APPS & WORKFLOW
10 Best Heating and Cooling Apps
Ryan Harmon, CompanyCam
6 June 2017
CompanyCam is committed to making your work less difficult through any means possible. For your convenience, we have dug deep and narrowed in on the 10 best apps to accelerate your HVAC Business’ workflow.
Refrigerant Slider by Danfoss
When it comes to on-the-job, super-slick, get the job done apps in the HVAC world, it doesn’t get much better than Danfoss’ handy little app, Refrigerant Slider. If you’re looking to bring in a bit of technology to add efficiency to your heating and cooling jobs, this is the app for you.
What Danfoss has put in your hands with this app is an incredibly user-friendly, no nonsense tool that allows you to quickly and accurately calculate your pressure to temperature conversions. The Refrigerant Slider app covers over 75 different refrigerants, helpfully providing information on the various refrigerant types. Of course, no modern app would be complete without also including info and conversions for natural refrigerants as well – so whether you care about the environment or not, this app will work for you!
After downloading the app, you’ll find it incredibly easy to use. On the left side of the app there is a slide that controls your conversions and allows you to quickly discover the pressure or temperature reference. If the slider doesn’t suit you, you can also type in the relevant information and the slider and readings will automatically adjust to your needs.
In the end, what the Refrigerant Slider app provides you with is a handy tool that does the conversion work for you, making your HVAC jobs that much easier.
The Refrigerant Slider app is FREE (although the app does annoyingly pop up Danfoss’ website) in both Apple’s App Store and in the Android store.
CompanyCam is the ultimate photo application for business. Utilizing GPS, the app automatically organizes every photo taken by job site. You and your team can take unlimited photos—all of which are location and time-stamped, sent to the cloud, and stored securely—meaning you can access any project, anytime, anywhere.
But the real power of the app is displayed when you bring on other technicians. Because the app does the organizing automatically, every technician saves time. There is no question as to where to store something and managers have instant vision into every job site.
CompanyCam has a straightforward pricing structure. For every user that needs to take photos, it is $12/month.
HyTools by IMI Hydronic Engineering International
Continuing along the line of incredibly useful at-the-jobsite apps, the HyTools app provides quick and easy calculations and conversions that will prove especially helpful if you specialize in radiant heating and cooling systems. Rather than working conversions in your head or scratching them out by hand, HyTools does the exacting work for you.
We can all agree that time is money, but that’s never more true than in the trade professions. There is nothing more valuable than your time on the job and anything that can increase your productivity and remove clumsy guesswork is worth it to us – and we’re guessing it is to you as well. That’s what we appreciate about the HyTools app.
The app itself is straightforward enough. Hydronic calculations are simple: HyTools allows you to input your two known values in order to quickly provide you with the third. The app also allows you to calculate dirt and air separator pressure drop, valve sizing and presetting, radiator power estimation, and the list goes on. Since the app is free, there’s no reason to bore you with all the details. We think it’s enough to say that the app is easy to use, the interface is simple, and is going to prove useful for those in the HVAC world – we’d just recommend downloading it and checking it out for yourself.
As we already mentioned – the app is free in Apple’s App Store. Of course, there is some in-app advertising from the developer but it is a small sacrifice to make for such a simple and useful app.
Duct Calculator Elite
Another HVAC app that we love, that we believe will make any HVAC professional’s life easier is Duct Calculator Elite by Cyberprodigy. The name of the game with Duct Calculator Elite is simplicity – bottom line: the app is going to simplify the work of duct sizing calculations , whether you are trying to calculate duct size, velocity, pressure drop or flow rate.
The Duct Calculator Elite team prides itself on the intuitive nature of the app and, for those who don’t care for slider-based apps, they may have just hit the mark. Rather than a slide, Duct Calculator works through the manual input of values – a feature that is sure to appeal to some users. Cyberprodigy has certainly left no stone unturned in trying to create an all-around winner for the HVAC trade.
The app itself is incredibly user friendly and has enough built-in customizations to make it useful tool for the broad majority of HVAC pros – we’re talking customization to a ridiculous degree. Duct size calculations can be made by airflow, by dimension, or by pressure drop and the beauty of the app is that within each mode there is freedom add further variables (i.e. velocity) and the calculator will make the adjustments on the fly, removing the guesswork and increasing your productivity.
Simply a great app for HVAC pros.
Duct Calculator Elite is $6.99 in Apple’s App Store.
So, before we begin, we need to make it clear that the ABM-100 app, while free, requires a bit of an investment because in order for it to work it’s magic, you’ll have to buy the ABM-100 Balancing Meter…but once you do that, this app is pretty great.
With the ABM-100 app you can measure airflow in linear ft./minute, cubic ft./minute, cubic m./hour, and linear m./second. It’s an anemometer that is incredibly accurate – calibrated in an Aerospace Engineering lab no less! – as well as durable, eco friendly, and just pretty cool.
The anemometer itself fits in your pocket so it won’t add any extra tools for you to lug around, and with it, you’ll look like one of the most technologically advanced techs in the field.
As mentioned above, the app itself is free. A quick online search shows that the anemometer itself will run you about $35, give or take.
No one needs to tell you that running your own business is tough sledding. Any tool that can make the job easier is worth its weight in gold and we believe Breezeworks is one of those tools.
Breezeworks offers all-in-one software that aims to making running a business on the go (and all that entails), easier. Their software and fantastic app could be the silver bullet that sets your business apart from the rest because, as we all know, it’s not just whether you get the job done, it’s how you get it done that leaves the strongest impression.
