Show cover of Building HVAC Science

Building HVAC Science

Building HVAC Science covers a broad array of topics in building science and HVAC diagnostics, as well as human comfort, health, and safety. Hosted by HVAC measurement and building performance experts Eric Kaiser & Bill Spohn, this show will take a deep dive into all things that relate to buildings and people in the built environment. This show is a production of TruTech Tools, LTD.


EP166 Simplifying Home Electrification: Insights from Zero Homes' Grant Gunnison (May 2024)
In this episode of the Building HVAC Science Podcast, hosts Eric Kaiser and Bill Spohn are joined by Grant Gunnison from Zero Homes. The discussion kicks off with Grant mentioning upcoming conferences in Denver related to home electrification and heat pumps, which he, Eric, and Bill plan to attend. Grant shares insights on the complexities homeowners face when installing electrification technologies, emphasizing the time-consuming nature of getting familiar with new technologies and the challenge of finding reliable contractors. Grant elaborates on the cumbersome customer journey in home electrification, from initial research to contractor consultations. He highlights how Zero Homes aims to streamline this process by simplifying access to information and reducing the need for multiple contractor visits through digital tools and comprehensive online assessments. The conversation touches on the significant growth in heat pump installations in Massachusetts as a positive market signal, yet acknowledges the broader challenges and long road ahead to achieve more ambitious installation targets. The podcast concludes with a discussion about Zero Homes' business model and partnerships with contractors to facilitate efficient, cost-effective home upgrades. Grant shares the story behind the company's name and its focus on creating a zero-emission retrofit optimization process. The episode underscores the potential of technology and innovative business strategies to significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of home electrification efforts, reducing both homeowner costs and environmental impact.   Grant’s LinkedIn: His business website:   The conference we mention: This episode was recorded in May 2024.
29:46 5/17/24
EP165 Blueprints for Efficiency: Enrico Bonilauri’s Deep Dive into Building Standards (APRIL 2024)
In the latest episode of the Building HVAC Science Podcast, Eric Kaiser and co-host Bill Spohn welcomed guest Enrico Bonilauri, an architect originally from Italy now based in the U.S. Enrico shared insights from a comprehensive study comparing various building standards across 50 projects to evaluate energy efficiency and performance. He discussed the differences between international and American passive standards and the standard American building code, emphasizing the need for builders to adopt high-performance building techniques. Throughout the discussion, Enrico highlighted the challenges of aligning different building standards and introduced a scoring system he developed to assess various metrics like energy performance, air quality, and durability. He explained that the study took two and a half years to complete, involving detailed energy modeling to meet different standards. This extensive research aimed to demonstrate how passive building standards compare against others like Energy Star and the energy code, shedding light on the potential for energy savings and improved construction practices. Towards the end of the episode, Enrico spoke about the practical applications of the study, including training and educating American builders on passive building techniques through his company, Emu. He emphasized the importance of hands-on training and creating a community among builders and designers to share knowledge and improve building practices universally. The episode concluded with discussions on upcoming training sessions and the availability of Emu's detailed study reports for public access, encouraging a broader engagement with sustainable building practices.   Enrico’s Linked in: His business website: Link to the study:   This episode was recorded in April 2024.
34:57 5/10/24
EP164 Behind the Scenes at ACCA 2024: A Dialogue with Ed Janowiak (MARCH 2024)
In this episode of the Building HVAC Science Podcast recorded at the ACCA 2024 Conference in Orlando, Florida, Eric catches up with Ed Janowiak from ACCA.  Ed and Eric virtually navigate the listeners through the conference, noting the mix of technical and managerial attendees. Ed emphasizes the necessity of technical knowledge in HVAC, especially evident in a conference setting. Eric and Ed reminisce about their longstanding acquaintance, having met at a previous HVACR symposium. In this casual yet insightful conversation, Eric and Ed offer glimpses into the dynamics of the ACCA conference, showcasing the blend of technical expertise and business acumen. They underscore the significance of technical tracks in such gatherings and reminisce about their longstanding professional relationship, demonstrating the enduring connections forged within the HVAC community over the years. Ed’s Linked in: ACCA Website:   This episode was recorded in March 2024.
54:04 5/3/24
EP163 Lies, Damn Lies and Manometer Readings with Jesse Smith (MARCH 2024)
In this episode of the Building HVAC Science Podcast, hosts Eric Kaiser and Bill Spohn welcome Jesse Smith, a carpenter turned HVAC enthusiast. Jesse, who has written an intriguing article titled "Lies, Damned Lies, and Manometer Readings" for Asterisk Magazine, shares his journey from carpentry to specializing in high-performance building and energy retrofits. His early exposure to energy efficiency through his father's work, combined with his professional evolution amidst the housing bubble, laid the foundation for his deep dive into HVAC systems and home performance standards. Jesse discusses his experiences and challenges in HVAC, emphasizing the widespread lack of proper setup and calibration in the field, which he identifies as a significant issue affecting both indoor air quality and energy efficiency. His practical encounters, such as dealing with incorrect airflow measurements and learning about the critical settings of HVAC systems, underline his critique of what he sees as endemic incompetence within the industry. This incompetence, Jesse argues, poses severe risks not only to building efficiency but also to public health and environmental sustainability. The podcast conversation also delves into Jesse's broader concerns about the construction and HVAC industries' stagnation in productivity and innovation since the 1970s. He calls for better education and accountability in the industry to overcome these challenges. Jesse's perspective is that of an insider calling for systemic change, advocating for the adoption of better practices and technologies to improve building performance and, ultimately, contribute positively to societal health and environmental goals.   Jesse’s Linked in: The original article that drew our attention:   This episode was recorded in March 2024.
