It is that time of year again where the weather starts to turn warmer and homeowners start making plans to make improvements to their homes & landscapes. Many homeowners are DIYers but a large number are not and will call on you to help them with their projects. These weekend warrior wannabes don’t know a hammer from a nail and need all the help they can get from a prepared contractor like you.
Service Partners carries a variety of tools to help you on roofing jobs to building decks. Your tools will likely take a beating over time but don’t worry; Service Partners’ branches keep extras on hand for when you need a replacement. We carry extension cords, hammer staplers, safety & fall protection, flexed knifes and many other accessories you’ll need on the job.
Be prepared for your customers and give your nearest Service Partners location a call to help you gather all the accessories you need for a busy summer.
Interested in learning about Service Partners? Watch out company video or read below to see learn what our employees, and our customers have to say about us.
30 years ago all you needed to be an insulation contractor was a staple gun in a ladder. Today’s installers need the latest insulation products and installation and safety accessories, and they need it delivered fast. Service Partners is the leading nationwide distributor of quality insulation from brands like CertainTeed, JohnsManville, Knopf, Owens Corning, BASF, and Dow.
We have 75 locations nationwide and we work hard to deliver next day service. Because when we do our job fast you can get your job done faster.
We asked our team to give us their perspective on the company culture and mission of Service Partners and how that impacts the relationships we share with our customers. Here are some of the highlights.
“We are a bunch of strategically placed little businesses all over the country. So at the end of the day we you know we want to be the one stop shop for insulation contractors.” – Tim Bichlmeier, Sales Manager
“We cover everything from below grade foundation products, waterproofing products, all the way up to the roofline.” – Debra Constance, District Sales Manager.
“The other products may vary from accessories to insulation ceiling tile, roofing, gutters. I think the product mix is what makes us very successful.” – Roy Machado, Sales Manager
“It’s a people company. Yes we sell products, yes we move things around warehouses, but in the end it’s about relationships and it has been from the get-go.“ – Corey Doise, Controller
“I take what the relationships say that Service Partners has with its vendors. I take those relationships out to my customer base and potential customers. – Ken Martin, Outside Sales Rep
“I really think what you develop on a relationship basis is what brings people back to you.” – Leslie Ray, Inside Sales
“Relationships are real important for me because we help them grow and when they grow we grow. That’s what it’s about”. – Debra Constance, District Sales Manager.
“We have a lot of long-term, even 20-year relationships with some customers. We share what’s going on with their families, we share what’s going on with their business, and how we can help them grow their business.” – Wendy Kessler, Customer Care
“Whether our people are in the field or whether it’s a customer who calls in, we’re to offer the best service toward them. I just like being a smiling face there. I enjoy going to work every day.” Lisa Shipman, Telecom Administrator
“We’re the real deal. We don’t just say we service our customers, we do it every day.” – Roy Machado, Sales Manager
“Every morning at seven o’clock when that truck opens its doors Service Partners comes through for us, and they have exactly what you ordered. The name says it all – service. They’re there when they say they’re going be there. Good quality products, good people.” – Robert Vance, Customer
“You know it’s just at work that we both need each other and they’re there to back me up. That means a lot.” – Mike Layman, Customer
“Good people doing business with good people. That just seems to be my mantra and I believe that’s Service Partners’ mantra.” – Debra Constance, District Sales Manager.
“This is not just a job for me. I’m able to go out and bond with people that are really special and I appreciate that every day when I come to work.” – Roy Machado, Sales Manager
“We’re not just here just to make money, but we’re also here to be a help to our community, and to do what we can to make things better for someone else.“ -Lisa Shipman, Telecom Administrator
“I can’t wait to see what Service Partners has to offer in the future – for the company, the employees the customer.” – Leslie Ray, Inside Sales
“Pretty amazing how much friendships you have throughout the company and until you sit down and think about it your like – wow that’s pretty cool.” – Tim Bichlmeier, Sales Manager
“Are you honest in how you deal on a day-to-day basis individually and professionally? Yes. Do I see that at Service Partners all the time? Yes. It’s when you can go home at night and smile about the day, smile about the interactions you’ve had with a customer or a supplier that’s good.” Simon Kavanagh – Senior Vice President
Service Partners is the largest insulation distributor in the United States with 75+ branches nationwide. However, we carry a wide range of other building materials & accessories across the country. Here is a list of a few of the other product categories we carry.
Our nationwide network of distribution facilities provides quality products from the country’s top manufacturers including 3m, Convenience Products, BASF, Knauf, CertainTeed, Owens Corning, Bayer and Ample Supply to name a few.
Tonight President Obama will give his State of the Union address. If you are particularly interested in the energy points being made during the speech follow the Department of Energy on twitter as they will be live tweeting all the major energy segments.
Department of Energy Twitter handle: Twitter.com/Energy
If you have a specific question for the DOE feel free to tweet @energy using #SOTU.
Cold weather rips through much of the United States this week as the nation feels the impact of what is being called a polar vortex. With record setting low temperatures throughout the country it is an opportune time to remind your customers of the importance of weatherizing their home. Offering them a home energy audit during these cold days is a great time to first hand evaluate a customer’s home. If they happen to pass on a home energy audit be sure to offer them the quick solution of adding weather-stripping around windows and doors which are typically a large source of air infiltration.
The Department of Energy released a couple of PSAs a few months ago to help educate homeowners on some basic tips to save energy and money. There are many things that you can help homeowners with that will save them money.
This home energy audit infographic is courtesy of the United States Department of Energy.
Energy Saver 101
What is a home energy audit?
A home energy audit is the first step to improving your home’s energy efficiency. A home energy audit helps you pinpoint where your house is losing energy and what you can do to save money. Home energy auditors will also assess health and safety issues that might exist in your home. The audit involves two parts: The home assessment and analysis using computer software.
