Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+


• Sponsored Content •

The Right Partner Makes a Difference

Originally published: 12.01.19 by HVACR Business Staff


Cultivating the relationship with a trusted partner will help you boost your business with VRF and ductless systems.

The HVACR market has been growing steadily over the past few years but growing in the low single digits. But when it comes to the ductless technology segment of HVACR, there’s been double digit growth each year for the past several years.

“Ductless technology has been adapted more and more throughout the past few years,” says Trevor Gensch, VRF and Ductless Product Sales Manager at Trane. “For contractors and engineers who maybe haven’t already explored training in ductless technology, it’d be advantageous to do so.”

As this segment grows, more players are entering the market. Contractors need to partner with a provider that’s going to stand behind their product and with service, support and training capabilities.

“As a contractor, you want to have a one-on-one relationship and not simply dial an 800 number,” says Vincent Patti, Field Project Manager/Ductless Technical Specialist for Trane. “It’s important to have a direct line to a field support person.”

HVACR Business spoke with Patti and Gensch about the versatility of today’s VRF and ductless solutions, potential challenges with this technology and the value of finding the right partner.

How are contractors

using ductless technology to offer additional solutions to their customers?

Patti: The first thing that comes to mind is versatility of the product. We have the ability to provide heating or cooling in a space that might have been inaccessible with traditional ductwork or chilled water lines, which are both generally larger than the refrigerant lines used in VRF.

We also have the ability to retrofit a traditional air handling unit with the brains of an indoor ductless unit and outfit it with a compressor, basically turning that standard air handler into a VRF system.

Gensch: Another great thing about VRF is the modular design. If more capacity or airflow is needed in a space over time, additional systems can be added without a major impact to the overall design. This ultimately makes VRF systems more flexible than traditional HVAC systems.

What are the main benefits contractors should highlight when they’re putting together proposals for their customers?

Gensch: From a contractor’s perspective, as he or she is trying to appeal to an owner, the efficiency of the system would be number one. Also, size is a factor as these systems tend to fit in smaller spaces. The indoor units take up less space, the outdoor units take up less space, and how that translates into a contractor owner when he’s installing it is that they can get more leasable square footage out of their building because less space is taken up by mechanical rooms.

What are some of the challenges still facing ductless technology?

Patti: Misapplication comes into play from time to time. Sometimes, with larger VRF commercial applications, we run into a scenario where a heat pump system is designed, where traditionally a heat recovery would be a better application. We’ve run into scenarios where we have occupants in the space that may be looking for heating on one side and cooling on the other side simultaneously. This can be accomplished easily with a heat recovery VRF systems. It just comes down to educating the design team with proper selection guidance.

Gensch: Misapplication also comes into play in regards to code compliance. Often times we see design teams overlooking compliance with standards such as ASHRAE 15. ASHRAE 15 essentially defines the amount of allowable refrigerant charge in an occupied space. Again, this challenge is easily overcome with proper design guidance from a manufacturer.

What kind of education and support does Trane offer its contractor partners?

Patti: Trane as a whole has made significant investments by adding quite a few training centers throughout the nation. We currently have more than 30 centers up and running across the country between Trane and Mitsubishi Electric Trane US, LLC, and planned to open in the near future. We want to have our installing contractors certified with the Trane®/Mitsubishi Electric VRF and ductless products. So, A) we have a good, clean install and B) for me personally, we develop a relationship with contractors. Aside from teaching the training classes, I generally get involved with the project after the equipment ships. I support the contractor from day one of the install, all the way through startup and after. We offer field support throughout the whole process, and in many cases years after the project has been installed.

What else makes Trane such a great partner for contractors?

Gensch: One of the best things about Trane is we’re not just an equipment provider. Trane is a full service HVACR solutions provider. Yes, we sell HVACR equipment, but we also have the best field support in the industry. Our applications engineers, ductless technical specialists, controls technicians, service technicians, and project managers are all in place and ready to support our customers from project inception through the life of the building.




About HVACR Business Staff

HVACR Business Staff




Articles by HVACR Business Staff

Eddie McDonald, owner of Zen Air Heating & Cooling in Suwanee, Ga.

Eddie McDonald, owner of Zen Air Heating & Cooling in Suwanee, Ga., discusses moving away from the franchise model, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on business and working with KickCharge Creative on his winning fleet design.
View article.

 

Lanny Huffman, president of Hickory Sheet Metal

Lanny Huffman, president of Hickory Sheet Metal in Hickory, N.C. and newly installed chairman of ACCA, discusses the evolution of his company, giving people responsibility and the importance of industry associations.
View article.

 

Mike Grassle, GM of Hetter Heating & Cooling

Mike Graessle discusses recruiting retirees, checking financials every day and being thankful.
View article.

 

• Sponsored Content •

Safer. Faster. Cleaner.

Save 60-90 percent on labor and stay on schedule with MegaPressG fast, flameless connections
View article.

 

Rob Minnick, president and CEO of Minnick’s

Rob Minnick, president and CEO of Minnick’s, discusses reinventing the business after 2008, learning to run a business and the value of home performance.
View article.