What is National HVAC Tech Day?
June 22nd is National HVAC Day. This relatively new day of remembrance was established in 2016 by ARS/Rescue Rooter and approved by the Registrar at National Day Calendar, to commemorate the hardworking men and women who endure extreme weather conditions, such as sweltering attics and finger-numbing cold, to keep their customer’s homes comfortable all year long.
Korey Knobloch, co-owner of Help!! Air Conditioning in the Greater New Orleans area, Louisiana, is an industry veteran with nearly 40 years of experience repairing, installing, and maintaining HVAC systems in homes across Southeast Louisiana. He and his team are passionate about the job, but it’s not without its tribulations.
Follow Korey through “A Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician” to get a firsthand perspective of the average day of an HVAC technician
The Broken AC
You wake up to a sickening silence and realize that it is too early in the morning to be sweating as much as you’re sweating. It’s the middle of summer, and a customer's AC is acting up.
The hero of today’s story is also waking up to a cup of fresh coffee and the blazing sun. That would be your friendly neighborhood HVAC technician, Korey Knobloch. We hope you enjoy following Korey through his day and to your house. Every day’s an adventure for an HVAC tech, and the customer is the Final Boss!
* * *
The technician begins his day with a mug of his favorite dark roast, the morning news, and a phone call. The first call of the day is to the office, so he can receive his first mission. The weather comes on and alerts him to the woeful news that, once again, it is going to be a sweltering day. He is certainly going to be busy.
Pulling on his freshly pressed Help!! shirt, he hops out the door with his trusty tool bag and a skip in his step. His only hope is that he won’t have to climb into too many attics today.
The First Assignment: Mr. Adams
Korey arrives at 8:00 am on the dot. Early morning calls require finesse because you never know if there are any sleeping babies or drowsy dogs of which to be mindful. To be safe, he knocks softly.
Mr. Adams informs him that the AC is on the fritz and points out a few suspicious noises coming from the back of the mechanism. Customers are the best source of information when tending to a call! Korey goes through all of the important procedures and keeps a thorough record of everything he checks. Most problems have simple solutions, but it’s important to record everything so the next technician can refer to his notes in the event of another malfunction.
Humming the “Mission Impossible” theme song, Korey locates the capacitor and completes his repairs.
The homeowners are overjoyed and begin to pop champagne and throw confetti! They offer to throw a feast in his honor, but Korey graciously declines. There are other homes to service, and he can’t keep them waiting. Off he rides to his next call.
The Second Assignment: Ms. Jones
Not all jobs can be as straightforward as the first call of the day. Korey’s second assignment reports a doozy of a symptom. His regular customer, Ms. Jones, has reported that no air is coming through her vents! This issue could be caused by a myriad of problems, and Korey attempts to diagnose the issue on his way over.
It is fun to brainstorm what could be wrong with her HVAC system. Sort of like a puzzle he has yet to solve. As a proud professional HVAC technician, Korey lives and breathes all things AC and Heating. It’s his first thought in the morning and his final thought before he goes to bed.
He arrives at Ms. Jones’ home and is greeted by a pleasant, friendly face. A “good morning” smile is enough to make the possibility of a sweltering attic worth the hassle.
“Korey!” Ms. Jones exclaims in her usual flourish. “I’m so glad they sent you.” She asks after his family and the folks at the office. Korey wishes that everyone was like Ms. Jones.
While identifying the source of the issue was relatively simple, the real work has just begun. Obtaining the motor in a timely fashion is going to take a little finesse and a lot of heart.
Korey is responsible for her annual maintenance, so he is already familiar with her system. Because of this insight, he is able to quickly narrow down the possible causes of malfunction and shortly thereafter locates the culprit: A Dastardly Damaged Blower Motor. Specifically, the blower motor has shorted (electrical problem) and needs to be replaced.
While identifying the source of the issue was relatively simple, the real work has just begun. Obtaining the motor in a timely fashion is going to take a little finesse and a lot of heart. Korey calls the supply house and determines they have one in stock. Korey swats at a few beads of sweat annoyingly rolling down his neck. The attic is heating up, and soon it will be too hot for regular working conditions. He has to work fast!
He calls the office and gets them to agree to deliver the motor while he removes the old one. All that is left to do is to spend the next two hours painstakingly removing the damaged equipment and installing the new motor in the scorching hot attic. By the time the motor is delivered, the attic is above 100 degrees.
Korey calls Dispatch, and they thank him for the hard work he’s done so far and tell him to take his lunch. After a quick scan of the area, Korey locates a bucolic, shaded tree. The perfect cooling-off spot to enjoy his leftover crawfish etouffee.
