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Skaer-Tactics: More Questions to Ponder ...

September 29, 2008
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As promised earlier, here are a few more 6 Million Dollar questions, of which I do not have answers for:

• As this is 2008, why is it that some HVACR contractors do not have a Website?

• Is the Internet helping or hurting the HVACR industry?

• If the unionized sheet metal industry is in trouble, does this bode well for ductless systems?

• When will it be required throughout the U.S. that in order to practice HVACR, one will need a license?

• What do you think of the California Energy Commission?

• What do contractors think of North American Technician Excellence (NATE)? If you believe in it, are you and your techs NATE certified? If not, why not?

• On a residential call, what would a female technician do better than a male technician?

• On a residential call, what would a male technician do better than a female technician?

• Do you believe in LEED? Do you even know what it is?

• Will this industry ever agree on an energy efficiency policy?

• A speaker at an industry trade association a few years ago stated “Contractors and technicians have little influence in our industry. Who has the power? Suppliers? Manufacturers? Banks? Government? Customers?” It’s a good question. What is the answer?

• Why do Europe and the U.S. differ so much on the refrigerant issues?

If you believe you have the answer to any of the above, let me know. E-mail or post me a comment online.
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Answers to Questions

Chuck Meyer
September 29, 2008
I will take some time to study your questions and get back to you with my answers. Which one do you suppose is worth the most for a correct answer? :-)

Answer for Chuck Meyer

Mark Skaer
September 29, 2008
Chuck, I am afraid I cannot say one question is worth more than another. Any and all questions which you can supply an answer is much appreciated. - Mark Skaer

My Answers May Not Be For Everyone

Chuck Meyer
October 1, 2008
I have some time this afternoon to spend on this as someone here has a flat tire and I have to wait with them till their road side service provider shows up to either fix the flat or change the tire for them. Let us begin: © There are still contractors that do not have websites because not everyone is racing to build their business every year at internet speed. They have developed their customer base over a long period of time, provide great service to their existing customers and can rely on referrals for more business if they want the additional revenue. They have learned over the years that taking care of what you have earned the hard way will cost you less than continually having to market to new customers to replace the ones you have neglected. Who needs a Website! © The Internet appears to be helping the HVACR industry with information being available at the end of a search engine instead of saving articles from trade magazines for a rainy day when the questions arise and we cannot remember which place we filed that really great piece of information. Information about our industry is also helpful to consumers and provides them with a road map to contact us that is less expensive and more informative than the Yellow Pages of yesterday. © Not so sure that the problems with union sheet metal contractors have much to do with ductless systems as most union contractors do no install ductless systems in the first place. The cost of metal, labor, benefits, dues and injuries related to working with Sheetmetal bring their own problems to the Unions. Ductless systems are the least of their problems. © Licensure is just around the corner for everyone practicing just about anything in the very near future. As the rebellion grows over tax cuts and wasteful spending by government, the rest of the State and Local governments will figure out the revenue enhancement schemes available to them that can be called licensing fees, continuing educations fees, permitting fees and re-inspection fees. Fees are not taxes they are the cost to society for protection provided to them by government to protect them from themselves and their inability to walk away from a deal that is too good to be true. It will be coming to a neighborhood where you live soon enough and you will wonder what you were ever thinking of. © The California Energy Commission will cost the taxpayers of California a lot of money and they will feel good about themselves for awhile until the burden of excessive costs comes down on their shoulders and they realize they cannot afford to live there any longer. Unfortunately the dream will spread like a virus across our country like the many blends of octane and we will all look west to California again with disgust and wish they would have been taken back by Mexico or slid into the Pacific. © Good Contractors like NATE. NATE gives us peace of mind knowing that we have made a serious effort to hire qualified technicians that are as serious about our industry as we are. The other contractors have always been there in our industry as well. They get along somehow and manage to survive but never sent anyone to a trade school or sponsored an apprentice either. They know that someone else will pay more for a qualified technician than they will so why subsidize the industry with their hard earned dollars is the justification I hear most often. We have a couple and are working with the others to become NATE Certified service technicians. I have to pass the Core but already passed the Service Tech test. Can't figure out what I did wrong on the Core part of the test but then I have been busy as we all are I guess. No other excuse is acceptable. © Not much would be the answer of men over female technicians that are properly trained. I have worked with both and they all have their good days and bad. © LEED certification will become a necessity for energy conservation. The need to use less and get more for it is becoming more of a necessity than we ever thought but there are certainly unintended consequences we have already suffered from making buildings so tight that they become unhealthy to live in. Some common sense will have to be part of the energy equation for the future. © It is unlikely there will ever be consensus on energy efficiency in our industry as long as one size fits all mentality flows down from government that is pushed by special interest groups to make their way the only way and the only incentive is punishment for non conformance that is covered by a fine or fee to support more regulation and enforcement. There will come a time when our technicians must be allowed to carry weapons for protection. As we become the energy monitors and are required to disable non-conforming inefficient equipment they will be requesting hazardous duty pay on top

Refrigerants: Europe & the U.S.

joe maurer
October 5, 2008
So the question Mark poised was this: Why do Europe and the U.S. differ so much on refrigerant issues? Of course I don't really know, so some guessing is in order. Here's one: The U.S. is far more cynical and less interested in protecting the World environment than is the European Union. Is this possible?

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