Posted by & filed under HVAC, indoor air quality .

What We Know About COVID-19
It can spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes.


Protect Your Employees
As managers and business owners, we have a responsibility to make a safe work environment. Managing the air quality is an important part in the overall strategy to protect the health of your employees.


There is no “one size fits all” solution to increase the indoor air quality in your facility. Pleune Service Company can assist you and your team to determine the best course of action to address your indoor air quality concerns.


HEPA Filters:

These filters typically filter down to a size of .3 microns (for comparison a human hair is 50 microns) when using high quality HEPA filters. The COVID virus is .125 microns in size, or three times smaller than the best HEPA can filter out. The virus is usually attached to a carrier like the aerosols from a cough or sneeze. Those tend to be larger in size and large enough that some of it might be filtered out.
What you need to know:
• No standard HVAC system can use HEPA filtration. Modifications are necessary in order to accommodate HEPA.
• Restriction of airflow of rooftop equipment is a plausible risk. High filtration means less airflow. The blower has to work harder to push it through the filters. This translates to less capacity in both heating and cooling modes.
• HEPA filters may not be able to be retrofitted into all HVAC systems; however, side stream equipment is available.
• HEPA filters are often delicate and must be handled with care to prevent damage. They must be sealed properly into filter racks.



UV-C Lights:

The letters “UV” relates to the magnetic wavelength spectrum which is known as UltraVoilet light. The “C” is the short wave in the wavelength spectrum. UV-C inactivates viral, bacterial and fungal entities as it passes in front of the lights. The first penetration is roughly 66% effective and with the air recirculating through the equipment, it becomes 99.9% effective after a few cycles.
What you need to know:
• The lights are installed in the blower section of the equipment and are activated anytime the blower is on. The fan needs to run continuously while the space is occupied in order to obtain the best results.
• The bulbs have a usable life of approximately two to three years.
• The wiring is low voltage and the installation is fairly fast.
• Applications: UV-C lights are in-duct air, upper-air and in-duct disinfection.


Bi-polar Ionization:

High voltage electrodes create reactive ions in the air the react with airborne contaminates, including viruses. The ions interact with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), bacteria and viruses by disrupting their ability to reproduce and neutralizes them. This method is like ‘fogging” a room with ions as opposed to waiting for the air to travel back up through the equipment.
What you need to know:
• The bulbs need to be replaced every two to three years.
• This device mounts in the systems air stream and it generates both positive and negative ion’s that are then carried into the space by the air movement.
• This is considered new technology and peer review studies do not currently exist. Manufacturer data and claims should be carefully considered.


Contact Pleune Service Company today to find out what air filtration strategy is best for your business.


Posted by & filed under Controls, HVAC, Lighting .

A Building Management System (also known as a Building Automation System) is a computer based control system that controls and monitors mechanical, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, lighting, security and many other automated building functions.


Within the past year cyber security and technology has been in an ongoing update process. More and more building owners are making the switch to update their IT networks and security infrastructure. With this in mind are you thinking about your Building Management System (BMS)?


Starting this year, Java 8 has reached the end of its life and will no longer be receiving continued security updates from Oracle. This will eventually lead to a lack of support on most machines that are using Tridium front end controls which use Niagara’s older java-based graphics to view controls systems unless end-users continue to use insecure and out-of-date web browsers and older versions of Java. The Java Web Start application also relies on Java 8, and thus will become insecure as time goes on.


In the meantime, you can keep Java 8 installed on your machine but note that it will no longer be updated and it will become insecure. Web browsers will likely cease compatibility with it, and the software will also begin heavily suggesting that you update to newer versions of Java that are incompatible with Niagara’s java-based graphics. Tridium is working on a new piece of software that can be served from the Niagara login screen called Niagara Web Launcher. The software is not expected to be released until March of 2019. It will use its own updated version of Java that must be installed.

What is the best solution for you?


Upgrade your old Tridium front end system to Tridium N4. N4 uses HTML 5 graphics and is compatible with the new security protocols. Keep the computer that you access the controls system on at the java version that works best for your controls. Do not update java or security settings on that computer.

If you would like to learn more about upgrading to N4 or if you could use our assistance resolving any current issues with java, please email or call Pleune Service Company at 1-800-447-6907.


Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

As a business, do you run a credit history check on a business you plan to do work with?  Many companies do not have this as part of their standard business practice and it could be costing them much more money than they realize.

By getting a business credit report you get a large amount of information to help your business make decisions about the relationship you want to form with the company you are credit checking.  A credit report contains a compilation of information regarding the way a business has been handling their debt. It includes information such as the amount of debt the business has accumulated, how it pays its bills, whether the business has filed for bankruptcy and other credit related information.

Where does this credit information comes from?  Well, credit information comes from organizations referred to as credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus. Credit bureaus make agreements with businesses in which they send debt information to a pool from which they can all access shared credit information.

