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Zonex Systems – simple and inexpensive plug-and-play valve control solutions

2020 November 19

We recently added a new supplier to our catalog that I think can add an advantage to many of our customers. It is a simple valve control system for jobs that don’t require a comprehensive and expensive all-inclusive control package. Our new supplier is Zonex Systems, and they provide a simple “plug-and-play” control system to control a rooftop unit and its VAV boxes or zone dampers. The installation is easy and the product is inexpensive.

I see this product fitting two different markets:

  • This can be used by sophisticated control contractors that only have one expensive solution. If you’re a dealer for one of the name brand comprehensive controller manufacturers, but you’re finding that you aren’t competitive using your name brand product, this solution could make you very competitive.
  • Or, if you’re a smaller contractor that needs a simple valve control solution, I believe this product can fit the bill.

David Meyers, President

Either way, you may find other markets that could open up to you with this product. I used to own a large control contracting business, and felt that I always needed to install my name brand product – but either I couldn’t get competitive, or I felt that I was over-engineering the need, and installing a system that did not require the complexity that we always thought we needed to provide.

Zonex Systems products are not meant to control everything on a campus, or data center, or any large facility. They’re designed to control the airflow side of the AHU and the VAV or zone dampers. Zonex Systems can provide more than that, but I don’t want you to think that is meant to replace your existing name brand product, but rather just supplement your current offering.

Please take a look at the video below. It is just 9 minutes long and tells you everything you need to know about this simple, inexpensive system that just might help you win more work.

Find Zonex Systems building control solutions at right here.

Measuring CO in buildings with heating boilers can prevent sickness, hospitalization – and worse.

2020 November 18

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 450 people die in the United States each year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – with more than 50,000 people either injured or made ill as well.

Buildings with heating boilers can be prone to CO leaks – which means schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, government offices and many more may present dangerous environments to occupants due to persistent, undetected carbon monoxide.

The BAPI-Stat 4 Carbon Monoxide Sensor (BA/CO-B4) is a simple, critical tool for monitoring and detecting CO.

And in fact, we’ve already helped implement a solution to a school district project in Tulsa, Oklahoma, using BAPI’s CO sensor.

It’s interesting to note that only five of the United States – California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, and Maryland – require CO detectors in school buildings. According to the Environmental Law Institute, however, a growing number of states and localities are establishing requirements for CO alarms in schools, and the 2015 version of the International Fire Code (IFC) – a model code adopted by many states – added a provision requiring CO alarms in classrooms in new educational occupancies.

Taking a proactive step, the Tulsa school district searched for a dependable and robust sensor to measure CO in 80 different buildings that house 42,000 students. BAPI worked with our sales and support team at to find a sensor that would serve the needs of the district.

That’s how the school district chose the BAPI-Stat 4 Carbon Monoxide Sensor, featuring:

  • 0-40 ppm CO measurement range
  • 30 ppm relay/audible alarm trip level
  • Local alarm indicators – both visual and audible – with a green/red LED indicator showing a status of Normal, Alarm, Trouble/Service or Test
  • Two relay outputs and one analog output
  • A sensing element with a typical life span of 7 years

Having both a local alarm as well as the relay and analog outputs permits the school to connect the sensor to the building’s automation system, so that it can shut down the school’s heating and ventilating units if CO is detected – and preventing the system from restarting until service personnel address the source of the carbon monoxide. Randy Ramsey of Ramsey System Services, LLC in Tulsa, OK, said of the project,

“With the help of BAPI and the team at, we’re very happy to have installed over 1,000 CO sensors in the last two years, with a goal to put sensors in every classroom in the district as the project continues over the next five years.”

And while schools are, of course, extremely important to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning, the need doesn’t end there. Any building heated by a boiler system is vulnerable to CO leaks, and the BAPI-Stat 4 Carbon Monoxide sensor provides a dependable, simple to use unit offering outstanding accuracy to help ensure indoor air quality and occupant safety.

Find the BAPI-Stat 4 Carbon Monoxide sensor at right here.

We’ve partnered with Light Progress to make their proven UV-C technology available to help you disinfect buildings against COVID-19

2020 September 29

covid-19 classroomOur goal now during the global COVID-19 pandemic is to help you create safer building environments, and after researching the most proven and effective approaches throughout our industry, we’ve entered into a new and exciting partnership with Light Progress as a trusted global leader in UV-C products and solutions.

