March 2012 ESPCO Newsletter

A new ‘Training Partner’!

I couldn’t be more pleased to announce ESPCO’s newest training partner…Armstrong Pumps. Armstrong and their NY / NJ representatives, (Rathe Associates and Thermco respectively), have signed on with ESPCO to create a three level training curriculum to be conducted this spring, 2012.

Armstrong has established a solid presence in the NY / NJ market with their commercial pump and hydronic accessory products and through this new training initiative their residential / light commercial offering will be highlighted and the commercial market reinforced.

Here is a little bit about Armstrong from their website:

“At Armstrong, we take pride in a family tradition of fluid flow innovation, superb workmanship, and acknowledged product reliability. Since our founding in 1934 by Samuel Allan Armstrong, our company has pioneered an uncompromising range of products for customers in residential, commercial and industrial markets. From the very beginning, the Armstrong name has been a benchmark for quality in design, engineering and manufacturing. In 1952, our company, under the direction of James A.C. Armstrong, began to institute bold initiatives across the entire spectrum of our corporate activities that set our course for the next 30 years. In the decades that followed, we developed new technologies, established international manufacturing operations and expanded into more diverse markets. Today, as we serve customers throughout the world, our original commitment to production of the highest quality is unchanged. We will not compromise the expectation of us, and we will never allow an inferior product to carry the Armstrong name. For Armstrong, identifying customer needs, offering superior technology, and building great customer experiences, are all part of a long-standing family tradition.”

Although still in the developmental stage, my goal is to create a three tiered training curriculum which will span six, 1 ½ hour classes, (three in NJ and three in NY), over two months.

The first class, tentatively scheduled for the week if 4/29/12, will be an ‘introductory’ pump class covering the anatomy of a circulator, how it works, sizing, how to read pump curves, circulator placement in a system, how to determine GPM and TDH, sizing recirculation pumps and basic pump troubleshooting / service.

The second class will be an ‘intermediate’ pump class tentatively scheduled for the week of 5/27/12. This class will cover the unique pumping needs of radiant systems, and popular ‘green’ technologies like thermal solar and geothermal. Light commercial pump sizing will be covered as well as troubleshooting processes unique to light commercial systems.

The third class, tentatively scheduled for the week of 6/24/12, will be ‘advanced’ and cover such topics as variable speed pumping and the ‘Ace Online’ Armstrong pump sizing software.

My intent is to have each class stand alone and not one be a prerequisite for another so you can pick and choose the class that best fits the skill level you want to achieve, or better yet, attend all three and earn a ‘certificate of completion’ from Armstrong and 4.5 hours of NATE credit, (1.5 hour per class / NATE approval pending).

Locations for the classes are tentatively the Rathe and Thermco facilities but again, this is still in the planning phase so please watch the ‘training events’ section on my website and be sure to read the April 2012 newsletter for firm details.

You guys know that hydronics are in my DNA so I’m thrilled to be back in the ‘wet’ world with great players like Armstrong, Rathe Associates and Thermco!

Check out the Armstrong website at this address –

A new sponsor!

I am pleased to announce that IPA of Woodstock, NY has signed on as an ESPCO sponsor. IPA manufactures tools for the HVACR and automotive industries. They are neighbors of mine in the lower Hudson Valley of NY located in the beautiful town of Woodstock. Now, most people associate Woodstock with the 1969 music festival but the fact is that the festival tool place in Bethel, NY, about 63 miles west of Woodstock.

IPA offers a variety of useful tools but there are three that I want to focus on here;

First is the Air Comb filter cleaner. This unique 12”, 24”, 36” or 48” wand is perfect for cleaning condenser coils, cooling towers, etc. It is trigger activated with multiple ports that maximizes air pressure and volume at a 90 degree angle. Take a look at the air comb and I guarantee your going to say “I wish I thought of that”.

The next item which I can’t wait to get myself is the 2 in 1 Cutter / Stripper. They come in two sizes, (large and small). The small will self-adjust to 14 – 26 AWG soft copper wire. It can be used on both copper and aluminum wire. This cool little tool will catch, hold and strip wire all in one quick motion! You gotta see this thing!

The last item is the ‘Fuel Tank Sweeper’. This item is a must for those of you in the fuel oil business. It is a turnkey solution for removing sludge, cleaning oil tanks and bulk fuel transfer. The Fuel Tank Sweeper transfers and filters fuel oil and removes water, dirt, algae and other contaminants from storage tanks of all sizes and depths, 55 gallon drums and diesel fuel tanks. It is the perfect tool for servicing existing tanks or transferring fuel from an older tank to a new installation.

You can see all of IPA’s products at their website at this address –

You can call them directly at 888.786.7899.

Do you ever feel like you’re all alone as a small business owner?

There is an old adage that ‘it is lonely at the top’…as a small business owner in the HVACR industry you have limited resources for professional sales mentoring. Many of us have found ourselves stuck treading water, or worse, moving backwards both financially and personally. It is hard to look at your own company objectively…let’s face it, our companies are very much our own creations and as such a reflection of us. Self reflection can be very difficult, (and painful), and most of us can use a little help from time to time.