Credit checks on a business customer can also help to improve your business cash flow.  One of the most effective (and often overlooked) ways of ensuring your cash flow is positive is by controlling the quality of your customers. A quality customer is not just a customer who pays their debt, it’s a customer who pays their debt on time. Because when it comes to cash flow matters, it’s not only about payment of debts by your customer but also the predictability of these payments.

We can all agree that a company’s ability to attract new customers is what keeps the business growing.  However, with these new opportunities, most business operators are tempted to begin business with new customers without really knowing enough about them. And this is risky because unless the customer is paying up front (which rarely happens), you’ll be selling your product on credit to a stranger.

Think of it this way; you are a bank that gives loans to strangers without evaluating the possibility of getting your money back. It wouldn’t be a great business model if banks did this, would it? By not doing your research to know exactly who you are working with, you could fail to identify crucial information that could indicate late payment or worse – no payment at all.

Let’s face it not all customers that approach your business are financially stable, which means you could find yourself chasing after owed money for a very long time. Waiting on money from an unreliable customer means that you’ll be unable to pay your suppliers, pay your workforce and cover other production overheads. In addition to disrupting operations this will create a bad reputation for your business which will negatively impact your own credit.

This is where credit checking comes in. By performing a credit check on your customers, you are able to take a peek at their financial situation and their past payment behaviours. From this, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about the customer you are working with. Performing credit checks on your customers helps improve your cash flow in the following ways:

  1.  Determining your customers’ long term survival. You do not want to get into business with a company that is likely to go bust in a few months. By conducting a credit check on your customers, you will be able to identify companies that are not doing well financially and those that have already filed for bankruptcy. With this information you will be able to set the terms of trade without putting the survival of your business in jeopardy.
  2.  Determining credit worthiness. All customers present themselves as good debtors who pay their debts on time. By checking the credit of your customers, you will be able to find out for yourself whether the business is likely to pay or not. If the business has a good credit rating then you can almost be sure that they will pay their debt as expected. This will help you ward off bad debts that could significantly affect cash flow and even the future of your business.
  3.  Planning. Maintaining a positive cash flow is not only dependent on your customers paying their debts but also on the predictability of their payments. If you can predict accurately when a customer will settle their debt, then you can plan your budget better. A credit check will help you determine whether the company you are doing business with will actually pay within the agreed upon timeframe.
  4.  Determining the terms of trade to use. When you have a good understanding of the customer’s capacity to clear their debt, then you are able to create trade terms that are most suitable for them. You can sell on a cash only basis to poorly rated customers and allow credit facilities for those with good credit rating. You can also include incentives and penalties for early and late payments respectively.

An annual subscription to a reputable credit agency to allow you to run business credit checks early on in the business relationship process will more than pay for itself in lower A/R balances, less bad debt, wasted resources on collecting outstanding payments and positive cash flow for your business.


Posted by & filed under Company News .

Pleune Service Company was established as a Mechanical Contractor in 1974 by our founder, John H. Pleune. In October of 2018 Pleune Service Company employees will be proud to celebrate our 30th year as an ESOP Company.

Our company’s ESOP was established in 1988 and at that time we became a 30% ESOP (Employee-Owned) Company. Today we are a 100 percent ESOP (Employee-Owned) Company; with the final 70 percent acquired in 2002.

We are also proud of our dedicated 125 Employee Owners; a good portion of our employees have worked at Pleune for double-digit years and several are over twenty and a couple are nearing 40 years. Definitely an accomplishment to brag about.

Next year in 2019, Pleune Service Company will hit another milestone in our history as we celebrate our 45th year in business.  As Employee-Owners, we are all committed to excellence; doing the right things and doing things right….as John Pleune would always remind us and we live that same belief today.


Posted by & filed under Company News, Equipment Maintenance, HVAC .

High humidity levels during the summer months can cause a number of challenges for building owners and occupants, for a few months of each year mold is often one of those challenges. While 30 – 50% relative humidity (RH) is ideal, we don’t usually see mold growth until indoor relative humidity exceeds 60%. On a hot day (think 90 degrees and 90% humidity) it’s common to exceed 60% RH indoors for significant periods of time, especially if units are over or undersized, or if moisture is being introduced into the space. Although A/C units dehumidify as they run they are not dehumidifiers, in fact most HVAC systems are specifically designed to meet temperature requirements only. Specialized systems for data centers, laser printing, pharmaceutical manufacturing and other processes are available but come with a price tag (both upfront and operating costs) that tend to be prohibitive. Another possible strategy is to use particulate removal through filtration, for example using HEPA filters (which remove 99.97% of particulates greater than .3 microns) and simply remove the mold spores before they can grow, however the cost to install and operate these systems are very high which is why they are usually reserved for clean rooms and surgical suites.


There are thousands of mold species and they can grow on virtually any organic material as long as moisture and oxygen are present. Many molds pose health risks to building occupants, and long term mold growth will physically damage whatever it is growing on. Eliminating mold and mold spores indoors is virtually impossible, therefore controlling indoor moisture tends to be the most effective strategy. In order to prevent mold growth make sure housekeeping is in order, HVAC and sump pump systems are properly maintained, and building envelopes are water tight (e.g. roofs, foundations, and windows). Keep an eye out for any moisture signs where it doesn’t belong, the sooner problem areas are cleaned and dried out the better. Sometimes an industrial hygienist is needed to help determine what is causing a mold problem in the first place, and once the underlying problem is solved using a remediation company is often the most effective way to remedy (dry, remove, repair) a situation quickly.


For our part we try to keep all equipment clean and fully charged so it can operate efficiently and effectively, and to minimize potential problems inspecting drain pans and checking for dirty evaporator coils and/or water leaks are part of our normal preventive maintenance tasking. In order to meet fresh air code requirements many systems are designed to bring in more fresh air than they could possibly dehumidify. The old saying in the industry is that “the solution to pollution is dilution” which put a lot of emphasis in bringing in large amounts of outdoor air. This works to a degree but in an air conditioned building it can unintentionally cause problems by actually increasing relative humidity. Thankfully there are ways to meet code requirements and effectively manage RH by using a combination of demand ventilation, dehumidification, and energy recovery units. These solutions are most cost effective when part of a building’s original design, however these strategies can also be applied to existing buildings when problems arise.


We may not be able to control what or how many mold spores are in the air at any given time, and we certainly can’t control the weather… but through good housekeeping , good design, and regular maintenance we can minimize the chances of mold problems in our buildings and protect our people from the potential health risks that accompany them.


Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Plastic is becoming the new paper.  In the last year, credit cards have become the most preferred payment form in the United States.  With the increased acceptance of non-cash or check payments in addition to the costs of cutting and mailing a check, companies are turning to credit cards for daily business needs.  The cost of cutting a payable check can be between $3-$4 based on 2015 numbers (higher than that now in 2017).  Multiple that cost by the number of checks a business cuts per month and that cost can be very surprising.  Companies that are starting to understand this cost and are looking for ways to reduce it.  One option is using company credit cards, which can lower payable’s costs along with providing other benefits such as maximizing cash flow, earning rebates and incentives and taking advantage of other “soft” perks like airline miles, extended warranties, and fraud protection.

There are many types of cards out there:  small business cards, corporate cards and virtual cards.  Each comes with its own parameters, benefits and risks.  Every company has specific and unique needs and preferences that need to be considered when selecting the card type.  Some businesses will use a variety of card types.

Paying invoices with a credit card allows companies to pay vendors on time without the immediate cash flow outlay as the cash doesn’t leave the business until the credit card balance is paid.  It can actually allow a company to increase their working capital without straining business relationships.

There are risks that come with these programs that can be controlled with proper financial controls in place.  Some examples of controls to be put in place are:  limiting Merchant Category Codes (MCC’s) on certain users cards, setting balance limits by user and role, requiring expense reports submitted to manager for review and approval, have users sign a waiver detailing personal liability on unauthorized purchases and having a formal audit schedule in place to review transactions and receipts.

Every business must consider its company needs, risk tolerances and other factors when deciding to use company credit cards.  However, it is becoming a more and more common practice that each company should take a look at as to how it currently handles payables and if there might be a different solution for them.


Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

Every sales person asks themselves the question, “Why do they buy from me?” I used to think that it was because I would give them the best price. For a while I thought it was because we delivered a product that was far superior to others. Then I thought it was because of the personal relationship I developed with them.


Over the last 20 years I have found these to be critical to my team’s success:

  • It is significantly harder to attract a new customer versus maintaining one. The hard part of convincing them to work with you is over. Now you have to deliver on what you promised. The wolves will always be at their door so you have to continue to stay in front and fight off the wolves.

  • Own it, even if it wasn’t you personally. You are your company and your company is you. The customer doesn’t care if the guy who worked for you was incompetent or the vendor screwed up. You are them and they are you. Thus you make a mistake the team makes a mistake and vice versa.

  • Know your customers personality and what they want from you. I used to think that a customer always wanted to talk to me about their family, hunting, cars, you name it. What I found out is that some do and some don’t. Adapt your style to what they want. Some people want to be all business and others want it to be personal.

  • It’s okay to make money. Great partners understand that in order for you to be in business you have to be profitable. If you are doing a turnkey solution you have to cover the soft costs of the management of process. Remember that if you charge a premium you better deliver on it.

  • Just because the first price is the lowest it doesn’t mean the last price will be. If you are good at seeing potential issues before they happen you can be a great asset to your customer. If all you look at it the perfect scenario, your customer then is at risk for additional unexpected costs. That “introductory” price becomes less attractive when you realize that the car didn’t have an engine. Make sure you are educated on what could happen and what will.

At Pleune  Service Company, we value our customers. Our team of account managers and sales people are laser focused on delivering a best in the market experience any time and every time.


Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

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!