UV-C – ultraviolet light with germicidal properties – was discovered over 100 years ago and has decades of overwhelming, peer-reviewed scientific research proving it to be a safe and effective means of disinfecting air, surfaces, and water. We sought out Light Progress because they’ve created the best evidence-based technology to disinfect air in HVAC systems against Coronavirus SARS-Cov-2, the causal agent of COVID-19.

Now, together with Light Progress, we can work to get you the right UV-C solutions for all of your HVAC projects, ensuring clean, safe buildings and protecting the health of the occupants within. And of course, you’ll be able to find all of the Light Progress parts in our online marketplace, easily and quickly and backed up by our world-class customer support team.

We’ll link to the Light Progress products below, but it’s important first to share a little bit about their mission – because it’s really a great story with potentially history-making solutions to this generation’s biggest challenge.

First, a quickie definition: UV-C rays are ultra-violet rays for which germicidal effects of their radiation destroy the DNA of bacteria, viruses, spores, fungi, molds and mites, reducing their growth and proliferation. UVGI technology is a physic disinfection method with a great costs/benefits ratio. Furthermore, it’s ecological, and – unlike chemicals – it works against every microorganisms without creating any resistance.

how light progress products fit into your building hvac system

(click to enlarge)

Since their founding in 1987, Light Progress has become a trusted global leader in providing proven risk mitigation solutions that deliver safer environments for people, today and in the future.

Their idea was to use the UV-C wavelength, known for its germicidal properties. At that time, UV-C was a poorly developed but promising technology to be explored, analyzed, and tested. The results were immediate and striking. From pioneering research, the Light Progress founders began producing ultraviolet germicidal products and solutions for air and surface treatment.

light progress wall mounted ventilated uvc air purifier in a dentist office

By the early 90s, the Light Progress product portfolio included a dozen different devices. The company’s focus remained fixed on research and design of new products and applications of UV-C that would arise over the years.

Light Progress has 40 internal employees in management and R&D and over 100 in manufacturing across five facilities in Italy, one facility in Germany, and two facilities in the United States. Their products are found in large companies, food industry leaders, hospitals, universities, research institutes, commercial facility and infrastructure contractors, public transit, and others to transform ultraviolet germicidal technology into real and practical solutions.

UV-C helps maintain or retrofit indoor air quality significantly. The application of UV prevents formation and reduces the spread of different categories of organisms, which can grow and/or spread in modern air treatment systems. Use of UV irradiation in air conditioning and air treatment systems has also been recommended for many years, and ASHRAE recommends ultraviolet germicidal irradiation as a way to address disease transmission of COVID-19.

We’ll be telling you a lot more about Light Progress products in the coming months, because we really believe that their technology and core philosophy will be integral to the creation of safer buildings everywhere.

In the meantime, you can browse Light Progress UV-C Germicidal Solutions products on right here.

Become a beta tester and help shape the future of

2020 September 18

become a beta tester for

Want to skip the jibber-jabber and sign up to be a beta tester? Just scroll down to the form below!

Otherwise, here’s an invitation unlike any other you’ll probably get today. We’d like you to help us:

  • Test,
  • Experiment with,
  • Break,
  • Then help us fix,
  • Complain about,
  • and — ultimately —
  • improve Are you up for it?

Right now you can sign up to be a beta tester for That means you’d get to have access to new features and tools in our online marketplace before they go live on the site — and you’d have a direct impact on how the site looks and works in the future.

See, our development team is dedicated to constantly improving our software to optimize how you buy HVAC and building automation parts online. And there’s no better way to bring you the best experience than to have you — our totally super-valued customer — help us improve your experience! Beta testers are critical to the success of good software development, because you have the power to inform the design and functionality of our features.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You fill in the survey form below so that we can learn a little bit about you and how to contact you.
  2. You can choose beta testing, interviewing, or surveys:
    1. As a beta tester, you test new, unreleased features and then give your feedback directly to our designers and developers
    2. Interviews are flexible, scheduled when you’re available. They can be as short as 10 minutes, or as long as you’d like, or can be cut short at any time. Typically they’re between 15 and 25 minutes.
    3. Surveys help us answer questions about your day-to-day workflow and understanding of your industry to ensure that we improve with your needs in mind.
  3. Then we contact you and set you up!

