Kele Blog

The three M’s of HVAC

Spring, or “The Pollening” as we call it here in Memphis, has sprung and as HVAC/BAS systems across the country begin the switch from heating to cooling, we here at Kele are looking ahead to see what’s next. So what exactly is up next? Wait for it, now take a dramatic pause, …summer! (We know hotter temps are nothing to be excited about, but we gave it our best shot.)

You’re now thinking, “Well okay Kele, but it’s the end of March. I still have plenty of time before I have to worry about all things summer.” Time flies when you’re busy and before you know it, all the issues that plague HVAC/BAS systems during the hottest time of the year will have arrived along with the summer season. This means that it’s time to refamiliarize yourself with the 3 M’s of HVAC: maintenance, monitoring, and management.

Maintenance

When an HVAC system receives proper maintenance throughout its lifespan, its life expectancy can be anywhere from 15-25 years (give or take a few years here or there). This means that constant and consistent maintenance is needed for it to stay healthy. Here’s a short list of some of the top things your customers should be cognizant of year-round:

  • Testing sensors and thermostats for full functionality
  • Keeping coils, drains, pans, etc., clean
  • Making sure that safety measures are working and still up to date for the system
  • Pressure checks for certain components
  • Inspections of all connections and motor operations

Monitoring

Now to ensure that your system is energy efficient, has clear and unobstructed ventilation, and is in well-working condition, HVAC/BAS system needs constant and consistent monitoring.

By monitoring the system(s), your customer is also able to track the performance of any and all systems, energy consumption and efficiency, and alerts for faults, inefficiencies, and system failures. It will help them be cost-effective and ensure that all problems that pop up are taken care of immediately before they can cause major damage that results in major costs due to system failure(s).

Management

Lastly, put maintenance and monitoring together and you get management. To keep an HVAC/BAS system in peak condition, you must be able to effectively manage systems from top to bottom; being vigilant through monitoring and keeping up with maintenance year-round is imperative for effective management. Without it, your customers are just creating a more complex problem for you to solve at some point and we already know you’re having to do more with less these days.

The 3 M’s of HVAC have you covered year-round (just like Kele does). Encourage your customers to stay on top of all three and get ready for the summer season! Visit kele.com today or call and talk with our sales team to prep for staying on schedule and under budget on your next break/fix job or project.

Behind the scenes with Kele at ASHRAE: Focus on education

Ready. Set. Vegas!

Part One of a three-part series

While most people agree that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” some secrets just aren’t meant to be kept. And what happened at the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference is a secret we won’t be keeping. We all know that snitches get stitches, but Kele is betting on black that you want to know what went down—and it’s a gamble we’re willing to take!

So what exactly did happened at the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference?

Kele showed up. As pioneers of the supply chain for the BAS industry, showing up when it counts isn’t new to us. We’ve been doing it since day one and know that our customers depend on us to help them get the job done. By attending the Winter Conference, we were doing just that. As the industry grows and evolves, we make it our goal to do so with it so we can help you win no matter what. By attending ASHRAE, we’re able to run the table and stay up to date on what the industry has to offer so that we can offer it to you.

Getting back to face-to-face interactions allowed us to stack the deck so to speak; we were able to personally connect with suppliers and customers alike in a conference setting for the first time in over two years. Having the opportunity to collaborate with both on current trends and discuss what’s next in the industry was instrumental in planning for our joint success in 2022.

And by collaborating, we were able to talk more in-depth about one of the main issues that are plaguing the industry currently: the supply chain. Educating ourselves by hearing first-person accounts allowed us to better understand the frustration and major impacts that are occurring to both customers and suppliers alike. While everyone in the industry knows this is an issue we’ve been dealing with, our conversations centered on creating solutions with you in mind.

Overcoming supply chain issues and figuring out how to do more with less is a top priority for both our customers and Kele in 2022. It’s another reason this tradeshow is so important to the industry. It allowed us to collaborate with both customers and suppliers and solidify our strategy to increase our stocking position for supply challenged parts and create new ways to help our customers win while successfully managing the total cost of their jobs.

