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01-24-2010, 11:47 AM #1
Creating Beneficial H-VAC User Awareness...
It is time to effectively Communicate Real-Dollar-Benefit-Awareness to H-VAC Users.
Nearly every resident & small commercial building & its H-VAC system could be retrofitted to considerably reduce costly energy usage.
Few H-VAC users have a clue concerning the energy reductions that they could achieve.
Every means of communication that H-VAC contractors & their associations can utilize becomes extremely important to all energy user/consumers.
Broadcasting program content could play a huge role in informing the public concerning energy conservation initiatives & practices. - Darrell
01-24-2010, 11:59 AM #2
Id love to be a part of that
01-24-2010, 12:22 PM #3
It boils down the the men in the field. The boots on the ground.
If they are educated in these techniques and are capable of communicating them in a real and understandable way to the consumer, then we all win in the form of more business.
If we cannot or will not educate our techs, then everyone loses, from the tech to the consumer, to the owners and managers.
I've been preaching many of the simple things that can be done to reduce callbacks, increase efficiency and increace customer satisfaction, and still have techs that refuse to get on board.
01-24-2010, 12:39 PM #4
If owners too , got behind their techs and gave them the support (tech) and some motivation (sales commission) I think they would me more apt to learn and install them.
01-24-2010, 06:50 PM #5
Our industry needs a cooperative broadcasting industry, because without effective mass communications there will be inadequate awareness. Also, without some government organization on the ground locally, convenient & proactive, there will not be sufficient motivation for those with investment money to act.
Energy efficiency conservation can be far safer & a better investment than the stock market or interest rates.
However, the H-VAC users have to be effectively reached through mass media with highly informative & motivating content or NO benefits will accrue to the economy, jobs or to get the needed tax revenues.
Retired FCC chairman Reed Hundt stated on, "Talk Of The Nation," that there was a potential 8-million jobs in the Energy /Efficiency sectior & another 8-million in the Renewable Energy sector.
There is NO real proactive actions taking place within the media, or locally with direct local contacts, & it will take both.
A one trick pony won't work, health care without simultaneously acting on energy jobs & infrastructure jobs won't achieve the required goals! - Darrell
Last edited by udarrell; 01-24-2010 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Revisions - addtions...
01-24-2010, 08:48 PM #6
I still think that all the talk in the world won't do a darn bit of good without the men in the field falling in line.
The old adage that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, is fitting here.
I work with guys who are old school. Beer can cold is plenty good enough for them.
How can you get that guy on board with setting a unit up correctly? He's been doing it that way, successfully, for a good many years.
What incentive can be provided for him to change?
BTW: darrell. I'm really on your side. I agree that there will always be jobs for guys who can make equipment run and keep equipment running efficiently.
I'm just playing a bit of devil's advocate to keep everyone thinking.
01-25-2010, 11:20 AM #7
I agree with the point raised about walk not always living up to talk. I've listened to some "home improvement" shows where I felt like reaching through the radio and slapping the host for giving out unsound or ill-informed advice. Some of these guys are mostly in love with being on radio or TV, and less infatuated with conveying accurate info with language a wide audience can grasp.
Also, broadcasting is one thing. The internet is another, and is looming large to supplant broadcasting as a primary source of information, if it has not already. The internet will always provide what broadcasting cannot; immediate or rapid interaction between source of information and recipient. Think of popular news sites on the web; most of them have comment sections whereby readers can leave their two cents worth behind (even if sometimes such comments are worth less than that ).
The HVAC trade is also one that is not warm to a DIY base, which forms the basis for many broadcast shows. And the replies this thread has received so far bring home this point; getting the field techs to buy into a program of value added contracting is NOT easy! But if consumers can't find value added contractors, they become very tempted to learn what they can to do it themselves, with various levels of success."In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"
- Homer Simpson
01-25-2010, 07:04 PM #8
You’re trying to educate a consumer in a Wall-Mart environment. Especially during these economic times. The all mighty dollar rules. As long as there are people (techs) who go to sleep at night knowing they have screwed there customer and can sleep well you can’t win. I’m not condemning the honest mistakes we all make them, but the ones that play the waiting game. You know the ones, “Please let it work for 30 days then I’m not responsible”. All the while they know it will fail. These techs are the problem.
