EDS Load Calculator Software (Energy Design Systems, www.eds.tech, 877/EDS-TECH) is a residential heat loss/heat gain block load calculator designed to be used both as a tool as part of the sales process and to firm up in-house block load calculations. The solution, which runs on all devices, utilizes data from Google Earth, Zillow, and real estate databases along with a series of algorithms and equations to size equipment in the home and verify adequate airflow.
How it works: The contractor using the software makes basic assumptions of factors which can be inputted before a site visit, based on information from Google Earth and proprietary interface to third party online resources based on the home’s zip code, with these inputs requiring verification and tweaks with onsite in-house measurements to arrive at the accurate block load.
Once you input the address of the home and google it, you see an image of the home and weather data and construction protocols on the screen (no software app to download).
With the software, the user can design and configure multiple design conditions (e.g. summer indoor design temperature, summer outdoor design temperature, winter design temperature, winter outdoor design temperature, Grain moisture difference, Number of residents, Duct loss, Duct gain, Cooling Infiltration Rate, Heating Infiltration Rate) and can configure and define attic, walls, and glass measurements.
The calculations are displayed in clear, easy-to-digest format suitable for customer presentation as well as internal records. Every time a change is made in the software, the load adjusts live.
Once calculations are complete, you can email, download, and print a load report. There are two types of reports: a contractor report and a homeowner report, each of which displays information as charts, graphs, and details of the heating and cooling loads. The Contractor report will contain details on the calculations while the Homeowner report contains additional documentation and marketing materials.
Pricing: yearly fee or monthly/per user, free 14-day trial
Orcatec software for home service contractors (orcatec.com, 858/284-4310) features both web cloud capabilities and a mobile app for iOS and Android.
Web features include the abilities to generate professional looking, brandable proposals and estimates, scheduling of field personnel, dispatch field technicians, and generate invoicing and accept payments.
The mobile app enables field workers to view and manage their time-slotted schedules, along with details of each task/job; generate proposals for new work in the field; and process credit card payments.
Optional modules include equipment ordering using an integrated equipment database with your own uploaded pricing and parts lists; the ability to create and track recurring appointments and jobs, including service agreements; GPS tracking and technicians and mapped route optimization; and accounting with tracking per job expenses, labor hours, and profits.
Pricing: free for one user, fee/month for each additional user. Optional modules carry additional fees.
Wave invoicing software for small businesses, available for free (www.waveapps.com), provides unlimited customizable professional-looking invoicing with the user’s choice of templates and send frequency (e.g. once, or recurring). By enabling Wave Payment, customers can click Pay Now on an invoice and pay instantly via credit card or secure bank payment (ACH/EFT, with per transaction fee).
The solution gives users the ability to check invoice status (sent, viewed, paid, overdue), record and track payments, and send receipts and reminders. All invoicing and payment information automatically syncs with the free Wave accounting software included in a company’s account.
Companies can also send invoices from the field with Wave’s free invoicing apps for iOS and Android (downloadable at the Apple Store and Google Play).
Wave Payments (Pay Per Use) implements a way for business owners to get paid faster for better cash flow (as quickly as 1-2 business days) via bank deposit, credit card, and Apply Pay for as little as 1% per transaction.
Wave Payroll (monthly fees) provides business owners with an automated payroll solution to facilitate paying themselves, their employees, and contractors while helping stay compliant.
CraftJack (www.craftjack.com, 866/332-7134), is a 3rd party lead generation service for
contractors that finds homeowners with specific home project needs and matches these service requests with contractors in their network who have signed up to receive leads for those particular services and in the locations of the homeowner service requests. Each contractor has a personal account manager to help set up a profile and keep leads coming in at your preferred pace.
The CraftJack Pro app (downloadable at the App Store and at Google Play) provides means for contractors to manage their lead flow on-the-go. They are notified when leads come in and can contact the homeowners directly from the app. Contractors can request reviews from homeowners they’ve worked with and respond to them within the app as well. All leads are phone verified and screened for quality.
CraftJack finds their leads through over 35 service category-specific websites, including LocalJunkRemovalQuotes.com, LocalLandscapingQuotes.com, LocalHandymanQuotes.com and Local HVAC Quotes.com. Homeowners submit their requests on these websites, and they are then phone-verified before being matched to up to four contractors signed up for CraftJack or within CraftJack’s partner network. Homeowners are typically contacted in less than 24 hours.
Pricing: per lead, varies by task and service area and a discount per lead given for those contractors who respond within 30 minutes. CraftJack also offers a no-hassle credit policy for “bad” leads.
Patti Feldman writes articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. She can be reached at [email protected].