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Posted on 16 January, 2014 at 9:23 Comments comments (301)
Are you preparing for the state of Ohio HVAC Test?

I recently took a course online through Exam Prep to prepare me for the test.  I would have gone another route if I had to do this again.  Although the exam simulates the test, the actual test is a lot more like being on the job than being in a classroom.

I think the actual test was written to test contractors on their field knowledge and experience.  The pretest that I took over and over spent a lot of time going over topics like how many float days between jobs, calculating velocities in air ducts and distances between gas, exhaust and HVAC equipment and structures.  I spent a lot of time in my International Fuel gas code book.  You will need to know where to find information in all the required books for the test. No joke, it would be hard to pass without the books in hand and the tabs.

The actual test will go beyond what you would expect in a multiple choice test.  There is a lot of thought behind the correct answers, as they put answers that seem correct at 1st glance and perhaps seem like a possibility. Be careful to read the questions slowly.   Basically, you have to think it through and go outside the box to make a good decision.  Definetly, know how to calculate R and U factors for your total heat loss and know terminology like "total degree days".  The test I took didn't spend much time on these, but more on the facts dealing with proper installation, making a good diagnostic evaluation and knowing how to run the business.  Know your I9 rules, OSHA laws and the accounting process.  It's important to know the ratio formulas in the accounting section of our Business Law and Project management book. They ask a few questions fond the appendix of the book.  These question pertain to the board rules, renewing a license and the rules for filing legality forms so you can get paid. 

The business law side of the test was by far the hardest part.  As a contractor, I know what I am doing in the field... That's how I make my living. Know body can claim to be know it all and with the changes in technology we will always being going back to school.

A good example is the way older techs install a water heater or heating system and the way a newly schooled tech will do it, considering the types of materials the prefer to do the plumbing, the connections and the brands.

There isn't a lot of testing on dealing with residential customers and everyday field repairs or installations.  I know that is what a lot of us are doing with the license and the test focuses more on the big companies that work on large projects and even joint ventures.  I guess they bring in a lot of revenue for the state and the state wants to make sure contractors making the "big bucks" are following the rules.

Hope this helps someone.  Call me if you have questions.  I chose to improve my field knowledge by taking a two year course in HVAC/R at Ashworth College in out of Daluth, Georgia.  I thought that was a hard course until I got studying for the State of Ohio test. 

The HVAC trade has many avenues to explore.

David Evans


Posted on 18 December, 2013 at 23:49 Comments comments (246)

Landords with forced Air Furnace Maintenance

Posted on 18 December, 2013 at 22:07 Comments comments (109)
Every year when it gets cold, I get calls from landlords in my area to light or repair a furnace.  If you own a rental property, you may have put off getting the furnace checked over by a licensed professional for one reason or another, but please don't wait any longer. There are Good reasons to have your furnace checked before winter.

1.The thermocouple in milivolt units might not be sensing a flame and the flame might be getting blown out due to a faulty damper or dirt near or in the pilot light tub. I've seen old systems with a pile of rust sitting on top of the burners!

2.  Your furnace might be getting older, so periodic maintenance keeps you from getting a hefty bill when it breaks down at supper time in the middle of a snowstorm.

3.  There are lots of problems with condensation not making it to the pump or to the drain period due to backed up condensate lines.  Condensation in the wrong places can rust your furnace out, destroy electrical components, etc.

4.  The blower motor and squirrel cage can get gummed up due to the renter not changing the filter or not even using one.

5  Check for faulty gas valves and plumbing that is outdated.  You can actually get blockage in the gas line if it's an old school design that will allow solids to interfere with the flow of gas to your unit.

Can ODORS effect your homes air quality?

Posted on 13 November, 2013 at 21:02 Comments comments (112)
Have you ever been in this situation? You just got invited over to a relatives house and then you and a buddy get asked  to move a used appliance to a nearby house.
When you get to the house where the used appliance is going, you open the door and a pungent odor hits you! You try to breath normally, but your reluctant to breath at all. You thought it looked safe and you were happy about the whole thing, but now your holding your breath or thinking of putting your shirt up around your head to deal with the odor. 

Sometimes its just the basement that has the odor from stagnant water or mold that growing in the walls or floor. In any case, litter boxes, urine, mold, or mildew growing in a house greatly affect the people that live there! It can actually be toxic, but humans learn to tolerate it.  Why?

