Alan Manufacturing’s Customized HVAC Damper/Duct Products at Comfortech 2015

Alan Manufacturing Inc. representatives, our customized damper and duct products will be amongst the “cool products, hot trends and solutions for [HVACR] success” that contractors will find on display at Comfortech 2015. Look for us in expo booth #573 at America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri! This is the spot learn more about Alan Manufacturing and our customized damp/duct products at the prestigious event!

This year, Comfortech takes place September 15th-17th, with the exhibit hall open Wednesday, September 16th, from 12:30- 4:30P.M., and Thursday, September 17th, from 12 noon until 4P.M. We’re looking forward to meeting and networking with many of the 1,500 plus contractors and manufacturers in the HVACR industry who are expected to attend Comfortech this year. This conference and expo gives us the opportunity to showcase our heating, ventilating and air conditioning products in a face-to-face, relaxed and fun environment!

“Comfortech brings together the latest products, trends and business solutions for mechanical contractors involved in HVACR, hydronics and plumbing.” Presented by Contracting Business and CONTRACTOR magazines, this is a national event designed to “educate and inspire business transformation” for industry professionals. For more information about Comfortech 2015, visit the conference website. For further information on our company and products (both at the show and online) you can check out the Alan Manufacturing website, too. We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis!

The Benefits of Retrofits

There are several factors to consider when it comes to deciding if a retrofit is a good plan for your building. One of the main factors is budget. A retrofit can help buildings save money by reducing energy costs without having to replace everything. It could also help increase the value of the building and improve rent, sales and lease up rates. Additionally, a retrofit is much easier when compared to a full replacement because it require less labor and time, which means minimal downtime for the building.

Beyond cost savings a retrofit could help improve employee health and productivity. A recent article in GreenBiz found that energy-intensive buildings such as healthcare facilities, food services establishments, and prisons can benefit from deep energy retrofits, which add more sustainable features to improve energy efficiency. IN particular, prisons found that natural environments helped lower health complaints and other benefits. These same benefits can be applied to other spaces, including homes, offices, and other building types.

To find out more about the benefits of retrofitting and how we can help you, visit us online. We also post more industry news and company updates on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

The Growth of the Internet of Things in the HVAC Industry

You’ve probably seen articles about the Internet of Things or IoT. But what is it? The Internet of Things is a network of devices that can share information and complete tasks while consumers go about other activities. For example, sprinkler systems could access weather forecasts to optimize the watering schedule.

When machines have the ability to communicate with each other, the machines can improve the efficiency of the tasks. This energy efficiency is the top reason consumers want IoT integration according to ThroughTek. The report found that one in three Americans surveyed believe the connected home will be achievable within the next year and 60% believe it will happen within the next five years.

The energy efficiency of IoT is a key factor for millennials according to the report as Americans are looking for ways to reduce the average yearly bill of $3,000. This can be incredibly important to the HVAC industry as new products are created. There are already companies like Nest are already offering consumers connected “smart” devices such as the thermostat that can be controlled from a mobile device. At ALAN Manufacturing we are exploring the Internet of Things and researching how it can be incorporated into our products and we will continue to follow this trend update our customers.

To stay connected with ALAN Manufacturing, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

ALAN Manufacturing Unveils New Products for Summer

At ALAN Manufacturing we’re excited to announce two new products just in time for summer, our convertible powered system.

First is our C450 Round plastic damper system. The system is wirelessly operated and composed of a push button control wand, infrared receiver, infrared remote, motor assembly, power supply adaptor or battery pack with 4 AA batteries. The remote allows the user to easily open and close the damper to control the air flow. This project is ideal for the office to help control the air flow and regulate the temperature. This can help businesses reduce energy costs and power consumption and allow building managers to easily regulate temperature across multiple zones.

Second is the C450 Floor grill system specification. The floor grill system is also wireless and includes the push button control wand, infrared receiver, infrared remote control, motor assmeble, and power supply adaptor or battery pack with 4 AA zie 1.5 Volts batteries. The damper can easily be installed into the floor and can be opened and closed. This product is perfect for hard to reach areas in homes such as underneath a vanity or for those that may be physically limited and cannot be up and down off of the floor opening and closing a manual damper.

To learn more about our products, visit our website or contact us directly. We also post more HVAC news and company updates on our Twitter and LinkedIn.

Positive Outlook for the HVAC Market

At Alan Manufacturing we are always watching the HVAC market and we recently read a new report that provides some positive news for the industry. The March Contractor Comfort Index (CCI) from the ACCA finds that HVAC contractors have a positive outlook about the short-term growth of the industry. The index was 79, which was up 6 points from 73 in March 2015 and was up 2 points from February 2015.

The CCI is calculated by surveying the association’s contractor members who are asked how positive they feel about new business prospects, existing business activity, and expected staffing decisions in the short-term future. Anything CCI of 50 or more reflects anticipated growth.

For our part, we have noticed an uptick in business and as we move into spring and summer we expect to remain busy. To better serve the HVAC industry we are developing new products and we look forward to sharing that news soon. Be sure to check our blog next month for more company news and visit our website to see all our HVAC products. We also actively post more HVAC industry news on our Twitter and LinkedIn.

New Trends in Green Office Buildings

Sustainable office space is increasingly become important to small companies and major corporations alike. According to a recent Cushman & Wakefield survey of 23 major US-based corporations 95% of the respondents reported having a formal corporate sustainability strategy and 90% said their stockholders demanded they embrace sustainability. There are several benefits for having an environmentally-friendly office building for corporation and small businesses, including enhanced branding as a socially conscious company and cost savings with energy efficient products. Commercial building owners are also updating their buildings with newer utility systems and implementing other energy-saving features to help attract potential tenants.

