For Heating or Air Conditioning Questions

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If you have a heating, air conditioning, or water heating question, you can also post it in the 'alt.hvac' newsgroup. It's also a public newsgroup, and is open to anyone, including home owners. A lot of guys there are extremely knowledgeable and happy to help. There are also a few idiots, just like other newsgroups. If you find one to be offensive, simply put them in your 'Block Sender' list, and you won't have to read their posts again.
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I think it's been a year and a half since i was in that "room'.....
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I understand, but there are some knowledgeable guys there who do not read this newsgroup.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke

your
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I think it does the industry a great disservice if a home-owner (someone's potential customer) goes to alt.hvac and comes away with the impression that everyone in the HVAC field is an asshole. If this happens, they are more likely to try to fix something themselves. If they ask an intelligent question, and it's answered intelligently, they'll come away with a different impression, and will be more likely to call an HVAC contractor.
I understand that it gets tiring answering the same questions over and over, but you don't have to. You can either ignore the home owner's question, or (better yet) politely tell them that the question has been asked and answered many times and they should do a Google newsgroup search.
I see no reason to bring yourself down to another person's level. If everyone were to block certain senders, it would piss them off, knowing that their comments were being ignored.

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newsgroup,
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Dr. Hardcrab wrote:

I can understand your frustration. I would also like you to perhaps look at it from the otherside. For a 1600 sq ft ranch, I am being quoted over 10,000 dollars. That is a lot of money for me and my family. I think posters are looking for advice from someone who is a professional and can be objective as to price and reliability. If your business is in Texas, and you tell me in Va that what I am paying is a fair price, that is all I want to hear. You dont see AC units competing like car dealerships. Yet the price of an AC unit can cost as much as a car! I think all consumers should do their homework, but with out these groups, it can be hard to do. It seems as though the guys that know the least can talk the best game in town. The other thing that is hard to comprehend is why a goodman unit can be purchased off the internet for under 3 k, yet a professional shop wants 10k to install the same unit if they provide it and wont touch it if they dont provide it. I cant quite understand that concept. I run an automotive repair shop. If a customer brings me an engine and wants to pay my hourly rate for me to install it, I have no problem with that. I simply tell him there are no waranties and I will be paid for my labor regardless of the outcome. (He could have brought me a bad engine). I think the main reason most shops wont install a user purchased unit is because they would have to charge $500 an hour or more to make the same amount as if they provided the unit. Dr...I would really be interested in hearing your view on this. I want to get into the HVAC profession when I get back to the states, and your views could really help to enlighten me.
Thanks Pat
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komobu wrote:

If we didn't charge markup then we would have to charge a higher hourly rate. That is the bottom line, and seems that you've already answered that question. Since our profit margin depends upon markup (that's just the way it is commonly done), installing a customer supplied unit cuts into our profits, that is, unless we charge exactly the same as we would had we provided the unit, minus our cost for the unit of course. IOW, the homeowner would have been better off letting us sell them the unit. The added benefit is that for the same final cost we would warranty the system for 1 year, parts and labor. We can also typically get the systems at lower cost, thus the customer's total will actually be greater than it would had we supplied the system. I pulled the same thing on myself when I put in my own well system. I could have had it done professionally for what I paid for supplies alone. Lesson learned.
If you would install a motor that some customer brought in for your standard hourly rate, then you're screwing yourself over. By the time you count overhead you've probably lost money on the deal, unless of course you're a shadetree mechanic with no overhead.
hvacrmedic
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Looking for advice on brands is fine, but no one can tell you prices unless they service that particular area. An employee's hourly wage in some areas is higher than what some company's entire hourly service charge is.
Companies who only install equipment can do it cheaper because they usually do a lousy, quick job. The more % of time a company spends on service, the more overhead they have. There's more travel time, vehicle wear and tear, parts on the truck, etc. (A customer doesn't want to hear that they have to pay for you to run for a part.)
People who hire the cheapest installer usually end up calling a good service company because the installer won't return their calls. These are the same customers who want a part for free because "the unit is only 6 months old, and it should be under warranty". They have no idea what's involved in returning a warranty part.
An auto repair business is different than HVAC. Most repairs are based on the hours the 'flat rate' book says it should take. Auto repair shops rarely have a part, and if it isn't delivered right away, they start working on something else. Almost all of the hours are billable hours.
There's also the liability issue. Insurance companies call this "reasonable care". You're the 'professional', and should check the system before leaving the home, no matter who installed it.
Each year, there are thousands of HVAC companies that go out of business because they have no idea how much to charge to make enough money to live on. People rarely get rich in the HVAC service business.

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On Sat, 14 Jan 2006 16:32:31 GMT, "Dr. Hardcrab"

Seems your timeline has gotten a little off track Dr.? Thats a "short" year and a half. Bubba
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Bob wrote:

I'm going to second that. When all is said and done, without questions being posted from those not in the field, or from those in the field but attempting to learn, the group fizzles. From now on I'll answer homeowner questions in alt.hvac as long as you have:
1) done at least *some* homework 2) don't expect step by step instructions on DYI projects (It isn't a DYI group) 3) don't lie about your intentions and/or past history of the project or system. 4) don't ask for name brand comparisons or opinions
I'll add to this list as more courtesies on the homeowner's part become apparent.
hvacrmedic
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I agree with 1, 2, & 3, but I think it's just human nature to ask about comparisons. I don't think you can stop people from asking "Do you like brand A or brand B?".

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someone familiar with the workings of usenet should make a usenet group...something like alt.hvac.diy or something of that sort.
alt.hvac is more of a social group than anything else....
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Like any unmoderated usenet group alt.hvac is at any time the sum total of the posts made to it. The socializing going on there is mostly negative. It's time to bring in new recruits.
hvacrmedic
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Bob wrote:

The last time I was there, the j*ck*sses seemed to have pretty much taken over. My impression was that if one blocked them all, there wouldn't have been much left to read.
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Bob wrote:

Come on Bob, it's a well known fact to anyone who bothers to waste time reading that NG that any "homemoaner" who makes the mistake of posting there gets attacked by Paul Milligan (the wannabe electrician) and his band of idiot flexduct boys (because that's the only kind of duct that they know how to install). Sorry, but you're just setting folks up for undeserved verbal abuse with your post.
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Unsuspecting homeowners are going to go to alt.hvac anyway. There are hundreds of millions of English speaking people in the world. They should be made aware of the fact that there are some assholes there, and told how to ignore them. ""Forewarned is forearmed." The alternative is to say nothing and let it happen anyway.

can
and
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But Bob, Thats like saying you know that sending people to the gas chamber was bad but you are going to keep sending them there anyways. It kinda makes you a dickhead for setting them up for that? Bubba

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heating question, you can

also a public newsgroup, and

of guys there are extremely

few idiots, just like

offensive, simply put them in your

their posts again.

They ran me off.
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Kathy wrote:

No they didn't. You ran away.
hvacrmedic
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Did Paul finaly got lobotomy or something?
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