The Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln was something I looked forward to attending as a youth. Dennis, my best friend, and I were given free rein to go explore as our parents ventured off in other directions. This was of course when children were much safer.

The State Fair was such a busy place with so much to offer. There were exciting carnival rides and food. The cotton candy smelled great. Vanilla ice cream coated with chocolate and nuts was always a showstopper for us.

When we depleted our allowances, we visited free livestock and 4-H booths with ribbon-awarded entries. I remember watching free shows at the open-air auditorium. It was impressive to see celebrities in person.

One intriguing thing was the product demonstrations at booths. Maybe it was the food that initially drew us to the pot and pan demonstration, but once there it was interesting to watch. The free samples kept our attention!

The blender demonstration was interesting too when the gentleman put all sorts of fruits and vegetables in his healthy concoction that was supposedly the answer to so many health concerns, or so he said. That free sample tasted OK for a health drink.

The reality was food probably stuck to the pricey pots and pans if not used properly. The healthy blended drink wasn’t that special, but it sounded like something we needed at that moment.

There were lots of promises made as the microphones blared, but the reality became obvious when the facts were not accurate. Claims about the scary “freaks of nature” were oversold at sideshows. The State Fair taught me at an early age if something seemed too good to be true it probably wasn’t true and it’s OK to be suspicious.

At the same time, many claims in life are true. It is important to understand the difference. An example of truth claims is two exciting new technologies in heating and air conditioning.

One breakthrough improvement for heat pumps and air conditioners is variable speed technology. They can now be operated at lower variable speeds when temperature needs are low, but also have the ability to operate at high speeds on super-hot and humid days when other units fall short. This flexibility adds comfort.

Variable speed equipment operating at lower speeds is super quiet and is more efficient. That saves money and increases equipment life. The proof is backed by facts and figures.

Two of the best variable speed units are Trane and Lennox, 20 to 25 SEER heat pumps that work so great it’s almost too well to be true. This is the point the guy at the State Fair says, “wait, there’s more”!

There is more and it’s something called zoning. Zoning technology allows homes or businesses to adjust airflows to match the temperature needed within any area of the building. If an area is hot, it needs more cool air. If it is cold, it needs less cool air or more warm air. Zone dampers can be installed in new or existing ductwork. They automatically adjust to temperatures you set. It is possible to zone and control every room.

Variable speed and zoning are ideal solutions for homes or businesses with just one heating or cooling unit because airflows can be adjusted while the unit is heating or cooling at an efficient level. A great example is two-story homes that need more cooling in the summer. Zoning allows extra cooling to supply the upstairs area but does not overcome the lower levels. Why reach for a blanket or have cold feet just to keep things cool upstairs?

Improved health is an important byproduct of variable speed and zoning technology because units can now operate full time using minimal energy. This reduces our carbon footprint while allowing air to be filtered constantly to remove excess dust and other allergens. This keeps your lungs and the furniture cleaner!

Heating and cooling technology need to be shared loudly just like they advertised things with microphones at the State Fair. It’s not over-promising when it works extremely well. Those that have gone this route have been impressed!

The State Fair in Lincoln provided lots of memories for many of us. Today that same location is the home to Nebraska Innovation Campus, which will allow even more improved technology to improve our lives. The Nebraska State Fair at Grand Island will continue producing new memories for others. Life goes on……

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