Editor’s note: The following remarks were made regarding the editorial, “The Pass-through Provision Impacts More than Tax Rates for HVAC,” written by Herb Woerpel, senior editor, The NEWS, published in the Jan. 15 issue.



Your Jan. 15 opinion piece contained very timely and important information. You explained why profitable contractors will be even more profitable in 2018. You also revealed the very scary fact that technicians now have a huge dollars and cents incentive to start their own business (and compete against their old company). My biggest takeaway is contractors must now do the best possible job protecting their most important assets. You made it easy for readers to connect the dots and realize they should start using a portion of their tax savings to provide “exemplary benefits.”

Thanks for a great read,

Steve Howard


The ACT Group Inc. and No Pressure Selling®



Editor’s Note: The following remarks were made regarding the article, “FER Standards Require Electronically Commutated Motors” written by Ron Rajecki, former refrigeration editor, The NEWS, published in the Jan. 29 issue.


The article claims both energy savings and cost savings for residential customers. This will not happen.

The claim of the efficiency of electronically commutated motors (ECMs) is like the claim made by manufacturers of any so-called high-efficiency HVAC equipment. The efficiency is determined in lab settings that do not represent the real-world application of the equipment. Improper installation and, more importantly, improper airflow (ductwork) reduces that efficiency. The average residence in this country does not have sufficient airflow, and the majority of customers will not have it corrected. Many can’t afford it, and many will not spend that much money on something that they cannot see.

Residential HVAC equipment is typically designed for use in a duct system with a maximum of .5 inches of water column (wc) total external static pressure. When an ECM encounters higher static pressures, it may do a better job of delivering airflow, but it uses more energy. More than the permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor.

We all need to remember that the blower “can’t blow what it can’t suck.”

The article claims that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates an average saving to the customer of $340-$500 over the life of the equipment. But the additional cost of the equipment is not considered, nor is the fact that when replacement is needed, and it will be, the cost will be three to four times higher than a PSC unit, eclipsing that estimated saving. In addition, there will likely never be enough qualified, knowledgeable, caring service techs that will properly apply and program the motors, especially with the number of “parts changers” in the field today due to the lack of qualified personnel in our industry.

The most likely scenario is that, like the 13-SEER a/c debacle, more energy will be used, not less, with additional cost to the consumer. The one to benefit the most from this ruling will be motor manufacturers.

Larry Steffes

Technical Analyst

Appliance Service Group

Melvindale, Michigan

Publication date: 3/5/2018