Saturday, December 6, 2014

Technically Speaking

Throughout my entire career in HVACR, technology has been changing how we work and what we work on. During this time, people have been continually complaining about the changes wrought by new technology. I can still remember an older technician in the late 70’s (yes I was actually working way back then). He was bragging in the parts house about replacing the primary control on someone’s oil furnace. It had a newer cad-cell type sensor which he did not understand, so he retro engineered the system to use a stack switch. Basically, he charged the customer to downgrade their equipment because he did not understand the controls. Another tech agreed, saying those cad cell things were not trustworthy. Then he added that he did not work on heat pumps – if a customer had a heat pump, they had to call somebody else. Today these guys would not be able to work – there just are not enough systems that meet their limitations. Many folks today don’t feel comfortable with communicating systems, but these systems are here to stay. In unitary product lines, communicating systems are still just the higher end. The thing is, most air conditioning manufacturers are offering them now. Virtually all mini-split, multi-split, and VRF systems use communicating control technology. And in case you haven’t noticed, those systems are here to stay as well. Sure, new technology can be a pain – especially brand new technology. Early adopters often pay a price for being the first with the new stuff. However, bitching about having to learn something new won’t keep the world from changing. You will just be left behind. As I age, I understand the pain of the old techs who just want to do the stuff they with which they are comfortable. I become less flexible both physically and mentally as I age, so I find it necessary to study harder to keep up with current field technology. As I see it, I have a choice – I can complain that the future will be different than the past, or I can work hard to keep up with changes in this field I love.    


  1. Outstanding entry and so very true! Those that don't keep up will fade away. What an awesome technology future we have to look forward too. Embrace the future;remember the past.

  2. My roommates and I just rented a new home and we are way stoked about it. The only problem is that the air conditioning is horrible and sounds like it's about to go out. We don't know what to do, so if anyone has any insights on things that we could try out we would really appreciate it.