January 2021 Newsletter

A Word from our President

by – Jonathan Brown-Kruse Corp.

Happy new year!

With the new year comes new possibilities and new opportunities. Now that we are all back to reality after the holiday break and picking up where we left off, we may be realizing what a new reality it has become. With the current COVID situation, and our very bizarre and outrageous (but entertaining) political climate, 2021 could very well turn out to be quite the idiosyncratic adventure.

In my life I have found, change is often unwelcomed. But in the end, it allowed for the needed motivation to make the necessary shift. I hope that each one of you find new and exciting opportunities in the year to come.

We will not be having Stoney Nethercot speak on code changes and updates this month due to scheduling conflicts. We hope to reschedule Stoney in the future.

We will be welcoming Becky Warren with  SKILLS USA to speak about skilled labor, and in preference to the HVAC and plumbing trades. Skills USA is a strong supporter of technical based training. There is quite a bit of information online about skills USA if you are curios. Including some Mike Rowe videos, in case you are a fan.

Remember we are limited in capacity at the scotch due to COVID, so please rsvp to Judy if you plan on attending.

We did have our “ Virtual” code class on December 22. Most of the membership would agree that it was a success. It was a mad scramble to organize, approve, schedule, and execute. Please thank Ross Ballard, Tom Tallon, Frank Sneller, and Darrell Boger for making it happen.

On that note, please feel free to email me with any concerns you may have with this process and format. We will most likely be offering these classes again, and we will be making improvements along the way to simplify the experience.

For future reference. It is very important that you let us know if you have not received proper information, or any information via email when it comes to the events and classes we have. Please do not wait until the day of the event to reach out. Also, understand that the quality of your internet and age of your computer will greatly affect the reliability of your participation in our online classes.

Please understand and keep this in mind. We have no control over your chosen venue’s technological relevance.

Have a happy and safe New year.

Please feel free to email or call Jonathan at (316) 633-1235 or Jbrown@krusecorp.comwith any concerns or questions.


KCCA $500 TOOL SCHOLARSHIP
The board revised the Tool Scholarship a little. KCCA wants the employee to be working for the KCCA member for 3 months before they are eligible for the $500 tool Scholarship. So in short the employee or employer need to submit application and proof of graduation from one of our local trade school after the employee has worked for them for 3 months.


December’s General Meeting

We did not have a December general meeting.  See you in January!!


2020-2021 Meetings

January            SKILLS USA
February           
March               WTI @ the campus 
April                  Brazing @ BCS 
May                   Vendor 
June                  Tom Roberts

This list is subjust to change due to speakers not able to make the date we have selected for them.


Measure System Temperatures to Diagnose Uncomfortable Rooms

Advice for when HVAC equipment isn’t heating properly

It’s the middle of winter, and you’re probably getting calls from homeowners who want larger HVAC equipment. Their current system runs constantly and can’t keep a few rooms warm and comfortable. When most contractors receive these calls, they investigate and often find correctly sized equipment for the home’s heating needs that is operating fine.

So, what could hinder an HVAC system from heating a home on those coldest days? While there are many factors, you can frequently find one source of trouble when you measure system temperatures. Let’s look at how you can use a return grille and supply register temperature measurement to uncover one source of uncomfortable rooms.

Equipment and System Assumptions

A common assumption made in our industry is that  equipment heating output and  system heating output (the latter of which includes the duct system) are the same. This is rarely the case in real-world conditions. When a manufacturer rates their equipment, it is in a perfect laboratory environment. Yet once the equipment gets installed in a customer’s home, everything changes. Most installation conditions are far from perfect.

One major component of any installation to consider is the duct system. It determines system performance more than the heating equipment. If you focus too much on the equipment, you may overlook a potential reason the system can’t maintain comfortable conditions. Don’t fall into the mindset of believing the equipment is the system.

Measure Equipment Temperatures

Before you can test, you need a good digital thermometer that reacts to temperature changes quickly and measures to a tenth of a degree. As with any test instrument, you get what you pay for, so choose wisely. I love Bluetooth temperature probes for these tests. You can instantaneously review temperature readings from multiple places. If you want to speed up your testing, these probes are a wise choice.

To measure equipment temperatures, turn the equipment to heating mode and let it run for 10 to 15 minutes. If testing a heat pump, make sure the electric heat strips are off. Multi-stage gas furnaces need to operate in the highest heating stage. Failure to consider these conditions could lead to inaccurate temperature measurements.

Next, measure return and supply temperatures at the indoor air handling equipment. Record the temperatures and then subtract the return air temperature from the supply air temperature to determine the equipment’s temperature rise (∆t). Assure it is within range and record your readings.

It’s important to note that temperatures depend on airflow. If the airflow is high or low, it influences ∆t.

