimination could prove harmful.  What about manufacturers?  According to the article, a recent Associated Press report stated that more than 1000 US companies, including United Technologies and Ingersoll-Rand have urged government officials to preserve the program, stating it should be strengthened, not weakened, to encourage energy conservation.  One of the contractors in the article summed up his feelings this way.  “Cutting out something like Energy Star simply to save money is not doing the right thing for the country.”

 

Information cited from May 15, 2017 ACH R news and March 23 Washington Post


Individualized Comfort

Have you ever walked into an office building and seen electric heaters on the floor by people’s desks?  Even worse, have you walked by an office and noticed cloth or cardboard stuffed into the diffuser?  That’s a clear indication of comfort problems.  A person is thermally comfortable when their bodies heat loss equals their heat production.  People vary, so what is comfortable for one individual is not for another.  What’s the solution?  Oftentimes a contractor will recommend installing airflow dampers in or rerouting ductwork.  More times than not, this results in an unsatisfactory solution.  How else can you correct the problem?  One way is with a VAV diffuser.

 

Individualized Comfort

Titus model T3SQ shown above, providing a view “above the ceiling.” The black device is the wax filled actuator. When the wax heats up, it causes the arms to rise, thereby listing the damper and allowing more airflow. When it cools down, the arms relax thereby lowering the damper. The minimum airflow adjustment ring can be seen in the center of the actuator, and the heating and cooling setpoint adjustment rings are found in the top half of the actuator.

 

What is that you ask?  Simply put, a VAV (variable air volume) diffuser is one which modifies airflow to the space based on a thermostat controlled by the user.  In other words, in a space heated and cooled by a rooftop unit, individual offices or spaces can have their own diffuser and their own thermostat.  If more than one third of the load is controlled by these diffusers however, a dump zone must be maintained in order to avoid damage to the compressor.  So for example, on a 5 ton unit, (2000 CFM) a dump zone must be maintained if more than 600 CFM is being controlled by VAV diffusers.  How do they work?

 

Using an architectural Square plaque ceiling diffuser, manufacturers incorporate a wax filled thermal element attached to the top side of the plaque.  (See picture) There are no wires involved.  This thermal element gets its room air temperature reading via a sensor mounted in the center of the diffuser.  The sensor allows for no more than a 1°F dead band between the induced room air temperature measured by the sensor and that of the zone air being supplied to the diffuser.  If the space begins to heat up in the cooling mode, wax in the thermal element also begins to heat up, thereby raising up the damper in the diffuser and allowing more airflow into the space.  As the room sensor become satisfied, the wax in the thermal element begins to cool down and the actuator assembly lowers, thereby reducing airflow to the space.  At least one manufacturers design allows the user to adjust the minimum airflow of a satisfied diffuser anywhere between 0-30%.  This capability allows the control necessary to meet Ashrae Standard 62.  Furthermore, these diffusers are listed by AHRI, so their rated performance has been tested by a certified lab.

 

What does this mean for the astute contractor?  Simply put, opportunity!  Consider the following statistics.

  • Thermal comfort is the most often cited complaint in office buildings today
  • Studies have linked improved comfort to reduced absenteeism, and thereby improved productivity
    • Labor costs are typically 10 times that of a property, so an improvement in comfort is rewarded with large returns in productivity

 

In a commercial building setting, awareness of the technologies that have a measurable impact on personal comfort and therefore productivity can help your company become the contractor of choice for problematic applications.

 

Picture courtesy of Titus


Those Dirty Grilles – Part 2

In the previous article, we talked about terminology and the difference between a diffuser, a grille and a register.  In this article, we are going to talk about dirt streaks on the ceiling, their causes and solutions.

 

The Titus TMS diffuser – the world’s 1st anti-smudge diffuser! Invented by Titus in 1955 to accommodate the trend toward acoustical lay in ceilings needing a square diffuser with a radial air pattern.

 

We have all seen restaurants or office buildings where the ceiling has become smudged and dingy with dirt streaks running across the ceiling next clearly coming from the air outlet device.  Most people assume the cause is dirty filters or dirty air within the space.  While they are contributing factors, there are several others which most contractors will not think about.  Fixing this problem when other contractors have not been able to could bring you a long-term customer!  So what are those other factors?

