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

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

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

If heating you is wrong…

…I don’t wanna be right.

The words “second opinion” are like music to my ears. I’m a natural educator and, as such, I enjoy giving homeowners information they didn’t get from a competitor. In many cases I’m able to offer a more cost effective solution. And in some cases I get to prove my competitor wrong. I must admit that my inner imp loves proving the competition wrong.

I heard those two melodious words today. Continue reading If heating you is wrong…

They don’t make them…

…or train them like they used to.

I, for one, am quite happy that they don’t make them like they used to. I have a hard enough time finding a parking place for the truck, much less a 1771 Fardier à Vapeur. As for central heating, you’d have to hire me full time had we not progressed beyond the hypocaustum. Technological change is good.

Pedagogical change, on the other hand, has not been good – especially in the trades. Five year apprenticeships? Not even close. Continue reading They don’t make them…

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Has monkey got a deal for you!

“Dear Friend,

Since replacing your furnace could cost you thousands of dollars, doesn’t it just make sense to consider a Tune-Up? Especially if I take all the risk, and there is no risk for you. Let me explain.”

Those are the opening words of a letter (pictured below) from the owner of Heroic Heating & Air to homeowners in his area. While considering a tune-up certainly seems to make sense, you’ll soon learn what their so-called tune-up actually makes is dollars and cents. The letter continues:
Continue reading Monkey See, Monkey Do

Snatched from the Jaws of a Tune-Up

You’re gonna need a bigger check.

Fall was just days away when I was called to check a furnace that had been paid a visit by Equinoctial Air. When I arrived, I removed the furnace’s covers and saw what you see in the first and second pictures below. What looks like partial disassembly is, in fact, nearly complete disassembly. The blower, heat exchanger, burner tray and so on were all sitting loosely in the furnace cabinet. Under the guise of performing a tune-up, Equinoctial Air had completely gutted the furnace.
Continue reading Snatched from the Jaws of a Tune-Up