Thermostats + Controls: Page 1. THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NE WSMAGA ZINE SINCE 1926 September 23, 2013 | $5.00 | Visit us online at www.achrnews.com, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIn Perks of Home-Performance Partnerships Counseling, Cooperation Promote Whole-House Contracting Success By Joanna R. Turpin Of The NEWS Staff W hen J. Scott Needham, presi-dent, Princeton Air Condi-tioning Inc., Princeton, N.J., made the decision to enter the home-performance contracting (HPC) industry, he discovered there were many dif-ferent ways to go about it. After initially think-ing about going it alone, he ultimately chose to partner with an organization that knew the intricacies, and then he jumped in with both feet. “That has been one of the best business decisions we’ve made. The pace at which we were able to get up to speed was amazing.” Many others have followed Needham’s path, seeking guidance from numerous organizations that have the experience necessary to help con-tractors start and/or grow their HPC businesses. Going Green After considering all of his options, Need-ham partnered with GreenHomes America, an Irvine, Calif.-based turnkey operation offering HVAC contractors on-site home-performance training focusing on marketing, sales, production, service technicians, tech-nical advisors, customer service, and metric tracking, as well as daily support. Needham noted that he was first attracted to the organization’s training programs. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the people. The pro-fessionals that we interface with keep us focused on the important things, while helping us avoid costly mistakes. The success we’ve had in the HPC business makes us feel like anything is pos-sible, but finding the right partner was the key.” GreenHomes also has a national pur-chasing program that provides partners • See HPC SUCCESS | page 22 High-End Thermostats, Controls Gain Traction By Jen Anesi Of The NEWS Staff fyi hvac briefs Contractor • Custom Air Products & Services Inc. (Houston) hired Neal Robi-chau to its CAPS sales team. Manufacturers • Advantix Systems (Sunrise, Fla.) was selected as a 2014 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum (New York). • Sherwood Valve LLC (Washing-ton, Pa.) named John Foster as southeast regional sales manager and Arnie Lockstein as mid-Atlan-tic regional sales manager. • Nest Labs Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) entered into an agreement with Intellectual Ventures (Bellevue, Wash.) granting Nest Labs non-exclusive rights to Intellectual Ven-tures’ portfolio of patents. • TSI Inc. (Shoreview, Minn.) launch-ed its IAQ and HVAC training center, a division of TSI University. • Williams Comfort Products (Colton, Calif.) opened a warehouse distribu-tion location in Commerce City, Colo. Continued on page 5 A s technology has advanced, so have thermostats. Temperature control devices have rapidly evolved from simple analog dials into digital, attractive, easy-to-use, programmable, and even remotely acces-sible devices that not only look good on the wall, but also efficiently operate the home’s HVAC system. More accurate sensors and remote acces-sibility have resulted in a new breed of con-trols that provide energy savings without compromising occupant comfort, all while allowing consumers to monitor and control their HVAC equipment from almost any-where at any time. But even with these advances in technol-ogy, industry leaders agree that only time will tell what features and services might become standard on future generations of high-end thermostats and controls. • See TRACTION | page 14 R-RollerCoaster Even with a short-term production spike driving down R-22 prices during its phaseout, many are wary of the temporary surplus and are continuing to explore alternatives, such as the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants used at this year’s SkillsUSA competition, as well as natural refrigerants like CO 2 and hydrocarbons (HCs). Learn more on page 20. A end this FREE Webinar! DIGITALEDITION THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY: Designing Geothermal Systems with Variable Speed Water Pumping DATEWEDNESDAYOCT•TIMEPMEDT Register for FREE at webinars.achrnews.com.