 

The first thing to look at are the air outlets (assume they are diffusers) themselves.  Have they been properly chosen for the application?  Believe it or not, diffusers are more than just “hole covers.”  Perhaps future articles will tackle the discussion of air inlets/outlets and their general applications, because the scope of this discussion is beyond this article.  You would be well served however as a contractor to take an application class from a trusted industry source such Hart & Cooley or Titus.  Bear in mind, proper diffuser selection cannot only impact dirt streaks but also sound levels within the space.

 

The second thing to keep in mind is the duct system leading to the diffuser.  Are the duct air velocities appropriate or is there a restriction somewhere?  It is not uncommon for example to find a situation where the round duct is kinked as it enters the top of the diffuser.  If there are restrictions, outlet velocities will be much lower than they should be, causing induction with room air as soon as it leaves the diffuser.  If you find this to be the case, there are companies that offer a brace designed to shape flexible ducts into highly efficient 90° elbows at the diffuser inlet.  When room air mixes with supply air at the outlet of a diffuser, not only will the system perform inadequately but you could also smudge the ceiling.

 

The third thing to keep in mind are the jet characteristics in the four zones of expansion for a diffuser.  As air leaves an outlet device, four distinct zones of expansion define the jet of air.  Jet velocities from a ceiling diffuser can be measured outward from the discharge point of the device.  The first zone which is closest to the outlet of the diffuser extends approximately 1 ½ duct diameters from the face of the diffuser, and is characterized by a constant velocity with minimal mixing of supply and room air.  In other words, a properly designed air distribution system will not induce room air within 1 ½ duct diameters.  For example, if the diffuser is being fed by a 7 inch round duct, there should be no room air mixing with the supply air within the first 10-12 inches.  In the second zone, the jet of air begins to mix with room air, and the resultant induction causes the jet of air to expand.  Velocities may well exceed 150 ft./m in this zone, depending on the design and application.  The third zone is where most of the induction occurs, and is the most important zone because it has the most effect on room air velocities and room induction.  Velocities at the edge of this zone may run between 50 ft./m(considered terminal velocity) and 100 ft./m.  The fourth zone is the one with relatively low air velocities.  Typically, air will reach terminal velocity in this zone.

 

Understanding the science and principles of air distribution can be a point of marketable differentiation between you and your competitors!

 

Photo courtesy of Titus.


Those Dirty Grilles

A grill + a damper = a register!

My pastor writes a weekly blog, and recently he mentioned a life experience where he was completing the wiring of a new Nest thermostat as part of a DYI project to make his home more energy efficient.  He said he was feeling self-assured as he connected the power wire to the thermostat from “the heater,” but later that night awoke to a cold house.  While I found it interesting how he made the connection between an HVAC project and the Almighty, that is not the subject of this blog.  I did find a part of it worth discussing however, and that is the topic of terminology.

I responded to my pastor that it was a great article, but that as a member of the HVAC community, I had to let him know that from a terminology perspective, the wire was actually coming from his furnace, not the heater.  Similarly, have you ever had someone walk into a room, look up at the ceiling and say something like, “Wow, those grills are really dirty.  They need to change them.”  That statement is just wrong on many levels.

 

Let’s first address the term “grilles.”  A grill is something you cook on and a grille is an air outlet or inlet device.  You would not want to cook on a grille, as it would leave funny looking sear (not to be confused with seer) marks and likely impart the taste of cooked paint to your food.  While we are on the topic of grilles, let’s clarify once and for all what the differences are are between air inlet and outlet devices.  (ASHRAE’s term)  Grilles can be used on both the supply and return air side of the system, and are technically described as a device whereby the inlet and outlet area, size and shape are generally the same.  In general, a grille is also a device where the general direction of the air coming from the ductwork is not changed after passing through the grille.  Adding a damper to a supply air grille makes it a register.

 

A diffuser is a supply air (only) device that is used to achieve specific objectives related to airflow patterns and mixing.  More specifically, a diffuser is an air outlet device in which the inlet and outlet area size and shape are generally not equal.  In addition, the direction of air leaving a diffuser usually changes from the direction in which it is traveling when it leaves the ductwork.