Measure System Temperatures

Next, measure system temperature rise (∆t) in the most uncomfortable room. If you have Bluetooth temperature probes, you can place one in the return grille and the other in the supply register. If there are multiple supply registers, you can use extra probes or measure temperature from the supply register farthest away from the air handling equipment.

If you don’t have the luxury of Bluetooth probes, you can still use your digital thermometer to test. Measure the return grille temperature first, then measure the farthest supply register second. Be sure you don’t take too long between measurements; your readings could be off substantially. Once you have your readings, subtract them to determine system ∆t.

If the duct system is well insulated with minimal leakage, the equipment and duct system temperature rise should be close. There will be some differences, but there shouldn’t be more than a 10% temperature change across the duct system.

Example

Let’s say you have a three-ton heat pump operating in heating mode at a 30° outside ambient temperature. You measure temperatures at the air handler and find your supply air temperature is 88.5° and return air is 70.2°. This equals an 18.3° equipment ∆t (88.5 – 70.2 = 18.3).

Next, measure temperature at the farthest supply register and return grille of the most uncomfortable room. In our example, the supply register temperature reading is at 79.7° and the return grille temperature is 70.5°. This equals a 9.2° system ∆t (79.7 – 70.5 = 9.2).

To determine the percentage of duct system temperature loss, divide the 9.2° system ∆t by the 18.3° equipment ∆t (9.2 ÷ 18.3 = .50). After you move the decimal point two places to the right, you discover a duct system temperature loss of 50% to this room. As a result, the temperature available at the air handler doesn’t make it to the room.

How would you handle this if you measured similar readings?

Move Beyond the Box

This test will surprise you when you calculate how much temperature a duct system will lose, even in conditioned spaces such as a basement. It also presents you with a new opportunity that most of your competition will walk past while trying to sell larger equipment or booster fans.

The most applicable repair for duct temperature loss is more duct insulation. Be careful as you choose from various insulation options available. Some insulation types offer high promises but don’t perform well in the field. The test we went over can also help you verify insulation effectiveness once repairs are complete.

If you consider adding duct insulation, be sure the duct system delivers proper airflow at an acceptable total external static pressure. Insulating a leaky or undersized duct system is a waste of time and money. The system will need additional repairs to work as intended.

I would also encourage you to consider more than the HVAC system. Don’t assume the room insulation is right and working as designed. You can get a glimpse into insulation effectiveness with an infrared thermometer or a thermal imaging camera. If the air temperature in the room is 72° and the wall temperature is 68°, you’ll have a hard time maintaining comfortable conditions even with duct system improvements.

The rubber meets the road when you test for yourself. Document what you find as you perform this simple test and help your customers understand the need to choose better options.


Funny Photos


Risk Management Resolutions: Look Back to Look Forward

When you think about your past year in risk management, what sticks out to you? What worked? What didn’t? What can you improve? Did you have an above‐average safety record? Maybe one of your employees was injured. Did your attitude toward workplace safety help or hinder your success? Now is a good time to take stock of the past 12 months,
as unusual and unprecedented as they were, and move forward using the experience you gained. Here are a few ideas to help get you thinking about how to use 2020 to create a better 2021.
Your people are your priority. Your employees are your number one asset. Whenever you create or revise policies and procedures, do it with their well‐being in mind. If your employees are working safely, they are more productive, your operation is more efficient, and you are more likely to meet your organization’s goals.
Make risk management a part of your company culture. Creating a safer workplace is not a one‐time task. It requires attention and participation at all levels — but it starts at the top. When leaders show passion and commitment, employees will naturally follow.
Control what you can; prepare for what you can’t. Risk management is a mixture of affecting variables and adjusting to outside influences. For example, you can train your employees on proper ladder use, helping reduce their chances of injuring themselves while climbing. However, you can’t prevent a weather event from damaging your facilities, but you can make a plan to react to such events to help keep your business operating as smoothly as possible under the
circumstances.
Strengthen your existing policies and practices. Even if your risk management program is already strong, it can always get better. Are you giving new employees information and tools for success? Can you use technology to help increase safety and efficiency? Examine your risk management activities and look for opportunities for development.  
Don’t let lessons go to waste. If your business had a safety incident like an auto crash or workplace injury, use the experience to help guide your efforts. Don’t let an unfortunate event be in vain.
Watch out for emerging risks. Businesses face new threats to their success every day, so keep an eye on what’s happening in the world and in your industry. Risks like cybercrime, and rises in punitive court judgments for auto liability have become more prominent in recent years.   
Risk management is an ongoing process. One of the most important parts of that process is learning from your experiences. But be careful not to dwell on the past. Instead, use it as a valuable resource on your journey to success.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.