Troubleshooting an HVAC Unit is Like Hunting a Serial Killer

It can be argued that I watch too many cop shows. I love a little forensic evidence, a good mystery and a whopping plot twist to fill out my evenings. It was during one of these binge-watching evenings of CSI/Rizzoli & Isles/iZombie that I started to draw the parallels…

Troubleshooting an HVAC unit is a little bit like hunting a serial killer.

shutterstock_120062506Sometimes the clues are all there at the crime scene and you can nail the bastard right away. You send the bad ‘guy’ (or in our case, bad part) up the river and celebrate your big win. Yahoo! Those are the good days.

On the really bad days, you arrest the wrong guy. It’s very rare, but it does happen. You were so sure it was Suspect A, but then Suspect B blows up and it turns out Suspect A was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, hanging out with a bad crowd. Mistakes happen. Recovering from those mistakes and making things right is not always easy (kind of like apologizing for putting an innocent man in the slammer, ugh, that’s some tough stuff) but making it right makes all the difference in keeping a relationship working for the long-term, so we fess up and do our best to make it right.

And then there are the frustrating days, when there just aren’t enough clues to make a clear-cut case. The HVAC detective/technician makes progress, eliminates suspects, maybe even takes down some copy cats and other criminals along the way. But sometimes, there’s nothing to do but wait for the next victim (or in our case, the next call) to give us more clues. Troubleshooting, is by its nature, a process of elimination. It is a process of trial and error guided by smart decisions and solved with hard work and dedication to finding a solution.

That is how call backs happen in a reputable company – super slick serial killers of HVAC units didn’t leave enough clues for the smartest and most dedicated HVAC detectives to hunt them down on the first go-round. So we must wait for another failure, to give us more clues, or if we get lucky, catch the guy in the act next time!

Thankfully, unlike actual serial killers, in HVAC the victims almost always survive and HVAC killers always get theirs in the end.