34:58 4/26/24
EP162 Inside HVAC: Codes, Standards, and Shaping the Future at ACCA 2024 With Wes Davis, ACCA (MARCH 2024)
In this episode recorded at the ACCA 2024 conference in Orlando, Eric Kaiser interviews Wes Davis, the Director of Technical Services at ACCA. Wes shares his extensive experience at ACCA, noting his nearly two-decade tenure and involvement in significant initiatives like code hearings and contractor accreditation efforts. He humorously remarks on his career progression within ACCA, crediting his rise to the retirement of predecessors and finding joy in leading a talented team dedicated to advancing HVAC standards and education. Wes details the core responsibilities and recent projects of his department, which include advocating for sensible codes, delivering educational programs, and promoting contractor accreditation. He emphasizes the importance of ACCA's role in developing and revising standards such as Manuals J, S, D, and T, which are critical for proper HVAC installation and maintenance. Wes also discusses ACCA's transition to offering standards online for free viewing, which is aimed at increasing accessibility and industry engagement. The podcast touches on the dynamic nature of standard development, highlighting the open and inclusive process that ACCA strives for. Wes encourages industry professionals to participate and provide feedback on standards, stressing that contributions are vital for creating practical and effective industry guidelines. The episode concludes with Wes expressing appreciation for the opportunity to discuss these processes and encourage listener involvement in shaping the future of HVAC standards.   Wes’s Linked in: ACCA website: This episode was recorded in March 2024.
24:12 4/19/24
EP161 Connecting the Dots: HVAC Excellence Conference Highlights and Industry Evolution With Josh Crawley & Casey Prater (April 2024)
In this episode of the Building HVAC Science Podcast, hosted by Eric Kaiser, guests Josh Crawley and Casey Prater from TruTech Tools discuss their experiences at the HVAC Excellence National HVACR Education Conference held in March in Las Vegas, Nevada. They share insights on the conference's focus on education and technology advancements in the HVAC industry, emphasizing the passionate learning environment and the evolution of smart tools in HVAC practices. Josh Crawley, the sales manager for TruTech Tools, recounts his journey with the company and how it has evolved to prioritize customer service and technological advancements in HVAC tools. He reflects on the conference's emphasis on the importance of connected tools and how the perception of such technologies has shifted positively over the years, highlighting the industry's commitment to quality work and efficient problem-solving through technology. Casey Prater, a newer member of the TruTech team, shares his personal takeaway from the conference, focusing on the enthusiasm and passion within the HVAC community. He appreciates the informative sessions, especially those involving visual demonstrations, which provided deep insights into the industry's future directions, including the transition to A2L refrigerants. Casey's experience underscores the industry's continuous learning culture and the role of innovation in driving HVAC practices forward. Overall, the episode paints a picture of an industry at the cusp of significant technological transformation, underscored by a collective commitment to education, quality, and innovation. The discussion not only highlights the specific advancements in HVAC tools and practices but also reflects on the broader implications for workforce development and the pursuit of excellence in the field.   Josh’s Linked in: NHETC Conference:  2024 schedule: 2025 teaser: This episode was recorded in April 2024.
29:11 4/12/24
EP160 From Recovery to Revolution: The Jason Julian HVAC Journey With Jason Julian (February 2024)
In this engaging interview on the Building HVAC Science Podcast, co-hosts Eric Kaiser and Bill Spohn welcomed Jason Julian, owner of Julian Heating and Air in Arkansas, to discuss his remarkable journey and the evolution of his business. Julian's story is one of resilience and transformation, beginning with his entry into the HVAC industry as a recovering drug addict and felon in need of employment. His eagerness to learn and improve not only his skills but also the comfort and satisfaction of his customers propelled him from a temporary helper to a business owner dedicated to quality service and employee empowerment. Jason Julian's company culture emphasizes continuous learning, quality workmanship, and a proactive approach to solving problems. He invests in high-quality tools and training for his team, aiming to be the supportive and encouraging boss he wished he had when he started. Julian's commitment to his employees and customers alike has fostered a positive, solution-oriented work environment where the focus is on delivering excellent customer service through skilled and knowledgeable HVAC solutions. Despite the challenges of starting a business with limited resources and navigating financial obstacles, Julian has successfully grown his company by maintaining high standards for work and customer care. He attributes much of his success to the support and collaboration within his team, emphasizing the importance of seeing potential in people and empowering them to contribute to solutions. This collective effort and shared vision for excellence have allowed Julian Heating and Air to thrive, demonstrating the power of resilience, leadership, and a customer-first approach in the HVAC industry.   Jason’s Linked in: Jason’s business:   This episode was recorded in February 2024.
