Active in the HVACR industry since the 1950s, Bill Johnson graduated in gas fuel technology and refrigeration from the Southern Technical Institute, a branch of Georgia Tech (now known as Southern Polytechnic Institute). He taught HVAC classes at Coosa Valley Vocational & Technical Institute for four years. He moved on to become service manager for Layne Trane, Charlotte, N.C. He taught for 15 years at Central Piedmont Community College, part of this time as program director. He had his own business for five years doing installation and service work. Now retired, he is the author of Practical Heating Technology and Practical Cooling Technology, and continues as a co-author of Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Technology, seventh edition, all published by Delmar Cengage Learning. For more information, he can be reached at 704-968-0000 or email@example.com.
Btu Buddy Notebook is a collection of more than 50 service call scenarios in book form covering both cooling season and heating season troubleshooting. For more information and to purchase the book, visit the HVACR Industry Store.
Bob and Tim were on their way to the shop on a hot Friday afternoon when Bob got a call on his cell phone from his wife who said, “The air conditioner is not working and my mom and dad are coming from out of town tonight. What are we going to do?”
Bob and Tim were at a retail store where the manager had called and said there was no cooling. The system was a 5-ton heat pump. After talking to the manager, Bob and Tim turned the thermostat to the “fan on” position to see if there was power to the unit and the indoor fan started. The heat pump was a split system, so they went up to the roof.
A new customer called and wanted their commercial unit serviced. The customer was a retail store and the manager seemed to think that the unit was not performing up to standard. The unit would run most of the time, even in mild weather, and did not seem to cool the store as well as it should.
Bob and Tim were at a no cooling call, the first of the year. They turned the thermostat to cooling and put it on a low setting so the heat pump would come on and stay on. They went to the outdoor unit and felt the leaving air and the piping and Tim said, “The unit is running in the heating mode. I wonder what is going on?”
Bob and Tim were on their way to a service call at a store that has a frozen heat pump outdoor unit. It is late in the season and the customer called and said, “Our outdoor unit is frozen solid with ice.” After they arrived and talked to the owner, Bob said, “Let’s put the unit through a forced defrost.”
Bob and Tim were on their way to a no heat call for a gas furnace. Tim asked, “What do you think we need to look out for on this call?” Bob said, “It could be any number of things. We will start by talking to the homeowner and see what she knows.”
Bob and Tim were on their way to a service call on a heat pump. The homeowners are complaining about noise at the outdoor unit. When Bob and Tim arrived, the homeowners explained that the heat pump for upstairs is beside the house in a wooded area. It is under their upstairs bedroom window and it became loud last night.
Bob and Tim were on their way to a service call where the customer is complaining about a high power bill. She said the heat pump that they use for their heat is running all the time and their power bill is really high.
Bob and Tim were on their way to do routine annual service on a customer’s gas furnace and humidifier. Tim asked, “What are the things that we should look for that may cause problems on a gas furnace?”