Tina Nelson
Product Manager, Kele

Education and improving our process are what help us continue to grow, evolve, and adapt to win the game every time. Kele Product Manager, Tina Nelson, put all her chips on the table and was focused on winning, saying, “Kele is constantly working to solve customer problems by partnering with suppliers to ensure the best outcomes possible. By consistently thinking about how to improve our product segments, how to gain the best products, and how to expand our growth in underdeveloped areas, we’re able to grow and learn to better serve our customers. Trade show attendance lets us engage with our existing partners, increase our presence in the industry for potential partners, and get the most out of both to serve our customer’s needs.”

Getting you what you need, when you need it, is paramount to us right now. It feels like this is the most important thing we can do industry-wide right now, other than continuing to educate ourselves, to make sure that we hit the jackpot every time.

For more information on what you missed at ASHRAE, catch up by reading the State of Society address from president Mike Schwedler and ASHRAE’s article on the event, or by watching the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference Meeting of the Members Plenary Session here.

Get ready to cash in those chips and stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes with Kele from the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference.

 

RELATED BLOGS:

Part Two: Behind the scenes with Kele at ASHRAE: Focus on the supply chain

Part Three: Behind the scenes with Kele: Focus on projects and break/fix

 

 

Cold weather issues?

With February almost over, that means the end of winter is around the corner, right? Wrong. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and it’s been downhill ever since. Now, we don’t put much stock in a groundhog who predicts the weather (that’s our equivalent of an HVAC tech who doesn’t have to inspect a system to tell you what’s wrong with it), but cold weather doesn’t look like it’s leaving anytime soon.

The 2022 Farmer’s Almanac mapped out and predicted a frigid winter. There’s also been unpredictable winter fronts and storms that have affected much of the U.S. and will continue to do so. With all these freezing temperatures still plaguing many of your customers, it’s important to keep up with winter maintenance.

Here’s a shortlist of things to keep in mind so that the winter weather doesn’t catch your customer unaware:

  • Ventilation issues caused by blocked ducts or dirty filters
  • Frozen coils and pipes are likely to happen
  • Ensure peak performance of thermostats and sensors
  • Faulty heat pumps, leading to other issues such as uneven heating or decreased airflow

We’ve got all our fingers and toes crossed that winter is coming to an end sooner than later. But until then, stay vigilant and don’t let bad maintenance take over your customers’ systems. Kele’s here to help you get through the rest of the cold season and into warmer weather!

Visit kele.com now and chat with us online or call and talk with our sales and tech teams for your cold weather solutions—Kele’s got you covered!

School Project Bid in the Works? We Can Help You Get Back to School Ready!

Bidding for school projects seems to be starting earlier and earlier each year. With shorter timeframes and stress on the supply chain, it may be better to work ahead this season rather than having to do make-up work. While there are many things to keep in mind, there are two major ones that will help you the most:

  1. Being up to date on the latest standards/guidelines
  2. Being prepared for your bid and next steps once it’s accepted

It can be tricky to keep up with all the standards/guidelines that apply to the projects you work on. We know it can feel as though they are being updated constantly in some form or fashion. Here are two ASHRAE standards to keep in mind when you tackle your upcoming retrofit or project:

With their last revisions being in 2019, these standards are tried and true when it comes to IAQ (indoor air quality) and ventilation overall.

Keeping those standards in mind, here’s a study guide to help you get an A+ on your next bid:

  • Start planning for your bids now so you’re not caught unaware or unprepared
  • Devise a checklist to keep track of bidding, sourcing, scheduling, and more
  • Plan budgets and schedules so you stay on track and on time on the jobsite
  • Check for the most recent standards and guidelines that apply to your bid
  • Once you win the bid, source your parts immediately so your parts are waiting on you and not the other way around

So whether it’s a bid for a retrofit or an entire project, Kele is here to help you from start to finish. We want you to be ready to go back to school and ace that final exam. Let our favorite study tool, My Project Portal, help you prepare your BOM in minutes. Shop today on kele.com or call and chat with our sales and tech teams to get what you need—Kele’s got you covered.

