Episodes
Bryan describes the tricky concept of power factor and why we should care about it. He also compares power factor to a beer mug to make the topic easier to understand. Power is often represented on a sine wave, which is a curvy line that marks the state of electrical energy at different points on a circle. Power gets stronger and weaker, and it goes above and below the neutral line depending on the excess or deficit of electrons. Unity power factor refers to a power factor of 1, indicating...
Published 05/17/22
Bryan lays down some motor speed facts in about 10 minutes in this short podcast episode. We can figure out how quickly a single-phase motor (PSC) will run if we understand how many cycles it will make per second. In the USA, the standard hertz is 60 Hz (60 rotations or magnetic alternations per second). Motors are inductive loads that create an electromagnetic field with a spinning rotor and stationary stator; the amount of poles on the stator determines how quickly the rotor spins (RPM). ...
Published 05/10/22
Neil Comparetto and John Semmelhack of the Comfort Squad join Bryan to discuss high-quality value design in a high-performance home. They explain how they design HVAC systems (heat pumps) for low-load homes in ways that are affordable, efficient, and comfortable. High-performance, low-load homes need to be energy-efficient AND comfortable, and it can be a challenge to get both. Manual J calculations aren’t as common as they probably should be, and it can be difficult to get accurate data...
Published 05/05/22
Lacey Dietz with METUS and Scott Arnold with Rycor HVAC join the podcast to talk about how the industry can start putting contractor success first. They talk about Mitsubishi Electric (METUS)’s commitment to contractor success and what that looks like. METUS’s contractor program aims to provide training, support, and recognition to create a community of successful contractors. Support comes in the form of marketing, training, tech support, and customer service, and those services are...
Published 04/28/22
Sam Myers with Retrotec talks to Bryan about pressures in the home and why they matter for HVAC solutions at IBS 2022. Technicians focus a lot on ductwork and airflow, but many of them don’t focus on how the building envelope impacts HVAC performance. A lot of the HVAC equipment’s performance is affected by the push and pull of air caused by leaky areas in the building envelope. If you have a room with too much air and another room with too little, you will have unbalanced pressures....
Published 04/26/22
This podcast is a class that Bryan taught for BTrained in Birmingham, AL. He covers troubleshooting, installation, and commissioning best practices with a focus on the fundamentals. To be a good troubleshooter, you must be able to find the problem, identify the source of the problem, fix the problem, and optimize performance based on your data, the customer’s comments, and your observations. The Five Pillars of diagnosis aren’t comprehensive diagnostic or charging criteria, but they can help...
Published 04/21/22
Bryan has a bit of an industry nerd out with Ross Trethewey from “This Old House” and TE2 Engineering at IBS 2022 (the International Builders’ Show). Ross’s education and career have focused on mechanical engineering, especially with sustainable solutions. In building science, the key mindset is to think of the building as a system. Using that school of thought, Ross has developed building science and HVAC solutions that also consider indoor air quality and ventilation, such as hybrid VRF...
Published 04/19/22
In this podcast, Bryan goes through the entire process of replacing a compressor step-by-step. This process is what the Kalos team uses to replace a failed compressor and make sure it doesn’t fail again. Before replacing a compressor, you must figure out how the compressor failed; grounded conditions often lead to acid, so it’s a good idea to test for acid and see if you need to address a burnout. In any case, make sure you have the correct tools for the job (including a compatible...
Published 04/14/22
In this short podcast, Bryan explains what it means to top off, drop in, and retrofit refrigerants. He describes the differences between those three things to dispel some of the confusion they may cause. Topping off a system means that you add refrigerant to a low existing charge to get it back up to a normal level. In some cases, people top off systems with dissimilar refrigerants (e.g., topping off R-22 systems with cheaper R-407C). Topping off a system with a dissimilar refrigerant is...
Published 04/12/22
Trevor Matthews, the founder of Refrigeration Mentor, is back on the podcast. This time, he and Bryan talk about the value of networking for HVAC techs as the conference season comes to a close. Many trade events are networking opportunities that allow you to build relationships with other tradespeople, educators, mentors, and even other companies. You can also learn many trade and business tools that help you as a technician. Many technical and business conversations occur at trade events,...
Published 04/07/22
David Richardson of NCI joins the HVAC School podcast to talk about how we can implement educational growth effectively throughout the trade. NCI started as a premium training resource about airflow testing, but the organization eventually started teaching about combustion testing as well. When we improve the industry, we need to be able to have concrete ways to see what we’ve been doing wrong or what we can do better. Test instruments allow us to see the whats and whys behind what we do....
Published 03/24/22
Corbett Lunsford of Home Diagnosis joins Kaleb to record a podcast about comfort investigation on TV. The two of them discuss how comfort investigation works on TV shows, what Home Diagnosis hopes to accomplish, and some building performance tips. Home Diagnosis is mostly aimed at homeowners, but HVAC technicians would also benefit from the show, as it dives into science and testing. The show promotes consumer education and contractor accountability. Diagnostics and testing are absolute...
