Chances are you’ve seen various posts on the internet via Twitter or Facebook etc. about a significant event with the heading “On this day in history…”. Sometimes the events referenced are very interesting, a lot of the time they are shared because of their historical significance, i.e. The Bombing of Pearl Harbor. Well today’s reference back in time may not rival such historical happenings such as the invasion of Normandy or the invention of the telephone but I think it has definitely changed our world as we know it. I’m talking about what happened on this day, back in 2005.
Think of that for a second. Toyota had experienced such success with the Prius platform that they moved the technology over to their bestselling model, the Camry. Automakers have been making huge strides in design and improvements in the name of fuel economy for decades. The significance of the introduction of hybrid vehicles is huge to say the least. The car buying public has received them well over the years; not without some hiccups but, things have pretty much progressed over time.
Can the same be said about other manufactured products? How about in the plumbing and HVAC industry?
One of the first things that pop in my head was our first run-in with modulating/condensing boilers. The specific model that comes to mind is the Munchkin. This was an opportunity for the industry to provide a product with one of the highest efficiency ratings available at the time. Like the car community, many were reluctant to accept that new technology could be a good thing and help the industry move forward. Those early years of installation did not come without hiccups though and with new technology comes the need for education.
Fast forward a decade.
Modulating/Condensing boilers are a norm today. Cast iron is still around too but, the application of such boilers that caused major stir in our community seems to be old hat today. Every contractor I know has moved from the worries of whether their installation will in fact work to “How can we make this better?”. That’s what Toyota was doing all the while their Prius was gaining momentum in the market and that’s also what so many boiler manufacturers where doing as they played catch-up to those early boiler models way back when.
Today we as contractors are learning about and applying new technologies every day. Some of more than others but, it’s on the radar for everyone, constantly. Is this just progress? Or is this a product of what others have produced and our way of keeping up with the times of our customers demanding the very best?
I don’t own a Toyota. I would buy one though the opportunity has not presented itself. I do have a hybrid; my diesel pickup can run on either standard fuel or fuel based mostly off of vegetable oil. Oh, and my heating system, that’s a hybrid too.