43:26 4/5/24
EP159 Blueprints to Bytes: How Russ King is Redefining HVAC with Technology With Russ King (February 2024)
In this podcast Bill and Eric interview their friend, Russ King, AKA Mr. Load Calcs from California. Russ has extensive background in HVAC, starting from his first job in 1988 doing load calculations and energy modeling for California's Title 24 energy code. He shares his journey from working with his mentor Marshall Hunt, through running a mechanical engineering department for a big energy consulting firm, to eventually starting a company with his son, Connor, and developing software: in 2018. King emphasizes the importance of feedback from HERS raters and others on tested houses to improve design quality and advocates for contractors to be home performance contractors, focusing on both equipment capacity and house load. Russ proceeds to introduce his new initiative,, aimed at empowering homeowners to be involved in the HVAC process by providing them with tools to understand and improve their home's energy efficiency as well as HVAC system performance by getting it designed correctly from the get go.. This service leverages modern technology to allow homeowners to scan their houses and submit information for load calculations to professionals trained in using KwikModel. The resultant load calc can be given to contractors along with a KwikModel file to refine the load calc. He highlights the importance of load calculations in identifying the correct size for HVAC equipment and improving home performance. Throughout the discussion, King underscores the transformation in the HVAC industry brought about by technological advancements, making processes like load calculations more accessible and accurate. He expresses hope that initiatives like DIY Load Calcs will encourage more homeowners and contractors to embrace these tools, leading to better-informed decisions and improvements in home energy efficiency and HVAC system performance and occupant health and comfort. Here is Russ’ blog: Here are the posts he referred to in our conversation: His Linked in: This episode was recorded in February 2024.
38:48 3/29/24
EP158 Comfort, Co-ops, and Climate Care: Revolutionizing HVAC in Ontario With Victor Hyman (February 2024)
Eric and Bill welcome Victor Hyman to the podcast. Victor is the Executive Director of Climate Care Cooperative, an Ontario-based HVAC contractors' cooperative focused on residential services. Victor explains that Climate Care has been operational since 1992, and he has been its Executive Director for three and a half years. He highlights the unique nature of a contractors' cooperative, detailing how it allows companies to share best practices, training, and financial benefits, likening the structure to a franchise system democratically controlled by its members. Victor discusses the role of Climate Care in Ontario's HVAC sector, addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the Canadian federal government's push for decarbonization and the promotion of heat pump technology through financial incentives such as the Greener Homes Initiative. He explains the regional focus of the cooperative's members in Ontario, emphasizing the province's clean energy grid and the impact of climate policies on HVAC practices and the adoption of heat pumps over traditional air conditioners. Victor also sheds light on the practical challenges faced by HVAC contractors, such as educating homeowners about energy efficiency and navigating government rebate programs. The conversation then shifts to the strategies employed by Climate Care to communicate with customers and train members in understanding and addressing homeowners' needs effectively. Victor emphasizes the importance of preparing homeowners for equipment upgrades and promoting maintenance plans to ensure efficient and timely HVAC solutions. He also touches on the significance of leveraging utility data for accurate heat load calculations and the benefits of third-party endorsements in encouraging homeowners to adopt greener technologies. The podcast concludes with Victor sharing insights on the importance of understanding customer motivations and focusing on delivering comfort and cost savings, reinforcing the role of HVAC contractors as trusted advisors in the transition towards more sustainable home heating solutions. Victor’s LinkedIn:     This episode was recorded in February 2024.  
34:18 3/22/24
EP157 Heat Pumps, Homes, and High Tech Amply Energy's HVAC Evolution With Ed Smith and Eric Fitz (February 2024)
In this episode of the Building HVAC Science Podcast, co-hosts Eric Kaiser and Bill Spohn welcomed special guests Ed Smith and Eric Fitz from Amply Energy. The group began by sharing their experiences at the recent HVACR school symposium in Florida, highlighting the significance of personal connections and shared knowledge in the industry. Ed Smith discussed his transition from operating businesses to co-founding Amply, driven by a desire to make significant impacts, particularly in sustainable agriculture and decarbonizing chemical manufacturing. The conversation touched on the growing interest in climate change solutions and the role of technology in advancing building electrification and decarbonization efforts. Eric Fitz shared his background in mechanical engineering and his journey through the energy sector, which ultimately led him to co-found Amply. He expressed his passion for energy and building science, emphasizing the importance of advancing residential building systems to improve the overall energy system. The discussion then shifted to the practical application of Amply's software, which aids HVAC and heat pump installers by simplifying and speeding up the sizing and designing process for retrofit homes. The episode concluded with insights into the electrification of the HVAC industry, the challenges and opportunities it presents, and the role of modern technology in supporting this transition. Both guests and hosts stressed the importance of collaboration, innovation, and education in driving the industry forward, with a particular focus on improving HVAC design and installation practices through the use of advanced software and adherence to standards like ACCA Manuals J and D.   Ed’s LinkedIn: Eric’s LinkedIn:     This episode was recorded in February 2024.  
39:31 3/15/24
EP156 Inside the Toolbox- Rethinking HVAC with a High-End Twist With Chris Wisniewski (December 2023)
In the episode Eric and Bill interview Chris Wisniewski, a high-end residential HVAC contractor. Chris shares his journey from having no initial interest in HVAC, influenced by his father's work, to taking over the family business after college. He emphasizes the importance of being in the field and understanding the technical aspects, leading to his interest in control systems and the evolution of his business from industrial to high-end and standard residential services. Chris discusses the business's transition towards high-end residential work in the city (NYC), incorporating standard residential projects, and the challenges of adapting to different market demands. He highlights his commitment to quality, the struggles with business coaching programs focused more on sales than HVAC specifics, and his dissatisfaction with standard residential HVAC approaches. Chris stresses quality installations and the challenge of pricing them competitively without compromising standards. Finally, Chris speaks on the recruitment challenges in the HVAC industry, especially the difficulty in finding dedicated and skilled technicians. He shares his company's approach to integrating new technology, providing value, and maintaining high standards. He also reflects on the importance of choosing the right customers and projects that align with the company's ethos, emphasizing that while it may limit scaling, it ensures the company remains true to its values and delivers high-quality, satisfying work.   Chris’ LinkedIn: His business, ICS: You will also find him active in the HVAC Owners Group on Facebook.     This episode was recorded in December 2023.  