In most homes the quality of indoor air is effected by many factors including nearby farms, factories, pollen, dander, smoke from cigarettes, smoke from fire and a combination of years of neglect!  Dog and cat urine just add to the odor to give a real shock to average visitor.

Get a download of my book "Making Your a House a Home" and get the word out how to overcome these and a 100 other issues that effect your home.


Posted on 13 November, 2013 at 20:36 Comments comments (119)
Responding an air duct cleaning job is very rewarding! When someone calls us to their home and has confidence that I will tell them the truth about their system, it's an opportunity to make a good  impression and hopefully a friend. Not to be taken lightly.

People can adapt to all kinds of environments, including toxic ones.  When I look into an air duct return with a cameras eye, I see what that family is breathing at night as  they lie sleeping.  I look forward to hearing back from them later how the cleaning has improved the way they feel. Removing dust, mold, mildew takes a lot of skill because a lot of what causes poor air quality is hidden in your home. High concentrations of mildew for instance drop indoor air quality substancially, but is isolated in the system, so you have to know where to look to find it.

When you hire someone to clean your air duct system, you better make sure they are willing to take the time to be thorough enough to clean the plenum by hand if necessary. In some cases you might have to get the a-coil removed and replaced.

Modern HVAC systems use less energy

Posted on 29 October, 2013 at 22:50 Comments comments (99)
Do you run your furnace blower all the time? Is that really helping you save energy?
Way back in the days of the old non efficient furnace the technicians where trained to tell you to run the system all the time.  That I because so much energy was lost up the stack and when air moves through your home it kept the warm air from rising to the ceiling and forced it down along the walls and back through returns.
In modern homes there aren't as many drafts because houses are built better.  Furnaces are designed to balance the requirements of human comfort by distributing air at the correct times.
Modern HVAC systems even have the ability to control the temperature and humidity in each room. This isn't as complicated as you might imagine.  Special dampers controlled by a computer board open and close by signals sent from room thermostats.  Now your family members can be even more comfortable.  Temperature and even lighting and sound can be controlled by a computer aided system controlling many factors in your home that effect individual comfort. 
There is a reports on the internet about well designed home. For instance Bill Gates home built on a lake in the state of Washington has been studied and even mapped out for the world to see through virtual reality. The concepts used in Bill's home are built on the idea that computers should be able to communicate with your homes HVAC system, lighting, and sound system, etc., to bring comfort to a whole new level. Remote control systems have been available for a few decades, but not without trouble. The X-10 system allowed a hand held remote to turn on lights and turn on pool or spa motors. Computers now talk to each other using wireless technology so by wearing a special device that is recognized by a wireless connection everything in your home can become automated specifically to your desire! You just have to program a chip and you can command your homes environment automatically.


Posted on 25 March, 2013 at 21:40 Comments comments (102)
America's most successful entrepreneurs are people who have the ability to see how to solve the problems we are faced with.   If you've bought or had someone repair a humidifier, furnace or water heater you helped inspire someone who was thinking of a way to keep you comfortable.  Engineers put a lot of thought into making things we will buy to make our houses more comfortable. In every home the air is moving, changing the condition of what's inside.
All those things we buy to help us feel better( like our furnace ) and we need to listen to our furnace if it starts to rattle. When you change the air filter, you are taking a big step towards preventing a mechanical breakdown. All the comforts of home help us take it easy!  Appliances get our attention, especially when they fail us.  What is the comfort level of your home?  Most of the time, the furnace, water heater, and stove just work-isn't that because they were made in the United States of America? But what is happening in America? We need to prepare ourselves for the unexpected.  When you water heater goes out, it's a good idea to have a few hundred dollars set aside to deal with it and we usually get warning signs like a leak in the basement to prepare for it.  What about something like a food shortage.  Is it possible?


 We are all very busy! We all love to eat too.. Some of us don't like the way we look and feel though.  Since we can't just out and get a new body if we wear this one out, should we try to eat better and take a walk to get away! Click italic to learn about GOFOODs

 There are lots of people like myself who will help you get the dirt out of your home duct system.  With the aid of a wireless camera, you can now see what your doing and we can all do the job right. There are times when you just have to open the plenum and trunk lines to get right in the dirt! Cleaning a system is a chore, but the results will help you sleep better.

