I just returned from a marvelous trip. It was taken by me and many of my fellow friends, all believers in oil heat. It was a trip into the future of oil heating at the NAOHSM trade show in Hershey, Pa.
Some of the items I saw there, you need to see. The equipment that is now available gives me thrills. We now have thermostats that you can communicate to via telephone lines, at a reasonable cost. There are devices like the Beckett AquaSmart, the Intellicon-HW+ from Intellidyne and others that will allow your customer to save 10 percent to 20 percent or more. There are circulators that have ‘brains” that will adjust speed as the flow slows due to zones shutting down; and they can even give you a readout of the pump’s operation over the past number of cycles. Wow, what a time to be in the technical field!
Carlin, an industry partner for years, is now producing the new version of its successful EZ burner line. The EZ-H2L is a two state firing burner that can fire as low as ¼ gph. Yep, that’s .25 gallons per hour! Remember the good old days when 1.25-1.5 gph was normal? Quiet burner operation is always the number one complaint from customers after a new heating plant is installed.
I think I heard the Buderus 125BE boiler running in the live firing displays. I say I think I heard it running because it seemed to be very quiet when coupled with the new Buderus LOW-NOx oil burner. Buderus is providing parts and technical support only to ‘Trained Personnel,” trained by them. Wow, this should be the standard for all manufacturers to follow, in my opinion.
The idea of outdoor reset has been around the industry for years. The commercial side of the business has been using that technology for years. For some reason the residential side has been resistant to go there. I don’t quite know why. Most technicians I know who pay the heating bill have one installed in their homes. Why? Because they know it saves them money. Why have we never offered it to our customers? The response, ‘I don’t want to offer the customer something that will allow me to sell less oil,” just doesn’t hold up any more.
Now, we may not have to make that decision very much longer. Within the next few years the government may be making that a standard control on boilers. By 2012 is what I hear. We all know that lower temperature gives more even heat in the living spaces, so why not do the right thing by your customer, now, not when the regulations force you to? Combine this with setback thermostats and you have full system integration. Good for your customers and good for you. Wow, what a way to win customers.
I was very surprised and happy to see solar being displayed also. If you have been reading my words in the past, you know that I am all for the company making money as well as the customer saving money. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it really can happen. Solar is never going to replace oil in our market completely, but it can supplement it. I counted about a dozen companies now marketing solar applications to us. Viessmann, Roth, Earthnet, Beckett, Heat Transfer and others are showing us how to make this happen. This change will happen, the question is will you fight it or embrace it. Remember the mighty dinosaur and the lowly cockroach, only one survived.
Oh, I can hear you saying, ‘Why, with the price of oil down 55 percent from last year, would my customer change now?” Well, do we give our customers the chance to say no? I don’t think we give them enough credit for wanting to do something for our changing world. Yep, you’re right, some of them may say no, but some of them will say yes.
Almost every day the media discusses climate change, and now with the new administration in Washington, you might be surprised how many of your customers are looking for you to help them. O.K., enough about global warming, but we can make a difference. Let’s help. Wow!
Don’t forget to send me your thoughts and comments. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org