Universal Igniters: Use with caution!

Universal igniters:  Use with caution! Universal Igniters:  Use with caution! By:  Eric Shidell, HVAC Service Mentor   Over the past several years, new style Silicon Nitride igniters for furnaces and boilers have taken over the industry.  Virtually all new residential gas furnaces now feature the new technology.  In the replacement parts market, there are a […]

How to Go From Ordinary to Awesome with One Simple Phrase

By:  Eric Shidell, HVAC Service Mentor While technical aptitude and ability factor heavily in an HVAC technician’s success and rate of pay, that is not the end of the story.  In many ways, the number on your paycheck is directly related to the numbers on the bottom of your service tickets (also known as sales […]

Why Flame Rod Failures Happen and How to Prevent Them.

By:  Eric Shidell, HVAC Service Mentor A lot of HVAC service technicians learn early on that cleaning a flame sensor is a standard maintenance practice and that neglecting this basic task can lead to nuisance burner shutdowns and no heat calls.  Let’s look a little deeper into this situation and examine how and why flame […]

Measuring resistance: The difference between 0 and OL.

Measuring resistance: The difference between 0 and OL. by:  Eric Shidell July 25, 2017 Measuring the electrical resistance (Ohms) of motors, compressors, and other electrical devices in HVAC systems may seem pretty straightforward at first. But when the measurements of 0 or OL come up, it becomes clear that there is quite a bit of […]

Summertime and the Living is Easy!

Summer time and the living is easy. Unless you’re an HVAC tech. For many HVAC techs, summer is the busiest time of the year, and many companies bet the bank on a busy and productive summer season. Without a doubt the busiest months should also be the most productive months. But with extreme conditions, high […]

Measure temperature the right way!

Most HVAC technicians have grown up being taught that when checking air conditioning systems, supply air temperature should be measured.  Naturally, this seems like a perfectly logical step.  Since an air conditioning system is meant to supply cold air, measuring supply air temp is a good idea. But what supply air temp should be considered […]

Cold Weather Air Conditioning Service

April, 2017 Eric Shidell; HVAC Service Mentor If you are reading this in most parts of North America, you may be facing a string of cool, mild weather. This is definitely not air conditioning weather. For air conditioning service techs who need to be out doing service calls and planned maintenance visits, that is not […]


Nearly all conventional split system air conditioner condensing units employ a contactor to energize the compressor and condenser fan motor.  A contactor is essentially a heavy duty relay.  When the indoor thermostat calls for cooling, it sends 24 VAC to the contactor coil.  When energized, the contactor coil creates a magnetic field which attracts the […]

The great debate

There is a great debate in the HVAC contracting and service world.  One side says that online training for technical people is the wave of the future.  The other says that distance learning for people who primarily work with their hands cannot be effective. Recently, the ACHR News tackled this subject in the July 11 […]

Let’s talk shop…

What if you could have access to the knowledge and experience of a true expert in the HVAC service trade?  Someone who has spent nearly two decades running calls, and working on every type of heating, cooling and hydronic system imaginable.  Someone who is the “end of the line” for HVAC service problems when no […]