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Black Friday: A Plumber’s Holiday?

Not only does Black Friday resonate in the minds of cost-conscious shoppers, but it’s the single busiest day of business for residential plumbers, according to Roto-Rooter.

Bruner Corporation would love to spend Black Friday with our clients, but in the best interest of your pipes, we thought we’d share some tidbits on how to keep them free and clear during the holiday weekend. Click the link below to view Roto-Rooter’s tips.

Avoid a Pipe Disaster!

CEM in the House!

John Herold, Project Manager, is officially a Certified Energy Manager (CEM)! John is part of Bruner’s Performance Solutions Group, that works to optimize HVAC service plans, conduct energy master planning, and make efficiency improvements to client facilities.

The CEM designation, accredited through the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), is the most widely recognized energy management certification in the world. Bruner currently employs three energy professionals that hold the CEM certification, with John being our newest CEM, and one professional that holds the Energy Manager In Training (EMIT) certification.

*The EMIT certification is for energy professionals that demonstrate the technical strengths needed to hold a CEM certification, but need more field experience. 

Energy professionals that pass the CEM exam have a high level of knowledge and experience within the energy industry. Herold, having over 15 years of experience in this industry, has always worked to provide efficient solutions for clients. We are very proud of his achievements and new certification—great job, John!

AEE has been a leader in developing Energy Managers for over 30 years and Bruner is proud to be a partner. AEE describes the CEM designation as “an individual who optimizes the energy performance of a facility, building, or industrial plant. CEM® is a systems integrator for electrical, mechanical, process and building infrastructure, analyzing the optimum solutions to reduce energy consumption in a cost effective approach. CEM’s are often team leaders and help to develop and implement their organizations’ energy management strategies. CEM’s have gained increased recognition within the energy industry and by companies looking to strengthen their competitive position by having a CEM on staff.”

Interested in learning more?

Attend the next Ohio Capital City AEE event:

OCCAEE sponsors a panel discussion on
Alternative Energy and Its Impact to Ohio’s Infrastructure

November 20, 2013

11:30 AM – Networking
12:00 PM – Panel Discussion

Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center

2201 Fred Taylor Drive
Columbus, OH 43210

*Event presented by Columbus SMPS Chapter (Society for Marketing Professional Services)

 REGISTER NOW

 

Employee Spotlight: Dan Spurgeon

Dan Spurgeon is Bruner’s Service Operations Manager.

“I love the people I work with and I really enjoy learning from them,” he said when asked about his favorite part of the job. For the past ten years, Dan has been working with the Bruner service group ensuring that customers experience the best we have to offer.

When Dan is not at Bruner, he enjoys spending time with his family, coaching baseball, and picking up projects. Whether those projects are related to his car or something around the house, he likes to keep busy. Dan also keeps busy by participating in an Elvis tribute band and original rock bands around Columbus. The Bruner team is happy to have such a talented musician and family-man around the office.

Dan’s Favorites:

Food: Toss up between a PB&J sandwich and Gatto’s pizza and salad
Sports Team: Cincinnati Reds and the Buckeyes (basketball/football)
Vacation Spot: Maui or the mountains of Vermont
Color: Green
Day of the Week: Fridays
Season: Whichever one is next—he likes them all… for a while
Holiday: Christmas is great with kids

Preparing for an HVAC Emergency

It is 4 a.m., and the phone rings. The building’s boiler has failed, and it is 20 degrees outside. Technicians will not be able to repair the failure in a few hours. It will be days or weeks until repairs are complete or a new boiler is in service, assuming one is available for installation and delivery. Now what?

It is essential to have emergency-preparedness plans that include HVAC equipment failure. While many organizations have general emergency-preparedness plans designed, they must not forget about HVAC equipment failure! With a plan, the above situation could have been much easier to resolve and would have limited system downtime to just a few hours, minimized disruptions to building occupants and operations, and eliminated almost the entirely the risk of damage to the building and its systems.

What insight does Bruner have on this topic for you? We asked our operations manager for some tips on this situation and he suggests “Hopefully, you have a preventative maintenance program in place and as a result, already have the funds set aside for this inevitability. Your service provider should have noted the boiler’s condition on their last several maintenance summaries and during a quarterly meeting should have relayed that it was a major cause for concern that needed immediate attention. Preferably, your service provider and trusted partner should have identified the specific concerns and had contingencies in place so that this didn’t happen to begin with. Ideally, identifying redundancy or areas where it is missing should be a part of every comprehensive maintenance program so that you don’t find yourself in this situation.”

Boiler failures aren’t the only HVAC emergencies that can occur – don’t forget to address central chillers, individual-area HVAC systems, and also to be aware of temporary changes in the way occupants use a building which can create conditions where the existing HVAC system no longer can meet the needs of the application. As always, Bruner can help your organization develop a comprehensive maintenance program to avoid and prepare for an HVAC emergency.

10 HVAC & Energy Efficiency Fun Facts

A little knowledge doesn’t hurt anyone! We’ve been collecting fun facts about the HVAC industry over the past few months from various credible sources, and thought collectively they would make a masterpiece. So read on and you will probably find something out you didn’t know before!

