In the Feb. 19 issue ofThe News, Peter Powell states, in his article “Many Refrigerants, but a Consistent Message” (p. 54): “Likewise, all expressed aware-ness of research on the use of the HC refrigerant (CO2) as a possible alternative to HFCs should politics cause a phaseout of HFCs. …”

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a hydrocarbon (HC). It is an inorganic compound (R-744) listed in ASHRAE’s table one — “Standard Designation of Refrigerants (ASHRAE Standard 34),” p. 18.2, in 1997 ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook. Hydrocarbon (organic chemistry) is defined in the 1992 Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology (p.1059) as “an organic compound that contains only carbon and hydrogen; classified, according to the arrangement of the atoms and the chemical properties of the compounds as alicyclic, aliphatic, and aromatic; derived mostly from crude petroleum and also from coal tar and plant sources.”

Keep up all the great refrigerant articles and updates coming. It is a must for all of us to make wise and safe recommendations on refrigerant applications in our industry. Mr. Powell’s refrigeration section of your publication is very helpful.

Michael E. Batis, CEM, CDSM, CEOE Refrigeration and Cryogenics Consultant Irving, TX

Letter on NATE Updated

Since my last letter concerning NATE appeared in your Dec. 11 issue, I’ve had the pleasure to read some responses, both in agreement and disagreement. I would like to share what has developed since my opinion appeared. First I would like to clear up a possible misconception. I am not against NATE, I already stated that there is a need for a nationally recognized certification. Does it have to be only one organization? I think not. But, to have every Tom, Dick, and Harry want to establish a “certification” would obviously be counterproductive. As one individual responded, he thought that “years of experience” should carry some weight. True, to a certain extent, but far from being a key requirement. We all know too many “techs” who claim to have been in the field for years, practicing unheard of techniques, stating “Back in my day, this is how we did it.” Mr. Hennighan, in his letter, took issue to some things in my first opinion, the first being my claim of ignorance on the part of a certain NATE representative. This was formed when I inquired about their line of questioning. The person’s opinion, it seemed to me, was “Their system is flawless.” He then chose to question my apparent lack of skills as well as my company’s. As for the questions having more than one correct answer, I agree that there are more efficient ways to correct a problem,ifyou had a bit more information. The test taker does not have the luxury of questioning the customer; he/she is given a couple of statements and asked to draw a conclusion. I’ll stick by my guns on this one, considering our “lawsuit-loving society.” As far as “soft skill” questions are concerned, formed properly, they work. One test question, for instance, asks what word would cause the most confusion; the statement read, “I rang the doorbell and saw nothing.” I’ll ask the readers to draw their own conclusion. There are specialized tests on the market that evaluate a person’s soft skills as well as “personality” tests. If this is a big concern, offer these tests during the application process. Finally, I would like to praise NATE. I was contacted by a NATE representative (Patrick Murphy) soon after the Dec. 11 issue hit the street. He, and they, were great! They acknowledged their shortcomings. They agreed with a number of my concerns. They informed me of the new approach they are taking. I apologize if I came off as not being on board with NATE. That was not the intention of my initial opinion. Things should not get to a point where people are reluctant to question operations, when their main goal is to only improve and be the best.

Dan Hazley Philadelphia, PA

Publication date: 03/12/2001