Tips to Help You Heat Up After the 2016 Blizzard

| Category: Blog

We at The BP Group hope that everyone is safe and warm after Winter Storm Jonas paid us an extended visit this past weekend, leaving behind a parting gift of snow and more snow!

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After all the plowing, shoveling, and snowblowing, we hope that our friends and neighbors throughout the Tri-State area are recovering from the record-breaking snowfalls we received this past weekend.

Now, we would like to take this opportunity to reach out to all of you in the Tri-State area to offer some friendly help and advice about the maintenance of your HVAC system after a snowstorm of this magnitude. To preface these maintenance tips, commercial HVAC systems require regular maintenance in general, and, to maintain the system properly and ensure optimal energy efficiency and functionality, regular check-ups on your HVAC system are recommended. At BP Group, we recommend checking your HVAC regularly despite the weather to ensure that the system is functioning to its fullest and most cost-effective capacity.

Now, in light of the blizzard of 2016, here are some tips for maintenance of HVAC systems from the BP Group to you:

  • When checking on your HVAC system, noticing the presence of frost on unit coils is considered normal. HOWEVER, if your HVAC unit becomes encased in ice, it is important that this problem be addressed immediately in order to avoid energy loss and to prevent damage to your heating.
  • Once again, it is important that you are performing regular maintenance checks on your HVAC system, especially during the harsh climate and weather conditions we can encounter, and have just recently experienced. To ensure optimal circulation of your HVAC system, you should be checking your air filters regularly and changing them out if necessary.
  • We recommend studying your maintenance history prior to big storms to find out what areas have been giving you problems in the past so you can take preventative measures ahead of time.
  • During regular check-ups of your unit, note that leaks and poorly performing equipment can suppress your best efforts to shore up cooling efficiency, so, as you give the rest of your HVAC system a tune-up, remember to keep an eye out for components that need repairs.
  • We highly suggest and recommend that you check the setting on your unit! Preventive maintenance for cooling equipment should include periodic inspection of those settings that can affect its optimal performance and energy efficiency.

Once again, we at The BP Group hope everyone throughout the Tri-State Area is well after the blizzard of 2016!

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Volunteers Don’t Always Have The Time, They Just Have The Heart

| Category: Blog

“In a world where children are being introduced to technology from birth, it’s interesting to see where the disconnect lies between their understanding of the software they’re used to interacting with and the hardware that they often take for granted.”

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BP’s own Douglas Vaeth, aside from being Assistant Project Manager, volunteers his time to a subject both he and a group of youths are passionate about.

“Beginning this past October, I started teaching at a children’s coding camp. I ran into a friend of my brother over the summer, who was attending college for computer science. During our conversation, he mentioned his teaching involvement at the children’s camp. He told me that they were interested in teaching hardware-based lessons and looking for someone to volunteer their time to the role. I expressed my interest and told him to contact me. A few months later, I was sitting in on lessons while planning projects and making parts lists.

The students I now teach are mostly middle school age kids who already have a considerable amount of coding experience under their belt. Unlike their previous classes, however, they have to take their code and make it play out in the physical world. The class is based off of the popular Arduino micro-controller board, a device akin to a primitive PLC. The Arduino is capable of taking in various sensor and user inputs and putting out useful outputs. For example, you could take readings from a joystick module and use them to control a motorized gimbal. The idea is to have them learning the basic tenets of robotics and controls.

By having to deal with software and hardware firsthand, I believe the students appreciate the analog and digital inputs, the voltage drops across pots and resistor arrays, that make their game controllers and keyboards work. It’s also a wake-up call when I have kids who have already made their own video games, but are still young enough to lack some of the motor skills necessary to wire up and solder a circuit board. These kids are young, but very smart.

I took up teaching and mentoring at the camp to keep up on some skills and interact with some people I otherwise wouldn’t. I also have always enjoyed sharing skills and knowledge with people and was interested in how it would be to do so in a formalized setting, such as teaching a class. It also keeps me up to date with the bleeding edge of some of the tech world, as well as the maker movement and open source community. There were brand new programming tools that were just released as I entered college that had become the industry standard by the time I graduated. New inventions and technology move fast, and although it may not be directly related to my career or what I do, it’s these new innovations that will eventually change the way everything is done, and I think it’s important to at least be aware of them.”

-Douglas Vaeth, Assistant Project Manager, BP Group.

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We commend Doug on his efforts both on and off the clock. Volunteering helps our community to grow.

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