The NCI training team recently wrapped up our yearly Trainer’s Week event. It is a week jam-packed with learning, camaraderie, and more food than anyone can handle. Every New Year’s, people worldwide decide to create their resolutions and go on a diet. Well, not us. We must make a Trainer’s Week resolution because of the extra 50 pounds we put on.

The group of guys I work with are amazing. I have never met so many who have a professional purpose to help the contractors and technicians in this industry. Many trainers teach for glory and self-worth, but not these guys.

There was a distinct theme this year, and it was all about what we can do for the people we serve.

Casey Contreras, NCI Trainer and Field Coach
Article written by Casey Contreras, NCI Trainer and Field Coach

The Battle

There is an ongoing battle between right and wrong, law and truth, and survival and prosperity. The trainers were asked to think about this question. Are we teachers of the law or teachers of the truth? In this scenario, the law includes the codes and standards created by the industry to meet government requirements.

After kicking it around for a minute, we realized we were teachers of the truth. Sure, there are laws within what we teach. We consider these laws true because we prove through testing and verification. We don’t teach a law that that can’t be tested and consistently proven.

Do you follow laws in your business, or do you strive to provide truth? Most contractors fixate on the rules of our industry. They believe that if they install HVAC equipment by following the codes and standards, they provide customers with the best systems. Unfortunately, code-compliant systems usually only deliver 63% of that equipment’s capability.

I understand why contractors fear not following the law — they worry about getting into trouble or failing inspections. These problems can happen when inspectors don’t understand why you did what you did. The only way to prevent an issue with customers and the powers that be is to test, install, and service based on truth.

Here’s a Story

In my early days, I was a technician who prided myself on following codes and standards. I’d sell a job based on code. and would bad-mouth the installing contractor for their lack of compliance when I found something not installed to code. I’d tell customers, “The unit doesn’t work correctly because somebody didn’t follow the code.”

After a few years of working in the field, experiencing many comfort complaints, and seeing parts fail, I realized that following the law didn’t work. I lost faith in it. It wasn’t until I learned that HVAC products and equipment are simply components of an entire system that I learned what I call the truth.

Part of this truth is that I needed to examine other areas of the system before touching the refrigerant circuit. It was a hard truth to understand that only making an equipment repair often did not fix the system. The truth goes beyond checking temperature changes (ΔT) or adjusting gas pressure to 3.5-in. w.c.

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