‘OK, the price of oil has dropped, so I don’t need that new equipment after all.” Have you heard that yet? Well, you may soon. From what I have heard the customers are going back to their old tricks. Now is the time to go on the offensive! Don’t let them fall back into the ‘old unit is good enough, the prices are down” syndrome. If anything, the volatility of the fuel prices could work to your benefit. I don’t know when the prices will spike again, do you? Does your customer?
Question: What is one way that generating heat causes the heating plant to run more? Answer: when using a fireplace and not lowering the system thermostat. Many customers will return to heating their homes using their fireplace. If they can get wood to burn, it’s cheaper than burning oil, right? The feeling of warmth coming from a fireplace and its aroma may provide a very cozy and romantic atmosphere in the home, but it is an extremely inefficient way to heat your home.
The design of most traditional masonry fireplaces creates a draft so the smoke goes up the chimney. That also pulls air out of the room to fuel the fire and causes the majority of the heat generated by the fire to go up the chimney. This, in turn, can draw cold air in through other leaks in your home, making it colder rather than warmer. If the thermostat feels the drop in temperature and has not been lowered, guess what? It is going to signal the heating plant to come on and heat up the cold air, so it can be drawn into the fireplace and up the chimney! Remind them of this and they will thank you.
You, the technician, need to be on the forefront of energy conservation. The customers trust you. This is the biggest advantage we have over other fuels. Let’s not let the customers down. We have earned their respect; let’s continue the tradition, and we will prevent them from jumping over to the other side.
The OSV Stir
The OSV article in the December issue created so much e-mail I thought it would be good to go over it again. The statement ‘It is in your customer’s best interest to provide you with a safety net