 

Whew, I’m glad we cleared all that up.  What about the comment related to dirty grilles and the need to change them?  Read next week’s blog and we will tackle that statement.  Meanwhile, I need to go check the setting on that automatic ambient air setpoint control device!

 

Picture courtesy of homeandgardenware.com


The HVAC Gateway Drug

Typical Sources of Air Leaks in the Home

Typical Sources of Air Leaks in the Home

A gateway drug is one that is habit-forming, and while not addictive in and of itself, it may lead to the use of other addictive drugs.  For example, many have maintained that marijuana is a gateway drug leading to other illicit and more harmful substances.  For HVAC contractors, could adding insulation be a gateway drug toward full involvement in home performance contracting?

 

Adding insulation is one of the most beneficial things you can do to make a home more energy efficient.  Take a look at a Manual J calculation from one of your recent retrofit jobs.  (You do run load calculations on your homes, don’t you?)  Run some simple calculations to see what the addition of insulation would do for the homes total heat loss/gain?  This additional service in your company could provide an ideal way to increase your labor productivity, (billed versus paid hours) or to increase capacity by adding new people to perform this function.  Before making this plunge however, you need to do your homework.

 

The first thing to realize is that you are not just getting into the insulation business, you are getting into the business of making the home perform better.  That means finding and sealing leaks in addition to insulating.  Sealing air leaks means stopping air that comes through your homes envelope – outer walls, windows, doors and other openings.  This will lessen the pollen, dust and insects entering the home, while reducing outside noise and providing better humidity control.  According to Energy Star, most homes in the US do not have enough insulation and have significant air leaks.  They maintain that a typical home has leaks that average the equivalent of having a window open every day of the year!  When your customers understand this, they are incentivized to do something about it.

 

You also have to prepare the employees within your company for this new capability.  Sales staff need to be trained on how to offer insulation and air sealing, while getting their buy-in to do so.  Simply mandating that they attend training and start offering these new services will not get the job done.  Once they understand the benefits to both their customers and themselves however, they will be more inclined to seek out these opportunities on every sales call.

 

Similarly, your technicians need to be trained on the proper techniques and tools to be used when sealing and insulating a home.  Organizations such as Everblue offer a BPI Weatherization Certification Course where students can learn in a certified environment.  Learning about the types of insulation to be used in a given application will depend on each homes individual needs and climate/location.  Finally, your scheduling staff must be trained on what is required in order to properly stage insulation/air sealing with equipment installation.

 

By successfully adding this capability to your business, you will have opened the door toward becoming a true home performance contractor, as opposed to a company that merely installs heating and air conditioning equipment.

 

Typical Sources of Air Leaks in the Home ~ courtesy of Energystar.gov

Image courtesy of Energystar.gov

 


What Are You Doing about It?

When will my house be finished?For years now we have all read about the shortage of qualified personnel coming into the HVAC industry.  In fact, that shortage extends to virtually all the construction trades.  According to an affiliate Of the National Association of Manufacturers, the average age of a trade person today is 56.  In addition, they estimate at present there are 600,000 skilled jobs going unfilled, and that by 2020, there will be a need for 10 million new skilled workers.  If nothing is done to meet these needs, construction costs of all types will increase and wait times for consumers will increase.  Without better training programs for those entering the trades, the quality of construction could decrease as well.

 

This has attracted the attention of everyone from Congress to Mike Rowe (host of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs) to the creators of This Old House.  In fact, This Old House Ventures, LLC very recently announced the launch of a new charitable campaign, Generation Next, which has the goal of encouraging and empowering young people to join the skilled trades.  All funds raised by the Generation Next campaign will be given to mikeroweWORKS, a 501©(3) foundation that rewards people with a passion to get trained for skilled jobs that actually exist.  (http://profoundlydisconnected.com/)

 

This should give you a feeling for the magnitude of this issue.  It should also create within you an urgency to become part of the solution!  It’s not enough to rail about the problem or to applaud efforts like those discussed above.  It’s time to stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself, as a veteran member of the construction trades, what are you doing about it.  “But I’m just a small guy,” you say.  “What can I do to make a difference?”  We’re glad you asked, consider the following.

