During my 50 years in the HVAC trade, I have found that most technicians do not spend time learning about the compressor and the a/c system as much as they should. In their defense, they are simply too busy to take the time once they are out of school.
Many contractors (and big-box stores) try to grab customers’ attention by advertising the ubiquitous $29 tune-up. So is the $29 tune-up an effective marketing tool that can be used to beef up the customer base? Or is it a pernicious practice that lowers the bar for the HVAC industry? It all depends on your outlook.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced the extension of its HVAC Business Partners Program, which provides training and support to HVAC contractors to use advanced diagnostic tools as part of national standards for quality maintenance of rooftop units.
Some of the most common problems and solutions for smooth compressor operation can be found in training materials and on-the-job experience. There is also another method for educating HVAC contractors and service technicians — getting answers straight from the manufacturers.
Bob and Tim have been sent on a routine service contract call to a new customer. The system is a gas furnace with central air conditioning. After changing the filter and oiling the fan motor, Tim went to the thermostat and caused the furnace to come on and they were looking at the burner when Tim said, “That gas flame doesn’t look right.”
In this month’s troubleshooting situation, we have a customer who has called to say that their condominium has no heat. The particular equipment in this case is a thru-the-wall package unit that provides cooling in the summer and employs a natural gas system to heat the building in the winter.
Bob and Tim are continuing a service call on a heat pump that has two failed auxiliary heaters. When they went to the supply house to get new heaters, they left wondering if the heat pump itself was operating up to capacity. After replacing the defective heaters, Bob suggested a visual inspection of the heat pump.
Bob and Tim have arrived at a home where the owner is complaining that the heat pump is not heating properly. It has been getting cold in the home during the late night and early morning hours. It’s really cold outside, about 10°F at night and 25° during the day.