Fox Family Wins “Ultimate Family Game Room Prize Package” From Honeywell

“Ultimate Family Game Room Prize Package”.jpg

We’re excited to announce that Fox Family Heating & Air won a grand prize last month’s  “Ultimate Family Game Room Prize Package”.  Today we got to celebrate it today!  For every Honeywell Control we purchased over the summer through Ferguson HVAC Supply in Sacramento, we earned a ticket in the hat for the drawing.  And we won!

One HVAC contractor from the Arizona/Nevada, Southern California, and Northern California regions was chosen randomly in July of 2021.  The winners were announced in August.  And in September we received all the goodies!  The $2000 prize package including:

  • 60” Class UN7000 Series LED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV
  • XBOX One Game Station
  • PacMan Head2Head Home Arcade Game
  • Two Stealth 700 Gen 2 Black Wireless Gaming Headset
  • Ten-Game 48” Multi Game Table
  • 19” Wide 105 Can Capacity Extreme Cool Beverage Center
  • Family Game Room Sign
  • Rockville HTS56 1000w 5.1 Channel Home Theater System
  • 36” Round Bar Type Pub Table w/ four Residio Barstools
  • Yeti Roadie 24 Insulated Chest Cooler

All had a great time as we gave away all the prizes through a raffle.  We gave everyone 30 tickets to put in for every item they wanted.  We threw in some extra things and made sure everyone won a prize.

Our team works so hard all year round, taking care of our Fox Family customers.  Today’s giveaway was a great way to show them some love.

Thanks so much to Ferguson HVAC Supply and Residio Honeywell Home for providing us with such great prizes from the “Ultimate Family Game Room Prize Package”.  Fox Family Heating & Air appreciates you!

ACHR News Interviews Greg Fox About Chip Shortages and the HVAC Industry

MicroChip Shortages and the HVAC Industry

ACHR NEWS (Air Conditioning Heating Refrigeration) has written another great article with an interview from Greg Fox of Fox Family Heating & Air. They talk about the chip shortages and the HVAC Industry. Issues in the worldwide inventory network left every industry scrambling to discover the computer chips they need. This creates difficulties for HVAC contractors as they disclose to clients why they need to stand by longer and pay more for hardware.

Greg Fox of Fox Family Heating & Air in Sacramento, California, said he endured the shortages in 2020 and began to see hardware become more accessible going into the colder time of year. Then, at that point, he began feeling the impacts of the shortages or lower inventory in the spring of 2021. Fox sells a great deal of two-stage climate control systems, the sort that requires more CPUs. 

Fox Family’s distributors advised him to get ready for stock levels being low into 2022. Eventually, the stockpile circumstance will resolve itself, but there is no way to tell when. The Covid pandemic clarified how easily a restricted production network like that could be disrupted. There are just a small amount of microchip factories operating in the United States. Between the constant labor and shipping challenges, getting new equipment to the field could take longer than we were expecting.

Using (or Abusing) the R-22 Phaseout as a Sales Tool

Some contractors selling equipment on fears that refrigerant will be illegal

I was pleased to contribute to this 11/18/2019 article in – Greg Fox

As of January 1, 2020, it will no longer be legal to produce or import virgin R-22 in the U.S., but that does not mean the refrigerant will be unavailable, unaffordable, or illegal to use. It just means that after that date, contractors who service R-22 systems will have to rely on existing stocks of virgin refrigerant or else use reclaimed refrigerant, both of which should be readily available (and affordable) for a long time, according to industry experts.  Go to article»

Crane Safety Tips for HVAC Crews

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There's nothing like getting someone's air conditioning restored when they've been going without. It's all about getting on the job and removing the old package unit on the roof as quickly as possible. Some important crane safety tips are worth following.

HVAC workers regularly have a great time working with each other on the job.  Install days can bring a team together because there’s nothing like the satisfaction of getting someone’s air conditioning restored when they’ve been without it. It’s all about getting on the job and removing the old package unit on the roof as quickly as possible so they can be ready when the crane gets there to place the new unit.

You can tell the good crews from the bad ones.  Usually, an install crew has one central leader or foreman who is in charge of the job.  The rest of the crew are helpers.  Whether experienced or not, when a crane is involved, only one person from the team needs to be communicating with the crane operator.  This way there’s no confusion when two or more people from the same install crew are giving hand signals to the crane operator at the same time.

For the most part, in residential package unit installs on the roof of a house, the crane operator can see the unit’s placement spot.  Maybe not the curb’s actual footprint he’s setting it down on, but experience creates a comfort level for the operator to get the unit pretty darn close to where he needs to place it.  There are obstacles the crane operator needs to navigate the unit through.  Straps hold the unit secure as the hook holds everything together on the way to the placement. Sometimes there are trees or giant radio antennas, or even high voltage power lines that must be avoided as the unit gets lifted to the roof.