There are some professional resources out there specific to HVACR…some are very good. I would like to introduce you to the fellow who when I was contemplating moving forward on my own and creating what has become ESPCO, Inc. was one of the first people I called for advice, guidance and an objective view of my plan.

Matt McDarby is the co-founder and chief sales officer of United Sales Resources (USR). I’m going to let Matt, in his own words, give you an idea of what he can offer you and your business.

I speak with owners of small to medium sized businesses almost every day, and I hear the same refrain from them this year that I did last year.  It goes something like this, “It is harder than ever to win new business.  I can’t seem to get customers to see the difference between me and my competition, so I have to resort to special pricing offers and steep discounts in order to win.  It’s killing my profits.”You may be thinking, “Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about that.”  If so, congratulations on being the rare exception to the rule in the HVACR business in 2012.  Operators of HVACR companies, whether they focus on commercial or residential customers, are feeling a huge amount of pressure from those customers to compete based on price.  Some HVACR companies can survive in the price-driven sales game because they have scale on their side.  But even for those companies, there is a limit to just how much their products and services can be discounted. So what is an HVACR business owner or manager to do?  The answer can be summed up in one word, “Diagnosis.” Your customers are clamoring for diagnosis.  Think about it.  How many of your potential customers are living right now with heating, refrigeration, or ventilation problems in their homes or businesses?  How many of them fully understand the costs of choosing not to deal with those problems?  How many of them are losing out on the opportunity to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by putting better solutions in place?  What would happen if you were the one who helped them to diagnose those problems or missed opportunities?

Is it possible that customers might pay a small premium over what the low-price providers charge in exchange for a little bit of diagnosis?  Absolutely.  They already do it every day…just not necessarily to their HVACR provider. Would you find value in learning how to change that?

If you’re intrigued and would like to learn more, please go to the United Sales Resources website at  If you want to speak with Matt right away, then give him a call at (888) USR-1956 X102 or (888) 877-1956 X102. You can email Matt at .

I suggest signing up for Matt’s mailing list and if you are on Linkedin, connect with Matt so you can get his insightful and helpful posts.

I have to tell you, the concept of ‘networking’ was foreign to me prior to my establishing ESPCO and I came into it kicking and screaming. The bottom line is my business has grown into a viable and healthy enterprise through networking and employing the talents and skills of people like Matt McDarby…give him a call!

Five new classes posted on the website!

I am pleased to be heading to the great state of Maine the last week in March and then beautiful Pennsylvania in April. I will be conducting Comfort-Aire mini split training at the following locations;

SUBJECT: Mini-Split Training
SPONSORS: Heat Controller / Comfort-Aire and FW Webb
DATE: Wednesday, 3/28
138 Leighton Rd.
Augusta, ME  04330-5008
CONTACT INFO: Nick Pelletier

SUBJECT: Mini-Split Training
SPONSORS: Heat Controller / Comfort-Aire and FW Webb
DATE: Thursday, 3/29
150 Postal Service Way
South Portland, ME  04106

SUBJECT: Mini-Split Training
SPONSORS: Heat Controller / Comfort-Aire and RJ Walker
DATE: Thursday, 4/19
TIME: 12:00 noon to 3:00pm
1555 North Keyser Ave.
Scranton, Pa. 18504

SUBJECT: Small Duct High Velocity (SDHV)
SPONSORS: Heat Controller / Comfort-Aire and Keystone Sales
DATE: Tuesday, 5/22
LOCATION: Keystone University
441C County Line Road
Gilbertsville, PA 19525
CONTACT INFO: 800-220-1025

SUBJECT: Geothermal
SPONSORS: Heat Controller / Comfort-Aire and Keystone Sales
DATE: Wednesday, 5/23
LOCATION: Keystone University
441C County Line Road
Gilbertsville, PA 19525
CONTACT INFO: 800-220-1025


Check out this great new FREE tool from my good friends at HeastSpring Magazine… download the ‘Geothermal Site Visit Checklist’

“The site visit can be a geothermal company’s greatest asset or greatest liability. It will be an asset if it can be done efficiently, if it collects standardized information that can be used for accurately quoting jobs and creating compelling sales proposals that meet the client’s needs. Site visits will be a company’s greatest liability if they are a waste of time, or worse, lead to bad designs and installations that don’t work. The goal of the checklist is to be extremely simple and low tech.  It will ensure that enough information is collected so that work is performed efficiently and profitably.”


I have stated here before that photovoltaic solar isn’t my thing but I couldn’t resist this article from Solar Thermal magazine. Check this out…PV solar collectors made of plant material…talk about green! This is some heady stuff but according to this article it could be reality sooner rather than later. I love the sentence in the article that says, “within a few years a villager in a remote, off-grid location could take that bag, mix it with anything green and paint it on the roof to start producing power, which could then charge cell phones or lanterns…WOW! Check out the article here.

Any drillers out there?

I am looking to video the vertical borehole drilling process for a geothermal project to be posted on my website and used in my training activities. If you have an upcoming project that fits the bill, please give me a call and I will give you and all participants credit where ever the video is used…could be a great PR tool for your drilling company and / or geothermal installation business.

See you all soon!