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Tools must be complemented by training

Refco recommends such an approach to enhance skill set among stakeholders

| | Feb 13, 2018 | 8:00 am
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Dubai, UAE, 13 February 2018: In a conversation with Climate Control Middle East about the importance of using the right tools in HVAC installations, particularly in the calibration of refrigerants, Sheb Powell, Area Sales Manager, Refco, said a vital aspect often overlooked is ensuring that technicians are properly educated and have the necessary skill set to optimise the available tools. “The bigger picture I see is that technicians that generally buy [very expensive tools] don’t have the education on how they are supposed to be using them,” he said. Powell said this has contributed to a price-driven market, since, when they are not armed with the right knowledge, many technicians cannot discern the benefit of advanced tools and focus only on the expense. “Once they understand,” he said, “then they buy the good tools. My role has changed from a sales person to a teacher.” Powell said that, in view of this, Refco has kick-started strong training programmes across the GCC region.

Powell is quick to point out that the issue of training is not confined to the GCC region, and that it is a bottleneck that exists in other countries. He added that bad practices have ramifications in the life and efficiency of equipment. Powell said when speaking with top engineers in the air conditioning industry, he emphasises that the hard work, intent and investment towards specifying energy-efficient equipment is often “thrown in the garbage” in the face of poor installation, owing to lack of training. “It’s like having a Ferrari but putting wagon tires from an oxcart on it,” he said. “You’re just not going to get the performance it’s designed to do. You have to have the correct installation, with the [proper] evacuation and charging of the refrigerant for that equipment to work the way it’s designed to work from the manufacturer and in order to realise the energy efficiency benefits.”

Powell said that without this approach, stakeholders are killing the equipment. “It’s like driving the car with four really low, almost flat tyres,” he said. “You’re wasting the gas, whereas you just had to have the right tyre pressure, then the car would do what it’s supposed to do for the mileage.” Powell said that in a region where air conditioning and refrigeration are responsible for more than 50% of the annual cost of a building, the issue presents itself with much greater urgency.

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