NCI instructor David Richardson goes over the Airside Contest rules with Comfortech attendees.

Comfortech Contractor Competition success: Participants hit the big screen

Oct. 5, 2015
The program, co-hosted by NCI and the PHCC, pitted technician skills against time and knowledge NCI operated the Airside Skills contest and the Hydronics Challenge Contestants could be seen throughout the exhibit hall on a big screen suspended above the tradeshow floor

The first Comfortech Contractor Competition (C3) is in the books and the judges from the National Comfort Institute (NCI) say it was a great success. The program was co-hosted by NCI and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Contractors (PHCC) organizations which pitted technician skills against time and knowledge.

NCI operated the Airside Skills contest and the Hydronics Challenge, which saw 15 field service and installation technicians sign up and brave the challenges put together by the NCI training staff. The judges were Rob Falke, David Richardson, and Scott Fielder with assistance from Joe Balog.

For the Airside Skills contest, entrants had to measure system total external static pressure, as well as a return duct airflow traverse, supply duct BTU gain, and supply register airflow delivery. Contestants could be seen throughout the exhibit hall on a big screen suspended above the tradeshow floor. The winners with the highest score and fastest time were as follows:

The Airside Skills Contest Winners

  • Wednesday, September 16 – Ron McQerry, owner, 24-Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, Glencoe, MO
  • Thursday, September 17 – Jeff Marquess, training analyst, Alabama Power Co. HVAC Training Center, Verbena, AL
Instructor Scott Fielder grades a contestant as he engages in the Hydronics Challenge.

Hydronic challenge contestants had to plot a pump curve, based on pump speed and operating pressures, then record flow through a flow station using a hydro-manometer. They also had to calculate the BTU delivery of a heating coil. The winners with the highest score and lowest times are:

The Hydronic Challenge Winners

  • Wednesday, September 16 – Kirk Freeman, Sales and Service , G.R. Freeman Co., Evansville, IN
  • Thursday, September 17 – Joseph Hopbson, Comfort Specialist, Hunter Heat and Air, Ardmore, OK

The program worked as follows:

  • Technicians were tested and scored based on their individual accuracy, skill, and timing.
  • There was one winner per day per competition (for a total of four winners in the Airside and Hydronics competitions)
  • Scores were based on NCI published practical standard test procedures as well as the technician’s skill using instruments, the accuracy of their measurements, and how long it took them to complete the test.

A maximum of 12 minutes per test was allowed. A total of 100 points could be earned for each competition.

Congratulations to all the winners and to the other Comfortech attendees who participated.

The National Comfort Institute (NCI) is the world leader in HVAC System Performance training and Air Balancing. NCI created the industry’s best practices, processes, and forms and has been teaching them for decades. The mission: to show HVAC contractors how to thoroughly test and diagnose mechanical  systems issues using practical, easy-to-follow methods. The goal is to enable contractors to provide optimum comfort and energy efficiency. NCI coined the phrase “Performance-Based Contracting™, a unique approach to managing a contracting business through accountability and measurable results. During the past two decades, NCI has trained and certified more than 20,000 HVAC industry professionals. For more information about NCI and its training programs, please call 800-633-7058 or visit

Comfortech 2015 and the C3 Competition are owned and managed by Penton Media. Comfortech brings together the latest products, trends, and business solutions for mechanical contractors involved in the  HVACR, Hydronics, and Plumbing trades. This national event features conference sessions that educates and inspire business transformation, while delivering insight on the latest industry trends that impact business owners and service professionals. For more information on Comfortech, visit

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