Published 03/20/22
Blake Standen and Omar Tabba of BrainBox AI join the HVAC School podcast to talk about commercial HVAC predictive control. This conversation focuses on applying artificial intelligence to existing building systems, including the HVAC, to predict performance under certain weather and occupancy conditions. If you have controls that can predict performance and adapt, then you can maximize energy savings. A commercial HVAC system may include air handlers, chillers, boilers, RTUs, and all sorts of...
Published 03/17/22
Chris Micallef, the CEO of Falkonair, joins Nathan Orr at AHR to discuss energy savings for three-phase equipment. They also explore some of Falkonair’s controls for compressors, especially on DC inverter equipment. Falkonair has software that allows users to control all types and brands of three-phase compressors with compatible variable frequency drives (VFDs). The software recommends the compatible VFD based on the amperage readings. Falkonair aims to bring this software to the...
Published 03/16/22
Brynn Cooksey joined Eric Kaiser for a podcast about internal apprenticeship, its benefits, and how to make it work. Brynn is the general manager of Air Doctors Heating and Cooling LLC, a well-respected HVAC contracting company in Detroit, MI. Air Doctors Heating and Cooling LLC has its own in-house apprenticeship program based on Department of Labor guidelines. The apprenticeship program caters to new techs out of trade school and focuses on rigorous training. There is some administrative...
Published 03/15/22
Alex and Nicole of Faraday join Kaleb Saleeby and Ty Branaman to talk about new educational formats and options in the HVAC industry. Alex is the founder of Faraday, and Nicole is the head of operations. Ty is a notable HVAC educator who supports Faraday and its mission. Faraday is a free educational program that prepares apprenticeships for fieldwork, allows them to get EPA 608 certification, and helps place them in jobs with paid training. Although the program is free, there is a rigorous...
Published 03/13/22
Ashley (aka hvac_ash) joins the podcast to talk about how HVAC fits into social media, AHR 2022, and AmRad capacitors. Ashley works with Global the Source on the sales and distribution side of the business. Becoming an HVAC influencer is smart, especially when there is a dedicated audience in the industry. When you gain traction online, that can branch into marketing, which helps get the word out even more. It’s also a great way to make connections organically once you have traction and...
Published 03/10/22
Bill Spohn joins Eric Kaiser and Kaleb Saleeby at AHR 2022 to talk about his experiences designing and living in a home with NetZero HVAC.  NetZero HVAC refers to system design with tight coordination with the house to make it as efficient as possible. Some of these systems are so tight and efficient that they approach passive house standards (0.6 ACH50). Bill lives in a modular home that also generates more energy than it consumes, and it doesn’t rely on natural gas. The greatest expenses...
Published 03/10/22
Collin Olson, the staff physicist of The Energy Conservatory (TEC), joins Eric Kaiser at AHR 2022 to talk a bit about data logging. Data logging refers to the act of using sensors to record data over time and then analyzing that data. TEC dipped its toes into data logging with the APT and then TECLOG. Data logging allows us to take and store multiple readings as well as extrapolate data into graphs, making it easier to analyze performance. The TECLOG4 software is the most up-to-date...
Published 03/09/22
Mark Tozzi from Carrier comes on the HVAC School podcast to talk about unique HVAC incentives in K-12 schools. When schools closed down during COVID-19 lockdowns, a new series of incentives came out for schools. Many of these incentives include access to technology, and improvements to HVACR equipment are covered under those programs. Schools can benefit from geography-tailored solutions, including air-cooled chillers in the Southeast and products meant to improve IAQ, including filtration...
Published 03/08/22
Chris Forth, the VP of regulatory codes and environmental affairs at Johnson Controls, joins Bryan for a live podcast at AHR 2022. This time, they discuss changing HVAC regulations and what that will mean for contractors, technicians, and installers. Johnson Controls focuses on institutional chillers, controls with digital platforms, air handlers, filtration, and alarm systems. Lately, Chris has gotten the industry ready to convert existing products and systems to high-efficiency equipment...
Published 03/06/22
Kevin Hart, the CEO of HAVEN, joins Kaleb Saleeby live from AHR 2022 to discuss how we can control IAQ with central air monitors and controllers. HAVEN, formerly TZOA, is an IAQ company that focuses on protecting building occupants’ health by controlling air quality. HAVEN’s approach to managing IAQ starts with collecting data about the air. Without that data, we can’t come up with solutions tailored to individual buildings. We need sensors to gather that data, which would traditionally mean...
Published 03/03/22
Jacques Beaudry-Losique, the CEO of Enginuity Power Systems, joins Nathan Orr live at AHR 2022. Enginuity manufactures energy-efficient engines that produce more power than traditional engines and recover waste heat to act as water heaters. Enginuity engines can run on propane and natural gas to help you run almost entirely off the grid and participate in electricity buyback programs. These units operate independently of the electrical grid and can act as generators during power outages and...
Published 03/02/22
Rick Nadeau, Director of Training and Technical Services at Samsung, talks with Kaleb Saleeby live from AHR. He explains some of the exciting ductless solutions that Samsung has to offer. Samsung’s WindFree mini-split systems work with VRF systems or as normal ductless units. The WindFree product line is best known for preventing drafts due to microholes. These systems come in one-way and four-way cassettes and work very well for sensitive environments like nursing homes and bedrooms.  ...
Published 03/01/22