42:45 3/8/24
EP155 Sustainable Spaces: The Journey from Efficiency to Humanity in Design With Vali Homes (November 2023)
In the podcast, Austin shares his experiences with sustainable building practices, particularly highlighting the initial venture into constructing a LEED platinum-level building to demonstrate that high sustainability standards can be achieved without excessive costs or complexity. He discusses the general approach where typical construction starts with existing methods and then adapts to earn additional certification points, which often leads to either more expensive or less effective outcomes. Instead, Austin advocates starting from scratch, focusing on creating healthy, durable, and efficient buildings that people enjoy living in, which promotes long-term sustainability beyond mere certification points. Austin further elaborates on the success of their approach, noting how they managed to achieve almost all possible LEED points quickly by reevaluating materials and construction methods comprehensively. This process led to the realization that focusing on human-centric design and logic leads to better overall results, surpassing mere compliance with certification standards. He emphasizes the importance of creating buildings that people can connect with, which not only meet but exceed sustainability benchmarks. Lastly, the conversation touches on the broader implications of their work, discussing how placing humans at the center of design and construction leads to more meaningful and sustainable outcomes. They critique the tendency in the construction industry to prioritize efficiency over human experience, drawing parallels to broader societal issues like the overemphasis on caloric efficiency in American food production. Austin and Lucas stress the importance of materials and building methods that respect both people and the planet, suggesting that a focus on human-first design inherently leads to better and more sustainable buildings.     This episode was recorded in November 2023.
42:20 3/1/24
EP154 Closing the Gap: AeroSeal's Quest for Net-Zero Buildings With Amit Gupta (January 2024)
In this episode of the podcast hosts Eric Kaiser and Bill Spohn welcomed Amit Gupta from AeroSeal, a company specializing in duct sealing technology. Amit shared the backstory of AeroSeal, which was originally founded based on technology invented by Dr. Mark Modera at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The technology struggled to gain traction under its initial ownership by Carrier, leading Amit, who was working at Carrier post-MBA, to see the potential for significant energy efficiency improvements in homes through duct sealing. Amit's passion for the technology led to the acquisition and reboot of AeroSeal as an independent company in 2010, focusing on sealing ducts, building envelopes, and potentially underground gas pipelines to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste. AeroSeal's technology addresses the inefficiency and energy loss in buildings by sealing air ducts and envelopes with a patented process that injects micron-sized particles to seal leaks from the inside. This approach is likened to a "fix-a-flat" for buildings, aiming to significantly reduce energy waste and contribute to the net-zero energy building goal. Amit highlighted the vast potential impact of their technology, noting that buildings contribute to a significant portion of CO2 emissions and energy consumption, primarily through heating and cooling. By improving the sealing of ducts and envelopes, AeroSeal aims to address this inefficiency systematically, offering a solution for both new construction and existing buildings. The conversation also touched on the challenges and opportunities in promoting AeroSeal's technology. Amit discussed the common acceptance of inefficient HVAC systems by homeowners and the industry's gradual shift towards recognizing the importance of energy efficiency and indoor air quality. The technology's application ranges from residential homes to iconic commercial buildings, demonstrating its scalability and effectiveness. Amit emphasized the importance of action and awareness in adopting such technologies to make a tangible impact on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. This episode was recorded in January 2024.
33:43 2/23/24
EP153 HVACR Horizons: From 12-Year-Old Prodigies to Industry Pioneers With Eric & Bill (February 2024)
In this episode Eric Kaiser and Bill Spohn review their experiences and insights from the 5th Annual HVACR School training symposium. They start by discussing the symposium's popularity, noting it had a cap of 300 attendees, indicating a high level of interest and engagement within the community. A highlight mentioned is a 12-year-old attendee, Atley D., who exemplified passion and intelligence for the HVAC trade, showcasing the diverse range of participants and the potential for young talent in the industry. They also cover various aspects of the symposium, such as the focus on practical learning sessions, tool and instrument selection workshops, and the integration of home performance into HVAC businesses. These discussions underscore the event's comprehensive approach to professional development in the HVACR field, emphasizing both technical skills and broader industry perspectives. Furthermore, they touch upon the importance of inclusivity and diversity, particularly the representation of women in the trade. A panel discussion on this topic is highlighted, indicating an ongoing effort to address gender disparities and foster a more welcoming environment for all professionals. Overall, they saw a vibrant and dynamic community focused on education, innovation, and inclusivity within the HVACR industry, underscoring the symposium's role in advancing professional standards and encouraging new talent. The launch of the #betterHVAC initiative ( happened at the event and underscores the concepts that bring us all together at the symposium Learn Continuously  Do Ethically  Share Openly You can still get a ticket to watch videos of the sessions for only $26 here: In closing, our industry owes a debt of Bryan Orr for creating this community and to his team at Kalos and his family for making it all happen to the delight of the participants. This episode was recorded in February 2024.
