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I am looking for a HVAC Calculator for my Web Site? I would be grateful for any help. I've looked all over & all i can find is programs for $400 bucks. I'm willing to spend $$ but thought i would see if anyone here's knows of one??? ThanX again for any help!!
 

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Master Sellutionist
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HVAC Calculators - web-based

I believe if you contact these people you can integrate this into your site:
hvacopcost.com

Also, serviceroundtable.com is a membership site and they have several calculators as well that you can get as part of your membership along with a ton of content.

Lastly, there is a program called Sprocket available as well that you can get more information on by contacting its creator Phil Jeffers at 610-715-7738, and tell him I referred you so he knows why you are contacting him directly.

Feel to call or email with any questions.
 

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Non-conformist
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I am looking for a HVAC Calculator for my Web Site? I would be grateful for any help. I've looked all over & all i can find is programs for $400 bucks. I'm willing to spend $$ but thought i would see if anyone here's knows of one??? ThanX again for any help!!
After this question was posted, Brother also posted on another thread where he received an excellent response to the idea indicating why he should rethink this plan.

http://www.contractortalk.com/f101/what-feature-do-you-wish-your-website-had-63908/#post789840

BTW, if having this device on your site was a good idea, $400 would be a bargain over having one developed. Developing an app for a web site can take hundreds, even thousands of hours (then it has to be tested).
 

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I am looking for a HVAC Calculator for my Web Site? I would be grateful for any help. I've looked all over & all i can find is programs for $400 bucks. I'm willing to spend $$ but thought i would see if anyone here's knows of one??? ThanX again for any help!!

What calculations do you want to provide?
 

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Roofer with a vision :)
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I disagree with CBS - I run such a calc on my site and it works great - bot as a application and as SEO tool and traffic magnet.

I have a programmer who built mine & can build you a web-based calculator like mine here: http://www.coolflatroof.com/roofing-price-calculator.php , but of course to fit your needs.

Unlike CBS mentioned it does not take 100s of hours to program and test, so the cost will be more or less reasonable. When I just started out with an idea to have a calc like that, I had to put a lot of thinking into it and train my programmer to think like a contractor - that is why building a custom tailored calc for other trades would be much easier now.

In any case, if you are interested, PM me, with details of your calc - exactly what kind of calculations you want it to do, and we can talk out the details like pricing, etc.


I'm also sending this to you as a PM.
 

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Web Dude
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Got to jump in and back CBSteve up.

How do you use your tool for SEO? I'm not sure how that can make sense.

Traffic magnet? Traffic is worthless, unless it's target traffic. So is your traffic local, or nationwide? How often does your calculator equal paying customers? Whats the conversion rate? ROI?

To program a bespoke program from the ground up is expensive. It may not take 100 hours, but it's going to take more than 50.
 

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Roofer with a vision :)
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It is a usefull tool for people researching roof prices and google, as well as sites like about.com and others love these tools. The calc itself must be accompanied by content of course - if you just have the calc, it is nothing in eyes of google.

As I explained in the other post, it not only land me paying clients, but also filters out clients I do not want. Yes, there is non local traffic which I can't convert, but it does not cost me anything, so it is all good. There are other benefits which are too long to explain and are not directly related to SEO... but overall, calc is an awesome tool. If my client questions my pricing - it is right there on the website - go run the calculator.

J - no offense, but are you a programmer, to say that it will take 50+ hours to make this calc? I have seen it being programmed - the first version of it, which was later modified, but it did not take 50 hours. The modifications were introduced by me, as a result of customer feedback - not programming issues.

Of course it all depends on a program itself, AND on the way a programmer recieve the instructions - if you make him/her chase their own tail, then yes, it can easily take 50-100+ hours. I came to my guy with VERY clear instructions and a defined structure ( i have a q-basic background and know html - i guess I know some things about programming so I knew what and how to ask).

On an unrelated note: J - I mentioned in the other topic that I would like to cooperate with you on some SEO projects. Let me know if you are interested.
 

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Non-conformist
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When I just started out with an idea to have a calc like that, I had to put a lot of thinking into it and train my programmer to think like a contractor - that is why building a custom tailored calc for other trades would be much easier now.
That doesn't sound like disagreement to me. But it still leaves the issue of how a contractor can think like a customer. If I had to fill in something like that for my roof, I wouldn't know all the answers. Mine's not flat either, which introduces even more variables. From what I saw, that calculator is just a form that does some calculating. Certainly not what I was referring to when I stated a potential for 100's of hours.