1. Factors such as rightsizing, system updating, and types of refrigerant used can significantly affect HVAC efficiency.

2. An electronic air cleaner is 40x more efficient than a standard throwaway filter in removing unwanted particles from your home.

3. A variable speed heat pump can trim energy costs by as much as 40%.

4. You can increase the efficiency of your home by up to 30% by investing in proper insulation and sealing air leaks around windows and doors.

5. In NYC, it is estimated that poorly fitted air conditioners cost buildings $130 million to $180 million a year in extra fuel consumption!

6. An oversized HVAC system increases installation costs, wastes energy, and costs more in overall operating costs than a correctly sized system.

7. 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off – so unplug and conserve!

8. The Romans were the first civilization to use any type of warm-air heating system.

9. The first air conditioner wasn’t for people’s comfort! The first modern air conditioner was invented by Willis Carrier in 1902 for a publishing company in Brooklyn. The machine kept temperature and humidity low so that paper didn’t expand and contract. Carrier never intended for his invention to be solely used for comfort!

10. The top 3 commercial energy uses in the US are: lighting, space heating, and space cooling.

5 Workplace Trends in 2012

As the workplace continues to evolve, be sure to keep up with your competitors by considering the following new trends in the workplace! For most companies, these new trends have potential to evolve into growth of your company.

1. Movement from management to leadership values – Employees can determine when an organization’s walk doesn’t fit the talk, and they are getting impatient working for managers who are less self-aware than they are. Instead, individuals today must lead with values such as collaboration and shared purpose. By engaging the workforce in a compelling shared vision and engaging their hearts as well as their minds, leaders can reap the best results.

2. A focus on workplace culture as a means to grow the business – Dedicating time, energy, and resources into creating a sustainable culture can eliminate money spent on marketing (think Google, Panera). Customers patronize businesses that care about their employees, and will even pay more if they believe their values are shared by the company.

3. Diversity makes a comeback – Today, organizations have a renewed interest in diversity, and it has to do with the customer and shareholders. From a customer relations perspective, companies need people inside their organizations who are representative of the people they are trying to reach outside.

4. Rise of virtual work relations – Although they can make it seem like you’re connected to the workplace 24/7, sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn makes it easier to retain relationships with current and past co-workers. This allows for greater amounts of information and expertise to be shared and leveraged which is always a benefit!

5. Organizations are getting flatter – Instant access technology means that employees are not as dependent on the hierarchies of the past for information. With that being said, managers can expect a new definition of team work. Instead of playing your individual role in the team, it’s all about what everyone is chipping in to accomplish what is needed.

5 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Cost

Temperatures are high, but these techniques will help you keep your energy costs low:

  1. Reduce HVAC System Operations When Building or Space is Unoccupied
    1. Minimize direct cooling of unoccupied areas by turning off fan coil units and unit heaters, and by closing the vent or supply air diffuser
    2. Turn fans off
    3. Install system controls to reduce cooling/heating of unoccupied space
  2. Minimize Exhaust and Make-Up Air
    1. Keep doors closed when air conditioning is running
    2. Properly insulate walls and ceilings
    3. install thermal windows to minimize cooling and heating loss
  3. Implement a Regular Maintenance Plan
    1. Check fans for lint, dirt, or other causes of reduced flow
    2. Schedule HVAC tune-ups (with us!) – the typical energy savings generated by tune-ups is 10%
    3. Replace air filters regularly
  4. Upgrade Fuel-Burning Equipment
    1. Install turbulators to improve heat transfer efficiency in older fire tube boilers
    2. Install automatic combustion control systems to monitor the combustion of exit gases and adjust the intake air for large boilers
    3. Install electric ignitions instead of prior lights
  5. Evaluate Boiler Operations
    1. Investigate preheating boiler feed water
    2. Adjust boilers and air conditioner controls so that boilers do not fire and compressors do not start at the same time but satisfy demand
    3. Use hot water from boiler condensate to preheat air

 

source: http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/26/25985.pdf

Excelling with Energy Dashboards

Many software programs come with dashboard features these days, and many facilities professionals fail to use this feature to the fullest potential.

What are dashboards, anyway?

Dashboards are a great way to turn raw data into actionable, presentable information that’s easy to share with others. The visualization dashboards provide can also be particularly effective and useful for tying several sets of data together and better impacting you bottom line.

Why should I, as a facility manager, use dashboards?

I’m sure you know that facilities are not perfect when it comes to operations and processes. Constant improvement and maintenance is necessary. Dashboards provide you with additional insight into the processes of your building, which in turn allow you to uncover new ways to make your facility run more efficiently.

What’s so special about dashboards?

The availability of intelligent instrumentation enable facility managers to extract much richer facility operational data than in the past. In the past, you may have integrated your data in a spreadsheet, and that spreadsheet may have even contained some pattern and trend visualizations thanks to spreadsheet tools. However, today’s dashboards take this visualization to the next level. Now you’re able to include multi-dimensional charts, time-series charts, gauges, and other displays, which make it easier for your audience to focus on key performance indicators.