>>>I recently joined a forum that was very knowledgable...HVAC forum, but even simple *just for reference* questions get you flamed<<<
You didn't join a pro. forum by mistake did you? A lot of forums have rules that you have to be in the trades to post; they will cancel your post.
I agree the Terry's forum is one of the best, you only get shot down if you post something stupid that dosen't help keeping it civil.