Smoke Control Might Be a Thing of the Past

It was good to read the case study ["Smoke Does Not Get in Your Eyes Here"] on controlling secondhand smoke in the Sunset Station Casino inThe NEWS, Oct. 23.

Unfortunately, the market for this type of system is growing smaller by the day. In my hometown of Houston, Texas, smoking has been banned in virtually all public buildings, and this is happening all across the country. When I heard about the Surgeon General's report stating that air cleaning and ventilation technologies cannot effectively control ETS [environmental tobacco smoke], I investigated and found the following statement [at the Surgeon General's web page]:

"Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate secondhand smoke exposure.

n The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the preeminent U.S. standard-setting body on ventilation issues, has concluded that ventilation technology cannot be relied on to completely control health risks from secondhand smoke exposure.

n Conventional air cleaning systems can remove large particles, but not the smaller particles or the gases found in secondhand smoke.

n Operation of a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system can distribute secondhand smoke throughout a building."

As stated in the Sunset Station article, conventional air cleaning systems can remove smaller particles and proper ventilation can dilute ETS to the point that it is not seen or smelled.

Dan Young
Sales Manager
IAQ-Energy Solutions Inc.

What a Clean and Check Rip-off

I read with interest John R. Hall's column "What Does It Cost to Get a Foot in the Door?" [Oct. 9]. Nothing gets me madder than to have a phone call asking how much we charge and to hear, "Well, someone else can do it for $29.95." (We charge $99.95 for a clean and check.)

I try and explain that by the time they are finished, they are going to end up spending $99.95 or more, but they think they are getting a great deal.

What is even worse are the rip-off companies whose only intention is to give you a low price on the phone and scare you into buying a furnace or an a/c when they get in the door. Companies here are replacing perfectly good furnaces that were installed less than 10 years ago and saying they are unsafe.

The problem is nationwide. I attended an industry show in 2005, and one of the seminars was on increasing your sales. Well, if increasing my sales means telling the homeowner their 10-year-old furnace or air conditioner needs replacing, and that I need to have a salesman come to your house and give you options before I fix the problem, then my sales will not increase because I will not lie to a customer. These companies have no morals. Our wholesale houses know this is going on, but they won't step in and try to stop it because they don't care as long as they are moving boxes.

Jeff Harral
Murry's Heating and Air
Louisville, Ky.

All Features Great and Small

[Editor's note: This letter is in response to Mike Murphy's editorial "It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No It's a Feature," Sept. 18.]

When you take even small details (features) like that when talking about the quality of your product and then convert it into a understandable benefit to the customer, e.g., "Mr. and Mrs. Jones, have you ever seen outside units attached to the side of someone's home that had peeling, faded paint and rust stains all over it?"

Mrs. Jones most of the time responds with "Like ours! I would like to build a fence around it. What an eyesore."

"Well, our units use powder paint, galvaluminum screws, and polyresin bases to keep them looking like new for many years to come."

Now that one benefit won't sell a system, but if you take your mile-long list of features, find a benefit each fits, now you're selling benefits.

I really enjoyed the article as well as all the information The NEWS provided.

Richard D. Lewis
Lewis Mechanical Contracting
E. Alton, Ill.

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Publication date: 11/13/2006