We are excited to announce that our Lansing facility has moved to 4302 S. Creyts Rd! We would like to extend a big thank you to our team for getting us moved quickly. We are excited to get down to business in our new location!
Because the State of Michigan adopts building codes on a three year cycle, Michigan adopted a modified 2015 International Building Code on April 20th of this year. As a licensed contractor we are frequently asked whether certain types of work will require permits. To help clarify what does and does not require permit documentation, here is an excerpt from the current Building Code that describes the legal requirements:
Required. Any owner or owner’s authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be performed, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.
Since the above statement is very broad, they then clarify exemptions to the permit requirements, stated in Section 105.2:
(c) Mechanical permits shall not be required for any of the following:
(i) A portable gas heating appliance that has inputs of less than 30,000 Btu per hour.
(ii) Portable ventilation appliances and equipment.
(iii) Portable cooling unit.
(iv) Steam, hot water, or chilled water piping within any heating or cooling equipment or appliances regulated by this code.
(v) Replacement of any minor part that does not alter the approval of equipment or an appliance or make such equipment or appliance unsafe.
(vi) A portable evaporative cooler.
(vii) Self-contained refrigeration systems that contain 10 pounds (4.5 kg) or less of refrigerant, or
that are actuated by motors of 1 horsepower (0.75 kW) or less.
(viii) Portable fuel cell appliances that are not connected to a fixed piping system and are not interconnected to a power grid.
(ix) An oil burner that does not require connection to a flue, such as an oil stove and a heater
equipped with a wick.
(x) A portable gas burner that has inputs of less than 30,000 Btu per hour.
(xi) When changing or relocating a gas meter or regulator, a permit is not required when installing gas piping which shall be limited to 10 feet in length and not more than 6 fittings.
(xii) When installing geothermal vertical closed loops under the supervision of a mechanical contractor licensed in HVAC as long as the company meets both the following:
(A) Has obtained a certificate of registration as a well-drilling contractor pursuant to part 127 of the public health code.
(B) Has installed the geothermal vertical closed loops in accordance with the department
of environmental quality best practices regarding geothermal heat pump closed loops.
Exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for work to be done in violation of the provisions of this code or other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.
As a full mechanical contractor, we also pull permits for boiler, electrical, and plumbing work on a daily basis. Each code (building, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, energy, etc.) and its associated code enforcement authority adds nuance to how we ensure each project has all the permitting and inspection information needed for completion.
We work with municipalities, inspectors, as well as liability and workers compensation insurance carriers to best protect both ourselves and our clients. If you ever need help navigating the compliance maze we’d be happy to assist! Performing work without a permit leaves a company open to risk, however, following the process correctly means you never have to worry about an inspector or risk mitigation professional making an unexpected site visit.
Fact Sheet: Final Rule to Implement Executive Order 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors
Under the Final Rule, employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked on or in connection with a covered contract. As to employees for whom contractors are not already required to keep records of hours worked pursuant to the DBA, SCA, or FLSA (such as employees who are employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity under FLSA regulations), contractors can use the assumption that the employees are working on or in connection with covered contracts for 40 hours each week. Contractors are also permitted to use an estimate of time their employees work in connection with (rather than on) a covered contract as long as the estimate is reasonable and based on verifiable information.
Maximum Accrual, Carryover, Reinstatement, and Payment for Unused Leave
The Final Rule provides that contractors may limit the amount of paid sick leave employees may accrue to 56 hours each year and must permit employees to carry over accrued, unused paid sick leave from one year to the next. The Final Rule also allows contractors to limit the amount of paid sick leave employees have accrued to 56 hours at any point in time. Furthermore, contractors are required to reinstate employees’ accrued, unused paid sick leave if the employees are rehired by the same contractor within 12 months after a job separation unless contractors provide payment to employees for accrued, unused paid sick leave upon separation. Contractors are not required to pay employees for accrued, unused paid sick leave at the time of a job separation (“cash-out”); however, if they do provide cash-out, they will not be required to reinstate unused leave.
During MiCareer Quest, students rotate through quadrants of Manufacturing, Construction, Health Sciences & Information Technology to look, touch and engage in each of these industries. Students get to participate in activities to capture various “in demand” opportunities for great careers in these fields in the West Michigan area. Pleune prides itself for leading the HVAC sector for three years running!
Please enjoy this video to learn more about MiCareer Quest.
Every year the ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) Association Michigan Chapter presents its distinguished Company of the year award at its annual Lansing Conference. This year, Pleune Service Company was honored to receive the award from the Chapter’s President David Bosch.
In attendance to receive the award were 6 of 7 ESOP Committee Members, Ken Misiewicz (CEO/President), Jill Malone (Trustee and VP of Human Resources – Administration), and Jennifer Murphy (Trustee and CFO). The award is the first for the Organization in its 29th year of becoming an ESOP.
Employee Ownership and Culture is the foundation of Pleune Service Company’s mission statement, value statement, and business plan. An excerpt from the Company’s award submission letter captures the essence of the Organizations focus on its most regarded asset, its people: “Our employee owners make Pleune Service Company what it is today. Staying focused on our core values; Integrity, respect, persistence, quality, teamwork, education, and customer oriented, assist Pleune Service Company in making decisions that benefit our current employee owners and future employee owners. Pleune Service Company strives for engagement. We want our employee owners to feel like they have a voice and they do. We do not have a single owner like most organizations, rather 115 employee owners and we are very proud of that!”
All buildings must have some fresh air circulation to maintain a healthy workplace. Otherwise, you may be looking at health risks for your employees.
