At, The NEWS’ Extra Edition page is home to hundreds of online-exclusive service and maintenance, technical, and business-management articles. Here are some of the best.

Pulling a Good Vacuum Equals $$$ for the Contractor

Pulling a good vacuum before charging a new system with refrigerant or after a repair is essential for the proper operation of an air conditioning system. Proper operation, system longevity, and the time you spend at the job site all relate to dollars in your pocket. In addition to the vacuum pump, a micron gauge is an essential tool. Here is a description of how the micron gauge works and why it is used in the HVAC industry.

Contractors, Make More Money Right Now

Profit is a wonderful thing and something contractors need more of. Here are some ideas you can use to improve your profit situation right now. No. 1 — Raise your service rates. Many of your competitors’ rates are probably higher than yours. Experience has shown that you will lose very little, if any, business by raising your rates $3-$8 an hour. This will give you an immediate boost in cash flow and profits. Other industries consistently charge more per hour than HVAC professionals. You deserve to be paid competitive rates.

Profits and Protection: The Benefits of Surge Protection

What is the homeowner’s No. 1 complaint regarding his HVAC system? It’s downtime. What is the No. 1 cause of downtime? Other than poor maintenance or old age of the equipment, the leading cause is power quality. As brownouts and blackouts attest, the electrical grid is not highly reliable at this time. Utility reports note that power quality is at its lowest in history and is getting worse. The utilities thus recommend protection against power quality problems.

Btu Buddy 9: Discovering Reduced Airflow in the Ducts

Bob has been dispatched to a job at an insurance office where the office manager said the system is not cooling in some of the offices. It is a 20-ton cooling system with gas heat. Bob went in and talked to the manager who explained that, all day yesterday, the offices on one end of the building were warm. The rest of the building seemed normal. Bob found that the air handler sits in the middle of the single-story building and there are two main trunk lines leaving it, one to each end of the building.

Publication date: 7/28/2014

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