Stay Tuned for Behind-The-Scenes with Kele at ASHRAE

ASHRAE’s 2022 Winter Conference and AHR Expo is being held in Las Vegas this year. And while Kele will be in attendance, we know that many of you have been impacted by COVID-19 and are unable to attend. As a member of ASHRAE, we are excited to bring you a behind-the-scenes look at everything happening at this year’s conference. We’ll be your eyes and ears on the ground, reporting the newest industry standards and keeping you updated on new tech and more.

So why is ASHRAE important?

ASHRAE has been raising awareness and seeking to improve the HVAC&R/BAS industry since 1894. It is a global organization that works to improve building standards, offer education, create and implement technical standards, and fund research programs. They also publish the ASHRAE Handbook annually in a four-volume series covering the following topics:

  • Fundamentals
  • HVAC Applications
  • HVAC Systems and Equipment
  • Refrigeration

To go along with their handbook, they publish standards and guidelines for building codes to ensure maximum safety. Additionally, they manage two magazines and have published several books—all fantastic resources to make sure you know what’s what in the industry.

We’re excited to see what they’ve been up to and how it will impact all of us. Check back in with us for coverage on the conference—Kele’s got you covered.

Back to Basics: Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome (SBS). The Oxford Dictionary defines it as a condition affecting office workers, typically marked by headaches and respiratory problems, attributed to unhealthy or stressful factors in the working environment such as poor ventilation. It’s the last thing your customers want to deal with; it’s the last thing YOU want to deal with!

Instead of a normal break/fix issue, SBS is a silent and sometimes deadly ailment that buildings suffer from. And until the people in the said building begin to suffer, it can be difficult to detect. At the end of the day, it all comes down to poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

So what are some causes of poor IAQ? These outbreaks of sickness can stem from any number of variables but here’s a shortlist to name just a few:

  • Subpar cleaning practices
  • Molds
  • Improper ventilation
  • Lack of proper fresh-air intake/air filtration
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Overlooked/forgotten maintenance

In most cases, SBS can be prevented by staying vigilant with yearly maintenance checks and constant monitoring of systems. Educate your customers on the perils of SBS and work with them to help keep their buildings and the people inside of them healthy and safe.

Shop for what you need now on kele.com or Live Chat with a tech service rep for answers on how to keep your customers’ building healthy and any other questions you may have.

 

Kele Companies, Inc. Acquisition of A-tech, Inc.

Acquisition is Kele’s fifth since 2017 and strengthens industrial offering and footprint.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. and TULSA, Okla. – Kele, Inc. recently announced the acquisition A-tech, Inc., a distributor of industrial automation products. The acquisition expands Kele’s breadth of products and services in the industrial automation market. The new entity will become an add-on to Lesman Instrument Company, which was purchased by Kele in December 2020.

A-tech, Inc. distributes products used to measure, analyze, control, and automate a wide range of factory and industrial processes. The company serves customers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, and Wyoming. This marks Kele’s fifth acquisition in the last five years.

Kele President and CEO Richard Campbell said, “A-tech is a well-established, authorized distributor and manufacturers’ representative for process measurement and control instrumentation. We’re excited about adding another well-respected brand in the Industrial automation space to the Kele Companies.”

“The opportunity to join forces with Kele and Lesman will greatly enhance A-tech’s offerings. Our customers and employees will benefit from enhanced support and efficiency, while also strengthening our channel partners and supplier relationships,” said A-tech President Clay Hodgens.

 

About Kele, Inc.

Kele, Inc. is a leading distributor of Commercial and Industrial Automation products and controls solutions globally. Kele serves the $275+ billion Commercial and Industrial Automation markets with more than 300 brands and 1.8 million parts in stock, including sensors, transmitters, switches, gauges, valves, actuators, relays, and more. Value-added services include custom panel assembly, specialized sourcing, and technical support. Kele is a portfolio company of The Stephens Group, LLC of Little Rock, Ark. To learn more about Kele, visit kele.com.

About A-tech, Inc.

