LANCASTER, PA. — ClimateMaster’s adventure into the great outdoors is on a roll. The manufacturer is hosting or playing a lead role in several outdoor, multi-station, hands-on geothermal sales and training events nationwide — from Texas, the state of Washington and Indiana to Ohio and Pennsylvania.
John Bailey, ClimateMaster’s sales and marketing vice president said, “We’re just getting started. Our reps and distributors have been a huge help. Installers and a wide variety of other trade pros are responding enthusiastically, so we plan to make these events bigger, better and more numerous.”
Among the new locations for “GeoDay” events was one held on August 16 in Lancaster County, Pa. The event drew hundreds of mostly installing contractor attendees from a 10-state region, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, New York, West Virginia and Virginia. Bringing them to the ClimateMaster event was the promise of hands-on, multi-station outdoor workshops.
GeoDay events have become a training arena for HVAC, geothermal and drilling contractors nationwide, with ClimateMaster professionals sharing their expertise. Proven techniques, and new and emerging technologies are demonstrated.
“We see these events as a Geo 101, master’s degree training and a jamboree all in one,” said Rich Gibson, Northeast residential manager for ClimateMaster. “Trenching, drilling, pond loop application, load-sizing and geo equipment and plenty of expertise on tap are what it’s all about.”
During the Lancaster County event on August 16, attendees moved between six hands-on workstations, rotating between them in one-hour intervals.
“One of the great things about this type of outdoor training is that nearly every possible means of geothermal exchange is demonstrated here,” said Joe Fish, ClimateMaster’s regional mid-east district manager. “It was clear that those who attended our event in Lancaster County had a better knowledge of geothermal technology, its many uses and incredible energy efficiency.”
Shortly before the lunch break, Drew Lingo, owner of R.D. Lingo Mechanical in Lewes, Del., said “This is the best way to teach professionals about all facets of geothermal technology — to offer it with working displays and with hands-on opportunities.”
Bob Abbott, who’s sold geothermal equipment with four distributors during the past two decades and is now a territory manager with Seaford, Del.-based Pencor Corp., a distributorship that brought several customers with them to the event. “This is the first GeoDay I’ve been to,” said Abbott. “It’s great to see different installation methods and techniques, and to see new ideas about how to install these systems. I’m real glad we came.”
Looking a bit like Amish farmers in their simple attire with suspenders and wide-brimmed hats, brothers Ben and Matthew Zaiger — actually German Baptists — were guests of Robert Leap, manager of sales and training for Aepcor Inc., a Somerset, Pa.-based geothermal distributor.
Four years ago, Matthew Zaiger started Zaiger Mechanical based in Boswel, Pa. Brother Ben got an earlier start in business with Zaiger Services, based in Waynesboro, Pa. Each had varying experience with geothermal, and were glad for the tutelage of Leap and others at Aepcor, though each felt that the GeoDay experience was very helpful.
“Aepcor sells only geothermal equipment,” explained Leap. “So our efforts are focused exclusively on helping our dealer customers improve their familiarity and proficiency with all facets of the technology. We’re based in an older, hydronics area, so our customers do a lot of commercial and residential water-to-water geothermal installations — maybe 35% to 40%. The ClimateMaster event was terrific for me, and our dealers.”