  1. Support efforts to increase education. This means volunteering to speak at local high schools, junior highs and even elementary schools about the value of the construction trades and the great careers that reside there.  Partner with local vocational technical schools that are committed to turning out qualified students.  Participate in trade or other organizations at the local or national level that promote the recruitment, hiring and training of young people for the construction trades.
  2. Look to hire individuals from displaced sectors of the economy who have a proven work ethic. This can range from workers in the oil and gas field to veterans transitioning back to civilian life.  In addition, don’t overlook the opportunity for adding women to your workforce.  The technical trades can represent a great opportunity for young women with a STEM (science, technology engineering and math) background coming out of college.  For example, career pay ranges for a college-educated individual with a math degree range from $30,000-$50,000, whereas opportunities for these individuals in the construction trades could easily lead them to earn a six-figure salary.
  3. Make sure your own training programs are up to date, comprehensive and forever! Lunging at training by offering a few employees a class here and a class there won’t get it.
  4. Make sure your pay and benefits reflect the professionalism that you expect of these employees. You can’t recruit on the basis of industry opportunity on the one hand and expect results if you are only willing to offer starting pay of $20,000-$30,000 a year with no opportunities for upward mobility.

 

In short, solving this monumental problem in the construction trades isn’t someone else’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem.  Get on board and become part of the solution!

 

When will my house be finished?


Are You Taking Advantage of Peripheral Opportunities?

The Elements Of A True Home Comfort System!It’s winter, what’s going on in your office?  Are the phones ringing?  Are your service technicians getting 40 hours a week?  If so, what are you doing about it?  Are you in the heating and air-conditioning business – or are you in the home comfort business?  Consider the following.

 

An increasing number of home and building owners are choosing to install ultraviolet (UV) products that improve indoor air quality.  They understand the potential harm caused by airborne particles, and they are willing to eradicate the problem in increasing numbers.  The UV market has experienced growth in recent years, largely due to technological improvements and shrinking costs.  The residential market has the highest sales volume opportunities, even though it has been around for more than 20 years.  A couple of decades ago, there were only a handful of companies making products for this market, now there are dozens.  According to a market report by LEDinside, a division of TrendForce, the value of the worldwide market is expected to grow from $166 million in 2016 to $555 million in 2021.  (USD) That is a staggering number!  Are you ready for it?

 

UV-C products were first utilized in the 1950s during tuberculosis outbreaks.  In the 1960s, hospitals began using UV-C along with HEPA filtration in isolation rooms.  Today, notable UV-C applications include the Pentagon, the Centers for Disease Control and Emory University Hospital – where recent victims infected with Ebola were taken to recover.  Recognition from the technical side of the industry  has driven demand as well, starting when UV was introduced into the ASHRAE Handbook in 2008.  Upcoming ASHRAE standards such as SPC 185.1 and SPC 185.2 are only enhancing that.

 

Emily Zimmerman, product manager for air handlers and coils at Johnson Controls said adding UV to an existing system has numerous benefits.  “Multiple studies show the lamp reduces airborne disease transmission,” she said.  Kevin Lyons, IAQ product manager for Lennox residential said if they are installed in the correct location and are sufficiently powerful, UV lamps inhibit fungal and bacterial growth and contribute to improved indoor air quality.  “The immediate benefit is better air quality,” agreed Aaron Engel, vice president of marketing and communication for Sanuvox Technologies Inc.  “By incorporating UV systems into the ductwork, we are bringing the same natural process that cleans our atmosphere into the building.”  Overall, UBC can be a good and often inexpensive option for consumers looking to improve their homes indoor air quality.

 

Before launching this product into your company first educate yourself about the technology so you are convinced of its viability.  Talk to suppliers to learn about the product and decide on an offering.  Train your technicians and salespeople. Develop and implement a sales and marketing plan – and don’t forget about the continuing service opportunities associated with lamp replacements.

 

Doesn’t that beat sitting around and waiting on the weather to make your phone ring!

Article courtesy of ACH & R news, UV-C Shines a Light on System Health, Jen Anesi, October 20, 2014
Picture courtesy of thegasconnectionHVAC.com