Author: Guest Columnist

From Tradesman to Craftsman: How Our Company Made the Leap

After more than 100 years in business, our management team made the decision to evolve into a performance-based service company. Very early in that process we began to understand we needed a new level of leadership for us to succeed. As leaders of our business, we had to get out front and lead, before we could expect the rest to follow. We regularly compared this process to pulling ropes versus pushing them. In life, a real leader must be out front pulling, not pushing from behind. Our management learned this the hard way. We erroneously thought we could stand...

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Explaining the Nuances of Field Airflow Measurement

Airflow rate through HVAC equipment can be one of the most difficult measurements to make in the field. This is mostly due to common equipment and system configurations that do not provide acceptable measurement sites. Ideally, we’d measure average air velocity through a straight section of duct near the equipment. We’d measure using a manometer and pitot tube or a thermal anemometer. Then we’d multiply average velocity by duct cross-sectional area to find volumetric flow rate. This method can achieve accuracy on the order of ±4 or 5% under ideal conditions. However, it’s rare to have the luxury of...

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My Journey to Becoming the Local CO Evangelist

Becoming an evangelist can be a long and often difficult road when dealing with “the Silent Killer,” known as Carbon Monoxide (CO). In my opinion, every technician who works on fuel-burning appliances (furnaces, boilers, water heaters, gas dryers, gas stoves, etc.) should have extensive training in combustion and carbon monoxide. This training must include: Causes and effects of CO poisoning Proper diagnostic procedures Proper repair procedures How to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Fortunately, this is exactly what NCI’s Combustion and CO training course covers. The Journey Begins I was first introduced to this information in...

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The Habitual Buyer

Ten years ago, I sat down on a sawhorse in front of a husband and a wife who met with me at their home. I was making recommendations to them about two HVAC systems while the home was being renovated. I sat on a sawhorse because there was nothing else to sit on. My customer and his wife occupied the only other seats in the entire 7000-sq. ft. home — her on a metal folding chair and he on the carpenter’s small coca cola-decorated refrigerator. Customer? Not prospect? This couple had used our company for years to maintain and...

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When It Comes to Implementation, All Technicians Are NOT Created Equal

Every Independence Day we celebrate our glorious founding and the Declaration of Independence that proclaims, “all men are created equal with certain unalienable Rights.” While that is certainly accurate in life, it is most certainly inaccurate in the HVAC trades. Remember going through trade school? Think about how there was the guy who could conceptualize theories or procedures with a simple explanation. And the other guy who needed to actually put his hands on things and do it himself in order to learn it, whatever it was. It seems that there are those who “see” things more clearly than...

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