46:40 2/16/24
EP152 Ralph Wolf's HVAC Odyssey: Lessons, Laughs, and Legacies (December 2023)
In this episode of the Building HVAC Science Podcast, Eric Kaiser introduces Ralph Wolf, a respected figure in the HVAC industry, known for his internet presence and contributions to the field. Ralph discusses his journey, emphasizing the impact of social media on his career and his current role in education. Despite his reduced online activity since joining Ferguson, Ralph's influence remains strong, reflected in his interactions with students who recognize and appreciate his teachings. Ralph reflects on his career trajectory, highlighting his start in the Navy, which introduced him to sheet metal work and set the foundation for his future in HVAC. His post-Navy experience involved navigating various roles, from sheet metal installer to HVAC service technician, showcasing adaptability and continuous learning. Ralph also shares insights into the challenges and rewards of starting an HVAC business, underscoring the importance of realistic expectations and dedication. Towards the end of the podcast, the conversation shifts to technical aspects of HVAC work and industry changes, like the refrigerant transition. Ralph stresses the need for technicians to adapt and adhere to best practices while navigating these shifts. He advocates for continuous learning and proper tool usage, noting the common reluctance among technicians to invest in diagnostic tools like manometers. The episode concludes with Ralph's humorous anecdotes from his fieldwork and his candid thoughts on personal and professional growth in the HVAC industry.   Ralph’s linked in:   This episode was recorded in December 2023.
41:30 2/9/24
EP151 From Ice to Inspiration: Highlights at the AHR Expo (January 2024)
Eric Kaiser and Bill Spohn share their experiences and observations from the 2024 AHR Expo, a major event for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) industry held this past week (Jan 22-24, 2024).  Main points: There were thousands of vendors showcasing new products and technologies. We mention the educational sessions, standards committee meetings, and networking opportunities available at the event. New products and trends: We share some of the new products they saw at the expo, such as vacuum pumps from JB Tools, core tools from Fieldpiece, and a digital manifold from Yellow Jacket. We also mention the growing trend of electrification in the HVAC industry. Awards and events: We highlight the HVAC Tactical Awards, which recognize outstanding individuals in the industry. We also mention our own presentation on climate-resilient HVAC and an event TruTechTools co-sponsored with NCI, TEC, HVACRSchool, Sauermann, & MeasureQuick focused on networking High performance HVAC contractors from across the country. We also note several resources for listeners interested in learning more about the HVAC industry, including the Better HVAC Alliance, the MeasureQuick blog, Rewiring America, and the HVACR School Symposium. We hope to give you a glimpse into the world of the AHR Expo and highlight some of the latest developments in the HVAC industry. It's a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about this important sector. Please consider attending if you can. It’s the place where cool stuff happens! Other links mentioned in the podcast: The HVAC Tactical Awards Video:   Climate Resilient HVAC presentation:   ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 221:   MeasureQuick blog:   HVACSchool Symposium: This episode was recorded in January 2024
24:46 2/2/24
EP150 Filtering the Future - The Journey of John Ellis in Reinventing Air Quality (November 2023)
Bill & Eric had a great time digging into the details of all things IAQ with John Ellis.   Our conversation covered a new air filtration product developed by John in collaboration with Dustfree.    Eric queried John on the applications for and design of the product. John with his 43 years of field experience, describes the collaboration with Dustfree's engineers and the development of this novel filtration system that employs all five filtration methods and has received ASHRAE 52.2 credentials with a MERV 16 rating.   John elaborates on the technical aspects of the filtration system, explaining the static pressure drops for different unit sizes and emphasizes the filter's long life of 2 to 5 years.    He also discusses how the product effectively addresses PM 2.5 and maintains its efficiency through a robust electrostatic component. He distinguishes this product from competitors, noting their shortcomings, and focuses on the unique features of their filtration system, such as even loading and a comprehensive approach to capturing various particle sizes.   A we wrap up, the conversation shifts to the practical applications and installation aspects of the filtration system. John shares insights into the design considerations for different furnace sizes and the simplicity of the filter box design, which requires either four or three filters, depending on the unit. He also mentions the flexibility of installation in various settings like attics, basements, and commercial spaces.    Ellis covers his distribution strategy, emphasizing the product's ease of transport and assembly, which makes it convenient for contractors and distributors alike.    Our conversation concludes with a discussion on building forensics and the importance of proper investigation and diagnosis in indoor air quality solutions, highlighting John’s extensive experience in the field.   John’s LinkedIn:   John is also very active in HVAC Facebook groups. This episode was recorded in November 2023  
40:45 1/26/24
EP149 More Than Just Fixing Furnaces: Why NCI is the Heartbeat of the HVAC Industry With Dominick Guarino (December 2023)
Eric and I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dominick Guarino the Chairman & CEO of the National Comfort Institute (NCI) about its mission to improve the HVAC industry through education and training. Here are the key points: NCI's origin and mission: Founded in 1998 by Dominick Guarino and the late Rob Falke. Driven by the desire to improve comfort, energy efficiency, safety, and health in homes and buildings. Focusing on high-performance HVAC and the importance of measuring delivered performance. NCI's activities: Offers technical training classes on airflow, combustion balancing, refrigerant side performance testing, and more. Develops and provides certifications, such as the only CO and combustion certification in the industry. Emphasizes the importance of communication and customer service for HVAC professionals. Helps contractors monetize their services by demonstrating the value they provide. NCI's team: Composed of passionate individuals with industry experience and a commitment to high-performance HVAC. Key members include David Richardson (VP of training), Casey Contreras (trainer), John Perer (trainer), Al D’Ambola (trainer), Jim Ball (trainer), and Jim Davis ("Captain Combustion"). NCI's impact: Trained thousands of technicians and contractors over the years. Helped raise awareness about the importance of CO safety and proper combustion testing. Contributed to the development of modern CO and combustion analyzers. Additional information: NCI has membership program with member benefits and a summit event every year. Eric Kaiser's first HVAC industry class was NCI's CO and combustion class with Jim Davis, which significantly impacted his career. Dom’s Linked In: Learn more about NCI at This episode was recorded in December 2023  
