List of Heating and Air conditioning catch phrases.

    This page is dedicated to phrases that we use or others use to describe problems with our heating and air conditioning equipment or other systems.

    Some phrases are very useful and others show a lack of intelligence or will. Some when used by repair or sales people are just scare tactics to make a sale and a "quick buck" Make that "a lot of quick bucks". This page will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Your help is appreciated.

Phrases to avoid:

 Variations of "Kick": like "kicks on" "kicks off" "kicks in" these are very vague terms used in speaking to avoid going into detail but when writing they will poison an explanation. Like saying "my furnace won't kick in" instead of saying "the burners won't light".

    Describing the object instead of the problem: Like saying "my furnace or heater won't run" instead of "the burner won't light" (more detail is nice).

    Destinations: I have noticed a lot of reference to this abstract destination, such as going, gone, out, gone out, went, last legs, about to go, ect. When someone has to resort to phrases like this then you know that they are most likely "up to no good" (another one).

    Adding to the problem: I one read this in a question "My oil burner won't fire off the thermostat" I am not sure what this person was thinking but the thermostat doesn't fire off the thermostat and it doesn't fire from any where for that matter. Was there somewhere else it could fire from? The thermostat doesn't produce fire any way. He/she could have just said my "oil burner won't run when the control signal is present". They actually wanted to say it won't work but just added to the confusion.

Scare tactics:

These are my favorites. The ones used by the greedy repair person turned sales person who needs another car/truck/house payment. Here are some of the classics with more to be added. The word "it" or "one" usually referees to your system in general and not to any specific part. Otherwise these phrases would have no meaning and the sales person would have no sale.
  1. "It can fail at any time" (one of my favorites, if not the favorite).
  2. "It is old"
  3. "It is getting old"
  4. "It is too old"
  5. "It is too old to repair"
  6. "It is too old to get parts"
  7. "It is about to fail"
  8. "It is about to go"
  9. "It looks like it is about to go"
  10. "It has gone out"
  11. "it is gone"
  12. "I can't get the exact parts"
  13. "I can't find the exact part number"
  14. "No one else will fix it" (some times there is a lot of truth to this)
  15. "I can't work on that brand"
  16. "That company is out of business"
  17. "It has some rust"
  18. "It has seen better days"
  19. "It is inefficient"
  20. "It doesn't work as well as it used to"
  21. "A new one will work so much better"
  22. "You need a new one"
  23. "It must be replaced"
  24. "It is no good"
  25. "I can't get parts"
  26. "You will save a lot of money"
  27. "You will save money"
  28. "You might as well"...
  29. "Your system is not matched" (translates into: I don't understand refrigeration and couldn't fix it anyway if I wanted to, which I don't). Watch out for the word "matched" it usually means that someone is trying to tell you something that they can't come right out and say but you should be able to figure out. Once again someone is usually up to no good.

One word non descript terms:

I have noticed that when ever you hear these words as a sole diagnoses that rest assured that bullshit proceeded and will follow the non descript word. These non descript words have cost consumers more than a fortune in fraud.

Such as:

Random Terminology: Using different terms at different times to identify different components with the same words. Sometimes in the same conversation.

One of my favorite themes is where customers and service people invent new words for components or use different words in different sentences to describe the same parts or interchange names of components.

This will cause endless problems when trying to diagnose

More to come...


  Definitions of quantities:

   1. Blower: usually a squirrel cage centrifugal air moving device. Will move large volumes of air relatively quiet. Will use less
     energy with more back pressure.
   2. Fan: a paddle type air moving device used where noise is not a major consideration. Will use more energy with more
     back pressure.
   3. Combustion blower: A blower used on high efficiency furnaces or oil burners to move combustion air. usually 1/20 to
     1/6  horsepower.
   4. OEM: Original equipment manufacturer.
   5. Horsepower: 746 watts (ENERGY OVER TIME)
   6. KW Kilowatt (1000 watts) or 3400 BTUs per hour. (ENERGY OVER TIME)
   7. KWH kilowatt-hours (1000 watts for 1 hour) or 3400 BTUs. (WORK)
   8. RPM: revolutions per minute.
   9. Service factor: the extent to which a motor can be safely overloaded beyond its name plate ratting without over heating.
  10. Air over horsepower: The rating of a motor assuming air flow through the windings usually as a result of the air moving
  11. SAE: Society of Automotive Engineers.
  12. Ton: 12,000 btus of cooling per hour the name comes from melting one ton of ice per day.

Definitions of parts:

Written by Scott Meenen N3SJH. Copyright at common law.

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This text written by: Scott Meenen * G & S Mechanical
"When good service is not good enough..."



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