by Gerry Wagner

I have been writing this monthly column for one year and it has been a very enjoyable endeavor. I have gotten several emails from readers over the past year and the response to my writing has been very positive…THANK YOU!

That said…

After a year, I feel comfortable sharing a couple very personal issues with you. These may fall into the category of “too much information” but I’m willing to take the risk.

First, my wife has gotten me addicted to a TV show on the Home & Garden Network HGTV…have you heard of the show, House Hunters? There are now actually three versions of the show…House Hunters, House Hunters Renovation and House Hunters International…it is the latter to which I have become addicted.

The premise of the show is they take a couple who are looking to buy a house, they show them three houses and at the end of the show the couple purchase one of the houses. My wife loves the show because she likes to guess which house the couple will buy…personally, I could care less.

I love the show because in the course of showing the couple the house, they show them the water heater, the plumbing fixtures and the HVAC system.

I am fascinated to see what our trade brothers and sisters around the world are doing to condition interior air in Beijing, China; in Munich, Germany; in Trieste, Italy and beyond.

If you watch House Hunters International for any amount of time, you quickly realize that the rest of the planet went “ductless” decades ago! North America is truly the last frontier for ductless heating and cooling.

I find it incredibly interesting to see the unique challenges that our fellow tradespeople have to face in their native countries. This is a picture I took in Zhuhai, China this past year.

How would you like to be the poor service tech that has to service the outdoor unit I have circled in the picture? Ten stories up with no platform or easy access to the equipment…SCARY!

Whenever I talk about the House Hunters show in a GREE mini split training event, I think of my audience going home that night to their spouses and significant others and saying, “honey, can we watch the House Hunters tonight?” I can imagine the response being, “Where were you today? Who were you with?”

Another issue which I will share with you is my complete disregard of WiFi controlled mini splits…I just don’t get it!

People…do we REALLY need to control our home mini split from our car, our office at work or from the restaurant while we are having dinner?

I have to admit the whole concept of WiFi controlled mini splits makes me feel old…it makes me feel like the guy in the GEICO commercial who is becoming his father. My dad, once he started making some good money later in his career, always bought a brand new Lincoln Town Car every two years. He actually had an argument with a Lincoln salesman once because he wanted roll-up windows and not electric windows…his argument was that “electric windows would just break in time.”

Yeah, I have become my father. I just don’t see the need to control our mini splits from afar. Every time I mention this in a GREE mini split training event, I inevitably get a young person in the audience who adamantly disagrees with my assessment of WiFi controls and he or she speaks up and says, “YES, I do need to control my mini split from here!”

I then proceed to point out to the rest of the group that this WiFi proponent is the same person who puts a Pop Tart in a microwave oven, because 60 seconds in a conventional toaster is just too long to wait!

I turn 58 this month and although my health is generally good, I still immensely enjoy my job and I don’t generally feel old, the fact of the matter is that I have a bit of what I will call, “old man disease.” I tend to resist what is popular even if useful and possibly has value in my own life. The good news is I eventually get there but not without some resistance at first.

What is interesting is that I am the same guy who will be introducing Virtual Reality VR training to the HVAC industry in the next month or two. Yeah, the guy who still puts Pop Tarts in a toaster will make industry history, along with my partner in the project, Interplay Learning out of Austin, TX.

Go figure…

So there you have it…my obsession with a TV show and my disdain for WiFi. These are my deep, dark secrets that I have been keeping from you over the past year. Not so bad…right?

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: