In 1928 Earle C. Reed established manufacturing facilities for cast iron boilers and radiators in Dunkirk and Utica New York. ECR was formed as a merger of The Utica Companies (Utica) and Dunkirk Radiator Corporation. ECR is named in honor of the founder Earle C. Reed. ECR now offers a diverse family of products under the following brands – Airco, Argo, Dunkirk, EMI, Olsen, Pennco, RetroAire and Utica. Recently, Mechanical Hub caught up with Joe Langlois, marketing manager for ECR International, Inc. to talk about the company.
MH: Anything new with the company? Any new product offerings?
JL: ECR recently released the Dunkirk Helix VLT 299 modulating condensing boiler. The Helix VLT has an input of 299 MBH with a 5:1 turndown ratio and an impressive up-to 95% AFUE efficiency.
The boiler utilizes a unique dual diameter heat exchanger with Dunkirk’s exclusive stainless steel coil with laser welded fins. The coil is vertically mounted and has wide, smooth waterways; this minimizes scale buildup. The boiler includes primary/secondary piping and pump loop inside the boiler which reduces the time and materials required for the installation. Low water cutoff protection comes standard with the boiler. The addition of the 299 rounds off the Helix offering from 50 MBH up to 299 MBH. The rest of the line is 95% Efficient/2013 Energy Star Most Efficient.
ECR also released under EMI brand a new E-verter line of variable speed ductless air split systems with capacities of 9/12/18/24K and coming soon 30/36K sizes. The new split systems feature inverter technology. The inverter driven compressor is able to continuously adjust its speed according to load demands. This results in lower costs of operation as well as more effective humidity control.
MH: How does ECR differentiate itself from other boiler manufacturers?
JL: ECR is not just a boiler manufacturer; in addition to our boiler lines we offer indirect water heaters, oil fired furnaces, ductless mini split systems, and a line of PTAC & VPAC units which can be customized for the replacement market. ECR has invested over 14 million dollars in our facilities. The investment included building a world class research and development lab for hydronic, warm air, and cooling equipment engineering and testing. The equipment ECR offers is built with the HVAC contractor in mind. We are one of the only US manufactures of condensing boilers that use our own heat exchangers at a time when other manufactures import sourced heat exchangers resulting in a bunch of “me too” products.
MH: Can you describe the training program offered through ECR?
JL: ECR training and education center is located at our corporate headquarters in Utica, N.Y., and at the Dunkirk facility in Dunkirk, N.Y. The training centers offer a wide range of programs that explain and demonstrate HVAC principles as well as product installation, maintenance and operation. Hands-on training exercises with live-fired equipment demonstrate proper setup and troubleshooting. In addition ECR offers in-depth sessions that are put on by our manufacturing partners such as oil burner training, controls and circulating pumps. In 2014 ECR will launch ECR University to promote HVAC training. All of this will be announced and accessed at www.ecrinternational.com.
MH: Does ECR offer any incentive programs?
JL: Throughout the year ECR will run various promotions and incentives to reward our installing contractors. Our most popular promotion is our national Gear-Up promotion that usually runs in August and September.
MH: Where are the products produced?
JL: The majority of our products are produced in the Dunkirk and Utica NY facilities.
MH: How do you see the economy moving into 2013-2014?
JL: The economic recovery has been slow; however ECR is continuing to invest resources into new people and products as well as expanded offerings which will position us for the long term.
MH: Since Mechanical-hub is an online resource, does ECR offer any online resources or apps for its company?
JL: ECR is in the process of expanding our online presence both web based as well as social media. We have created online portals for our wholesale customers and sales representative agencies. In addition we have recently updated our Utica training facility with new AV equipment to allow us to offer web based training sessions.
MH: What are 2 commonly asked contractor questions regarding ECR & its products, and how do you address those questions?
JL: The sales team, customer service and technical support are all involved in answering contractor questions. Questions that are common to technical support are different from the questions fielded by customer service or our sales team members. At ECR we all play a role in assisting our customers and every role is important.
We also get questions regarding the ECR name, based on the founder’s name, Earle C. Reed. Our strong brands — Airco, Argo, Dunkirk, EMI, Olsen, Pennco, RetroAire and Utica — are all part of ECR.
MH: What are two tips you can provide that can help contractors as we move into the heating season? (Maintenance & check-ups, homeowner tips, service & repair, etc.)
JL: Annually inspect your HVAC equipment as well as any connected venting system. Annual inspection alerts you to potential issues before they become major problems.
You can see more of all the products ECR International offers by visiting their many websites and social media outlets.
ECR International, Inc.
2201 Dwyer Ave.
Utica, NY 13501