Editors Blog

Murphy's Law: HVAC for The Ages

July 7, 2008
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Heating has been around since the caveman days, but cooling didn’t really catch fire until the late 1940s and early 50s. Back in the 50s this business was all about comfort. We didn’t know anything about saving money. Comfort was all there was.

The story goes that having those early air conditioning units actually cost people more money to operate compared to the alternative. The alternative was to come home from work, park your butt in a big old naugahyde recliner, and sweat until it was time to go to bed. Didn’t cost very much, but it wasn’t very comfortable.

Well, you know what happened. Manufacturers found they couldn’t build enough a/c units to keep up with demand and install them, too. So, a/c contractors became in quite high demand. Everybody was selling comfort!

Along came the 1970s with oil embargoes and long lines at the gas pumps. Some enterprising HVAC contractors discovered that payback and return on investment were catchy phrases that made customers take notice of HVAC energy costs.

Today, it’s coming full circle. Comfort and energy costs are all the rage once again - and at the same time. The big difference is that a new term has crept into the HVAC jargon - green.

I think green encompasses everything that is right about conserving resources, and that there is no reason a person can’t be comfortable while being green.

What a combination for an HVAC contractor to be selling: green, comfort, and energy efficiency.
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HVAC for the ages

Robin Boyd
July 14, 2008
Green is nothing more then a marketing cliche when it comes to mechanical cooling. No matter how efficient we make mechanical cooling, it will never be environmentally friendly. We certainly have made strides in making mechanical cooling less harmful, but it is not something that harmonizes with nature. Keeping cool has been sought after as long as keeping warm has. Keeping warm has been a neccesity in many regions of the Earth whereas keeping cool is for the most part only a comfort issue. Staying alive should demand more of our attention then staying comfy, but we have become more and more willing to pay for both as long as we feel we are paying less. I for one am glad we are so demanding of comfort. As an HVAC professional, I just love that we keep coming up with different ways to get consumers to justify their desire to be comfortable. I sell comfort and efficicency to contractors and they sell comfort and efficiency to the consumers. If tossing in the term "green" makes the process go even smoother, then I'm all for being green as well.



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