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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

May 16, 2019

David Holt from NCI comes on the podcast to talk about airflow testing and its importance as a customer service tool for the HVAC trade.

Charging and airflow are closely linked. Even though the charge may be correct, the system can't operate correctly if the airflow is off. For example, we can only get the most latent heat removal in humid climates if we run lower fan speeds. To get the right balance, we need contractors and technicians to be educated on airflow so that they can make the correct adjustments. (Remember your ABCs: Airflow Before Charging.)

Testing airflow may require you to make adjustments to the system, such as installing test ports. You need to be able to measure static pressure in your system, and you can tell if previous contractors have done it or not by the presence (or absence) of test ports. On the customer service side, pointing out the lack of test ports or other testing evidence allows the customer to discredit the previous contractor; you don't have to be negative about someone else to get customers to trust your company over the others. Testing also keeps your installers honest; almost everybody will realize that their company has made mistakes after they test the system airflow.

One of the best ways to educate customers is to speak in terms they understand. For example, David compares static pressure to blood pressure in our bodies. In that same vein, we'd be committing malpractice if we refused to test airflow or disclose our test results.

David and Bryan also discuss:

  • Qualitative vs. quantitative data
  • Low-bid contractors
  • System airflow impacts on combustion
  • How to measure static pressure
  • Pressure drops across coils and filters
  • Variable speed motors
  • Sales vs. technical excellence
  • Premium pricing and earning what you're worth

Check out NCI at Also, check out the AirMaxx Lite app.

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