understand venting; first as single wall, to double wall, to PVC concentric. Each step has brought about benefits to consumers but also the opportunity for the untrained to create carbon monoxide poisoning. If that is so, why don’t we hear more about folks dying from carbon monoxide poisoning? Fortunately, most do not die but many have flue like symptoms and it can have the greatest effect on the young and the old—those segments of the population who are least like to understand their possible problem. Another reason we don’t hear about those with non-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning is two-fold; it is too easy and costs less to diagnose a runny nose and headache as the flue and there is little to no recording of this problem. We have also seen houses become really tight which has created the need for HVACR professionals to understand the house as a system with need for ventilation. Most in our profession never paid attention to the word “ventilation” in our trade label. Now we are required to be experts. It’s not just about installing a fan. It is also about knowing how much air is needed, how to design the system to work even in the transition season when little heat or air conditioning is required. So what is the malady if we
don’t do it right—mold and mildew that can cost tens of thousands to fix. It can lead to health problems. Again, the young and elderly are the most effected. If anyone needs the government to intervene and make sure a person in a trade needs a license and continuing education, it is the young and the elderly. Our profession sees shockingly bad and dangerous installations done by those without the proper training. Just because one was trained to install a butane space heater does not mean they are equipped to design and install today’s systems in today’s houses. HVACR continuing education is about consumer protection in the same way it is for a doctor. Even though my first and foremost justification for continuing education is health and safety, a well trained HVAC professional can also save the consumer tens of thousand of dollars over the life of the equipment. A properly designed and installed system operates for less. The EPA states that just duct leakage can cost a consumer up to 30% of their heating and cooling bill. It can be even higher. Even the DOE and the Arkansas Energy Office recognize the need for properly trained professionals.