Is licensing and education is the key. With licensing comes the governing authority, but without enforcement the rules are useless. Look at section 608. Little if any enforcement. Education on the other hand, well you will never be able to change the old timers that know it all. “You can’t teach an expert” They will fall by the wayside over time. It’s the new up and coming youts that need to be educated properly. “This is why this should be done”. “This is why that should be done”. I’m note a big fan of NATE but it is a basic education.
I feel sorry for anyone getting into this trade. To gain the knowledge that we know along with the changes of the last 15 to 20 years, Hell even I have a problem remembering what refrigerant and what oil. They have my sympathies. We see it and read it on here time after time, the setup on the t-stat was wrong, the system is not a match, why is the condenser under the deck. On and on. The industry has become more complicated and changes come about quicker then the average tech can handle it.
I don’t know what the solution is and take great comfort in the fact that in 7+ years I can retire and sit back and laugh. Maybe that’s a bad way to look at it but maybe not.
01-26-2010, 10:53 PM #9
The Shorter the Economic & Job Recovery the Better...
In Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle's State of the State Address tonight, there was NO mention of the role media could & should play toward increasing the awareness of the wisdom of investing in high return - energy efficiency projects.
In fact, though our industry can be a key player, he didn't talk about our industries role in energy efficiency job creation; nor will other of our elected representatives communicate what needs to be said in the core interest of job creatiion...
The broadcast airwaves frequencies are owned by the public, however, they seldom broadcast in the public's ('our') economic interest.
I will bet that tomorrow night President Obama doesn't mention the powerful proactive awareness role that broadcast media could play in the energy efficiency job creation sectors.
Elected Representatives are chickens & afraid of the media!
We are involved in a job loss national disaster & broadcast media doesn't have a clue concerning the role they could be playing to help in getting the recovery ball rolling.
I know most of you for various reasons won't agree with me, however, BR was my major & I've studied its potential to prevent the trillions of recent fraudulent financial sector losses that should have been effectively revealed & also the potential for huge economic & job gains.
Though the economic & lowered job loss rate 'graphs look excellent' since Obama was elected, unless we reduce the unemployment roles our nation could easily sink into a second serious recession; that would be an avoidable tragedy for all of us!
Electing Republicans wouldn't reverse the situation because we are getting too deep in deficit stimulus spending, - with insufficient sector recoveries. - Darrell
01-27-2010, 07:42 AM #10Regular Guest
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
- The Twilight Zone
It's up to the homeowner to WANT the education and knowledge.
This site is a perfect example. It is available to any homeowner that has the motivation and desire to learn about the major $$ purchase that they will be making. Reading the many posts on this site and asking the pro's questions arms the homeowner with the right questions to ask the contractors when getting quotes. It helps to weed-out contractors and find the best one for the job.
3 years ago, when I was considering replacing a fully-functional 21 year-old Trane heat pump before it had died, I immersed myself in the subject of heat pumps. I wanted to make sure that I understood not only the technical things, but operating costs. What would be the best (bang for the buck) heat pump for my climate? Was SEER the greatest thing that it was advertised as? What about EER, HSPF, and btu output? What makes a quality installation? These are the questions I was asking.
Thanks to this site, I am very happy with my purchase so far. I appreciate all the input from the pro's and homeowners who helped educate me (and continue to educate me). As a result, I try to educate other homeowners on the subject.
01-27-2010, 08:07 AM #11
There is a H.O. market segment, and I think it is big, which mainly wants the HVAC system to do its job and draw as little attention to itself as possible. For my devil's advocate position, let me suggest the downside of making things appear more complicated to the customer than the minimum. If you could develop a product which had a high promise of delivering that, it might be worth a premium price.
