Indifference doesn’t sound so bad - it’s not so good, but it’s not so bad. That’s true unless you are in the customer service business, like HVAC contractors. Woody Woodall of W.E. Bowers pointed out the “zone of indifference” to attendees of the Unified Group’s 2009 Service Management Forum.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) defines extraordinary events as unexpected occurrences that can cause the quality of outdoor air to worsen rather quickly and dramatically. These can include fires (and the resulting smoke), chemical releases, and chemical and biological attacks. The society has spelled out how to manipulate ventilation systems in such cases.
With unemployment at near-record highs, you might think that labor shortage is less of a problem now than it used to be. You’d be wrong. It still ranks high as one of the biggest problems for both residential and commercial contractors.
With homeowners becoming more interested in tightening their homes, and awareness and opportunities increasing due to federal and local incentives, IAQ problems could be addressed from the start by introducing more fresh air, according to Nelson Warner, vice president of R&D for Tamarack Technologies Inc.
When you talk about air distribution with Tom Godby, it’s all about zoning. “It’s something that gives you the opportunity to do some redesign in houses,” said the founder and chairman of Godby Heating and Air Conditioning, Indianapolis. Godby calls zoning “a natural step to take for a contractor.”
Discussions of the economic recovery often include talks of a so-called green economy. According to Wikipedia, this includes “green energy generation based on renewable energy to substitute for fossil fuels and energy conservation for efficient energy use.” Many see it as a kind of New Deal. Today’s “green deal” offers opportunities to save energy on a significant magnitude.
When a supplier has been in business for 57 years, they have figured out how to keep their fingers on several pulses - not just the HVAC industry, but also those involving the economy and politics. With a variety of input, Habegger Corp. has been growing its influence in the geothermal market, helping to guide contractors into this high-end field.
Heat pumps have come a long way. They do have an old reputation of being less reliable than standard cooling-only systems, partly due to the complexity of the unit, which provides both heating and cooling. This complexity at one time led to errors in installation and service. Today’s high-end systems, however, have features that help contractors install equipment with ensured reliability.
There seems to be little doubt that market trends like green and sustainability will continue to affect (and possibly enhance) the HVACR industry. In fact, some would assert that these elements are already a part of our world - if only we would use them, and maybe even promote them.
Most of us are familiar with the recent Cash for Clunkers auto rebate program. There are many similarities drawn between cars and HVAC systems, especially where issues of maintenance, reliability, and efficiency are concerned. Could our industry benefit from a similar “clunkers” program?