Books, Judging and Covers
Since taking over ASAP Heating and Air, we have started to do quality checks for our installs. Sometimes we sneak in as the guys finish up, sometimes we make a lot of ruckus around the ordeal with either “that-a-boys” or “get your tail back out there” comments. Within a week, I saw a totally different shift in how they installed things with more care and attention to detail.
Probably the request I hate to hear the most from potential clients is, “just quote me like ‘this’, another fella I know gave me a number and I just want to get an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison.” What nearly everyone gets is an apples and oranges comparison. The reason why is that if you don’t know what to look for, you could crawl underneath the home and think the finish product is pretty good and even think my finish product is the same as “XYZ” heating and air,but frankly, it isn’t.
The reason why is what was done underneath what you see. Did they use hard elbows when they made turns? This causes air loss if they didn’t. Did they strap in a diagonal motion, keeping the runs of air straight and tight to the joist? If they didn’t, it causes air loss. Did they seal and mastic at the joint and completely cover the boot with sealed insulation? If not, that causes heat/cooling loss, higher energy bills, and opportunity for mold, warped floors, and disgusting air. Did they verify and review air quality with you? Your home could be a petri dish if not.
I recently had one of our guys boast about how great of an install he did on one of our jobs. He smiled all the way up until I pulled out my thermal camera to look behind his work. At every single boot, he had 86 degree temperatures. That was one of those, “get your tail back out there” moments. I later gave him a “that-a-boy” once I rechecked and found they were done correctly, saving the client money and warped floors down the road. So when getting your quotes, be sure and ask some of the questions that I posed in this blog. Otherwise, don’t judge a book by its cover.
The pictures shown in this post are of the job that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. This duct looks great until you use the thermal camera to see the image shown. Notice cool blues until you see a fire like red just as it goes into the space. This is during the winter months, but imagine in the summer. Hot humid air hits that cold duct, it condenses, just like your glass of cold water at the restaurant. Where does that condensation go? Well, it goes into the insulation, making a wet mess and into your hardwood floors, making a warped mess.