Birds of a Feather Rig Together

This is a noisy exhaust fan.

This was Ach Tune Air’s bid to make it quiet: $1,500

This is a quiet exhaust fan.

This is how much I charged to make it quiet: $180

Any questions?

One obvious question might be: What on Earth does a noisy fan have to do with a nefarious looking bird? If you want the short answer, skip to the end. If you want that answer to have more impact, continue reading. Continue reading Birds of a Feather Rig Together

Twenty Equals Twelve

I just got off the phone with a homeowner who was told his furnace’s failed heat exchanger had a 12 year warranty. That’s too bad since his furnace is 19 years old. Well it would’ve been too bad had he not called me. I told him the truth. A quick search tells the truth just as well. That heat exchanger has a 20 year warranty. Virtually every residential heat exchanger made in the past few decades has or had a 20 year warranty. It’s a not-so-secret industry standard.

Shocking! No… it’s not shocking that Equinoctial Air deceived the homeowner in an attempt to sell a furnace. They’ve been weaving that web for years. What’s shocking is Continue reading Twenty Equals Twelve

Wake Up and Smell the Folly

Four simple words are about to make you an expert at finding and eliminating odors. Of course you won’t be a real expert. Real odor experts have degrees in one or more sciences and have job titles like “industrial hygienist” and “environmental engineer”. Nevertheless, learn and understand these four words and you’ll be more of an expert than many of the repairmen who claim to be. They are moisture, heat, path and pressure. Continue reading Wake Up and Smell the Folly

The Love of Argument

You love arguing with me!

No I don’t!

OK… so I do love to argue. What know-it-all contractor doesn’t? However, my disposition towards disagreement isn’t the kind of argument this post’s title refers to. The argument I refer to is that of “a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point”. The argument I refer to is the same one you endure for 15 out of every 60 televised minutes – namely, the argument to Continue reading The Love of Argument

Crazy

“You can’t ever NOT think because if you could, how would you know?”

I didn’t come up with that little saying, but I do find it amusing. In a similar though more practical vein, a furnace circuit board that’s gone crazy doesn’t know that it’s gone crazy because… it’s crazy. The circuit board is the furnace’s brain. You can’t ask a bad brain to diagnose itself because how would it know? You know? Apparently they don’t know Continue reading Crazy

Softening You Up

Repairmen say the darndest things. One of my favorites is “It’s on its last legs.“, as though the furnace or air conditioner is a centipede that’s down to its last two legs. We’ve all heard that “throwing good money after bad” is, well, bad. And lately I’ve heard about quite a few repairmen referring to the very repairs they make as “Band-Aids”. Some companies have even made that genericised trademark the official name of their repair.

So why are these commonplace sayings “darnedest” when said by repairmen? Continue reading Softening You Up

A Quotable Quote

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap…

That was an incredible moment, not that I was alive to see it live. ;^) Thankfully I was alive and heard the following from a homeowner today.

My experience with them is that they’d rather do installation than service work.

That quote will never make history, but I’ve been saying that throughout my professional history. The typical contractor’s primary goal is to replace your furnace and air conditioner. Continue reading A Quotable Quote

Shoo Fly Keeps Bothering Me

I was minding my own business fixing a furnace when, like a fly that refuses to be shooed, I get buzzed by that name yet again… “The Requisition Technician”

That’s a pseudonym of course. Someday I may go Bulworth and reveal his identity, but not today. Whatever his name, I hear it too often!

Anyway, as I was repairing the furnace I got to talking with the homeowner about the air conditioner. She happens to have old invoices, so I take a look-see. And what do I see? Continue reading Shoo Fly Keeps Bothering Me