Wrightsoft Right-Mobile Consultant (RMC) by Wrightsoft, www.wrightsoft.com, is cloud-based HVAC business-building software that provides sales personnel with a repeatable process to use during an in-home sales calls. It enables instant pricing and a customized presentation. Accessed from a browser on most computing devices with internet access, including an iPad and other tablets with touch screen capability, as well as from a laptop or desktop, the app/software combo allows the sales person to perform ACCA-approved Manual J8 (whole house) load calculations while building the proposal on the spot. When accessed on an iPad, the app takes advantage of that device's advanced capabilities and large multi-touch screen.

The app is easy to navigate via a fill-in-the-blank customer screen, a footprint screen, and a details screen from which Wrightsoft web servers compute the load and send results back to the user's device. The loads screen shows the heating and cooling loads with a pie-chart generated by the source of each load. The utility cost screen enables comparisons of estimated utility cost for up to four systems while the payback period (ROI) screen shows how long it will take for the system to pay for itself with respect to energy savings. RMC also provides equipment selection, a customer questionnaire, accessory selection and accesses rebates automatically.  

When satisfied with the data, the user can automatically generate a tailored proposal (with company logo and identification) that can be e-mailed to the customer on the spot.

The application includes eight standard Wrightsoft Reports approved by code officials and utilities.

When integrated with Wrightsoft Right-Price, there is no need for additional manual data entry, dealers can automatically upload pricing for equipment and accessories sold by that dealer via Excel spreadsheet.

HVAC ResLoad-Jfor the iPad by Carmel Software, www.carmelsoft.com/HVACResLoad-J, is an ACCA-approved Manual J8 HVAC residential load calc application specifically developed for the Apple iPad. The app enables users in the field to perform detailed heating and cooling loads for small commercial and residential buildings and then e-mail the results back to the office or to the local building inspector. It allows users to take advantage of the large screen size of the iPad to see more information at one time than smaller screened computing devices allow. The reports are acceptable by all municipalities/states, including Florida and Massachusetts, which recently passed laws requiring contractors to submit load calcs from ACCA-approved software.

The app includes construction data for hundreds of wall, floor, roof, ceiling and window types, and weather data for thousands of cities throughout the world. To help define each load, there are several options for inputs on envelope, window and skylight details.  

The user can create and store an unlimited number of projects and can use existing projects as templates for new ones. It is possible to specify an unlimited number of building envelope types (i.e. doors, walls, floors, ceilings, roofs).The app supports performing block and room-by-room loads and lets users see calculated total heating and cooling load results as they update input values. Users can also model detailed appliance, duct, infiltration and ventilation loads.

On-screen reports, displayed in tabular breakdown and as pie-charts, include checksum reports (i.e. BTUh/SqFt/on, etc), breakdown by envelope load, window load, skylight, load, infiltration load, ventilation load and internal load contributions. The reports can be converted to PDFs and e-mailed from within the app. It is also possible to display and e-mail a comprehensive HTML report, Excel spreadsheet and PDF document for viewing on a desktop computer.

JobDoc, www.jobdoc.com, by Mobius International, is a mobile service for iPhones, iPads and PCs. Designed specifically for service-related field personnel, especially those doing emergency and/or inspection calls, it provides fast and convenient rich media communications — text, pictures and video —among contractors and their clients and vendors.

Field service personnel visually inspecting the repair area can accurately locate, reference and time stamp the call for documentation and add notes, photos and a video. JobDoc uses GPS information to speed up the process by filling in the address and automatically assigns a unique JobDoc number while allowing the tech to enter the company's own cross-reference number for the job. 

All data is backed up, automatically encrypted, and uploaded to the icloud on the JobDoc server with a web link used to access the event. Information is shared over e-mail with secure links to data which can be accessed from any device worldwide.

Users can take a photo or video, or use a photo from their photo archives to document the jobsite or snap photos of handwritten documents, blueprints or drawings which can then be imported into JobDoc. Up to 25 pictures can be used to create detailed initial documentation and another 25 can be uploaded when completed.

Users can try the app (downloadable free from the Apple app store, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jobdoc/id560112269?ls=1&mt=8). The first 50 Mb of storage are free. After that, yearly subscription fees apply based on amount of data storage and number of user licenses issued.

Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at productpad@yahoo.com