There needs to be a way of exchanging the carbon dioxide that we exhale for fresh oxygen. Without this, your employees are at risk for complications such as headaches, increased heart rate, and dizziness. They’re even at risk for losing consciousness, which can lead to a CO2-induced coma.
The ventilation of your building plays a large role in CO2 levels. If your building is under-ventilated, levels will likely rise to dangerous percentages. If your building is over-ventilated, your energy bills will be higher than necessary. It is expensive to condition outside fresh air, so if you are using too much, you are likely paying too much. If your air is not meeting certain standards, OSHA may even intervene to ensure worker safety.
The best way to ensure proper ventilation in your building is to have CO2 sensors installed on your HVAC equipment. These sensors can detect the amount of CO2 in the air, and send out a signal to provide more or less fresh air based upon the actual conditions in the room. Over the past few years, these sensors have become more affordable for the average user. The growing popularity of these sensors has meant less ventilation-related employee accidents. Less accidents, better productivity and safety for all.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of CO2 sensors, contact the Pleune Service team today at 800.447.6907. Our team can elaborate on all the benefits of a CO2 sensor system, and help you find one that’s right for you.
Why is it so urgent when your technician tells you about pitting on your contactors?
One way to maximize the life expectancy of an HVAC compressor is to minimize its operation time in the inrush amperage mode. Inrush mode, in HVAC systems and other electronic devices, is the momentary burst of current that flows into the device’s system, causing it to start. Think of starting a car engine- the initial start takes more gasoline, and puts more pressure on the car, than leaving it running for a short period of time. If your vehicle used as much gas to run regularly as it does to start, you would use more gas in the long run and put unnecessary pressure on your vehicle.
This is what it’s like to keep your HVAC compressor running in inrush mode. When a compressor develops pitted contacts, or contacts that have indentations and damage to the metal, this can require the compressor to operate in inrush mode longer. The inrush amperage is near seven times that of the running amperage, placing an inrush running system, at times, over 100 amps. The longer your compressor runs in inrush mode, the more damage will likely be caused to your system.
A visual check will show the pitting in your system’s contactors, and the tech should recommend a contactor change-out to prevent a continuous problem to the compressor windings. For answers to more of your HVAC questions, or to set up an appointment with one of our technicians, call Pleune Service at 800.447.6907.
Yesterday, the crew at Pleune sent out a technician to visit a new customer. The service call was the result of the customer’s cooling not keeping up with the hot weather. With a brief inspection, it didn’t take long for our technician to figure out what the problem was.
Many customers who are not familiar with HVAC systems (and even some of those that are) are not aware of coil maintenance. This particular customer’s coils had not been cleaned in a long time. Our tech took this picture to show the customer the resulting buildup of dust and dirt in the unit.
A number of issues can crop up from an HVAC system whose coil maintenance is neglected. A unit cannot pull the proper air flow through when sucking air through a built up blanket of dust and other allergens. This can also be a fire hazard depending on the conditions. With the mixture of heated air and build up, the worst case scenario for your home or business could be a resulting fire from this hazardous combination.
Here at Pleune Service, we want to make sure you keep those coils clean and save yourself a service call, or worse, a call for a fire truck. We recommend getting your coils checked at least 4 times a year- roughly once every season. This will ensure that your family or employees are breathing in the cleanest air possible, and are avoiding a major fire hazard in the process. To get your HVAC system’s coils checked, and for any of our other services, call 800.447.6907 and ask for a Pleune Service technician. We’ll help you figure out what your system needs most!
Your HVAC system is working well right now, but it probably needs a regular check up more often than you think.
In order for your HVAC system to work properly, we recommend (at minimum) an overall inspection of your equipment at least twice a year. Ideally, this would mean checking your system for heating in the Fall, and checking it for cooling in the Spring. It is important that your equipment is looked over by a professional at least two times a year so the equipment can be evaluated and small issues can be caught before they turn into large costly repairs.
During these inspections, one of our Pleune service technicians can also help you determine if the time is coming to budget a replacement before the unit fails. A replacement will always be much easier- and much less costly- than an emergency repair. We also recommend that you have the filters changed four times a year. Plugged filters can cause your HVAC equipment to operate inefficiently- costing more in energy in the long haul, and possibly resulting in service calls on those extreme weather days, when you need your system most.
Luckily, Pleune Service can provide all of these repairs and updates, plus much more. We hope you will choose Pleune Service Company as your choice for your HVAC maintenance needs. We are here 24/7 to help you out and have a variety of service plans to fit your company’s needs. For more information about these plans, or to schedule an inspection, call 800.447.6907 to speak with a Pleune tech today.
There’s an exciting Japanese HVAC technology, and it’s gaining more acceptance in the states.
Invented by a company called Daikin in 1982, VRF systems, or variable refrigerant flow systems, use refrigerant for both heating and cooling. This puts them in the same family as ductless mini-split air conditioners. However, they differ from those units in that the condensing unit (outdoor section) is capable of controlling and fixing the compressor speed.
These indoor fan cooling units can be a number of different styles and configurations, fitting anything from a mid-sized office building to larger, commercial buildings. They can also number as many as 16 from one condensing unit.
The benefit to users is that each individual indoor unit can either heat or cool. Using only one unit greatly increases occupant comfort throughout a particular space, and is more efficient than using two units. There is an added benefit of substantial energy savings compared to the common roof top unit. This type of system has been in use in Japan and Europe since the 80’s and has a proven track record of reliability and comfort. They are also particularly well suited to office environments that have a variety of heating and cooling needs.
Pleune Service has recently installed such a system in our own office and we would be happy to show you the benefits and capabilities. If you have an interest in a VRF system, or need more information, please give us a call at 800.447.6907.