It’s simple and it can take about as long or as quickly as you’d like — and the best thing is, we’re just asking you to show us how you use, which you’re already doing anyway!

And the other cool thing? You can be brutally honest with us, because we’re only going to improve the site if you help us figure out anything that’s wrong with it. 

So don’t worry about hurting our feelings — we can take it.

Just fill this out and we’ll contact you soon:

Create your own user feedback survey

Thanks for your help!

Setra Systems helps you create and monitor negative pressure spaces

2020 July 15

In the post COVID-19 world, new applications for negative pressure spaces have begun to emerge and negative pressure ventilation is mentioned throughout OSHA and CDC guidelines. No longer strictly meant for airborne infection isolation rooms in hospitals, negatively pressurizing a space can help businesses and other facilities safely resume operations. These new applications include dental, mortuary, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes. In long-term care facilities, creating an isolation wing using negative pressure can be an effective and efficient way to further reduce the spread of dangerous particles and increase the effectiveness of the isolation. A designated isolation area for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients helps limit the possibility of contamination and spread throughout a nursing home or long-term care facility. In spaces like dental offices, that commonly deal with aerosol generating procedures, it is crucial to negatively pressurize certain rooms to prevent the spread of airborne infection.

Some key parameters to monitor when increasing ventilation or creating a negative pressure space include air changes per hour (ACH) and differential pressure. The CDC recommends 12 ACH in a space where a procedure creating airborne viral particles is performed. Another requirement for these rooms includes negative air pressure relative to the outside reference area, a difference of at least -0.01” WC.

Establishing a Negative Pressure Room

There are several methods to quickly create a negative space. First, minimize the number of people entering and exiting the space. Second, create a barrier. If the area has a door, block any gaps to help create a seal. If it’s an open area, block off the space with a heavy plastic curtain. Third, bring in a portable unit to pull a negative pressure and exhaust the contaminated air out. Ideally, the air is exhausted away from any area where people pass by outside. Incorporating a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter with the portable unit will help reduce particle counts in the air without relying solely on the building’s HVAC system. In addition to HEPA filters, consider using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) for sterilization of the air being pulled by the portable unit.

An existing HVAC system can also be used to create a negative pressure space, although this method is more involved and requires more investment. Work with a local mechanical contractor or HVAC system engineer to adjust an HVAC system to ensures clean air is drawn into the room and contaminated particles, such as those from aerosol generating procedures or patients in isolation, are not able to escape. Traditional airborne infection isolation rooms in hospitals do not recirculate exhaust into the facility’s main HVAC system. Rather dedicated duct work filters the air through a HEPA filter before it is vented by stack on the roof so atmospheric air can dilute it. When adjusting an HCVAC system, be sure the contaminated exhaust has a path to leave or be sterilized and isn’t recirculated into clean spaces.

Monitoring Negative Pressure

setra lite

With a newly pressurized space, it is crucial to have sufficient monitoring to ensure safe environmental conditions. Setra LITE is a visual pressure indicator that glows green when the space is safe. It can be mounted inside or outside the room, depending on the building’s layout and the user’s preference. Quick mount kits are available for even faster installation.

Find the Setra LITE on right here

setra mrms multiroom monitor

Setra’s MRMS, or Multi-Room Monitoring Station, can monitor the status of multiple pressurized spaces at a centralized location, like a nurse’s station. The MRMS can display conditions for up to eight rooms with configurable audible/visual alarms.

Find the Setra MRMS on right here

setra flex environmental room monitor

Setra FLEX has advanced monitoring and control capabilities for deeper insight into the conditions in a pressurized space. On FLEX, up to 3 rooms can be monitored from a single unit. FLEX can monitor and display pressure, temperature, humidity, and air changes per hour as well as send control signals to HVAC or building automation systems for real-time adjustments based on the room’s conditions.

Find the Setra FLEX on right here

As places like dental offices re-open and long-term care facilities evaluate their infection control strategies, there are many factors to consider. Understanding the various ways these new applications can create and monitor negative pressure spaces is an important aspect of safe and effective future operations.

To help slow down the spread of coronavirus, will be working remotely as of Friday 3.13.20.

2020 March 12
by admin; 2,064 views

For you, it’s business as usual; you probably won’t even know that we’re working from home!

