If you''ve been trend-watching lately, you''ve noticed that for some time, smart diagnostics have worked their way down from the very large mechanical systems - think large chillers and air handlers - to today''s unitary products. Then they made their way into thermostats as part of a natural progression. Now they are becoming much more common in high-end unitary systems.

Over the next several months, we are going to examine some common troubleshooting scenarios and compare how they have been diagnosed for years, and how they are being diagnosed on today''s smart systems.

The examples that we give will focus mainly on Emerson diagnostics; of course, this column is sponsored by Emerson throughThe NEWS. However, be aware that smart diagnostics have infiltrated the HVACR market through key manufacturers'' systems.

In particular, Tech Tips will look at some specific compressor diagnostics, such as floodback, overheating, and more. We may also examine a few problems that are mistakenly diagnosed as compressor failures. Careful troubleshooting is required to ensure that these problems are traced back to their root cause; can smart systems take some of the steps out of this process, and perhaps improve your troubleshooting average? You tell us.

We look forward to sharing this exciting journey with you through Tech Tips.

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