By Gerry Wagner
I am a professional.
I looked up the definition of professional in my old, paperback Webster’s Dictionary and it says the following…
Professional: noun. (1): An occupation requiring advanced study and specialized training. adjective. (1): characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2): exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
My grandparents, actually most of the general population of the United States circa 1900, had a very specific definition of a professional.
Let me explain…
When Edward McDarby came to the United States from County Kildare, Ireland on the ship Arabic and his soon to be wife, Helen McCarthy on the ship Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1909 and 1910 respectively, they had big dreams not only for themselves, but for the family they were about to create.
As their family grew, eventually to eight children, they saw those in their community who held the highest stature and wanted that for their children. My grandparents told my mother, my aunts and uncles, that they wanted them to become “professionals.”
What did that mean in the early 1900’s? It meant a lawyer, a judge, a doctor…and a pipefitter…yes, a tradesman was held in that regard. A pipefitter at that time encompassed many trades…plumbing, heating, air conditioning…the latter of which was still in its infancy.
Proof of this cannot be better exemplified than in a poster created for an ad campaign for the American Standard Company back in 1924.
This was NO joke…the tradesman literally on a pedestal, the thankful and reverent public below.
We must not forget that the trades, OUR trade, built this country…this is NOT an overstatement but rather a reality. The health of this nation was / is protected by the plumber… if you doubt that just look at under developed countries today ravaged with disease because of little to no sanitation and clean drinking water.
Central heating and eventually, cooling systems as well as ventilation systems not only brought comfort to the lives of the general population, but provided healthy living and working environments that staved off bacteria and airborne contaminants.
The DNA of our trade…our DNA…is rooted in the development of the GREATEST nation in the world…the United States of America!
We are professionals. We deserve to be treated like professionals. We deserve to earn professional wages.
There is responsibility that comes with this…if we want to be seen and treated as professionals we must act like professionals. I make this statement in every mini split class I conduct. I weave this mission of mine into the discussion of proper equipment sizing. A “professional job” starts with proper sizing…a proper ACCA Manual J calculation.
I have a friend who can help you with that…
Tracy Savoy of Savoy Engineering Group in Heber City, UT offers ACCA Manual J load calculations for mini split applications for a VERY reasonable price with Express 5-Day and Standard 10-Day turnaround! Tracy can do load calculations for one room or an entire house.
Look, I don’t look forward to doing load calculations…they require a number of attributes of which I am lacking, not the least of which is mathematical skills and patience!
You can go to Tracy’s website at and learn all about the services she offers. I have known Tracy since 2005 and I can tell you her services have saved me from the horrors of ill sized equipment debacles for which there is no band-aid…you mis-size the equipment and that’s a mistake that will haunt you, and your customer for a long time!
You can call Tracy direct at 801-949-5337.
Look, being a professional doesn’t have to mean you know all the answers…it can simply mean you know where to get the answers and utilize other professionals, like Tracy to make sure you are offering your customers the very best you, and this wonderful industry of ours has to offer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gerry Wagner is the Vice President of HVAC Technical Training for Tradewinds Climate Systems. He has 38 years in the HVACR industry working in manufacturing, contracting and now training. You can contact Gerry by email: and also please visit our website: