Bosch is rolling out a brand new program, called ‘ABC Contractors’, and we are really excited to be a part of it! Below is some information on the Bosch Experience Center, located close to us in Serenbe:
Serenbe is the creation of Atlanta restaurateurs Steve and Marie Nygren, who bought the first 60 acres of land that was the beginning of Serenbe back in 1991. The weekend visits became a full time life when the Nygrens and their children moved to the farm in 1994.
Serenbe in the years to come grew from being a place to live to becoming a raison d’être for Steve Nygren. He feared that the suburban sprawl of metro Atlanta would overtake one of the last undeveloped stretches of land in the Atlanta area. Nygren, his neighbors and his business partners decided to turn Serenbe, which now comprises 1,000 acres, into an ecologically sound, sustainable planned community.
Land preservation is a big part of the community — 80% of the land is designated for green space — as is organic farming. The community, however, embraces green and sustainable building practices in a way that would make any plumbing and mechanical contractor happy.
Using newly designed, yet inexpensive reuse water techniques, treated effluent water is reused for irrigation and future water supply for toilets. Other wastewater is treated in a two-stage chemical-free passive system that incorporates non-disruptive filtration and dispersion.
Rather than creating concrete spillways that concentrate storm runoff, Serenbe storm water runoff is directed into natural systems of vegetated filter strips and shallow channels of dense vegetation. These natural filters remove pollutants while dispersing water flow.
Of particular interest to contractors, all homes are built to the standards of the EarthCraft House Program. These standards include energy efficiency, low maintenance, air quality, water conservation, and resource-efficient building materials and systems.
Earthcraft was a bit ahead of its time when it was created in 1999. The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Southface launched EarthCraft House, a residential green building program designed to address the climate conditions of the Southeast. (Southface is an energy efficiency education and consulting firm that performs services such as building assessment and certification, energy modeling, and training.)
The EarthCraft House program is intended for single-family detached homes, townhomes and duplexes. The program is a blueprint for creating and maintaining energy- and resource-efficient living environments
EarthCraft House certifications are determined through a points-based worksheet, which allows builders to select the sustainability measures that are best suited for their project. Worksheet items address proper site planning, energy-efficient appliances and lighting, resource-efficient building materials, indoor air quality, water conservation and homebuyer education, and all are verified during site visits and inspections. EarthCraft-certified homes must also pass diagnostic tests for air infiltration and duct leakage standards, and homes certified at the gold or platinum levels must meet Energy Star requirements.
Given the environment and mind-set in Serenbe, a manufacturer of high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment and appliances fit right in.
On May 31, the Bosch Group held a Grand Opening Event for its Bosch Experience Center, an educational and interactive demonstration center for Bosch products, located within the Serenbe community. Representatives from Bosch and Serenbe along with invited dignitaries and press members were in attendance.
The Bosch Experience Center features a functional demonstration of a geothermal heating and cooling system (recognized in 2012 and 2013 as “Most Efficient” by Energy Star) as well as a solar thermal system. It also showcases related Bosch Thermotechnology solutions as well as energy efficient appliances, security and sound systems, power tools, aluminum structural materials and automotive clean diesel technology, all from the Bosch Group.
Visitors to the Bosch Experience Center will have the opportunity to experience an array of Bosch products and solutions inside the building.
Serenbe boasts several net-zero owned and occupied homes equipped with se-lected Bosch Thermotechnology products such as geothermal heat pumps, an electric heat pump water heater, gas condensing boilers and combi boilers, a gas condensing water heater, indirect water tanks and a solar thermal hot water sys-tem.
“Bosch has been an incredible partner,” said Steve Nygren. “With the industry’s brightest minds and best products, Bosch is helping us achieve our vision of providing cost-effective, sustainable home solutions for discerning homebuyers. With the complete suite of Bosch products, we can provide a unique one-stop solution — a critical issue for homebuilders, installers and consumers. It’s now possible to not only achieve energy efficient performance, but also retain a reasonable home purchase entry price point for the U.S. consum r of approximately $250,000 — which helps diminish a major roadblock for widespread sustainable technology adoption.”
What should you expect your service technician to do during a PMA visit?
- Check system functions, safety controls, and adjust the operating sequence where appropriate.
- Inspect electrical components and connections and repair/replace or tighten as required.
- Ensure proper airflow and change dirty air filters.
- Inspect pumps, lubricate, and check flow rates where appropriate.
- Clean and lubricate motors as required.
- Examine belts, adjust and align as required.
- Inspect, clean and balance blowers as required.
Spring Visit (preparation for summer season):
- Clean inside coil, condensate pans, condensate traps, and condensate lines to prevent obstructions.
- Clean outside coil and straighten fins for efficient operation.
- Check refrigerant levels and if low, find the leak. (According to many equipment manufacturers, a 10% refrigerant loss will result in a 20% decrease in system efficiency!)
Fall Visit (preparation for winter season):
- Clean the burner assembly.
- Remove soot from fireside of burner.
- Clean and check operation of humidifier.
- Visually or with remote camera, inspect heat exchanger for cracks.
- Adjust air/fuel ratio of burner and perform combustion analysis. (Instrumentation used for combustion analysis is a means of fine-tuning a burner to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and “optimum firing.”)
Note: For heat pump applications, winter season inspections repeat a number of the summer procedures plus several additional checks. Maintaining semi-annual PMAs for heat pumps is also important.
What’s your bottom line?
- Savings: PMAs typically more than pay for themselves through higher efficiency, less utility overpayment, and contractor discounts. PMA customers typically receive a discount on all parts and services performed during the entire year.
- Peace of Mind: Predictive maintenance will mean fewer system failures and a longer life for your HVAC equipment.
- Priority Service: Should a system failure occur during the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter, customers with PMAs generally receive priority service.
- Continuity: Many ACCA contractors are often able to assign technicians to the specific customers. That way, you get to see and know the same service technician, and he or she becomes more familiar with you and your equipment.
Preventive maintenance is critical to a well functioning HVAC units.
Preventative Maintenance offers many benefits such as:
- Increasing the life span of the HVAC unit.
- Lowering the cooling and heating bills.
- Cleaning the interior air creating a comfortable environment for the building occupants.
Replacing HVAC filters is critical to clean air because the air filters clean out air pollutants such as molds, skin cells, and allergens. It is important to visually inspect HVAC filters ever 1 to 6 months to make sure the filters are not blocked.
A little bit of techie talk made simple:
ASHRAE standard is used to rate HVAC filters capacity to filter out air borne pollutants, the ASHRAE standard assigns MERV rating to filters based on their efficiency. The higher the MERV rating the more efficient the filter is. Generally when you want to buy a filter, it is best to get a filter with a MERV rating of 11 +.
Progressive Heating and Air offers Preventive Maintenance Service Agreements for all brands of rooftops units, compressors, air-handlers, cooling towers, heat pumps, variable speed drives, controls and accessories.
Each agreement is tailored to meet the budget and operating needs of your facility and can include both preventive maintenance to keep your equipment running in peak condition and predictive maintenance services to identify potential problems before costly breakdowns occur.
It will help you:
- Maintain the efficiency and reliability of all equipment
- Minimize downtime, repair bills, and loss of use
- Ensure continuous care with our after hours call center staffed with trusted employees
Our planned maintenance options include:
- Inspection and reports
- Inspection with seasonal adjustments and preventive maintenance
- Full maintenance, including preventive maintenance plus service calls
- Predictive maintenance, including eddy current test, combustion analysis, and vibration analysis
- 24/7 monitoring
- Maintenance of cooling towers, compressors, air handlers, rooftop units, air-side distribution equipment, and controls.