The Advantage
Sep. 19, 2012

Protect yourself by recognizing risk
Business First
It's all about recognizing and allocating risk. A contractor or subcontractor is considering a bid on a new project. The specs are out there and the contractor knows that the work is right in its wheelhouse and it has the resources to do the work. It believes it can competitively bid and is prepared to submit a proposal. The fine print, however, can be daunting and the insurance coverage requirements are often in the fine print.More

Basic electricity for HVACR technicians
Contracting Business
There are three basic types of wiring diagrams used in the HVACR industry today. The first, and most common, is the ladder diagram, in which symbols represent various components in the circuit and lines represent the wires connecting them. A line diagram usually includes drawings that more closely resemble the components themselves, rather than symbols. An installation diagram is a tool that's used primarily by the installing contractor.More

The 'System Essentials' handout
Contracting Business
The easiest time to sell something to someone is right after they've gotten used to spending money with you. Most technicians stop selling once they get a "yes," and installers rarely try to sell upgrades. Here's a handout that techs and installers can give customers to read while they are working.More

News from Bensalem, Pa.
OESP
Earlier this month, OESP executive director Judy Garber learned that a new training facility owned by B.J. Terroni was christened by Taco, the first presenter at the facility. It is always great to hear about partners that are investing in training. When looking for a place to host a class, check with your local supply house or tech school. Many times you’ll find the facility is more conducive to training than a hotel room.

OESP is always looking for "other facilities" to host either a chapter class or an on-the-road workshop. If you know of any facilities, email Judy.More

You are invited to visit a new website
Mechanical Hub
John Mesenbrink and his partner, Eric Aune, are working hard to bring the latest news to plumbers, heating and mechanical contractors. John has worked in this industry as an editor for over 15 years. Eric owns his contracting business, Aune Plumbing LLC, located near Minneapolis, Minn., and is a UA instructor for the local 15 Plumber's Apprenticeship program.

They are excited to have a guest blogger from the industry each week and would welcome one from your company from time to time. As the name implies, it truly is a "hub" to connect contractors to the industry.

They invite you to check out what they have to offer at www.mechanical-hub.com — tell them what you think. More

OilHeatCares.com is live
Oil Heat Cares
In the last issue, we announced that a new website was being developed for Oil Heat Cares — www.oilheatcares.com. An industry partner, Consumer Focus™ the marketing side of ServicEdge™ designed this site especially for us. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Speaking of OHC — remind your technicians as they do their tune-ups about OHC and how it can help a customer in need.More

Last call for the 1st module of the Home Comfort Specialist Academy
OESP
"How to Sell a Warm Air Furnace with Air Conditioning," will be the first module of our new academy that will be formally launched in 2013. You can get a good taste of this academy by attending this first session. To get a better understanding of the program visit our website. Because this class is being offered during our Oilheat Retreat, it is complimentary to attend. You just have to register. The class will be held noon-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Radisson in Scranton, Pa. It is also a convenient way to earn both NATE (CEU's) and NORA CEU's (three CEU's).More

Positive thoughts
OESP
Spice up your chapter meetings with some new ideas. With this challenging economy and the overload of information, we sometimes forget to sit back and relax a bit.

For example, the Garden State Chapter is putting out a plea to their membership called, "Please Help the Children." You don't necessarily have to donate school supplies to those in New Jersey, but you can in your own neighborhood. It doesn't cost much to start something like this. Encourage members to bring, pens or pencils, pencil cases, filler paper, rulers (yes, they still use these), crayons, coloring books, highlighters, etc. You remember back when August rolled around and you brought your kids to a local store to stock up on these things? That was fun. Well bring back that fun and think about helping a local school.

If anyone coming to the Oil Heat Retreat wishes to help the Garden State Chapter achieve its goal, bring the items to Paul Cuprewich. They are helping St. Joseph's Social Services Center in Elizabeth, N.J.

And the Southeast Pa. Chapter is doing two new things this fall: they will have an event Oct. 24 at Stevens School of Technology, in Lancaster, and they are running a bus to New York City on Dec. 15. What a wonderful time to be in New York City for the holidays. The driver does all the work. Relax and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Christmas time in New York City.More

Maine heating oil use down to lowest level in more than 2 decades
Kennebec Journal
The sound of heating systems coming to life this month is a rude awakening, following a warm and sunny summer; but it's a sound that's being heard less often in Maine, when it comes to oil heat. The total amount of heating oil burned in Maine households was cut nearly in half from 2005 to 2010, to about 189 million gallons. In fact, oil consumption in Maine homes has declined to levels not seen since at least 1984, federal figures show.More

5 tips for managing mobile devices on your small business network
Business Insider
As the business world shifts increasingly toward mobile devices for employees, small businesses are faced with a new challenged. With little to no I.T. support at many small businesses, owners are often left to either contract support out or try to do it themselves. But supporting mobile devices requires more than simply showing users how to do various functions. With devices that will be largely outside of the office, the security risk increases dramatically.More

Commentary: The SAVE Act would help homeowners, contractors and energy efficiency
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
For those in the housing industry, including home building and mortgage lending, the Great Recession was almost as hard a blow as the Great Depression. There are signs of hope for home building. New legislation — known as the SAVE (Sensible Accounting to Value Energy) Act — would bring the cost of energy and the value of energy efficiency into the home appraisal/mortgage process. It would reward homeowners and builders for installing more insulation, better windows and more-efficient HVAC systems. It would be a boon for homeowners, home contractors and builders and a boost for energy efficiency.More

5 tips for making your email marketing mobile friendly
Business 2 Community
Nowadays, more and more people are reading emails on their phone. A report by Nielson finds that 53 percent of mobile users check email on their phone more than once a day. However, many businesses aren't ensuring their mobile campaigns are indeed mobile friendly. According to MarketingTechBlog.com, "80 percent of consumers find reading marketing emails on their mobile less easy than on a PC." So, instead of wasting the great opportunities mobile can bring to your email marketing efforts, consider these five tips to make it work for you and the customer.More

Heat recovery ventilation systems
Daily News-Miner
Heat recovery ventilation systems are becoming increasingly common in cold climate construction and are almost indispensable in today's super-insulated, airtight homes. As older homes are receiving energy retrofits and becoming tighter and more insulated, they are facing the same indoor air quality issues you find in new construction. HRVs improve the indoor air quality of your home and save more energy than other types of ventilation.More

Alternative energy gaining popularity with homeowners
WHEC-TV
Green technologies are being discussed just about everywhere from the presidential election to business to homeowners. One of the technologies that are gaining popularity is geothermal heating and cooling. The average cost to install geothermal in a home is about $20,000, but homeowners do get a 30 percent tax credit. Not to mention geothermal is designed to pay for itself in less than five years. So there's a large upfront cost, but as energy prices continue to rise, homeowners say it might not be a bad investment.More

Free plumbing and heating services provided to elderly in Ohio
WEWS-TV
The ninth annual "Heat and Plumb the County" service event took place Sept. 15, helping nearly 60 senior and disabled residents in Valley View, Ohio, who do not have the physical or financial means to pay for home repairs. A group of 100 volunteer contractors from the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association of Northeast Ohio and the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America traveled throughout Cuyahoga County to provide the free furnace tune-ups, water audits and plumbing repairs. More