41:10 1/19/24
EP148 Trade Secrets Revealed: Inside Classset, the Platform Building a Blue-Collar Boom with Cooper Newby (November 2023)
Eric and I had a great time learning about Classset, a platform that connects skilled trades workers with potential employers. Here's a 3-paragraph summary: Classset was founded by Cooper Newby and his co-founder Nick Jones, who were inspired by their previous experience recruiting blue-collar workers and their belief in the potential of the skilled trades. They saw a need for a platform that would help people learn about and access skilled trades careers, and Classset was born. Classset offers a variety of resources for both job seekers and employers. Job seekers can find information about different trades, compare salaries and training requirements, and even build profiles showcasing their skills and experience. Employers can post job openings, screen candidates, and connect with qualified workers. Classset also has a focus on mentorship and apprenticeship programs, recognizing the importance of hands-on learning in the skilled trades. Classset is still a relatively new platform, but it is growing rapidly. The company has developed a number of innovative features, such as the "Periodic Table of Skilled Trades" and a free applicant tracking system, to help connect job seekers and employers. With its focus on making skilled trades careers more accessible and attractive, Classset has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of many people. AI prescreening and recruiter screening for candidates weeds out the 40% of candidates who are unresponsive so you only interview people who fit your 'must have criteria'. Companies simply funnel the marketing spend that they would put into other job boards and we manage all the ads and screening for companies. At the end of the day, trades companies and candidates are only getting busier so we want to make it as easy for people to connect and advance their careers. Cooper’s Linked In: Other links we mention: Classet Job Search, Apprenticeship search and trades school ratings: Periodic Table of skilled trades - short tik tok videos and salary/career exploration to help people explore the different trades: Video Skilled Trades Quiz to find your trades fit: Classet handy helper - AI text bot - answer your trades questions via text: Example of our pages answering questions about certifications requirements in each state 'Baseball Card' Portfolios for trades candidates - view pictures of trades projects and tradesman portfolios to stand out more:   They have a free tier of our Applicant tracking system for companies.    This episode was recorded in November 2023  
37:50 1/12/24
EP147 Building science haiku with Shawna Henderson November 2023
Eric and I had the pleasure of interviewing Shawna Henderson, as self-proclaimed building science wonk: who works to keep it real in the field and make it real with online training for builders and renovators. A unique thought she shares were her remarks on building science haiku: how structure, components and requirements can create thousands of variations. Shawna, with 30 years of experience since 1992, is dedicated to energy-efficiency and housing. Her passion lies in building science, energy efficiency, and fostering collaboration for a sustainable residential construction industry. As Blue House Energy's CEO, she focuses on online training for building science and energy efficiency. Their mission is to create quality online training for home renovation and construction pros, delivered through regional and national partners. Under her Bfreehomes role, Shawna works on sustainable and accessible design projects, including deep energy retrofits and net zero energy homes. She's an experienced presenter at conferences, with expertise in deep energy retrofits, solar thermal systems, and authorship of sustainable housing books. Shawna's involvement extends to organizations like the NZE Coalition's Education Action Team, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation's Green Building Task Force, and CHBA's NZE Retrofit Working Group. Specialties: residential energy analysis, barrier-free home design, solar home design, deep energy retrofits, plain language writing, and e-learning production.   Shawna’s linkedin: Shawna’s online courses:   This episode was recorded in November 2023  
40:18 1/5/24
EP146 Around the country in 227 days Or ELK's 2023 Travelogue (December 2023)
We’ve kept Eric Kaiser, our Industry Engagement Manager, busy for the last couple years and especially in 2023. Part of his busy-ness was related to traveling to various conferences, meetings and events. In this episode, Bill and Eric chat about these experiences and how they help us better serve customers and the industry. This episode was recorded in December 2023  
35:05 12/15/23
EP145 Product innovation from Holland - a conversation with Niek-Jan Bink of ACIN Instruments (October 2023)
Niek-Jan’s Linked In ACIN Products: RETROTEC and ACIN at TruTech Tools:   Eric and I had the pleasure of interviewing Niek Jan Bink, a Dutch national who has been working in the HVAC industry for over 20 years.  He is the founder of Acin, a company that manufactures airflow measurement products.    PostScript after recording: Niek-Jan noted his personal friendship with Ben Walker and his colleagues at Retrotec and thanks Sam Myers for being a great ambassador for ACIN!   Over the years, Bink has traveled extensively to the United States for both business and pleasure. Key trips included attended the HVAC Symposium in Florida and has also visited his daughter, who played field hockey for the Champions at University of Delaware. (2016 NCAA National Championship.) Niek-Jan shared with us how he is impressed by the open and friendly culture of the HVAC industry in the United States. He finds that people are more willing to give feedback, both positive and negative. Bink is also interested in the use of social media in the HVAC industry. He believes that platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can be valuable tools for connecting with potential customers and colleagues.  Bink is particularly interested in the use of social media to share knowledge and information. He believes that this can help to improve the overall quality of the HVAC industry.  Overall, Bink is a positive and enthusiastic advocate for the HVAC industry. He is excited about the future of the industry and believes that it has a lot to offer the world. Here are some key takeaways from the interview: The HVAC industry in the United States is open and friendly. Social media can be a valuable tool for connecting with potential customers and colleagues. Sharing knowledge and information on social media can help to improve the overall quality of the HVAC industry. This episode was recorded in October 2023.  
