Preparing Non-Techs for a Southern Winter


Central Florida techs know the Southern winter all too well. Let's face it. It doesn't get super cold here regularly, but when it does, EVERYONE FREAKS. We get an abundance of service calls for unpleasant but not truly problematic conditions when people use their heaters.

When people first turn on their heat, they can get a nasty surprise: a horrible dirty-sock smell and sometimes a shrieking smoke alarm. These are normal, albeit unpleasant, and do not require a service call. Another unpleasant or alarming occurrence is when a heat pump unit goes into defrost mode. Defrost mode shifts the unit into cooling mode, which may make some cold air come out of the vents. On top of that, customers may hear an awful noise and feel concerned when they see steam coming out of their unit!

Pool heaters are a completely different animal in a Southern Winter, and they are often made quite poorly. You may come across gas pool heaters, propane pool heaters, heat pump pool heaters, and even solar ones. Each type has its own set of maintenance needs and varying degrees of effectiveness. When working with them, the goal is to set establish realistic expectations and explain best practices to the customer to minimize those frustrating service calls.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Burning off heat strips
  • Heat pump defrost mode
  • Gas pool heater
  • Heat pump pool heaters
  • The thermodynamic principles of heat pump heating
  • Defining BTUs
  • Liquid petroleum (propane) vs. natural gas

And much more…

This podcast is in an unedited “meeting format” and is not usually the type of thing you will get on HVAC school, but I still think it may benefit junior techs and office staff.

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