Less Than Credible Online Buffoons

The other day I was surfing the web looking for some information on a defrost control.  The search engine’s top spots were filled the typical garbage; you know, the sites where the writer doesn’t know their ass from their elbow but decided to ‘educate’ the world with their blathering anyhow.

Normally I skip over these sites, but today I took a gander at them. Why? I wanted to see the misinformation the average homeowner is being bombarded with. Again, why? Simple. You need to know your enemy.

Why are these sites the enemy? Because when a trained professional ( you) interacts with their customer they need to be ready to dispel the bad information the homeowner may have picked up from less than credible online buffoons.

Here’s an example of one of the entries I found.

“…the defrost board on your (brand X) heat pump can develop ice on it throughout the winter…”

Really? That’s interesting… I’ve never known a defrost board to “develop ice”.

Let’s read some more of this HVAC wizard’s insights…

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Top Causes of Propane Sooting

Anyone who works on propane fired equipment has run across a few sooted heat exchangers, and they probably have a few chronic sooters to boot.

Chronic sooters are easy to identity; every panel on the unit is covered with permanent soot smudges and hand prints and they smell nasty when they’re running. You can also tell when a technician’s been working on one because they’re just as soot stained as the offending unit.

What causes sooting?  Why are some units’ chronic sooters? More importantly, how do you stop the @#$%&* sooting?

The root cause is one (or more) of the three problems below, and the root-cause/s of each described in the second list.

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Optimists Need Not Apply; Embracing Your Negative Side.

If you’ve been in the HVAC service industry for more than 5 minutes you’ve probably noticed the really good technicians are some of the most miserable, grumpy SOB’s you’ve ever met. This is what you want to aim for. This is the epitome of a master diagnostic technician. And when you achieve that perfect state of crotchety, you’ll know you’ve made it to the top.

Now, before you start apprising me of the benefits of being a rose-colored glasses wearing optimist, let me just say this: Have a nice, piping hot cup of shut the f@$% up. When it comes to troubleshooting, pessimism takes optimism’s lunch money every time…it’s even been known to take optimism’s date to the prom too.

Here’s why; pessimism is a survival instinct that’s managed to keep us safe from harm for many years. Here’s an example. Take an optimist to the zoo and show them a lion, and they see a big fluffy kitty cat. Heck, they may even try to pet it…once.

Show a pessimist that same lion, and they’re eyeballing the cage to make damn sure the gate is latched while at the same time they’re making mental plans to use the optimist as a shield just in case the lion escapes.

To be a good diagnostic technician you need to look at how things can go wrong, especially things that have no apparent way of going wrong.

One more word of advice; try not to let your inner pessimist spill over into your non-work life. This is no joke. Many seasoned (nice way of saying old) technicians become so used to expecting the worst, the habit can throw a wet blanket on situations that should be fun, like going to the zoo with an optimist. (just saying)

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Heat Exchanger Failure # 4 – Firing Rate.

Flame gasHow can firing rate affect heat exchanger longevity?
If the firing rate is too low, its that same as having low return air temperatures (RAT). Condensation will form, mix with the flue gas and cause corrosion.
A high firing rate is the same as low air flow; the heat exchanger will run hotter than designed, and will eventually crack.
How do you check the firing rate?

Firing rate is determined by manifold pressure, BTU content of the fuel, and orifice size. We’ll be covering those topics in another post.

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Heat Exchanger Failure #3 – Air Flow.

airflowHow can air flow cause a heat exchanger to fail?

Too much airflow causes the heat exchanger to run cool causing condensation to form inside, and if you read the previous articles you know what that means.

 

(If you don’t, then read Heat Exchanger Failure #2 and #3…)

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Nothing says winter has arrived like a failed heat exchanger…- Part 2; the RAT.

No, not the four legged, scurrying around a vacant warehouse type rat. RAT as in Return-Air-Temperature, or more specifically, low return air temperature.

How does low RAT kill a heat exchanger? It cools the heat exchanger, causing the flue gas temperature to drop below its dew point.

Sound familiar yet?

The moisture mixes with the flue gas and forms acid, and the acid causes corrosion. Yup, you got it; it’s just like the oversized unit from the first post.

So, what causes of low RAT?  I’m glad you asked!

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98 degrees and 100% Stupidity

“Fake it till you make it” said none of the best technicians ever…

Commit these two truths to memory-

“Confidence without knowledge is dangerous”
and
“Knowing what you don’t know is power”

There are some folks out there who are just plain dangerous. The unfortunate part is most have no idea how dangerous they really are, and this makes them even more dangerous.

What makes them dangerous?

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Nothing says winter has arrived like a failed heat exchanger…

Nothing says winter has arrived like a failed heat exchanger…

In the next few weeks a lot of you will be knee deep in failed gas heat exchangers; it’s our industry’s way of letting you know winter is here.

From residential furnaces to commercial rooftop units and hanging unit heaters; non are immune to the infamous failed heat exchanger.

Some will rust through, others will crack, and some will be packed with soot.

Some of you will replace the victim (yes, I said victim) and move on to the next job, never giving the components early demise a second thought.

You’ll blame the failures on ‘thin metal’, ‘ foreign materials’ or ‘bad design’.

Unfortunately heat exchangers are like everything else in our industry; few die of natural cause, most are murdered.

At the top of our Heat Exchanger Serial-Killer list is Mr. “Bigger is Better”

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80% of Sales Happen after 87% of Sales People Give Up

  • 2% of new business sales are made on the 1st contact
  • 3% of new business sales are made on the 2nd contact
  • 5% of new business sales are made on the 3rd contact
  • 10% of new business sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of new business sales are made on or after the 5th  contact

You didn’t fail to book the meeting because you pitch wasn’t slick enough or the color of your business card.

A slick sales presentation of an incredible PowerPoint has never lost (or won) a sale.  Your solution can perfectly solve a problem or increase sales and profits, but this is never enough to close the sale.  Solutions are great and profits are even better, but neither means anything without a feeling of trust.  The main reason the B-to-B sales cycle takes so long is that trust takes time

We begin building trust with familiarity.  The first voicemail, or the first time you meet with a decision maker, is just that, the first time.  Contact builds familiarity and familiarity build trust.  Each voicemail, thoughtful email or short pop-in visit is a chance to build familiarity and trust.

Prospecting is part of closing a sale

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Calming down an angry customer by listening

As a sales rep, manager and a business owner, I’ve often had to tell a customer something that they didn’t want to here.  Sometimes, it simply is was it is.

  • The part is out of stock.  
  • We double booked.  
  • What you’re are asking for simply isn’t possible.  
  • We screwed up and it’s going to take 4 days for us to fix it.  
  • The supplier screwed up.  

Whatever it might be.

Sure, it is always better to give the customer what they want but, what do you do when you can’t?

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