We don’t have to tell you that there’s a ton of news out there about the spread of the coronavirus, most of it ranging from the casual to the hysterical. It’s hard to weed through all the facts, charts, experts and sooth-sayers to figure out the best course of action in these — to say the least — turbulent times.

But we decided that there was something we could do. By working remotely from home and increasing social distancing for our employees (and the customers and suppliers with whom we come into contact), we can proactively help flatten the curve of new coronavirus cases, and hopefully alleviate the pressure to come on our healthcare system.


The terrific thing about being a high-tech, live-on-the-innovative-edge kind of company like we are, though, is that pretty much all of us are able to work from home with virtually no interruption in how we take your orders and keep your projects moving forward! We’re committed to carrying on business as usual-as-possible, so we want you to understand that:

  • never, ever, ever closes. You can login like normal, order your parts, make your lists, get your job done.
  • Our customer service team is standing by and ready to help you just like always. You can:
    • email them at
    • call them at 412.464.1730
    • reach them via instant messaging from that gorgeous orange circle in the bottom right corner of our site
    • find their direct email addresses or Skype links at our Contact Us page here

We can totally do this. It might be a little bumpy at first — we have to forward calls, shuffle some technology around, that kind of thing — but really, you should notice very little difference. We’re proud to be your favorite online marketplace for all of your HVAC and building automation parts, and our unique business model provides us with the means to serve you no matter where we are.

We hope that you, your companies, your friends and families are all safe and healthy. Hopefully by taking even small measures like working from home, we can make a positive difference in this crisis — and that everyone who is able, will do their part as well.

Please: contact us if you have any questions. Just don’t judge us if we video-chat with you while we’re still in our bathrobe.

We’re making changes to where we collect state sales tax on your orders.

2019 December 30
by admin; 1,679 views

The beginning of 2020 brings for many of us a sense of renewed hope, excitement, perhaps even joy at the prospects that a new year brings.

Aaaand, in the case of, it also brings changes to how we’ll be collecting state sales tax on the orders you place online.

Hope, excitement, and perhaps even joy, right? You get joy out of paying sales tax, don’t you? Anyone?

Fair enough. Moving on:

For a number of you, nothing will really change. We currently collect state sales tax from a handful of these United States. For a number of you, however, you will see a change in your orders. Here’s a handy, quick-reference map:

(click to see this embiggened)

Or, for those among you who love lists, here you go:

States for which we currently collect sales tax:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

States for which we will begin collecting sales tax in 2020:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

But wait: there is hope! If your business or your projects are tax-exempt, you can easily upload your tax exemption certificate to your online account, and state tax charges will be adjusted accordingly on your orders. In fact, because it’s nearly the new year, it’s a great opportunity for you to update this, anyway. Here’s a quick reminder how:

Happy New Year!

Ah, Christmas: that time of year when a bunch of us take time off.

2019 December 19
by admin; 5,610 views

It’s been a long year, hasn’t it? And you deserve some time off. Why not take some me-time while we and a handful of our valued suppliers do the same?

  • will be closed on 12.24 and 12.25.19, and also on 1.1.20
  • Belimo will be closed on 12.24 and 12.25. Their last shipping day of the year is 12.27.19
  • c3controls will be closed on 12.25.19 and 1.1.20
  • Dwyer will be closed on 12.31 and 1.1.20
  • Functional Devices will be closed Tuesday, 12.24 through Thursday, 12.26. Also, Wednesday 1.1.20.
    Also please note: Functional Devices will not be shipping UPS on 12.31.19.
  • Greystone Energy Systems will be closed for a half-day on 12.24, then they’ll be closed from 12.25 through 12.27, and also on 1.1.20
  • Johnson Controls will also be closed on 12.24, 12.25, 12.31, and 1.1.20
  • Sierra Monitor Corporation will be closed for inventory and will not be shipping from 12.24.19 through 1.5.20
  • Spartan Peripheral Devices – not exactly a closure, but they are pausing their usual offer of free ground freight for all USA and Canada, 5-10 day delivery, until 1.10.20
  • Tasseron Sensors & Controls will be closed from 12.25 through 12.27, and also on 1.1.20.

OF COURSE you’ve probably seen our annual Christmas video, but if for some reason you haven’t, just jingle-bell out here to YouTube to watch it.

And hey: please have a peaceful, safe, and joy-filled Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at!

