Issue Allstar

The trouble with TXVs

It started about this time two years ago. It was early June, and the first real heat wave just hit the D.C. area. The Monday...more...

Rocks in the river

“Why are you fighting me?” I asked. I’m not doing a lot of consulting work these days. I am working with our franchisees at ZOOM...more...

Radiant cooling

I installed my first radiant heating project over 25 years ago. Since then, I have designed and installed several hundred radiant projects. We have done...more...

Commercial DHW

My company does not do a lot of commercial work but one specialty niche we have is servicing the boilers and mechanical systems in the...more...

The 'New Standard' for solar, 
hydronic combisystems

It seems that there are just as many different ways to install a solar/hydronic combisystem as there are installers. And, this may well be one...more...

Dear Ellen

About once a month, I hold Open Office Hours. This is how it works. We set up a GoToMeeting conference call, invite people on my...more...

The chimney that would not draft

I am many years removed from running daily service calls. But, I enjoyed the satisfaction of walking into a cold house, diagnosing the problem, fixing...more...

Wet returns

Whenever I quote a replacement steam boiler on a system with wet returns, I always quote a price to replace the wet returns, or at...more...

My most wonderful day at ASHRAE

The AHR show, held every spring, is the big show for our industry. It covers the gambit. The HVAC, hydronics, refrigeration, and air handling industries...more...

Price buying consumers always think your price is high

As I entered the choir practice room at church, I noticed one of the other choir members had arrived earlier than I did. We exchanged...more...

Hydronics troubleshooting

We had a very mild fall here in the D.C. metro area. As such, we did not run into many service issues until the weather...more...

It’s time to get on board for a year of changes in the retailing environment

It is a new year, and its time to make some resolutions concerning business. Now, I had every intention of discussing the problems showrooms faced...more...

What’s the plan?

Who decides where fresh water is allocated in your state? The Congress and Supreme Court are a last resort in the U.S. to decide who...more...

Callback from hell

Most service calls are typical. You receive a call for “no heat," go to the call, diagnose the problem, fix it, collect a check, and...more...

Know when to hold ‘em

Kenny Rogers recorded “The Gambler,” a song about poker written by Don Schlitz, in the 70s. The refrain claims, “You’ve got to know when to...more...

The Sultana

I recently took a trip to New Orleans. For a city that is technically 100 miles from the Gulf of Mexico along the Mississippi River,...more...

Solar heat collector variations, Part 2

A Folded Harp is a collector (or pair of collectors) that was designed with the supply and return Header a one end. The parallel risers...more...

Energy disconnect

We have had a turbulent relationship with energy conservation in the U.S. At different times in our country’s history, one could have been looked down...more...

The right tool for the job

You know the feeling. You are in a tight crawlspace with a 20-foot crawl to the hatch. Or, you are on a rooftop, and have...more...

Wasting water

There’s plenty of good news lately on the California drought. Californians are going above and beyond the state’s water-savings goals. Citizens decreased total water use...more...

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