April 2021 Newsletter

A Word from our President


by – Jonathan Brown-Kruse Corp.

Air conditioning weather is here, and with it we are having significant cost increase on equipment and material. Many of us are finding out that a two-week-old quote is two weeks too late. We are grabbing up inventory, and shortening the dates on our quotes, just trying to stay in the game. Stay vigilant, stay focused, and stay profitable.

We want to thank WTI for the great food and presentation last month. They really do have a terrific HVAC program, and dedicated staff. This month’s presentation will be on the 15th. Bob Christian of Lucas Milhaupt will be presenting on proper brazing technique. This class will be offered in person at BCS, and virtual for those unable to attend. This is a great opportunity to learn proper technique or just review what you already know.

Please join us, and do not forget to bring your business cards for the $100.00 drawing.

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

KCCA Code Class requirements

  • EVERYONE must have their own ZOOM account. Zoom is a free for the basic user and you can sign up @ zoom.us   
  • To participate & get credit for the code class you must use a device that has a camera on it, like a computer or cell phone. Zoom Participants must remain in site of camera so they can be seen by the proctors at all time. Cannot connect by audio only. Must connect with video.
  • To sign up for our Code classes we are requesting everyone to email Judy to ensure we get the CORRECT email address for you to get registered for the code class, also make sure to spell name correctly. Judy’s email is judykccaassn@gmail.com
  • Payments for the class you sign up for is the Friday before the class, if we haven’t received your payment then we won’t send out the link for the zoom meeting. Price per class is $30 for members & $60 for non-members.
  • Sign-up sheets & evaluation sheets are due back to Judy’s email by the Friday of the class. Example: if class is on 3/23, you must return the sheets by 3/26. If she doesn’t get them returned she will not be sending out a certificate.
  • KCCA payment policy is, if there is a payment for the class and no one shows up there will be NO refund or moving to a different date
  • Form of payments KCCA accepts are cash, check and NOW credit cards. Checks can be mailed to the PO BOX 3004 Wichita, KS 67201 or dropped off @ Fenix (802 W 2nd St N, ask for Shawna), cash can be dropped off @ Fenix (ask for Shawna) and credit card payments please call Shawna @ 316-201-7698 between 9-4, M-F.

All classes below will be instructed by Darrell Bogner via Zoom with proctors

Tuesday April 20th 2021 5:30-8:30 pm

3 Hour Mechanical Code Class: General Regulations out of 2018 IMC

Tuesday May 4th 2021 5:30-8:30 pm

3 Hour Mechanical Code Class: Ventilation out of 2018 IMC

Tuesday May 18th 2021 5:30-8:30 pm

3 Hour Mechanical Code Class: Exhaust Systems out of 2018 IMC

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.

March’s General Meeting

Thank you WTI for hosting our March general meeting. 

Rod Moore gave a very interesting history of WTI.  WTI was started 46 years ago by his father who retired in 1954.  In 2003 WTI moved to its current location.  In 2005 it expanded the programs offered.  WTI is located in Topeka, KS; Joplin, MO, and Tulsa, OK.  The Wichita location has approximately 400 students.  

Instructors gave an overview of programs they were able to use to keep the school open and students attending both in-person and virtual during the pandemic. Enrollment has increased 50% since July 2020.

A big congratulations to Joleen Lorg of KPHCC, won the $100 drawing.

We look forward to seeing everyone at our future general meetings. 

2020-2021 Meetings

April                  Brazing @ BCS (Jim White w/Johnstone will                         be our vendor spotlight)
May                  Code with Stoney 1hour Code CEU (Kevin                               Kaufman w/CFM will be our vendor spotlight)
June                 Tom Roberts

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

Growing Trends in Tool Technology Bring Benefits for Technicians

Digitalization and software are helping HVAC techs be more efficient

Air conditioning and heating systems are perhaps the most consumer-facing products in the HVAC industry, but technicians’ tools are the products that make it all possible. Though end users might not know every tool that a technician uses to install and service an HVAC system, contractors and their employees know how critical having a durable and trustworthy tool is. And just like the rest of the industry, technological developments are consistently improving the tools technicians have to use.

Trends In Tools

Digitalization is the name of the game when it comes to tool technology. Now, tools can communicate with other tools, connect with mobile devices, and store data by utilizing cloud storage. This means that technicians can share instrument data with the home office remotely when in need of additional troubleshooting expertise, and the data for an individual piece of equipment can be stored online. That way, at the next visit to that same piece of equipment (even if it is years later), technicians can pull up the equipment’s history. All of this leads to more accurate system diagnosis, which leads to fewer callbacks and happier customers.

Jim Gregorec, Fieldpiece vice president of research and development engineering, explained that the wireless communication in the Fieldpiece Job Link System means that technicians no longer need to run between the indoor and outdoor equipment. They can gather measurement information, perform manual calculations, and can multitask during certain aspects of the job until an alarm sounds on the tool or their mobile device. Time is saved, and money is earned.

“Digitalization is quickly becoming standard in the HVAC industry, powered by smart instrumentation and app-based connectivity,” said Michael Ficacci, director of marketing, Testo North America. “As part of a service call or installation, technicians are now able to supply and transmit real-time operational data, photographic evidence, and customer information via their instrumentation into their smart device and then into cloud databases for the home office and as a reference anytime in the future.”