Up close and muddy with the
2019 Terrain Race team

2019 October 21 terrain race team

In front from left, Joel Miller and Ernie Larson;
Back row from left, Gabriel Porro, Chris Colacito, Jeremy Roberts, Brandon North, and J.J. Maloney.

It rained pretty much all morning in Monroeville, PA on a grey October 12th. Ordinarily, that might mean the weekend’s plans would have to be changed: sitting by the fireplace instead of having a picnic; cleaning up the house instead of mowing the lawn. But to the Terrain Race team from, the rain and cold simply meant that the conditions would be ideal for running, climbing, crawling and slopping through the water and muck.

The race — a 5K jaunt through woods and mud, overcoming about 15 obstacles — is a daunting one, even more so before the sound of the starter’s pistol.

I’ve always wanted to do one of these. I was nervous at first – I just turned 50 this year and I didn’t train beforehand — but it was a blast! I think I did really well and I’d do another one next week if I could.

Chris Colacito, Key account manager

But once the team got going, it was clear that all 7 would look out for each other, help each other out, and bond strongly together as a team-building exercise.

alpscontrols terrain race team

The alpscontrols team — resplendent in their custom-ripped, bright yellow, red, and black logo dress shirts — set out on a grueling 5K mud-and-obstacle run.

“It’s always nice to hang out with the guys outside of work,” says customer service rep Jeremy Roberts. “It’s a great chance for us to build team morale. In an event like this, you get to see who your coworkers really are.”

Among the obstacles that challenged the team were a set of Tarzan swinging ropes (the consensus of the team was that Ernie dominated these), a muddy slide down a ravine into a 4-foot-deep swamp-pond — “So cold,” says Chris. “Everyone’s moaning. It’s hilarious.” — a massive, heavy, low-to-the-ground cargo net requiring the team to crawl, slither and roll through the mud beneath it, and a particularly difficult upside-down — and uphill! — pole-and-ring climb.

At the end of the course, the team had to scale a 16-ft-high cargo net — not by any means a simple task after so much rain and physical punishment up to that point. But the team pulled together and helped each other out.

That cargo net was sweet! We all went through it together — and it really helps you back here in the office afterward. We’re all on a good page together. It legitimately helps us in our work after we’ve done stuff like that.

Joel Miller, Customer service

alpscontrols terrain race cargo net

At the race’s end, the soaked, mud-caked warriors exult in their triumph. Medals are bestowed. Tons of pictures taken. Stories shared and bonds strengthened. “It was fantastic, a great time,” says Brandon North on the customer service team. “Just to know you could do it, and see the guys in a different light. Maybe next year more of us will do it together.”

I had done this before, but it was great fun to do it again with these guys as friends. Not everyone’s at the same level so it’s a fun bonding experience, the guys all helping each other, working as a team.

Ernie Larson, Customer service supervisor

alpscontrols terrain race team medals

Get 10% off selected differential pressure products from Setra Systems!

2019 August 6
by admin; 1,661 views

Limited-time special offer: take advantage of discounted prices until 9.15.19!

Known for their quality and reliability, differential pressure transmitters from Setra Systems are designed with premium capacitive sensing technology and capable of measuring both liquid and gasses.

And right now you can save 10% when you order these on

MRG Multi-Range General Pressure Transducer

Combines the flexibility of a multi-range with the performance of a single range transducer.

With 8 selectable ranges and 3 selectable outputs, easily adjustable on the job with a flip of a switch or jumper.

Get 10% off the MRG from Setra Systems on

MR1 and MR2 Multi-Range General Purpose and Critical Pressure Transducers

The MR1 and the MR2 from Setra Systems are ideal solutions for any general or critical HVAC applications, offering total flexibility to make changes on the job site.

8 field-selectable ranges, boxed in an IP67/NEMA 4-rated housing, and sealed with a gasket to make them wash-down capable for difficult applications.

Get 10% off the MR1 from Setra Systems on

Get 10% off the MR2 from Setra Systems on

2651 Very Low Differential Pressure Transducer

A low differential pressure transducer that uses a dead-ended capacitive sensing element that requires minimal amplification, and delivers excellent accuracy and longterm stability.

A cost-effective solution that offers an excellent price-to-performance ratio and meets the requirements in all typical HVAC applications.

Get 10% off the 2651 from Setra Systems on