If you normally don’t look at the comment on posts, this one stirred a little emotions.
One respondent wrote: I agree that training is essential, however I believe many manufacturers of hvac equipment fail in their electronics packaging and modularity. Seal the controls, make errors more comprehensible, and improve labeling on sensors and wiring.
Automotive electronics and sensors made this leap decades ago, using sealed modules and connectors, standardized diagnostic ports, check engine lights and standard tools. High reliability results.
Instead in hvac we see exposed pc boards with spade lugs, perhaps one or two LEDs for trained tech diagnostics. We see high voltages on the same board with logic power. Wiring is often laced over these boards, making access difficult. Worse is that every manufacture uses a different setup, even though the compressors and motors are standardized.
The auto industry in the U.S. almost folded before adopting quality (although Ford was ahead of the U.S. curve by decades). Let’s see better packaging, sensor quality and wiring along with training. Add a dose of innovation like mini-split performance features in standard, retrofittable replacement units and the next Toyota/Tesla of the hvac industry will emerge.”
Yet another respondent said; ” Amen…… Training, on a regular basis, is the best investment a service tech can make for his/her future. I always set a goal that I would attend a minimum of 2 training sessions a year. Over 20+ years later, I have over 80 certificates with NATE certification in 4 disciplines. All that means is that I have challenged myself to keep learning or my knowledge will become obsolete. Today’s equipment is changing at such a rapid pace that it takes continual training. I have been teaching for 12 years now and try and tell my student that if he isn’t willing to continue to read, go to as many classes as possible, and continually learn then he is in the wrong field. We have a choice, to work to become one of the best technicians (not parts changers), or be a Jake leg mechanic.”
I do lean more to the second comment as I have always believe in training. What differentiates one manufacturer from another in the HVAC industry? It is who is leading in the technology and who is following. Our industry is still in it’s “infancy”. Who knows where it will go? Can standardization and sharing of technology become important? One problem with leading the technology race is that the product may have GREAT innovations but, if the average Tech can’t work on it, we are back to my post on why training is needed.
People need to remember, unlike the auto industry where people can “bring their cars to a dealer and the dealer has ready access to tech support”, most techs in our industry are out there “on their own” trying to solve problems an get the heat or cooling back on” and they have the homeowner looking over their shoulder, unlike a car dealer where the car has been dropped off and they can ‘take their time” finding and fixing the problem.
Let’s hear what others may have to say on this topic.