A-tech Inc. is an established, authorized distributor and manufacturers’ representative for process measurement and control instrumentation. They distribute products used to measure, analyze, control, and automate a wide range of factory and industrial processes. Since 1977, it has grown into a nation-wide distributor. A-tech prides itself on lasting customer relationships, impactful industry knowledge, and their ability to be innovative on behalf of their customers when it comes to parts. For more information, visit atech-inc.com.

Unwanted visitors and the top five associated issues

Let me set the scene. You’re on the job. Your customer is complaining of smells, strange sounds, and other things wrong with their commercial HVAC/BAS system(s). And you know, you just know, you’re about to have a close encounter of the “third kind.” Except instead of UFOs, we mean animals.

Almost everyone in the industry has a story where they’ve found a furry or feathered menace wreaking havoc on their customer’s system(s). And every time you’ve encountered said menace, you’re reminded of all the headaches that can occur and the damages you’ll encounter and have to fix.

We’d be here all day if we discussed every issue that an animal in a system can cause, but here are our top five big-ticket issues that can come from an unwanted visitor:

  1. Blocked/damaged vents, dampers, and exhausts
  2. Frozen refrigerant lines due to damaged insulation
  3. Damaged wiring and connections
  4. Corrosion to evaporator and condenser coils
  5. Damaged ductwork

In these situations, step one is to call in the professionals to remove the animal. (We want pictures/video if you take on the animal yourself, though we don’t recommend it!) Step two is to complete a thorough inspection. Make sure to go over the entirety of the system(s) and always do your due diligence!

We’re not experts in animal control but we are experts in repairing HVAC/BAS issues! Call us or email us to get what you need to quickly fix issues caused by those unwanted interlopers and keep your customers happy.

 

Winter is here–stay ahead of the freeze!

Seeing temperatures continue to drop? Crossing your fingers that you’re not stuck outside working on a customer’s system this winter? Here’s to hoping that any break/fix or maintenance jobs you’ve got coming up are a breeze.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the beginning of 2022 is going to be a cold one! Our winter season, which officially began on December 21st, is going to start off mild and then hit hard with cold temperatures and sizable storms that will make their way across the U.S. Get ready to bundle up on the job!

Be mindful of the following components and how much life they still have in them as they go up against the upcoming winter weather:

You’ll be racing against winter weather to get jobs done. Don’t “freeze” up trying to source parts or troubleshoot on the jobsite. If you have questions, call or email Kele’s technical service team for expert advice on anything from inspection to maintenance to replacement. And with our new option for delivery in two days or less to the majority of the U.S., you’ll have what you need fast.

Shop now and find what you need from the our product categories.

Back to Basics: Damaged Outside Air Damper? Don’t Let It Dampen Your Holiday Season

‘Tis the season for freezestat and coil catastrophes. Yep, winter is finally here for most of the U.S and with it comes winter weather problems.

Cold weather means larger intakes of cold air being funneled through your customer’s system(s). If dampers are damaged, the system will have to work twice as hard, or it will be rendered useless due to system failure. You can pretty much bet that parts will start freezing or malfunctioning as a result. It’s imperative that your customer’s dampers are functioning at 100% at this point.

But heating air and protecting the system relies on more than just the dampers. The system also needs fully functioning CO2 sensors, valves, switches, actuators, freezestats, and more to run smoothly.

In order to avoid the worst this holiday season, it’s important that your customers see to both repairs and retrofits sooner rather than later. Preventative maintenance is your customer’s best bet in keeping the winter weather at bay—so advise them to be proactive rather than reactive.

In case of emergency, outside air (OA) dampers can and will use actuators to save the day and prevent total system failure in some cases. They will close the damper and prevent major costly repairs by stopping parts from reaching their breaking points. (Preventative measures here will keep your customers from fuming—yes, we know the puns are bad at this point but not as bad as a system in disrepair.)

Kele is here for all your winter HVAC/BAS needs so that both you and your customers sail through the winter season this year. Call us or visit kele.com and chat with us live to get what you need to succeed this season—Kele’s got you covered.