2014 RESNET Annual Conference
This year I had the pleasure of representing National Heating at the 2014 RESNET Annual Conference. For those of you who don’t know RESNET stands for Residential Energy Services Network. They are a non-profit organization who are a recognized national standards-making body for building energy efficiency rating and certification systems in the United States. Buildings are certified using a scale known as the HERS (Home Energy Rating Score) index. To perform a HERS rating on a building you must be what is known as a HERS Rater certified through RESNET. To maintain your Rater certification you must do a certain amount of continuing education.
The annual RESNET Conference is a chance to take care of most of your continuing education in one shot. But it is much more than that. It gives you the chance to brush shoulders with some of the most elite minds in the high performance building world. It is a tremendous networking opportunity and a place to meet many folks you only normally get to interact with via social media and the internet, IRL. One of the main features of the RESNET conference is its robust exhibitor’s hall where all the latest and greatest industry software and products are displayed. While at the conference I had the pleasure of seeing and demoing countless great products. I have picked out five that i would consider top in innovation and which would hold the most value in the market sector of Industry we operate in. Being an 80 year old HVAC company and recent adopter of the whole house approach these 5 products represent innovation that could be in some way small and some ways big game changers in what we do.
1.) Retrotec Flow Finder mk2
Retroec is worlds leading manufacturer of building diagnostic tools. There hasn’t been much in the way of innovation in building diagnostic tools over the past 15 years or so. The past year however has seen the industry make some innovative strides. WIFI enabled measurement devices have hit the market, and Retrotec launched the first touchscreen measurement device this industry has seen. (DM32 Manometer). Energy Conservtory, Retrotec’s direct competitor, launched a clunking and from some reports, less than accurate power flow hood, an alternate version of the classic flow hood that is supposed to make measurement more accurate by eliminating back pressure with a powered fan device. So it was no surprise when Retrotec founder Colien Genge teamed Retrotec with the makers of a powered flow hood from Holland.
The Flow Finder mk2 is an instrument that touts the likes of Swiss and European precision along with the sleekness of design that has come to be expected from products of that region. It is a lightweight, compact device that because of its zero pressure compensation method of measuring is highly accurate. It has a laundry list of features that make it steps above any other instrument of its kind including the ability to auto adjust for supply or exhaust, measurement of air pressure and humidity, and the ability to pre program areas and store the registered data on a memory card that will later populate a CVS spread sheet. All real time measurements are displayed on an easy to read LCD screen. Learn more here.
2.) Zulu Mat
Zulu Mat is one of those “why didn’t somebody think of that a long time ago products”. If you’ve worked on the testing and diagnostic side of this industry for any amount of time you are well aware of the issues leakage around the register boot where it fits int the floor or ceiling can cause. As a matter of fact in trailer homes it is one of the biggest culprits of over all building air leakage as well. The Zulu Mat is a simple yet elegant solution to this age old problem. All though caulking may seem a simple enough solution, in existing homes caulking and not making a mess or ruining someones paint job or carpet is not always as simple as it sounds. This solution will work well for new homes too and seems to be a speedier and more consistent solutions. As authorized dealers of the Areoseal duct sealant product this looks to be a nice finishing touch for that process.
3) Imperial Imanifold
The Imperial I Manifold is another tech upgrade to an age old measurement device. The Imanifold is the first digital maifold that features its own mobile app. It will save service techs everywhere hours by eliminating the need for manual calculations while preneting the data in easy on the eye rich format on their choice of smart device. It can be used with over 40 types of refrigerants, auto equipment profiling, target pressure calculated and displayed, has a rugged aluminium frame and handle, wired and wireless probe options, and allows bluetooth connections to smart devices.
4.) Vent Cap Systems™ Return Air System
Corry Breed has revolutionized the duct testing industry with his patented Vent Cap System. Anyone who has done Duct Tester or Duct Blaster testing knows the pain of using grill mask register tape to tape off registers.They also know the pain of the cost of a never ending consumable. The same way the vent cap system took care of the pain of covering registers, his new product is a quick and easy way to secure the duct tester or duct blaster to a return grill. It is great for high returns because with the exception of removing the actual return grill it can be done from the ground with no ladder.
5.) Retrotec Quicksnap Breakaway Blower Door Frame.
This for me is probably the coolest product I ran into at the conference. If you use a blower door enough it is certain that you have pinched your fingers putting it together or taking it apart. Even though you can get really good at it, anything you can do quicker in the setup and breakdown process is helpful along the way. This frame not only speeds up the process of setup and breakdown, but also is many times more durable than any previous frame as sliders, tension knobs and connections are constructed from some of the most durable plastics in the world. They have been extensively stress tested so that it would take an incredible amount of fracture to break them. And it is just plain fun to put together and snap apart!