He added that intuitive software running in the background of these apps has the ability to recognize what job a technician just drove up to and automatically show all the measurement readings from the initial installation and all service appointment thereafter.

All in all, digitalization of tools means that they are getting lighter, faster, more versatile, and increasingly integrated with smartphones as they move more and more into AI and the Internet of Things.

Tools for Technicians

Technicians want tools that are safe, easy to use, and will get the job done faster. Digitalization certainly plays a role in accomplishing these goals, but new tools incorporate even more.

“We consistently hear from HVAC technicians that they strive for efficiency, as well as only wanting to go to a job site just once — they want to get the job done right the first time,” said Nancy Gunnerson, marketing manager for Malco Products SBC. New tools are eliminating what have long been hassles for the technician. She offered Malco’s C-RHEX drivers as an example, as they combine what traditionally have been two drivers into one, keep screws in place so they don’t fall out, and allow for easy cleaning.

Plus, as green refrigerants grow in popularity in the HVAC industry, safety becomes a top priority, and technicians will need to handle those refrigerants with care. Gregorec said that HVACR tools are becoming A2L compliant to work on mildly flammable refrigerants, helping technicians stay safe.

Modern instruments are getting increasingly accurate and precise, and they are able to collect more data. Technicians find themselves checking superheat, subcool, airflow, CO2 and more, and modern data collection can feed into apps that give technicians recommendations and warnings about the systems being serviced.

“Many digital tools have step-by-step instructions tied to the smartphone, as well as video installations and color coding to show what goes where,” said Gary Lampasona, vice president of sales and marketing at Ritchie Engineering Company Inc. “Calculations are automated in analysis tools and reports are filled in automatically; then they can be sent digitally to the customer or printed.”

Lampasona added that items like the new BLDC motor-driven devices are more efficient and easier to carry, allowing for larger voltage variations. Newer tools are designed to keep technicians safe with locking power cords and sealed components to eliminate sparking in A2L and A3 applications.

Bringing in the Next Generation

Managers in the office have reason to be excited for new tools — they are making the HVAC industry more accessible for the next generation. Tools are not threatening technicians’ jobs. Rather, they are making room for technicians to be even more efficient and service more customers, and are offering the opportunity to make the industry more exciting. This could even help contractors weather the labor shortage.

 “Potential recruits should be attracted to the many resources available to become a craftsman in a challenging and rewarding field. Technology is advancing to provide consistent comfort with higher energy efficiency and a coordinated support network,” said Gigorec. “Skills training, certification, apprenticing, accurate and efficient smart tools, and coordinated field technical support all work in concert to put a new recruit in the best position to succeed.”

Gunnerson said that the skilled trades used to be viewed as an unattractive career path, but that perspective is shifting. More and more people are seeing the trades as a viable option for a comfortable life and a stable career. Many people do not find a standard nine-to-five desk job to be an interesting or a fulfilling career, especially when it might include taking on a large sum of debt to attend a university.

“Contractors who emphasize the importance of doing a job the right way — meaning doing it safely, efficiently, and well — help inspire pride in the HVAC trade and can be an incredibly positive recruitment tool,” said Gunnerson. “Part of doing the job right is having tools that can stand up to the work over the years and help get the job done more easily and ergonomically.”

Contractors can show potential recruits the cutting-edge technology of the HVAC industry, which can connect to smartphones, allow for system self-diagnosis, and utilize the IoT. Recruits can see how the HVAC industry exposes them to fascinating technology that can both be exciting and contribute to a stable career.

Funny Photos

Evaluate Your Mental State Behind the Wheel

At times, our thoughts can feel like they’re racing faster than the traffic around us while we’re on the road – but letting our minds stray behind the wheel is a form of distracted driving. Mental distractions can be just as dangerous as physical ones, whether we’re consumed by anger, worry, and stress, or just simply letting our minds wander.
This wandering is also known as “inattention blindness,” or looking but not seeing. You may have experienced inattention blindness if you’ve suddenly found yourself pulling into your destination and wondering how you got there.
This autopilot mindset meansthat your brain was less focused on the important task of driving safely, leading to slower reaction times behind the wheel.
Mental distractions to be mindful of while driving include:
 Worrying
 Daydreaming
 Strong emotions, including road rage
 Being too caught up in music or podcasts
 Overly engaging in conversation
 General stressors, such as the pandemic, family
matters, or future plans.

Driving with intention can be a safe way to combat inattention blindness. Drivers who are in tune with their personal mental state and who use situational awareness can better anticipate the actions of others on the road and react appropriately. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and an excellent time to teach company drivers about inattention blindness and remind them:
 Multi-tasking is a myth. Studies have proven that our minds can only focus on one thing at a time. 1
 Take a few deep breaths when feeling strong emotions.
 Never engage with aggressive drivers on the road – emotionally or physically.
 If weather permits, open a window for fresh air to help stay alert.
 Listen to the radio as a less interfering task alternative. 2
 Plan ahead: have directions ready, check the weather, and pack all needed items before leaving.
 Take care to not “zone out” when driving on familiar roads or routes. They may know the road, but they can’t anticipate the actions of other vehicles, pedestrians, or animals.
 Take personal accountability for their mental state behind the wheel. Only they will recognize when inattention blindness starts, so it is their responsibility to stay focused on the road.
Above all else, remind them that you want them to make it home safe today and being cognitively aware and present while driving can help prevent a devastating crash and save lives – so evaluate your mental state before you drive.

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