Welcome Back

John Sebastion hit #1 in May of ’76 with this lovin’ spoonful of pure ear candy…

“Mistah Kot-tair!”

Ok, so it’s been a while…

A brief summer blogging hiatus turned into a full summer and fall training schedule.  We’ve been on the road almost non-stop since the beginning of July, with classes in Colorado, Illinois, South Dakota, Minnesota, Washington State, Ontario and at the factory in Rhode Island.  We’ve been fortunate enough to meet face-to-face with over 800 contractors, wholesalers and reps in that time frame.

And from what you guys are telling me, business is pretty good out there!

So with that said, there’s a story I’ve been wanting to share with you for a while, about a young exchange student named Simon.

Simon is from Heinsberg, Germany, and he spent a couple weeks at our home in Minnesota a few years back.  On the drive home after picking him up, I asked Simon a very innocent question..

“What does your father do for work?”

“Ach, he iss in der heating business.”

Okay, he didn’t say “Ach,” but his dad was in der heating business.

Poor Simon didn’t know what he was in for.

He was here to learn about US culture, but I spent the next two weeks pestering him about his dad’s business.  Simon worked for his dad part-time, so he had some insight into everyday German residential hydronics. I kept peppering him with questions about all the super-cool, high-efficiency, exotic hi-tech heating systems he must be working on.

As it turns out, most residential systems over there are pretty basic.

“Der boiler, der pump and der radiators.  Dat’s about it” says Simon.

Wait a minute.  What about all those fancy hi-tech boilers? The panel rads that look like works of art? The alternative fuel systems the Europeans are using to save the planet?

“Der boiler, der pump and der radiators.”

But the boilers are pretty efficient, right?

“Der new vuns are, but most people vant to you to try to fix the old vun.  They don’t vant to pay for a new vun if they can keep the old vun going.”

Holy scheiss!

Isn’t everyone over there energy conscious? Don’t they want the latest and greatest and most efficient stuff there is?

“Most people don’t vant to pay for kvality.  They don’t vant to shpend de money.”

Well I’ll be a weinerschnitzel.

Simon spent his trip educating me on the real world of German residential hydronics.  The systems that regular people have in their regular people homes aren’t that sophisticated.  Many aren’t even all that comfortable.


“Vhen it gets wery cold, ve have to turn down some of der radiators to get der heat in der rooms ve vant varm.”

Simon was fascinated by the variable speed BumbleBee in my mechanical room.  I figured he knew all about variable speed circulators, but even that was cutting edge to him.  His dad sent some pictures of his mechanical room over.  Simple, straightforward with a nice, new fixed speed circulator.

To quote Artie Johnson, “Verrry Interesssting”

The main lesson I learned from Simon is this: no matter what continent you’re on, there are two types of heating systems: the super-duper, hi-tech, hyper-efficiency, space-age, amazingly comfortable system that everyone thinks is commonplace on the other side of the ocean, and then there’s reality.

The basic, standard system that’s in “regular people” homes.

Nun ist das nicht ein tritt in den kopf?

Jah! Jah!


Anyway, sorry for being away so long.  It’s good to be back in the blogosphere!

One of the best TV theme songs evah!

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