The testing also includes user testing to see if you missed anything or made it too confusing. Of course, if it's something more complex than a form, then computer and browser testing needs to be added too. I'm not arguing, I'm just clarifying that I was referring to an application rather than a form with a submit button on it.

Then again, maybe I'm thinking too complex with something more along the lines of a user interface design. I figured the example above for $400 should be something more like that, and would have been through all the testing.
 

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Web Dude
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@ Flatroof

More militant attitude from me tonight, what with the Yankees going to the World Series and all.

I am a programmer. Your calculator wasn't something that was programmed. It's a form hooked up to a spreadsheet using php to pump out results. There is no programming involved, just coding. Your calculator would take a web dude worth his salt about 20 minutes to bang out.

The whole basis of this discussion though, is whether or not it's a viable tool for your website. I still would, and always will say, that a calculator like yours isn't the most effective way to get business. Here is why:

It forces you to compete on price alone.


This one isn't even debatable. You haven't established any kind of relationship with them when you just chuck out a number. So what is the major reason they would do business with you? Because you were cheaper. And if you aren't cheaper, you are going to lose to the guy who's more expensive but held his price close to the vest until he built rapport with the customer and educated them on why it's higher, and what the value is in doing business with him.

You can't justify premium pricing with an online calculator.

Same as above.

You have no way to capture their contact details so you control the "touches" you have with them

This is a no brainier. Basically, you're just chucking out a price, hoping they like it, and that they a. remember you, and b. call you about it.

Who do you want to control your marketing, them or you?


As I've continuously said, if it's working for you rock on. But I would never advise a client of mine to use one, unless they had no other choice but to compete on price. And if that was the case, they wouldn't like my prices either.

Don't ever just stick something on your website because you think it's a good idea. Always always always ask yourself "Is this going to help me get what I want?"

If they answer is yes, it stays. If the answer is no, it goes.

Back to MNF, I feel kinda bad for the Redskins :)
 

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Unlike CBS mentioned it does not take 100s of hours to program and test, so the cost will be more or less reasonable.

But 'Brother' is in the HVAC business and 'CoolFlatRoof' in the roofing business. These are totally different

If you are doing HVAC calculations you will need to input data for many more variables (temperature, humidity, radiant energy (ie. the sun), cost of local energy, insulation type, ventilation, surface area etc.) When you are dealing with n variable you have a n-space problem. If you get the wrong system you may buy more capacity than you need or use more electricity than you need.

If you want to make a roof estimate you may need the pitch, sq footage, type, number and type of dormers, vents etc. That's easy to figure out.

An good web based HVAC calculator that gives the consumer even a rough estimate of their energy savings and ROI for different types of systems with information about their home, insulation, area of the country would be very useful.

I'm a mech eng. and I would be interested in developing something like this.
 

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Roofer with a vision :)
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J - my calc is not based on spreadsheet. Besides it does not have to be OS-complicated to do the job. It works and I'm a supporter of simple things, so the calc does not need to be complicated or require hours of coding and testing. It needs to be useful which it is.

To Karrunt.
Yes HVAC calc is more complicated but not impossible and my guy can make it. We are working on one for my friend who runs a commercial / industrial insulation biz - power plant turbines, gas tanks, factory duct work type of work. So yes, it can be done but needs more work obviously. Roof calc is simpler, but can be very complicated. I wanted it to be simple as most people don't know much about roofing. As an option I can have a complicated version of it but it won't accomplish the goal. Goal is to give potential client ball park pricing. Most people only worry about that, so there u go. Don't call me - use calc. If u are ready to spend the money, call me. That is where I have completly different opinions with J. My guess he never ran a construction biz and does not know how annoying priceshoppers can be.
 

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Roofer with a vision :)
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J - just to clarify something. For me personally it is much more important to remain calm and sane and not to get mad because some duche wasted my time than to get another job at any "cost". I have this philosophy that u cannot get every job or client and many jobs and clients are not worth chasing no matter how large the financial compensation may be. I want to sleep well at night and not kick myself in the butt cuz I let another HO abuse myself mentally and waste my time.
I'm past the stage when money is money and it does not smell.
 

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Since most home owners do not know much about hvac a complicated calculator may not be that useful. What may be better is a sort of 'simulated' one that compares different types of heating and cooling solutions.

So it may have standard profiles of houses such as one in the northeast (colder, more humid), one in the south west (warmer, arid) etc. and run the calculations on each and compare the cost of energy based on the different types of systems.

This is really part calculator, part home owner education, part marketing tool, and part online game. The ultimate goal is to have the customer call you for more information.
 
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