Educate Customers to Choose Repairs or Replacements

I am writing in regards to the article titled, “To Repair or Replace: That Is the Key Question” [Feb. 2]. This is a subject that effects us all, customer and provider, manufacturer and supplier, etc. With the poor economy and downturn in the construction market, are we really caught by surprise that people are electing to repair vs. replace? Was the industry taken by surprise that the change from 10 SEER to 13 SEER has had such a large effect? I am not.

What does surprise me is that so many in our industry still spend the customers’ money and fail to educate them on the advantages of replacement vs. repair.

Don’t get me wrong. I would not recommend that a system be replaced because a run capacitor opened to an outdoor fan motor. However, it is my job as the professional to try and determine how much damage may have occurred to the compressor that has been cycling off and on by the internal thermostat or internal bypass.

Just how dirty was the evaporator coil? How long has it been that way? Show me an evaporator coil that is so dirty that it had to be pulled and cleaned, and I will show you a system that needs proper filtration added (comes with a new system, right?) and a compressor that more often than not has internal damage due to the liquid coming back to it for all that time and that will fail soon after you clean the evaporator. Sure, it cooled great right after the $200 plus repair bill, but soon after, we need a $1,000 compressor replacement. Was it better to repair or replace?

Maybe for that customer repair was their best option, but it shouldn’t be their only option. They should get to decide based on all the facts and options. Sure, it cools better than it did, but it is still not the same efficiency as it was, and more than likely it will just get dirty again. Did we solve the indoor air quality issue that allowed it to get dirty in the first place?

Come on, are we overwhelmingly parts changers? No, we are air comfort specialists. We understand compressor amperage curves as mentioned in John Tomczyk’s technical article [“Compressor Amperage Curves,” Feb. 2]. We have seen that after an extremely dirty evaporator was cleaned, the compressor was pulling more than it should because of the internal damage, and if we just clean this system’s evaporator, the compressor will fail shortly after.

Most in the field can get a unit back up and running by changing a part or adjusting things, but is it going to pay the customer back for the cost of that repair? It should if we fixed the right things and it was in their best interest.

Paul Margwarth
Oklahoma State University - Institute of Technology
Okmulgee, Okla.

We Need More Governmental Financial Responsibility

The letter by Jon S. DeArment “Items Have No Place in an Economic Stimulus Package,” [March 2] was outstanding and hit the nail right on the head! He was short, to the point, and reflected the views of many, many Americans. Less government and more responsibility [from those in government]!

Nice job, Mr. DeArment!

Guy A. Griesse
Technical Consultant
Carrier Rental Systems
Lakeland, Fla.

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Publication date:04/27/2009