Yes, Virginia, There Is An "App" for That

Dear Editor: I’m an ardent SmartPhone user who has managed to find so many cool apps to do so many cool things. When I share them with my HVACR Industry friends, they often laugh and tell me that the apps are cute, but there will never be one that is useful in their industry.

That is so crazy. Please tell me the truth: is there an app for the HVACR Industry? — Signed, Virginia from Cleveland.

Dear Virginia: Your HVACR Industry friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They don't believe in what they can't see. They believe that nothing can be which isn't comprehensible by their minds. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is an "App" for that. In fact, there are many apps out there to help your HVAC friends be better in their jobs, to learn more about the technologies and issues that swirl around their businesses.

In this world of IPhones, Droids, Blackberries, and Palms, where information and communication abound and give to our lives the highest beauty and joy.

Oh my gosh, can you imagine a world where there were no SmartPhone apps for the HVACR industry? Our customers would have no faith in us, no means to differentiate us from competitors other than the prices we charge. This would so darken our world and our profits!

How can one not believe that there are Apps for the HVACR Industry? You might as well not believe in computers or wireless technology. Just because you don't see HVACR apps everyday doesn't prove that they don't exist. The most real things in the world are those that most people just can't see.

Did you ever take the time to Google SmartPhone apps or go to the various online stores where you can download them? If not, then there is no proof that they are there. Without that, nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in their worlds.

But if you do that search, your faith, Virginia, your faith will be restored and the joy and poetry of the depth and variety of apps will amaze and push aside that curtain of blindness for all to finally see.

No apps? Thank goodness it's not true. There are hundreds of them, Virginia, and more being added each day. With names like HVAC Tool Kit, and Building Energy Evaluation (B3E), there's nearly an app for every aspect of working in the HVACR Industry. And that, Virginia, makes glad the heart of all of us in the mechanical systems trades.

For those who may not recognize this, it's a parody of the Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus, letter, published in 1897 in The New York Sun newspaper. This version is based on many conversations I've had in recent months, questioning the use of SmartPhone applications and the Internet by HVACR contractors. There are so many industry appropriate apps out there — some so very impressive, others, not so much — that beginning with the March issue of Contracting magazine, we will begin reviewing them so as to lift the curtain of blindness and let all in the world in on the secret.

Having just returned from the 2011 AHR Exposition in Las Vegas, my belief that there's truly an app for everything was further solidified. Most of the major manufacturers and many of the smaller ones, have SmartPhone apps already out there or under development to help you select products, troubleshoot equipment, or simply monitor and change the operating parameters of systems.

There are business management apps, communications apps, service apps, and toolbox apps. It's now our mission to help you keep tabs on them, to let you know what you need to choose and use the app that's right for you business and your people. If there is an app that you use and would recommend, please drop me a line and let me know.

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