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Johnson Controls: Innovation, Education, and Partnership

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Johnson Controls (JCI) is a long-time ACCA Corporate Partner, that has spent a lot of time and energy investing in contractors’ almost as much as they invest in their innovative product lines. Doug Schuster, Vice President and General Manager, Ducted Systems at Johnson Controls shares an inside look at the company and why supporting contractors makes the most sense to them.

Johnson Controls offers a large portfolio of HVAC equipment and controls. What makes your equipment stand out in a crowded market?

Johnson Controls offers the largest portfolio of HVAC equipment and controls in the world which includes our portfolio of brands such as York, Coleman, Luxaire, Champion, Fraser-Johnston, Guardian, Evcon and TempMaster and it’s backed by over a century’s worth of innovation and expertise. Our equipment has earned some of the most prestigious industry designations and awards such as Energy Star Most Efficient® and the ACH&R NEWS Dealer Design Gold Award. Our products incorporate leading-edge technology that transforms what’s possible in performance, comfort and sustainability.

While we offer industry-leading equipment, our comprehensive solutions go far beyond hardware. Our unparalleled residential dealer network and world-class commercial support services were created to support the success of contractors and their businesses.

You also offer award-winning home systems equipped to take on the toughest conditions with steadfast performance. When creating these products, what is top of mind?

We always lead with innovation that directly responds to the current and future needs of our contractors and their customers. What is most important to contractors, homeowners, building owners and building occupants, now and in the future? Often, this includes pending standards and legislation. For example, we’ve been preparing our manufacturing and testing facilities and product lines for the upcoming 2023 Department of Energy energy-efficiency standards and the 2025 low-GWP refrigerant transition since they were announced several years ago. And we listen to our contractor partners to build solutions focused on ease of installation and service.

As our products become ever-more energy-efficient, we never sacrifice comfort or reliability. We find ways for performance and sustainability to advance hand in hand. And all our products undergo performance and reliability testing that is unmatched in our industry, which ensures energy savings and lasting performance in the field that contractors can pass along to their customers.

Since 1885, Johnson Controls has been focused on sustainability. How do your products support this dedication?

Johnson Controls leverages leading-edge technology, and we use our robust research and development pipeline to optimize existing offerings while also creating new ones that meet and exceed our customers’ needs. As we are focused on a sustainable future, we realize that consumers need choices along that journey. Our goal is to support our customers with solutions they need and meet them where they are. Right now, the greatest needs we’re seeing are higher efficiency and greater sustainability, so we’ve dedicated roughly 75% of our R&D funding to sustainability, with about 50% to product lines that support service and digital technologies. Our next-level innovations include connected, high-efficiency systems and advanced digital tools and software.

We’re one of six manufacturers participating in the Department of Energy’s Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge. In addition to our next generation heat pump technology that’s currently in development, we have an extensive portfolio of efficient heat pumps across our residential and commercial product portfolio and a proven reputation for delivering technology that advances the industry. We’re eager to take our offerings to the next level, while also leveraging digital solutions to optimize building operations, driving building decarbonization deeper, faster and closer to net zero.

ACCA President and CEO Barton James and ACCA Senior Vice Chair Stephen Pape just toured your manufacturing and training facilities in Norman, OK. Why was this important and how does it help ACCA members?

We were delighted to welcome Barton and Stephen to our production facilities in Norman, Oklahoma and Wichita, Kansas as well as our Ducted Systems Training Academy in Oklahoma City. The visit was a valuable opportunity to deepen our relationship with ACCA and its members in support of contractor issues such as training and contractor service needs. Communication is essential for any partnership, and it’s critical for the advancement of our industry. Innovation happens when folks come together to share their experiences and wisdom, and Barton and Stephen are two industry luminaries.

How does partnering with ACCA benefit HVACR contractors?

ACCA is a true champion for contractors. By partnering with ACCA, contractors can accelerate the success of their businesses and develop their own skills and interests. The significant networking, opportunities, education and advocacy services that ACCA provides are truly remarkable. Contractors can receive valuable opportunities that are meaningful to their business goals on a regular basis, instead of having to seek them out or waiting for them to present themselves.

Why is partnering with ACCA important to your company?

ACCA and Johnson Controls share a common goal: championing HVACR contractor issues. The partnership we share is incredibly valuable to achieving this goal and to advancing the success of our contractors.

Posted In: Corp Partner Spotlight

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