39:23 12/8/23
EP144 Tailor made training for the trades with Louise Kellar from UEi (October 2023)
Eric and I had a great conversation with Louise Kellar, the National Training Manager for UEi Test instruments. We share a lot of common ground with Louise on education and proper application in test and measurement. And in this interview Eric and Louise literally shared the common ground they were standing on during the interview which was conducted in the TruTech west studio in Indianapolis, IN. We learn how Lousie’s work experience has perfectly tailored for her current role at UEi and what it is like to work for a large family business. We also discuss how women are still underrepresented in the HVAC industry, making up only about 2% of the workforce. And we settle in on a number of things that can be done to encourage more women to enter the HVAC industry, such as: Providing more opportunities for women to learn about the industry Creating more mentorship programs for women in the industry Promoting the HVAC industry as a viable career option for women The HVAC industry is changing and becoming more inclusive, and there are more opportunities than ever for women to succeed in this field. We also reference Jennifer Manzo and HVAChicks – who came on in EP 129 Women should not be afraid to pursue careers in the HVAC industry, and they should know that there is a supportive community of women who are there to help them succeed.   Louise’s Linked In: UEi Test Products: UEi at TruTechTools: Women in HVACR group:   This episode was recorded in October 2023  
34:25 12/1/23
EP143 Using AI in your HVAC Business with Tersh Blissett (October 2023)
Eric and I agree: Tersh Blissett would win the best-dressed in HVAC award if there was one. But beyond his dashing apparel, Tersh is a person of many talents. As a visionary creator of the Service Business Mastery podcast (now with co-host Josh Crouch), he is a font of wisdom and inspiration that has been flowing since 2017 when he became part of Bryan Orr’s Blue Collar Roots Network with me (and this podcast) and others. While the Blue Collar Roots Network is now defunct, the spirit still lives on. Tersh has a great entrepreneurial mind, building multiple profitable home service businesses that thrive in the small-town market of Savannah, GA. He is a constant learner, in both the technical and businesses aspects of his work, but more than that he is a great communicator of what he learns as he keeps a crazy schedule between his business, his podcast, his community work and most importantly his family.   He truly puts people over profits and teaches everyone from his office staff to his technicians to do the same. Tersh excels in bringing the very best technology to everything he does in the HVAC  Tersh’s Linked In: Podcast:   This episode was recorded in October 2023  
44:38 11/24/23
EP142 The Malco Story: Good Stewards Supporting the Trades with Rebecca Talbot & Rich Benninghoff (October 2023)
Listen in as Eric and I interview two of the leaders of Malco products and learn how they have become the nation’s leading solution developers and manufacturers of “tools of the trade” for HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning), exterior remodeling, and more. Joining us is Rich Benninghoff, President & CEO, along with Rebecca Talbot, Malco’s VP of Marketing. They share with us the rich history and promising future of a successful and well-run manufacturer. In fact, Rich helped our team at TruTech better understand the principles and benefits of EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System which he uses at Malco- you learn more about EOS in Episode 137 of this podcast. Post recording note: In the trade show part of our discussion, we mention Metalcon as upcoming, but it has already taken place in Oct 2023. Rich and Rebecca share closing thoughts that illustrate how they keep an eye on the past, remembering how they got here, along with an eye on the future, for growth.  Rich’s Linked In: Rebecca’s LinkedIn: Product Idea submission: Distributor resources: Educator programs: Catalogs: Video Gallery: Head of the Class program for HVAC and Building Construction: For information on the annual Trade Pro of the Year and Counterperson of the Year programs, be sure to sign up for the Malco Newsletter for the latest news.   Want to connect in person, Malco will be at booth S7744 in Chicago, IL for the AHR trade show. You can always stay in touch with Malco on their socials, be sure to follow them on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok. This episode was recorded in October 2023  
36:04 11/17/23
EP141 Sustainability is complex, why simplicity is more important than ever with Steven Biersteker (October 2023)
Another post on LinkedIn is what got this conversation/episode started. Perhaps it was the architectural rendering of a piece of cake that caught my eye – well done Steven! (FYI as of this writing this post has 564 reactions, 59 comments and 45 reposts- that’s influence!) Meet Steven Biersteker, architect by day and content creator by night. Here is his LinkedIn page: We explore a lot of topics in this episode including why Steven entered this field and how he got to where he is today. (My favorite part of every episode.) Other notions we discuss: Getting to low operational carbon is simple ... in theory. We are running highly efficient buildings on high carbon fuels. Citizens need to demand better and use energy smarter. Designing highly efficient buildings is critical, but so is low-carbon electricity and smart users. We learned that he’s writing a book (ABCs of Carbon + Architecture) because he sees a big problem: There is a huge gap between the know-it-alls and the know-it-nots. His book will be simple to read, digestible, and most importantly brief (see the book outline below). And also see below for 10 important questions about low carbon design for every architect and builder to ask themselves/their client. It’s on all of us to work together, you can make a difference. Be willing to ask questions. This episode was recorded in October 2023. Here is a sneak peak of the key topics in his book: CARBON LINGO - The Key terms you need to know GLOBAL WARMING 101 - The basics, nothing more SCOPING OUT CARBON - Who's scope are carbon emissions? MEASURING CARBON - How we measure this stuff WHOLE LIFE CARBON - Embodied & Operational Carbon LIFE-CYCLE STAGES - EN15978 - A1 - C EMBODIED CARBON - What's accounted for? MATERIALS - Emissions & carbon sequestering ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATIONS - The intro to Epd's OPERATIONAL CARBON - The basics of emissions ENERGY USE - How does energy impact GHG REFRIGERANTS - What's the issue with refrigerants? CARBON COMPARISON - So what is a ton of carbon anyway? BONUS: 10 simple questions to achieve a low-carbon design.  