The Breezeworks app shines in helping service business owners and their teams (1) an easy to use customer relations management tool, helping you streamline the line of communication from provider to customer (2) simple and on-the-spot invoice capability (3) centralized scheduling and team management, optimizing team deployment and allowing you to maximize your workers’ time. On top of all this, Breezeworks will even offer push notifications based on traffic patterns so that you can make your next call on time. Pretty sweet.
Bottom line for you: Breezeworks brings your entire enterprise into the 21st century, allowing you to deliver service quicker and slicker than the next guy. This app is a gem.
The Breezeworks app is free in the iTunes app store, and the Breezeworks team gives users a 14-day free trial – after that, pricing plans vary depending on your needs and team size.
HVAC Check & Charge
As has been evident, a core belief of our is that the best apps are those that help you maximize efficiency and simplicity. The last thing you need as a service professional are more complicated processes and more hassle. What you need, what will make your life and your job easier are apps that take the things you already do and simply help you do them easily, quickly, and with tools already in your pocket. That’s what Emerson’s simple HVAC Check & Charge app does.
HVAC Check & Charge is old school meets new world. Rather than carrying around an annoying cardboard slide in your pocket, Emerson has taken all of that information and engineered it into a simple app so that the greatest tool you are already carrying with you – your phone – can help you do more than just update your Fantasy Football team. All of those conversions that have been used for decades via the cardboard slide are now right there in app form.
The app functions the same as the old slides: calculating correct system refrigerant charge for R-22 and R-410A coolants. A simple interface allows you to switch between superheat, subcooling, or airflow calculations, all you have to do is enter the system temperatures and environmental loads and the app will make all the necessary adjustments for you, just as the slide would. In the end, what you have is a simple and easy way to do what you you’ve always done – nothing new to learn, Emerson just made it all the more convenient.
The HVAC Check & Charge app is available as an Android or iPhone app and is FREE.
HVACR Fault Finder
HVACR Fault Finder is the another app developed by the Emerson Climate team that turns your phone into a problem solver on the job. Over the years, every machine has become more complex. The move from analog to digital has certainly made an impact on the HVAC profession with virtually every aspect of your world becoming more digitized, more technical, and – because of that – more difficult to fix! Gone are the days of simple fixes and easily arrived at conclusions. That’s where HVACR Fault Finder is designed to help. The HVACR Fault Finder will help you interact with compressor electronic systems in order to diagnose the problem easily and find a solution a solution as quickly as possible.
Designed to work with compressors from Copeland Corporation, an industry leader for decades, the HVACR Fault Finder allows you to use the alert codes put out by the electronic systems in order to gain access to the most common and effective solutions. When the underlying problem is not clearly identified, Emerson has built in a flow chart to the app to help with the diagnosis process.
Beyond these helpful baseline offerings, the app is full of goodies that will help you deliver results with less hassle – everything from engineering guides to product manuals and videos. All of this, put together by Emerson in order to make your job easier.
The bottom line here: another app from Emerson that will turn your phone into your best resource on the job, helping you deliver solutions in a timelier manner.
The HVACR Fault Finder is available as an Android or iPhone app and is FREE.
Many HVAC techs have been slow to embrace the digital world, they know their tools and they aren’t looking for a change. Others, however, have fully embraced advances in technology and the way it can improve overall performance – the fact that you’re reading this article leads us to believe that is you. If so, iManifold might be just what you’re looking for.
Digital Manifolds are increasing in popularity and there are some good ones out there – but what iManifold has put together, through the combination of their hardware and software, is pretty slick and certainly worth a look. The iManifold app, in combination with the requisite hardware, gives you or your techs the ability to not only gather readings and measurements but to make more precise diagnostic assessments, leading to better solutions and happier customers.
The iManifold app is an impressively powerful tool when it’s put to work. The app allows techs to get immediate feedback that not only displays current measurements but also goes a step further by immediately displaying what the measurements should be. The app takes guesswork, conversion work, etc. out of the hands of the user and instead produces simple and accurate troubleshooting solutions that can quickly be translated from tech to customer.
There’s much more to see here and, given the fact that using the app will require the purchase of the iManifold hardware, you’ll want to give it a good once over. iManifold may not be for everyone, but we can’t help but applaud their efforts in striving to push the creative edge with this tool and app.
We have spent so much time on the tools that will help you on-the-job that you might be saying, “Thanks…but I’m just trying to get certified so I can get in the field!” Well, we hear you and we haven’t forgotten you – relax.
A simple browse of any app store will reveal so many different flashcard apps that you will be astounded. The only problem for you, the aspiring HVAC tech, is that hardly any of them will apply to you. Sure, you could learn a bit of Portuguese but it won’t help you get a job unless you’re reading this from Brazil…or Portugal. The simple truth is that there aren’t many HV
This is a simple learning app but it will do the trick for you. BH Inc.’s app features over 1000 different flashcards covering all aspects of the HVAC world so that you will be fully prepped come certification time. As you study, the HVAC Flashcard app will track your study progress and will build in repetition for those ideas and concepts that you are struggling to recall.
In the end, there aren’t many bells and whistles here, just a basic study tool that will help you learn on the go, helping your phone become your best friend in your pursuit of your career.
The HVAC Flashcards app can be found in the Apple App Store. It costs $4.99.