What is indoor air pollution?  A majority of people live near metropolitan areas so they can save time with conveniences of everything being near them. If you live near or by a farmer or just out in a field, your home is open to the elements.  The basic problem remains-  dirt will end up in your home no matter where you go.

Air enters your home constantly, so having an air filter in your home will probably help to some degree. Your air ducts are slowly going to be affected by the billions of  particles of dust that float through the air in town.  One advantage of living in town- lots of houses together tend to share the forces against them and offer some resistance, so your home is not facing the elements full blunt.

If you  manage to escape the stress of living in the big city and find yourself breathing fresh country air consider getting having your ducts cleaned regularly and your walls and carpets, drapes and furniture as well.  The wind carries everything that is in a farmers field right to your door. You don't have to deal with these pollutants on a daily basis like people who live in the city, but there is still a hazard and I think if effects people with allergies.

Get A Free Energy Audit-Save hundreds of dollars on your utility bill over a the year

Posted on 28 February, 2013 at 0:02 Comments comments (138)
I called the number and followed the prompts. Before long I was talking to a very helpful agent working for Columbia Gas which is my natural gas distributor. The agent asked me a few questions about my income. 
I was told that lots of people qualify for "Warm Choice".  That's a grant funded program that does the audit for FREE.   I really wouldn't be surprised if the average savings is close to a $1000 p/year for sealing up doors and windows.
I would highly recommend calling your local gas company.  If the gas is on in your name and the account is active you can ask for a this free energy audit. You just have to meet the guidelines.   Even if you rent a home you qualify. The landlord just has to consent. Why wouldn't a person want you to save money? That just makes it easier to pay the rent each month. If you receive  PIP or public assistance you can still get the audit for FREE.
Normally it cost $250 to get all your doors and windows sealed properly. These guys are BPI certified, so they know what to look for.

The Unlimited Resource

Posted on 15 February, 2013 at 14:40 Comments comments (116)
Many of us know about the natural resources that we use everyday to help us cook our food, dry our clothes and heat our homes.  If we take a close look at the components of our homes that get used the most, we often will find they need some attention.  There are some things that go overlooked and that is why we need people to help us solve the riddles of drafts and air loss.  Read the book available at this site for details.                                                  
There is another natural resource that we need to "tap" into everyday and we should not take this one for granted either.  If you want to get the most out of your day, read the blog
This will brighten your day!


Posted on 15 February, 2013 at 0:30 Comments comments (70)
Everybody wants to save some cash on utility bills and home repairs. ..Here's a way to do that. There are three major keys to understanding how this can be accomplished. Learn how air circulates through your home and how to control it. 
Find out if you have electric flowing back into the ground (backfeeding). You might think you understand this, but really, most of don't understand how easily energy gets lost.  It is literally finds a way to escape or changes temperature faster than you can imagine.  Learn about how much water is wasted in our homes.Take 15 minutes and read this book and you will learn how to make your home a better place to live saving hundreds of dollars a year on utility bills like electric,water and gas.  If you want to really get to business enjoying your home... upload version or hard copy of House and Home   This is a way to say thanks for writing a great blog!
Upload version here $5

Printed Copy here $17

Here's a preface statement to give you a taste of what's inside. 
In order to make a house your home, we all go through a mental process. Whether we realize it or not, our intentions are to secure a place for peace and safety. We plan out “our space” but that doesn't really register until we understand the purpose of each room. Some rooms have multiple functions and possibly many components that make it up.
You will appreciate a house more if you get involved personally and take steps to improve it. A house becomes “your” home when you depend on it for more than just a roof over your head. It literally houses the air we breath! Hopefully the suggestions I offer in the book will help you make your house a better place to live. I will use simple illustrations and make suggestions for remodel, repair and/or maintenance. You will see a check box next at the end section of ideas, so you can add up the cost at the end of each page and calculate a time to start. Finishing each project correctly won't happen unless you make a plan to start it properly. Remodeling a house includes many finishing details like painting-even the correct lighting bears a important part of your homes overall usefulness. When it's done, you find a good place for all your treasures. Hopefully you will share your dreams with friends and loved ones and make good use of your home.