Third Assignment: Mrs. Smith
When Dispatch alerts Korey to his next call, he stretches to limber up for what he knows is going to be a grueling trek to her AC unit. Mrs. Smith lives in the Mt. Everest of Louisiana homes, and her malfunctioning AC is perched atop a steep three-story flight of stairs.
Korey is a seasoned professional, however, so before he takes his first step, he asks if she’s noticed any other home-related issues. His deductions were correct! Mrs. Smith explains that half of her house works while the other half doesn’t.
Korey is a seasoned professional, so before he takes his first step, he asks if she’s noticed any other home-related issues. His deductions were correct! Mrs. Smith explains that half of her house works while the other half doesn’t.
Now, Korey’s not technically an electrician, but this sounds like a problem that can be solved by a quick trip to the main control panel. In accordance with his suspicions, only half of her main panel has power. This is officially a job for an electrician!
Korey bids Mrs. Smith farewell and the three-story flight of stairs and prepares for his next call.
Fourth Assignment: Mrs. Alicia
Korey’s heart sinks when he receives his next assignment. It appears they have made three trips to Mrs. Alicia’s house, and her unit is still giving her grief. Now it is his responsibility to fix her system and also rectify what he is sure has been a very frustrating experience for the customer.
As anticipated, Mrs. Alicia is livid.
“I know this isn’t your fault,” she starts. “But this is the third time I’ve had to call, and it is just so darn hot!”
Korey sympathizes. It is too darn hot.
Flashing his winning smile, Korey makes Mrs. Alicia a promise. By the time he leaves her house, her system will be fixed, and she will finally be able to relax in a refreshingly cool home. He asks if she can shed some insight into her HVAC woes.
“Well, if I knew, I would fix the thing myself,” Mrs. Alicia says.
Zesty! Unfortunately, snappy one-liners and a bad attitude won’t help the job get finished any faster. Korey waits for her to, well, cool down before continuing his questions.
As Korey methodically checks the thermostat, as well as the unit itself, he has a sneaking suspicion that the solution will not be as straightforward as the last few. Drawing upon his 38 years of experience, he notices the amp draw on the compressor is a little high. Acting on a hunch, he calls the office.
Apparently, their team had recently replaced the compressor, so next he verifies that the supply house provided the correct equipment. He discovers something interesting. The supply house had provided an alternate compressor option that should have worked but didn’t. This is an issue that Korey has only witnessed twice in his 38-year career. The new compressor requires a different size capacitor that originally came with the unit. He installs the correct capacitor, and the house immediately begins to cool down.
Mrs. Alicia apologizes for her behavior before and thanks her trusty HVAC technician for finally getting to the root of the issue. Korey loves these types of calls because not only did he resolve a difficult problem, but he was able to make a customer happy with his team once again.
Fifth Assignment: The Dog
The next job of the day is for a long-time customer who lives in a rental property. He is greeted, first and foremost, by a scrappy little dog who won’t stop barking. The dog clacks its teeth a few times as Korey walks through the door.
“I’ll try to get out of your hair as soon as possible,” says Korey. “Would you mind putting your dog upstairs for the time being?” The dog continues to growl.
“Nope,” says the man. “This is her house, too. I need her to supervise.”
Korey can’t tell if the man is joking, but reluctantly agrees. Until the dog takes its first bite.
As Korey begins to gather his equipment, the dog takes a small, nippy nibble of his calf.
“That’s it.” Korey puts down his toolkit. “Sir, you’re going to need to put the dog away. I won’t be able to work if it continues to try and bite me.”
“That was barely a bite,” the man says. He refuses to put away his dog.
“Then enjoy your hot apartment,” says Korey. He collects his tools and tells the man to have a good day.
The man whips out his phone and begins to berate Korey, calling him names and telling him that he is going to call his boss and have him fired. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Korey has encountered a belligerent customer, but it never gets easier to watch a grown man hide behind his phone, spit flying with every cuss word.
Korey shakes his head and politely bids the man farewell. It’s too bad about the AC system, thinks Korey. It really is too hot a day to be without air conditioning.
Korey calls his boss to explain the situation and inform him that he will not be returning to the apartment with the aggressive dog.
Sixth Assignment: You
Your HVAC tech has weathered hot attics, angry customers, and nippy dogs. There have been a lot of victories, but the day has taken its toll. He has one last stop today, and that’s your house! When Korey arrives, he greets you with a smile.
- How do you greet him?
- What information do you have at the ready?
- Where is your AC Unit located?
The answers to these questions can be the determining factor in whether your friendly neighborhood HVAC tech has a good experience or leaves dreading the next job. On behalf of all HVAC techs, we thank all of our customers who are considerate, polite, and prepared. This #NationalHVACTechDay, remember to thank your local HVAC tech for everything they do to keep your home cool and comfortable!