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…

“…if the defrost board has too much ice on it, you can fix the problem yourself……..you can do it yourself with little hassle and minimal knowledge of the subject….”


Wow! This is good news for the homeowner! He can save a huge amount of money by not paying an expert (you) to resolve the problem. I can’t wait to see what they recommend.

“…fill a bucket with hot water from your sink and go to the defrost panel on the back of your heat pump. Pour the hot water on the ice to melt it…”


If you’re like me, you were shaking your head and laughing as you read the authors advice. If you’re really like me, your next reaction was a sick feeling, sick because if some unsuspecting homeowner actually used this advice they would likely be electrocuted.

At least the author gave some useful advice at the end of the article…although if the homeowner followed his previous advice, it’s probably too late.

“call a certified HVAC technician to take a look at your heat pump if these solutions are not working for you. They will be able to properly diagnose your unit and make an appropriate repair.

Warn your customers not to blindly follow advice found on the internet; you’ll be doing them a favor, and possibly saving their life.

Patrick is Zen HVAC’s diagnostic and training guy. Patrick started in the trade the day he left technical school and never looked back. He's served in various technical and training roles in the HVAC industry but specializes in system troubleshooting and diagnostics, retro commissioning, and technical training. His moto: If I can understand it, anybody can. Patrick uses the Zen common sense approach to teach Patrick’s Likes- His Wife, kids and dog. Old pickup trucks. Hiking. The industrial Revolution. Patrick’s Dislikes- Taking work too seriously. Anything unintuitive. Emoticons :( Patrick’s Favorite famous person- Theodore Roosevelt “I am only an average man, But I work harder at it than the average man" Famous Patrick Quote- “Well, that was stupid of me”

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