Imagine hvac systems that perform self-diagnosis and communicate with service technicians through the World Wide Web. Both scenarios will soon be possible, according to the people behind e-Comfort™, a web-enabled technology developed by Invensys plc and Lennox Industries Inc.

The e-Comfort system allows individual hvac units to network with other systems, increasing their efficiency and effectiveness. “The new controls system takes web-enabled hvac technology to the next level so users can control their own hvac systems from almost anywhere, which ultimately allows them to reduce energy costs,” said Rick Marrale, vice president of Lennox and general manager of the company’s OEM division. He added e-Comfort also cuts business costs by providing online troubleshooting, parts ordering and on-site warranty processing. “It reduces warranty processing costs and time spent by service technicians on the job,” he said.

In addition to the convenience the web-based e-Comfort technology offers contractors, company officials say they expect many homeowners to quickly see the benefits of a e-Comfort controls system. “Homeowners and other end users are becoming much more energy conscious,” said Doug Young, Lennox vice president and general manager, North American sales, marketing and distribution. “In addition, they’re demanding greater degree of sophistication in their appliances.”

For more information about the e-Comfort system, visit Invensys Climate Controls’ web site, www.climate.invensys.com.

  • Looking for a gently used press brake or a piece of new equipment? If you are, you may want to check out www.machinetools.com, “the machine tools marketplace,” according to company officials. A wide variety of tools are available for sale, through auctions and fixed price sales. Visitors can search by tool, location, view past auctions or even look for a specific seller’s most recent transactions. “We are giving the machine tool buyer what they want: one place where they can search for machinery from multiple auctioneers around the world,” said Stewart Carlin, CEO and founder of MachineTools.com.

    The site currently has thousands of listings and hundreds of dealers. Besides helping buyers and sellers get together, the web site offers contractors the change to talk with other industry experts in their respective fields. Industry news, job postings and more are all available.

  • The Gustave A. Larson Co. recently debuted its new business-to-business Internet web site, www.galar son.com. It allows customers to access their accounts anytime, 24 hours a day. A customer can place orders, check inventory at Larson dealers in his or her local area and view invoices and purchase orders, all without leaving the computer.

Www.mrhvac.com is a web site aimed exclusively at the hvac contractor. It offers free software, workshops, forms, management materials, advice and more. Heat load and conversion software are available for download, free of charge. A labor and materials pricing calculator helps contractors figure out just what to charge. The site also offers training materials, invoices, sales proposals, seminars and features a large section on flat rate pricing.

For details, go to www.mrhvac.com.

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