Hand Signals

Hand signals are a straightforward way for the install foreman and the crane operator to communicate.  As the unit gets closer to the placement spot, the installer can’t yell at the operator. They’re too far apart!  So, a series of hand signals are commonly used in lifting and placement.

Once again, only one person must be giving the hand signals unless a relay is set up between the final resting point and the crane operator.  For instance, sometimes a package unit is lifted onto the house’s backside rather than the roof.  The operator can’t see the final spot or the hand signals given by the unit’s installer.  Only then would a second installer be the middle-man for relaying the signals to the crane.

A culture of safety is super important.  New installers can get excited.  The homeowners almost assuredly come out of the house to watch the giant crane do its job.  And nearby neighbors tend to poke their heads out to see what all the noise is about across the street.

Let’s take a look at a situation where several fairly new people to this whole process, which usually only takes ten to twenty minutes, can find themselves in a potentially life-threatening situation.  A 600 lb unit is about to be hoisted from the street, vertically about 30 feet, across the front yard, over the rooftop around any obstacles, and finally, put down on its resting spot—another reason the experienced foreman on the job must take control of all these moving parts. 

How many people on the job site are standing near the unit’s path to the rooftop?  The neighbor comes over to talk to the homeowner about his new system; kids are running around giddy with excitement.  One installer is climbing up the ladder to help out.  What could go wrong?  Plenty.

One of my biggest fears on crane sites is the “uncontrollables.”  I’m concerned mainly about things that can happen with a 600 lb. unit swinging in the air over our heads.  So I tell people before the lift (nicely) to get out of the way. Don’t find yourself under the unit while it’s hoisted to the roof, installers on the rooftop included.  God forbid if a cable snapped or other mechanical issue happened, we can pay for a new front-yard swing or even a damaged roof for that matter.  But you can’t replace a life.  Plain and simple. 

When the unit gets placed, one or two installers usually have their hands on it, guiding it down onto its spot while the crane slowly lowers it down.  At this point, installers must watch that their hands don’t end up in the wrong place, under the unit.

Crane Safety and Power Lines

The most significant safety point to be made is to make sure there are no power lines in the area that you plan on hoisting and operating in.  Make sure you have plenty of space between the area you plan to work on and the power line.

Crane lifts on some of my jobs have been so close to power lines, you could see an arcing from the line to the crane boom.  Nobody got hurt, but it’s essential to observe general common sense not to go over and touch the crane or be near it.

Use a Certified Crane Operator

The crane company that we use is super professional. We’ve worked together on crane lifts hundreds of times.  They do their part but aren’t necessarily responsible for the safety of everyone around the crane. That’s where working together respectfully plays a significant role.  I keep an eye out for the crane operator, and he advises us on certain things that might make the lift go smoother.

Communication and Taking Charge of the Job Site 

Again, communicate with those near the crane before, during, and after a lift to ensure everyone’s safety.  Have a plan and stick to it.  And keep it similar from job to job.  There’s no need to reinvent the wheel on every job.

Crane Safety on Rooftops

Don’t step backward.  It sounds so simple.  Don’t step back.  Yet, it happens all the time, and even though it’s often without negative repercussions, in a high hazard situation, like on a roof, it could be a critical mistake.

Don’t be hanging out on your cell phone. It’s bad enough walking around on city streets, accidentally bumping into each other while not paying attention to where you’re going.  Rooftops are no place for distraction.

Always slow down when you get close to the edge of the roof.  If you find yourself in a rush on the rooftop, maybe you should ask yourself why (other than you’re trying to get the job done fast so you can go fishing).  Newsflash!  It’s hard to go fishing when your leg is broken, ribs cracked, and spine injured from falling off the roof.

Secure Your Ladder

Tying off your ladder, even on a single-story roof, is sooooo smart, but I rarely see it done.  It’s another cultural thing.  As the leader on your job, show the rest of the crew how it’s supposed to be done.  Even as the helper on the job, maybe the foreman is thinking of other stuff.  Who says you can’t tie the ladder off?  You know it’s the right thing to do for the best crane safety.

Guarding the Gutter

Similar to that is something I’ve bought for my team, called a gutter guard.  It props itself inside the gutter, between the gutter’s outer edge and the trim of the roof edge, providing a place for the ladder to rest without damaging the gutter.  How many times a day do you go up and down that ladder?  How many times can that gutter flex before being permanently disfigured from the last HVAC crew that was on their roof?

Developing a Solid Safety Plan

I’ve been on jobs where we thought the lift would go one way, but when the lift operator got there, they decided it had to go another way.  Go with the person who has the most experience with the crane and its capabilities.  And if that’s not something that works for you and your team that day, put off the lift until you’ve discussed it with your supervisor.  Then you can go in with a solid crane safety plan during the lift, and everyone will be on the same page.

Focusing on Safety

Hopefully, my experience will help refocus your intentions when working on rooftops and dealing with crane lifts. It’s a super fun experience. Everybody just has to make sure they make it home that night.

Thanks so much for coming by, and we’ll see you on the next blog topic.