Steve Holland’s Tour comes to a close
What an amazing week! This week, I traveled the State of Wisconsin to visit several Tech schools.
I began the week in Wausau at North Central Technical College and ended it at Madison Area Technical College in Madison. The week prior I traveled to Milwaukee and Eau Claire.
I really enjoyed the Wausau class, and the guys seemed to really enjoy the seminar. There were many good questions asked about air flow, setting up boilers, and much more.
Both classes in Madison were excellent, and this group was a hilarious bunch. I had a great time at all of the schools this year, and look forward to meeting and visiting again next year.
In Eau Claire, as always a pleasure. All I have to say is WOW on the new training lab that will be built at CVTC. I’m excited to see it.
Milwaukee – I really enjoyed that visit. I found out that one of the instructors and I both worked at the same place. Congrats to Milwaukee on winning the Tech Competition. Excellent questions were asked across the board by all students and instructors.
Here are several topics that students in HVAC program wondered about:
One student asked; “Is their driving record important?”
Another asked “What can you do if your employer is not proactive in training and education?”
We also talked about pressure switch failures and the importance of air flow and combustion analysis.
Here’s my take on these subjects:
I think it is essential to maintain a good driving record, especially if you decide to be a heating and air conditioning service technician. Many insurance companies will not insure a technician or installer that has a poor driving record. I suggest that if you have a poor record currently, that you start fresh and do whatever you can to get it cleaned up. At our company, when we hire technicians with a poor driving record, we make them part of an install team. These teams typically ride together, allowing the main driver to be the one with a good record. Occasionally, there are sales positions that allow a sales person to use their own vehicle to meet with customers. This is also another viable option. Keep it clean for a year, and you most likely will be okay.
What can you do if your employer is not proactive in training and education?
The first thing that I suggest is that you be a leader in the company. Talk with your employer about getting you involved in more HVAC education, and be positive about it. I also suggest that you be a self-starter and self-guided. There are many resources available online for all HVAC students and technicians.
One thing that I do at all of my seminars is provide a list of resources for students via email to the instructor. If you have an employer that feels that education is not important, well, you may have to move on. Lastly, if you find an employer that is proactive and willing to invest in you, be loyal in return, and don’t always worry about that hourly wage. Sometimes you’re better off working at a company with a great culture coupled with a proactive approach to education than the company that is miserable to work for.
Pressure Switch Failures, Air Flow and Combustion analysis
At our company (Mr. Holland’s Heating and Air Conditioning), we change hundreds of pressure switches each year. Currently, we are heightening our awareness on furnace tune ups and making a bigger attempt to test every one. The three main failures of a furnace are often the pressure switch, the ignitor, and a dirty filter.
When it comes to air flow, it’s probably the most overlooked and underappreciated check for a furnace. Many heat exchanger issues start as a result of a lack of air flow. Technicians today must understand all of the testing methods for finding air flow problems. It makes no sense to replace a furnace or air conditioner that is short of breath.
Combustion analysis is yet another missed opportunity for technicians. I suggest that all gas furnaces, boilers and oil burning furnaces go through the testing and adjusting process. Many heat exchanger failures can be identified via the combustion test.
In closing, I would like to thank all of the instructors at all of the schools. I am excited for the future of the HVAC industry, and I really enjoyed meeting with the hundreds of students.
Milwaukee Area Technical College – Milwaukee, WI
North Central Technical College – Wausau, WI
Chippewa Valley Technical College – Eau Claire, WI
Madison Area Technical College in Madison, WI
“Let’s change the industry – One Technician at a Time!”
For more information contact Steve Holland.
Heat Exchanger Safety – visit www.heatexchangersafety.com
Mr. Holland’s Heating and Air – visit www.mrhollandsheatingandair.com