O.K., it’s time for some Mind Memory Meditation. Some call it March Madness Month, but I see it as the month to reflect on the worst of the winter just past. This is your best time to think about the problems that came back over and over again. Now is the best time to come up with a plan of attack for the summer ahead. It’s not far away, and your customers are receptive since their problems are still fresh in their mind.
The problem that may have been your nightmare, I know it was always mine, is the landlord who has tenants complaining to him about no heat. He or she in turn is going to call you. They have to act on a no heat call, but you or your technician is the one who has to actually go, right. And when they get there the complaint was really not enough heat in some rooms, but the thermostat was satisfied. The technician tells you that the area where the thermostat is located, the living space, was set at let’s say 70° and it was 70° in the room. The problem was in the rooms away from the thermostat where it might have been 68°. The thermostat is only controlled by the temperature surrounding it, right? Well, I remember those days or nights when I had to go out after we had been there a few times to find the same situation!
What if I told you that you could probably solve this problem, take that problem off your table, make the landlord happy and make some money in the process? Interested? If not, you can stop reading right here, but if you are still here, you are like the rest of us.
So here’s the situation. You have a building that has an older boiler with hot water heating. The temperature outside is a comfortable 45° degrees. The temperature in the living room or worse the hallway is a comfortable 68°, where the thermostat is set, but the temperature in the apartments is cooler than that, so the tenants are complaining. The landlord is tired of them at this point and he is probably wondering why he took on this building in the first place.
Now is the time to be his hero. Why not make a friendly call and tell him you have the solution to his problem (remember it is his problem, not yours) and you would like to discuss it with him. You could also tell him he may even save some money on his heating bill if he listens to you. His ears will perk up at the sound of money saved. Tell him you want to replace all the radiator hand valves with thermostatic radiator valves that will allow each tenant to control the temperature in each room. That ends his problem of the cold tenant. He is thinking at this point, each tenant controlling the heat? What are you trying to do drive up my heating bills?
When you install the valves, tell him that you will install an outdoor reset system on the boiler that will save him on fuel bills. Once the valves and reset are installed you will install an outdoor sensor to control the circulator run cycle. Let’s say that the codes in your area state that at a certain temperature, say 68°, you must provide heat, simply set the outdoor temperature setting to that point and the circulator will begin to run. The heat will only circulate in the heating main and not into any radiators until that particular room calls for heat. The radiator valve will open and the heat is supplied to that room only. This will happen in every room. Individual room zoning made easy. It’s easier than you think. If you act now, you probably have the best chance to convince him to save money.
This is not a job for right now, but it could be a job for the summer when it’s more convenient for you. But the time to talk to your customer, the landlord, is now. Remember this will only work if the boiler is running. You should have already told him about how you can solve the problem for a boiler failure, even before the boiler gets cold.
If you need more information on these products or any of the new innovations in this ever changing industry, you owe it to your self to set aside some time for the upcoming trade shows and seminars. You can’t afford not to attend. The AREE show in Atlantic City, NJ is in April and the NAOHSM trade show and convention in Providence, RI in May. This is where you will learn and see all the new products, which will “set you apart from the crowd.” As always, keep those “war stories” coming to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s amazing how much we have in common.