FIRST! Let me say that I love HVAC/R.
Nothing is better than listening to a few old timers talking and really learning something new. I am not talking about at large failure of the individual tech as that has been beat into the ground we all know a lazy, incompetent tech that is not worth the powder it would take to do him in.
What I would like to focus on is what makes our industry great and wild at the same time.
We mainly are an industry of small-medium businesses we all have different opinions (I am sure someone will disagree with me on that) and that is what keeps us from forming a large alliance and becoming a behemoth like the car manufacturers.
On the other hand I think a little manufacturer involvement is not a bad idea. For example: If we had one Train/Carrier commercial for every GMC/Ford commercial then our customers would be much more familiar with our products. Most people could not name five HVAC manufacturers but ten automobile manufacturers no problem!
I said all of that to say this customers are not well informed about their systems in general the maintenance required, or who to contact if they need service. My father-in-law recently purchased a new Chevy pickup. It has several if not all of the available features one of them is a display on the instrument panel that alerts you when the engine oil requires a change not at 3000 miles. First let me say that I detest working on cars to say the least however being mechanically inclined I have done so but I never really made a special effort to learn a lot. It just did not seem right to me though that the oil in the truck only needs changed at the alert readout not at 3000 mi. I am sure the system is engineered with viscosity and temperature sensors etc. but it just did not seem right to me because of the manufacturer repeatedly advising me to change the oil every 3000 miles (even sending coupons). I even feel a little guilty when I go over sometimes but it probably is not necessary every 3000 miles. I think this is a common thing I know a lot of people who religiously change oil with less mechanical insight than me.
Now how many times have you heard “This thing has filters what filters”? "Change them EVERY month"?
As an industry we need to step up our customer education.
What about an easy to use/read owners manual < 10 pages like cars have?
[Edited by hvacbear on 12-22-2004 at 01:57 AM]