At ALAN Manufacturing we have products that can help companies and building owners reduce costs and be more energy efficient. One product ideal for office settings is our A80WL System Wireless Damper. This damper can help control airflow and improve comfort by eliminating overcooling and overheating. Buildings will also reduce energy as airflow in over-conditioned areas is automatically directed to other areas. Not only does this help reduce energy use but can also make employees more comfortable with individualized comfort.

To learn more about our products, visit our website. We also post more HVAC news and company updates on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Meet Alan Manufacturing at the AHR Expo

Alan Manufacturing will once again be exhibiting at the AHR Expo. The expo runs from January 26th through the 28th at Chicago’s McCormick Place and will bring together professionals in the HVACR industry. The show will feature 2,000 exhibitors and will allow attendees to view the latest innovations in the industry and meet with other professionals. The show also offers attendees educational opportunities presented by a variety companies and organizations, including ASHRAE Learning Institute, Indoor Air Quality Association, and NEBB.

Alan Manufacturing will be exhibiting at the South Hall at booth 6295 and will be showcasing a variety of our products for the HVACR industry, including our manual cable operated damper, which features a push/pull sleeved cable that provides rotary actuation with a simple turning motion. This damper can also easily be installed and we can build the damper tub or attach it to your fitting. We will also have our duct mufflers on display. The mufflers reduce the noise traveling through duct work are available in standard as well as custom sizes. We encourage attendees to visit our booth to see our products firsthand and discuss how they can help their business. To view our products before the show, visit our website and follow us on Twitter for updates from the AHR Expo.

ComforTech 2014 – An Event to Remember

ComforTech 2014, held in Nashville, Tennessee, was a fantastic experience for all of us.  It was great to see old friends in the business, as well as create new friends and add new contacts to our network. Nashville isn’t called Music City for nothing, and the convention location at the Nashville Convention Center was in the middle of it all.  The host facility, The Renaissance Nashville Hotel, was very close to the convention center and had all the amenities you would expect.

At this conference, there were more fantastic presentations than we could possibly attend, including “7 Habits of Highly Effective Contractors” and “The Green Path for the Service Professional.” These presentations were effective, professional, and very informative. The venue was superb and the exhibitor list was top-notch, with companies from all around the industry displaying their products.

Among the products we displayed was the hand held wireless remote control system. Once you plug it in, the handheld remote control becomes operational. That remote will control up to 32 dampers. It opens in 5% increments, and each damper can be individually controlled with the wireless device.
We also presented our manual cable driven system that works when electricity is not available. The cable can be mounted inside or outside of the airstream, and the entire system will mount onto a board in the basement or ductwork. This was an instant hit and received a lot of interest.
Lastly, we demonstrated the convertible powered grill. This grill drops down into your floor register. It comes complete with a receiver which is controlled remotely, making it unnecessary to access the duct.

All things considered, this trip was well worth the time and we were very happy to be able to talk about our versatile products and the ways they can make life easier for both the user and installer.


The Overwhelming World of Residential Zoning and Efficiency

With so many options available to homeowners regarding zoning and efficiency, it would come to pass that looking to outside sources for help would be the logical next step. There are many places out there that can help with this process. Here are a few tips that we suggest in order to ensure that you are getting the most for you money in safety and reliability:

  • Be sure that you have contacted a qualified contractor for help in choosing and installing your zoning system.
  • Be sure that said contractor is a member of ACCA, Efficiency First and the Better Business Bureau

Once you have done your research and chosen the contractor that you deemed to be the best option for you, a few of the options that they may suggest include the following:

  • Adding another furnace/ air-conditioner and rerouting the duct work.
  • Changing the manual dampers to motorized dampers and having them controlled by a thermostat. (By doing so, you will either control individual zones or be tied to a control panel to have total indoor air quality)
  • Sealing any duct leaks found between the joints of the duct work
  • Sealing around the windows
  • Wrapping any ductwork with insulation that had not been wrapped prior

We hope that these tips help anyone struggling with decisions on which direction they should go with their home. As always, we are here to help so if there are additional questions or if you would like to take a look at the options that we can provide you, don’t hesitate to contact us!

STEM Education, Women in STEM and the Skills Gap

STEM education is an important aspect of our industry and the manufacturing industry in general. Keeping our youth interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics speaks directly to the future of the manufacturing industry.

Wiki Commons Public Domain

While it is important that everyone have an understanding of STEM, there has been a recent push to get girls interested in STEM education and careers. Women make up for at least 50% of university students, however on 20% graduate with STEM qualifications. Upon looking further into the issue, you will find that about 86% of engineers and 74% of computer professionals are men. So, where does that leave women? Why is there such an imbalance? According to Professor Emesto Reuben from Columbia Business School, there are experiments and studies showing that hiring managers “possess an extraordinary level of gender bias when making decisions and filling positions…”.

There is a lot of discussion in the manufacturing industry regarding a skills gap, and the inability to find qualified employees, however these numbers tell a different story. Is the skills gap something that could be fixed by a commitment to advancing women’s careers in STEM industries?

What are your thoughts? Have you found that these examples ring true in your experience? Here at Alan Manufacturing we think that discussions regarding these issues are important for everyone to participate in. Let’s get the conversation going!