REPAIRING YOUR WHOLE-ROOM BED BUG HEATER IS EASY
Today’s topic will address DIY Parts Replacement and Repair on the PestPro Thermal electric bed bug heater.
One of the primary reasons we decided to engineer our industrial electric bed bug heaters to be easily fixable by their owners had to do with who our first customer was and the reason the company was launched in the first place.
The instigating customer is a third-generation pest control operator in a very remote and harsh operating environment. He wanted to be sure he would be able to acquire replacement parts easily and install them with a minimal amount of hassle, expense and down time.
With marching orders in hand, the founder of the company sourced the absolute highest quality components available online or directly from the manufacturers.
He wanted to be sure that our company would never get in the way or hinder any customer ever being able to quickly, easily and affordably replace damaged or worn out parts.
Another goal was to construct the industrial electric bed bug heaters in the simplest way while achieving as much heat output as possible in a portable, rugged, dependable, all-steel cabinet using industrial-grade best practices.
When I asked why this was so important to him his reply surprised me. He felt strongly that building anything with the intention of it becoming obsolete so customers would need to purchase a replacement heater was immoral, unethical and not in the best interest of the customer or their customers or PestPro Thermal Systems.
I have the right to be able to fix my own electric bed bug heater!
The founder was fanatical about engineering and building the absolute best industrial electric bed bug heater he was capable of and then improving it over time based on customer feedback. Working with carefully selected electrical engineers, metal fabricators and electrical component suppliers the owner succeeded in delivering on his promise to that very first customer.
Having a separate profit center driven by selling replacement parts or repairing equipment was viewed as a negative and the founder wanted nothing to do with it except to support our customers when they needed assistance over the phone to replace parts or repair equipment.
Putting customers in a situation that would slow down their ability to quickly kill all life stages of bed bugs including bed bug nymphs and bed bug eggs for themselves and their customers is inherently wrong and the founder was committed to empowering our customers to be as self-reliant as possible once they invested in our superior industrial grade equipment and company.
Right To Repair Movement Video
WSJ Article on Keeping it Simple
As those reading this already know bed bugs can cause extreme emotional anguish to those being bitten or believe they are being bitten. Being able to put a quick stop to the torture is the end goal. No one deserves to be bitten by bed bugs especially those already pushed to the edge due to life’s pressures and challenges including mental health, poverty, substance abuse, domestic abuse, homelessness and pandemic lockdowns.
When I am speaking with friends, family and former colleagues I use this analogy:
Replacing parts on and repairing our industrial electric bed bug heaters is similar to changing the oil and putting a new air filter on a 1966 Chrysler Newport (the first car I ever owned).
Doing the same on a budget-priced, plastic body, electric bed bug room heater with heating coils, if you even can, is like working on a 2021 Tesla requiring specialized tools and parts you can only get from the seller with a huge markup.
Is it fair to make me pay round-trip freight charges to get my bed bug heat machine fixed and experience downtime while I wait for it? That's bad for both my reputation and bottom line.
In situations when repairing your bed bug heat treatment equipment is out of the question is it fair to make the customer pay for round trip shipping and downtime because your equipment failed or needed a simple replacement part?
Our Operations Manager, Gary, has decided to start making videos showing how easy it is to replace certain components. His first video appears here and instructs customers how to replace the most important component: finned heater strips that create the heat.
Future videos will show customers how to replace the automatic thermostat, the internal fan, LED bulbs, fan grills, and inlet flanges.
We will probably end up creating a password protected page for our customers for Parts Replacement & Repairs which would also include links to both the manufacturers and resellers including Amazon and Grainger.
PestPro Thermal Systems has customers all over the world including Fiji, Dubai, France, Japan, the North Slope of Alaska, the Northwest Territories of Canada and numerous US Naval Air Stations where pilots, are by policy, not allowed to be exposed to chemical pesticides due to the huge investment in training them to fly military aircraft.
We believe it is just not practical nor fair to expect customers in these far-flung locations to be reliant on our company for parts and repairs.
We sleep well at night knowing our heaters will continue to serve those that serve our country and that keeping our bed bug heaters operational can easily be done by those that made the smart decision to purchase our equipment in the first place.
In addition to our hand-made industrial electric bed bug heaters, PestPro Thermal Systems sources only the highest quality fans which, when combined with the heat from our heaters creates the convection vortex air movement critical to successful thermal remediation of bed bugs, bed bug nymphs and bed bug eggs.
By pointing the fan straight up to the ceiling you create a torus of circulating hot air which is similar in shape to a mushroom cloud that nuclear blasts create. See below.
I mention this because in 2019 we identified a new air mover supplier out of California with a dramatically improved design compared to the fans we were originally selling. This is yet another example of PestPro Thermal System’s commitment to Kaizen (English: Continuous improvement): A philosophy that helps to ensure maximum quality, the elimination of waste, and improvements in efficiency, both in terms of equipment and work procedures.
In closing I’d like to thank our very loyal customers who continue to share their stories with me and voice their satisfaction with the purchases they have made. Some go all the way back to 2012 when we sold our first electric bed bug heaters.
They have all learned from their experience with PestPro Thermal Systems that bed bugs are never going away and it pays to invest in the most reliable, most durable and easy to use industrial electric bed bug heaters from the start.
Buying almost anything on the cheap never is. Saving money sometimes costs you money, including on a budget, plastic bed bug heater. You get what you pay for and long-term customer/seller relationships matter when it comes to the very serious business of killing bed bugs with heat yourself.
31MAY 20220 UPDATE
WSJ Articles on Right-to-Repair Industry Initiatives
We Should Be Able to Fix Our Bed Bug Heater and Not Be Forced to Purchase a Replacement When It Fails
Proponents of the Right to Repair movement contend that manufacturers should not be permitted to deny customers the right to repair their products or force customers to use only manufacturer-authorized service centers. In addition, there is pending legislation in many state legislatures across America that would compel companies to make repair materials more widely available to their customers.
PestPro Thermal Systems believes strongly in this idea which is why from the get-go, we have engineered our electric bed bug heaters to be easily repairable by their owners, thus extending the life of the equipment exponentially compared to our competitors.
Read these 5 PDF articles from today's WSJ to see how PestPro Thermal always has and always will build their products to last a lifetime.
The Elements of Repairable Design - any component critical to keeping a device in service should have a viable repair strategy. Products that do not have these self-repairability features in place will, in effect, appear to be less expensive than they actually are in the long run. Replacing an entire unit when only one component needs to be replaced is wasteful and disrespectful of our customers and their customers.
Modular Parts - all the important parts in your bed bug heater should be accessible, removable and replaceable.
Use Standard Fasteners - "Screws are Better Than Glues" - screws with standard heads, like a Phillips head make the most sense because who doesn't have a Phillips head screwdriver lying around?
Innovate With Repair in Mind - we are committed to "function over form". When you are talking about killing bed bugs is it really that important if your bed bug heater looks good doing it? We don't think so and neither do our customers. If you are looking for a fashionable bed bug heater you have come to the wrong place.
"If you analyze the function of an object, its form often becomes obvious"
- Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, designer of the first Porsche 911
Publish a Visual Repair Manual - Designing a product that is easy to repair from one version to the next is not difficult. The difficulty lies in the manufacturer's willingness and desire to always be looking out for their customer's best interest.
See how easy it is to replace the finned heater elements in a PestPro Thermal bed bug heater HERE.
For additional information and details on bed bug heating equipment visit this post: The Ultimate Guide to Bed Bug Heaters: Buying a Bed Bug Heater vs Renting