Parting Ways

I’ve followed behind hundreds of parts changers. I’ve become all too familiar with the madness of their method. Through trial and error they learn which part usually causes the furnace’s or air conditioner’s symptoms. They quote the homeowner to replace that “usual part” and install it. If the broken unit starts to work, they assume their educated guess was right. If it doesn’t, they move on to the next part and inform the customer that they found a second problem while fixing the first. Cha-ching. Continue reading Parting Ways

Blame It on the Rain

This furnace had an intermittent problem. The Requisition Technician got the call to fix it. He blamed an incorrectly angled exhaust pipe. He said he doesn’t work on such things, but neither did he refer anyone that does. Req Tech then charged the homeowner $80 and left.

Getting soaked for $80 was bad enough. The fact that the diagnosis was so obviously wrong was even worse. Why obvious? Continue reading Blame It on the Rain


The Requisition Technician visited this furnace.

That is all.

Visiting really was all Req Tech could do. That furnace has a variable speed blower motor. The licensed, bonded and five star rated RT said he isn’t trained to work on them and left. That’s like a plumber saying he isn’t trained to work on those newfangled low-flow toilets. Both the toilet and the motor came to widespread use in the 1990s. Every furnace manufacturer sells variable speed motors. Every real repairman works on them. And by “work” I mean we plug this tester in and flip a few switches. That’s really is all there is to it.


Another day, another tune-up high pressure sales call from Heroic Heating & Air. After performing the tune-up, Heroic’s repairman said that the furnace’s heat exchanger should be replaced because it looked “iffy”. They didn’t actually find a problem with the heat exchanger mind you. And they certainly didn’t follow the AHRI approved inspection procedure. They just had suspicions. In other words, their recommendation was made up from whole cloth.
Continue reading Iffy

Un-Believably In-Famous

This is unbelievable. It’s so unbelievable that I asked the homeowner if she was making it up. Well… I didn’t put it that way. I asked if she was exaggerating. She insisted she wasn’t. I’m not actually that surprised. We are talking about the infamous Heroic Heating & Air after all. They’re the biggest and baddest contractor in the whole dang town. I follow behind their rascally repairmen on a regular basis.
Continue reading Un-Believably In-Famous

Two Weeks in the Life

I really do see this stuff on a daily basis.

I must admit that A Week in the Life found limited commercial success. That might be because it was released during the winter dump months. Or that might actually be because I don’t charge anything for admission. I have to do something about that. ;^) Regardless, it’s time for a summer sequel. In keeping with sequel tradition, I’m going bigger and badder by chronicling two weeks of summer life.

Continue reading Two Weeks in the Life

The Dissembling Disassembler

Is Johnny 5 in the attic?

A few weeks ago this furnace stopped blowing air. The tenant called the property manager to get it fixed. The home had a home warranty, so the property manager called the home warranty company. The home warranty company dispatched Borderline Heating & Air.

Their repairman suspected a bad blower, but he wasn’t sure. So what does a repairman do when he doesn’t know what he’s doing? Continue reading The Dissembling Disassembler

If at first you don’t succeed…

…lie, lie, lie again?

Did they lie, exaggerate or something else? I’ll let you decide. The contractor with the tongue twisting pseudonym of Equinoctial Air is at it again. They’re the same contractor that brought us Snatched from the Jaws of a Tune-Up. We foiled that bit of mechanical mischief, but they’re nothing if not determined go-getters. And what they were determined to go get is this homeowner’s signature on the dotted line.

Consider these polar opposite experiences… Continue reading If at first you don’t succeed…

School Is Out

You too can learn to install the latest in portable wood heating technology!

Trying to figure out your career future? How would you like to be your own boss, work flexible hours and make great money? Train for an exciting career in heating and air conditioning repair! Don’t like school? Neither do we! Skip the training and become a licensed contractor in three easy steps: Continue reading School Is Out

A Week in the Life

Do I really see this stuff on a daily basis?

While I have talked about seeing these things daily, I must admit that I don’t actually see the things I write of every single day. I take weekends off. It is, in fact, a fact that I see the goofs, gaffes and greed of other repairmen every day that I’m in the field. I don’t nitpick. The things I write of are substantive and, if you’re not used to it like I am, very surprising. So prepare for the surprise as I present a very typical (work) week in the my life. Continue reading A Week in the Life