OTOH lots of installed systems fail to deliver. In my case all my HVAC interest originated with a daughter's bedroom which chronically was a couple degrees colder in winter than the thermostat just outside the door. My entire house has a quality of HVAC design which broadly fails to deliver even temperatures, which has motivated me to work hard to understand why. Currently the best moves have been some of the simplest in concept, e.g. relocating the thermostat control to the room which I most care about. As distinct from the fable that the house is homogeneous and the return air is the important temperature to monitor, sorry guys but I now think that is not the best answer in the field.
Energy use is another hot button for customers, for me as much as anybody. Unfortunately this number is subject to a lot of fuzz due to weather effects, uncontrolled variables and lack of skill at making a measurement which stands up to statistical certainty (or real world truth). Hence you get false promises such as improved windows claiming 30% reduction in bills when the windows never accounted for that share of usage. It takes a claim of 15-20% or so to really have a "wow" in advertising, or even something people can clearly see, so people make that up when the truth is something else entirely. For some things that work, one can look to the Public Utility Commissions for a few ideas, they understand the math and will withhold recommendation until a concept is proven. But that rarely makes for good advertising. Utility companies understand the math too, but are reluctant to pursue ideas which do not fit into their overall business model (which can be governed by the PUC).
I feel that HVAC becomes rocket science at certain points and that is generally detrimental to a good consumer product. The customer wants things simple. You guys are great but have a hard problem to work here.
Best of luck -- Pstu
01-27-2010, 09:09 AM #12
Pstu, good thoughts.
I've felt for a long time now that if installed systems, the bare bones, no fancy bell & whistle "builder grade" type of systems, were installed with diligence and care, the HVAC trade would not have nearly the poor taste it has among the home owning and renting public.
I see no harm at all for homeowners to become more educated about HVAC systems. Not everyone who wishes more knowledge is doing so for DIY motivations. I can do many things myself, but as I get older, find my time more limited, I don't blanch as much for hiring out certain things I once did myself. When in that situation, I may have an advantage regarding knowing what the person I've hired is supposed to do. My remaining disadvantage is knowing in advance if this person will live up to par. A way to gauge that is to ask well placed questions to ascertain if this person has any real world knowledge toward what I've hired him to do.
That said, as gary said above, an educated customer is one I would want to work for if I were in contracting work. They are better situated to appreciate the end result should I deliver well on what I've promised to do. It also gives me higher accountability, the part some folks in this trade get squeamish about (what, me be accountable to the one who's gonna pay what I charge him? The audacity!).
And Darrell, please don't take my last post regarding broadcasting as a knock on that subject. I understand where you're coming from, and that media seems to be dragging its knuckles in helping to form a cohesive vision for moving us away from a finite fuel based economy to one of renewables. Without delving into that subject deeply, it is going to be one long, hairy process to transit from one base of energy to one not proven to sustain the standard of living we've become accustomed to. Until folks at large see ways to profit handsomely from renewables, it will move along at a slower pace, currently buoyed by the buzzword "green", which runs the severe risk of becoming jaded and of no real effect on the public, having been overused as a marketing ploy."In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"
- Homer Simpson
01-27-2010, 09:38 AM #13Regular Guest
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
I've been curious about this for some time. If a HO has good working basic 8 year old single stage 80% furnace with a PSC motor, what can be done to make the system more energy efficient short of replacing it.
Also, awareness needs to go beyond the home and small business owners.
You won’t see tax incentives for replacing a PSC motor with an aftermarket ECM such as evergreen or find a tax incentive to have an after market Zoning system installed for larger homes (or businesses) that were built the past 10 years or a tax incentive to have older R4 and R6 duct replaced with R8.
I don’t believe you can find upgrade furnace control boards being designed and sold that provide more intelligence and energy efficiency to an existing HVAC system.
The answer too often is to just replace the entire Furnace and AC and while you’re at it the hot water heater and the government supports this with tax incentives. Unfortunately, even with the incentives replacing everything with a high efficient system is often still too expensive for the average HO and everyone loses.