"Buy direct" seems to be the mantra of many web sites. The implication is that by cutting out the middleman, the savings are passed on to the consumer, whether he or she is buying books, tools or even food. Well the hvac business is no exception to this marketing trend.

FiltersRX.com is the web site of Lifetime Industries, an ISO 9002 certified manufacturer of air filtration products for the hvac industry. According to company officials, FiltersRX.com sells high quality industrial, commercial and residential replacement air filters direct to hvacr installers, building and maintenance engineers, independent service contractors, technicians and more.

The site offers free samples and promises low prices and a money-back satisfaction guarantee. It's also set up to automatically take orders 24 hours a day, and the site's "eReplace System" allows a contractor or purchasing agent to set up a maintenance schedule for one or more job sites. By entering the desired replacement intervals, the filters are automatically shipped to their locations. The eReplace System is a free service.

For more information, visit the site at www.filtersrx.com or call 888-311-4932.

  • A new site aimed at contractors, engineers, local distributors and plant maintenance personnel recently gave away a vintage Chevrolet Corvette to commemorate its launch. Bestroute.com is an online stocking distributorship that specializes in real-time inventory of hard-to-find products not commonly found in local stores. The site currently offers electrical, voice, data, plumbing and hvacr products. In addition, the site provides trade information along with industry news and research.

    "Bestroute.com customers will get (24-hour, year-round) self-service to our inventory and industry information," said company President Michael Gambino. "Suppliers will be able to market their brands like never before, since the focus is quality and service, not just price."

    Products will ship from the company's distribution center in Louisville, Ky. Fluke Corp. and Milwaukee Electric Tools are just some of the products Bestroute.com will stock.

    For more information about the contest and the company, check out the site at www.bestroute.com.

  • Also offering easy online ordering of replacement parts is air treatment company Munters Corp. At two web sites, www.muntersamerica.com and www.muntersparts.com, more than 1,700 parts are available for purchase. Products are grouped by headings, such as dehydrators and eliminators, and detailed product descriptions and specifications are available for each item.

    "Offering parts online gives those customers that are familiar with the product very quick and easy access to the needed parts," said Chris Bogart, Munters' manager of service operations. To use the site, customers can type in a part number or search for an item by keyword. In most cases, a color image is provided along with ordering information. Orders are processed daily and in-stock items are shipped immediately. Customers are kept up to date on their order's status through e-mail.

  • Williams Comfort Products, an 84-year-old company manufacturing air handlers, gas space heating and fireplace equipment has gone online. At www.williamscomfortprod.com, you can learn about each product Williams makes, along with detailed descriptions and specifications.

  • Popular search engine Yahoo! has teamed up with ImproveNet, Inc., a home improvement information and services web site. ImproveNet will now be administering the "Find A Contractor" portion of the Yahoo! Real Estate web site (http://realestate.yahoo.com).

    ImproveNet has a nationwide network of prescreened local contractors that it matches to jobs submitted by Yahoo! users. A visitor to the web site simply describes the project he or she is looking to do, and ImpoveNet matches it to registered contractors in the user's area. "We are excited to be expanding our site offering to include a home improvement solution," said Nate Smith, producer of Yahoo! Real Estate.

  • The air distribution and air terminal products company METALAIRE has announced the upgrading of its web site (www.metalaire.com) to include more engineering and technical information, such as sound data, product performance, specifications and product dimensions. The site uses InfoSource technology to simplify the process of identifying, selecting and configuring complete air distribution systems. The company says having such information at hvac contractors' fingertips reduces design time, saves money and promotes new ideas.

  • Carrier Corp. has launched an online ordering system for Totaline, its replacement components division. At www.totaline.com, the 675 Totaline parts stores, authorized Carrier replacement part suppliers, can check pricing and availability on more than 100,000 parts. "The purpose of the order center is to make it easier for our distributors to do business with us," said Bill Brown, Carrier Replacement Parts Division vice president and general manager.

    For more information about the site, call 800/CARRIER (227-7437).

  • Snips is upgrading the bulletin board section of its online magazine. There you will be able to talk with fellow Snips readers about anything relating to our industry. You can even make suggestions about what you would like to see in the print or online versions of Snips. And I'll be monitoring the board, so you can even me a question. Just follow the link at the Snips homepage (www.snipsmag.com).