Did you know? You could save 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill by making an efficiency upgrades identified in your home energy audit.
The Auditor’s Toolbox
Below are some of the tools energy auditors used to inspect homes energy use.
Telescoping ladder: To reach into an attic or up high.
Screwdrivers, pliers and adjustable wrench: To remove outlet plate and inspect appliances.
25 foot tape measure: For making a footprint sketch of the house.
Flashlight and batteries: To help see behind appliances.
Digital cameras: To help seeing to hard to reach places and document elements of the house.
Pen and paper: For taking notes.
Infrared camera: To help determine the air leakage and insulation.
Combustion analyzer: Tool designed to sample flue gases in vented combustion appliances and measure flue gas temperature, leaks and carbon monoxide.
Blower door: A large fan that depressurizes the home by sucking air out. This test simulates the effect of a 20 mph wind to allow the auditor to find air leaks.
Manometer: A gauge that measures the difference in pressure in a home in point air leakage and test exhaust devices for proper operation.
Smoke generating device: Produces a thin stream of smoke or non-toxic fog to help find air leakage and duct leakage.
Watt meter: Measures the electrical energy use by various devices throughout the home.
Soap bubbles: Used to confirm fuel leaks in combustion appliances.
Digital probe thermometer: For testing temperature rise and heating equipment and operating temperatures.
Inspection mirror: To see into constricted spaces.
Draft gauge: To test for chimney drafts.
Moisture meter: Measures moisture level and wood in other materials.
The Home Energy Audit Checklist:
Certified Home energy auditors should go through the following steps in a home energy audit.
Analyze past years fuel bills to determine base energy consumption.
Interviewed the homeowner to learn about problems and how the home operates.
Explain the audit process.
Conduct exterior inspection.
Health and safety inspection.
Interior visual inspection.
Assess electrical system for safety concerns.
Combustion appliance inspection.
Blower door test.
Analyzing findings and create a comprehensive home energy report.
Home Energy Audit: What to Look For
Note the number and location of air registers.
Inspect windows and doors and check for access window condensation.
Note and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Inspect lighting fixtures and recessed lights.
Check for air leaks around the outlets, fixtures, doors and windows.
Inspect the fireplace.
Note thermostat type and setting.
Check for wall insulation and framing type.
Look for indoor air quality problems and lead-based paint.
In the Attic
Check for major air leakage issues in places like chimney bypasses, recessed lighting and HVAC ducks.
Note to any signs of water leakage.
Inspect wiring for safety issues.
In the Basement and Utility Room
Furnace: test for fuel leaks, change the furnace filter, clean furnace blower.
Water heater: Note thermostat setting and installation on tank and piping; test draft hood.
Perform combustion appliances owned testing on all combustible fuel fired appliances.
Inspect duct system and dryer venting.
In the Kitchen/Bathroom
Look for electrical or other hazards.
Assess electrical appliance energy use with a watt meter or manufacturer nameplate.
Check for moisture and excess water vapor.
Assess vent fans for flow rate.
What is the blower door test?
A blower door test locates air leaks by using a special fan to depressurize a house. Blower tests are conducted before and after air sealing to measure the effectiveness of the work.
Did you know? The average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two-foot-square hole. That’s like leaving a medium-sized window open 24 hours a day!
Mythbusting Infrared Imaging
Infrared cannot see through objects or air. It can only see temperatures with cold objects appearing darker in warm objects appearing lighter.
Infrared doesn’t see color. The color is computer-generated to make a difference in temperature easier to see to the untrained eye.
Infrared imaging should not mean the only tool an energy auditor uses. When used during the blower door test infrared imaging is a powerful tool for determining air leaks.
Weather-stripping can be a great asset for stopping air infiltration this winter. Keeping a good supply on hand will be beneficial to you and your customers. Before installing weather-stripping it is important to detect air leaks throughout a home.
Here are a few places the Department of Energy recommends:
• Electrical outlets
• Switch plates
• Door and window frames
• Electrical and gas service entrances
• Weather stripping around doors
• Fireplace dampers
• Attic hatches
• Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.
• Cable TV and phone lines
• Where dryer vents pass through walls
• Vents and fans.
Service Partners supplies weather-stripping to contractors nationwide. We have all the weatherization products you need to help you air seal your customer’s home.
Our last post touched on ‘how to beat the summer drought” and here is a good visual example of why water conservation is so important. The US Drought Monitor maps are released every Thursday to give a visual representation of the current drought conditions in the United States. You can access loads of information that include pdfs, animated maps and tools focused on drought. This information can help you sell water conservation upgrades to your customers while on the job.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
During the hot summer months many of us will experience droughts throughout the country. You can help reduce the use of water for your customers by installing low-flow shower-heads in their shower or bathtub. Be sure to select a shower-head that has a flow rate of no more than 2.5 gallons per minute at 80 psi for optimal water savings. Your customers will see a water savings between 25% -50% by using an energy efficient shower-head.
You can also advise your customers to use faucet aerators throughout their home. Aerators are the screw on tip of the faucet that can be replaced to restrict the amount of water flow. Ideally, you’ll want to install an aerator that has a flow rate of 1.0 gpm for maximum water efficiency. However, anything lower than 1.75 gpm would be more efficient then what is typically used in new faucets directly off the shelf.
If your customers are using a well for water supply, these adjustments will have a significant impact on their water usage allowing them to save for future droughts. Customers that are accessing their local water utilities will see a decrease in their water usage bill and effectively be putting money back into their pocket. Don’t forget, the little things like a low flow shower-head and aerators can go a long way for your customers.