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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Apr 19, 2020

In this free-flowing conversation, the Trethewey family talks about growing up with This Old House, what the show is like behind the scenes, what Rich misses about the past, what the future holds for the trade, and some nerdy specifics between Bryan and Ross.

The show business is a collaborative effort between the producers and talent (even though they're real people, not actors), and the Trethewey boys find the end result almost cathartic. This Old House was never scripted; there were beats and predictions about the content, but the content is all authentic.

As the trade moves forward, Richard worries about weakening connections and producing leaks in the race to improve technology. He's glad that we work with far fewer deadly chemicals and materials nowadays, though. Many technicians are artisans at heart, and the future is bright because of techs who make ethical choices and do good, aesthetically pleasing work. (However, we can expect controls and ventilation to become increasingly important in coming years.)

Bryan and Ross also brainstorm some innovative solutions for residential applications by looking at commercial equipment. Bryan enjoys thinking about using R-290 chillers and buffer tanks for residential applications. Ross anticipates a future focus on CO2 as a residential refrigerant; he thinks the future "magic box" solution is a CO2 split system for heating and cooling.

Richard, Ross, Evan, and Bryan also discuss:

  • Exposure to media
  • Propane refrigerant
  • Heat pumps vs. natural gas
  • Hydronics
  • Staying organized
  • Pit corrosion on copper pipes
  • What it means to be an "expert" at something and how it feels
  • Core traits of successful skilled tradespeople
  • Passive makeup air solutions
  • New control strategies
  • Getting new people into the trades

Thanks to Richard, Ross & Evan for making this happen. Check out the This Old House podcast “ClearStory” on your favorite podcast player. You can also learn more about the Trethewey boys' work at TE2 Engineering and RST Thermal.

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE.

TE2 Engineering 


RST Thermal