1. Does this building need to be built?  No - Great, you just saved the planet. Yes - Move on to question 2.    2. Does this building need to be built this big?  No - Build what you need and nothing more.  Yes - Move to question 3.    3. Is there an existing building we could use instead?  No - Let's try and build the best new building we can.  Yes - Renovated buildings reduce embodied carbon by up to 70%    4. Can we use a biogenic material as our structure?  No - Focus on less material and lower impact materials.  Yes - Stick frame and mass timber are great structural options    5. Can the building be designed to come apart?  No - Concrete is the worst material for disassembly.  Yes - Steel and Mass Timber should be bolted for disassembly    6. Can we fully electrify the heating & cooling systems?  No - Maximize energy efficiency through passive system design  Yes - Heat pumps will reduce your energy use by 3x's    7. Can we reduce our mechanical system size?  No - Large mechanical systems are expensive to operate long-term  Yes - Use south-facing glazing and passive ventilation    8. Can we specify biogenic insulation and cladding materials  No - Find the lowest impact insulation materials. Try EPS over XPS  Yes - Cellulose, hemp, denim, and wool are great insulators    9. Do the users know how to best operate the building?  No - Make sure users are aware of the passive systems that reduce energy use  Yes - A great building that isn't operated well destroys the design    10. Can we minimize the impervious site materials?  No - Large parking and sidewalk areas have a large impact  Yes - Grasses and natural areas create carbon sinks    Sustainable building design is complex, but there are some basic questions that will help make the most important decisions.  
40:15 11/10/23
EP140 Thoughts on the push for heat pumps and the accompanying funding for electrification With Cindy Zeis (October 2023)
Eric and I had a great conversation with Cindy Zeis of Performance Systems Development,, a company with the tag line: “Moving Energy Efficiency Forward” and description. We combine building science with technology to help utility companies, program implementers, and building performance professionals achieve energy savings.   This whole conversation was spurred by a post that Cindy made on Linked in about electrification programs and the need to get our priorities straight.   I was especially attracted to this paragraph in Cindy’s post: In light of recent developments, such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and other funding opportunities that promote installation of heat pumps and other energy efficient technologies, it's essential to emphasize the importance of considering a building as a holistic system. It's important to highlight the critical role of the building envelope and energy efficient components, such as lighting, in minimizing energy loads before sizing mechanical equipment. It's also important to incorporate third-party verification for both building and mechanical system performance.”   This episode was recorded in October 2023.    
32:41 11/3/23
EP139 Creating a culture of #betterhvac with Tim DeStasio (August 2023)
DEFINITION of Culture Learned patterns of perception, values, and behaviors, SHARED by a group of people that are dynamic and heterogeneous. (diverse in character or content.)   I like having guests on the podcast share their journeys and important lessons learned along the way.  We explore these topics and more with Tim Destasio as he explains how he learned what he knows today.   From his start in industrial, ending up in residential and now combining building science, Tim shares with us his lessons learned and his perspectives on #betterHVAC   Tim is very active on LinkedIn, so follow him here:   We spoke of “Corbett’s list”, well here it is: Look for his HVAC course on Udemy: His YouTube channel:     This episode was recorded in August 2023.    
39:07 10/27/23
EP138 Tying it all together - The Whos Whats and Whys of Ty Branaman (August 2023)
We had a great time interviewing the man behind the brand “Love2HVAC”. Ty Branaman’s passion for all things HVAC education certainly comes through in every conversation and interaction we’ve had. Ty has a lot of patience (and a small pointer finger thing) that help explain and highlight whatever topic is teaching at the moment. He stresses the use of tools, measurements and your brain to help teach the invisible. He encourages new instructors to “go for it” and be willing to make mistakes, but observant to learn from them. He firmly believes teaching helps you be a better person, a better manager. You will learn more when you teach. (I whole heartedly agree, there!) You will often find Ty on other podcasts, live streams, in conferences and at the HVACR School Symposium. This year he gave a great session on Educating and Training Gen Z YouTube: His website: Facebook: Twitter (X): Instagram: Linked In:     This episode was recorded in August 2023.  
39:48 10/20/23
EP137 Growing businesses need structure, EOS can provide it with Derek Pittak (September 2023)
I’m not exactly sure when I got introduced to the concepts of EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System. It was likely during my 12 week “crash course” in business with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program or 10kSB ( ) – probably one of the 145 people in my National Cohort #6 mentioned it. I read the book Traction by Geno Wickman in 2017 and slowly started integrating the ideas into the way we run TruTech Tools. In the spring of 2022, I re-read it and presented to our leadership team. We decided to go full bore and started the process of adopting EOS company wide in the summer of 2022. On today’s podcast I chat with our EOS implementer, Derek Pittak. Derek shares the key components of EOS with us including dissecting issues, following processes and traction, the execution piece. EOS has a lot of quick tidbits you can pick up. However, if this interest you, I suggest you get the book Traction and read it cover to cover or reach out to someone like Derek. Derek’s LinkedIn:   Derek’s microsite: EOS Worldwide:     This episode was recorded in September 2023.
40:11 10/13/23

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