I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

After reading Peter Powell's column, "First Hand Experience With a 13 SEER Unit" [Sept. 4], I am inclined to conclude things must be a lot different up north! Down here in south Florida, we've been installing 13 to 16 SEER systems for years, although Peter seems to view these 13 SEER systems as new creatures. Also, we have had absolutely no problems getting R-22.

But here is the real irony: I installed a 15+ SEER system in my home about 4 years ago when the minimum SEER was 10, and we've sold lots of those systems since then. But now that the minimum is 13, I can't hardly get my hands on a 15 SEER system! About all I can get are 13 and 14 SEER systems. It's not because they're sold out, it's because the distributors haven't gotten them yet.

We all knew this new mandate was coming, but it sure seems like some of the manufacturers got caught with their pants down. So my question to any manufacturers reading this is: Where are all those new 16, 18, and 20 SEER systems I keep hearing about? I see lots of wonderful ads for them but the actual equipment seems to be very hard to find.

And why is there so little information sharing in this industry? I've had problems in the past with things like getting brochures and price lists, finding out when new systems will be available, etc. When I ask what's going on, nobody seems to ever know. It's a lot easier dealing with a problem if I understand why the problem exists and have at least some idea as to when it will be resolved.

Bruce Dix
Dix Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.
Bradenton, Fla.

Do You Know What I Mean?

[Editor's note: This letter is in response to Mike Murphy's editorial "The Language of HVAC is Tough," Aug. 28.]

I've been in the PHVAC business for 19 years and still don't understand how manufacturers designate tonnage ratings in equipment model numbers, and the explanations I get just frustrate me. I say just put a sensible designation like 3T for 3 ton, 3.5T, etc., but I doubt that will ever happen.

Mike Chapman
Jarboe's PHC
Buckner, Ky.

Making It Right For the Customers

I just made copies of Mike Murphy's column ["Customer Service: The Bad Mistake," Sept. 4] and distributed it to everyone here. Too often, it is human nature to try and cover up our mistakes, no matter how small they may be. Ultimately, they come back to bite us.

We had a customer who was very disappointed in a new install we did years ago, and eventually we had to remove the equipment and return her investment. We have a "Make It Right" guarantee, and we just could not satisfy her. She was so impressed with what we did that she still has us service her equipment and has referred us to friends who have installed systems.

As they say, there is a fine line between clever and stupid. The same goes for honest mistakes and bad mistakes. Whenever we have a problem with a customer, we try to "Make It Right." My favorite line is "What can I do to make you happy?" In most cases, they ask for less than I am willing to give, and best of all, they feel good about it.

Keep up the good work.

John Lombardi
Comfort Control Systems Inc.
De Pere, Wis.

A Disservice to Your Customers

[Editor's note: This letter is in response to Dick Marshall's letter, "Selling IAQ to Consumers," Aug. 21.]

By avoiding IAQ, Mr. Marshall is doing a disservice to his customers by not informing them of all of the capabilities of a central HVAC system. We would welcome the opportunity to ride with Mr. Marshall on a few calls to demonstrate how explaining IAQ options can improve customer satisfaction.

Rob Goodfellow
Director of Sales & Marketing - Residential Products
Dynamic Air Quality Solutions
Fort Smith, Ark.

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Publication date: 10/09/2006