Month: March 2020

I wrote this years ago, but now this feels like a season of tough decisions. I hope this helps.


When you run a small business you are called upon to make hundreds of decisions both large and small, but sometimes there comes a tough decision you REALLY don’t want to make. It’s times like these that you could use an article and some long, complicated initials to help you get up the guts to make a decision… and this is THAT ARTICLE. 

 

Do a Pre-Postmortem 

We call this performing a PPM (Nobody calls it that) 

If you are a leader who can make knee jerk decisions based on emotion or a “whim” you may consider this technique to help with some perspective. 

A post mortem is looking back at something that went wrong and figuring out what caused it. A pre-postmortem is attempting to look at the choice you have now and diagnose it with a future perspective to see what could go wrong. 

Try to separate from the here and now and put yourself in the mindset of yourself 6 months, a year, even 5 years from now. Now think about how the future “you” will look at the decision you are about to make (or fail to make) and what the potential ramifications will be. 

Sometimes a tough problem becomes more clear when you can look back at it with future eyes. 

 

What if You Couldn’t Fail? 

You walk into the boardroom, and nail your presentation to the chairman of your largest customer. He looks over his glasses and asks, “Have you done a WIYCF analysis on this?”   

This is the opposite side of the spectrum from the PPM, if you are a leader who often lacks confidence or clarity or can be overwhelmed by fears, it may be helpful to think about what choice you would make if success was inevitable, what if you LITERALLY COULD NOT FAIL?

If you have ever met a leader who is abounding with confidence, it is often that they don’t consider the possibility of failure. This isn’t to say that they don’t fail…they just don’t acknowledge it when it happens and don’t let their mistakes reduce their confidence or forward momentum. When you make decisions from a “can’t fail” mindset you will often find a way to make the impossible possible. If you find yourself inhibited by fear, doubt and second-guessing you may want to focus on the WIYCF report. Heck, you may even become a reality TV star or President.

 

What Would Your Grandma Do? 

I often think of the wisdom of my Grandma Betty. She has lived well through getting married young, running a business, dealing with my Grandpa’s wild schemes, raising children and seeing countless cultural changes and wars come and go. While she may have no specific domain knowledge of my business, she has a good perspective on life in general. 

Often when I think about what she would do I am reminded that nothing is as horrible as it seems in the moment, and that a little patience and kindness goes a long way in solving life’s problems. What would your Grandma advise in this decision?

 

Who Wins? Who Loses?

When making a hard decision think about who the winners and losers are based on each option. I think about the three legs of the company stool as: profitability, employee morale, and customer satisfaction. Every decision I make has to take all three of these into account as well as benefit at least two of the three. 

Step back and think about how to make it a…wait for it …business cliche coming…a

“Win-win situation” 

 

Which Choice is Simpler?

Choose the simpler one. No initials required.  

 

Which Option Makes the Most People Smile For The Longest Period of Time?

Let’s ruin this concept by making up a corporate term for it. We will call it the “Time Average Mouth Corner Lift Factor” of TAMCLF.  

Business isn’t just about the numbers or the money, it really is about people and building relationships. Think about the choices you have to make and imagine the people who are most important to your business. Imagine the faces of your employees, partners, customers and your spouse and children. Are they smiling, or frowning? Will they be smiling or frowning a year from now once the decision has a chance to run its course?

This does not mean that business is a democracy or a popularity contest. Sometimes you will make decisions and other people will not like them, but it is still a HUMAN process that affects other HUMANS. 

When making a hard decision it is best to skim through, gather good advice, give yourself a deadline, seek simplicity and then MAKE THE DECISION. 

It only gets worse when you procrastinate. We call this the “Things Going Bad When You Procrastinate Coefficient” or TGBWYPC.   

 — Bryan

This is a recent call I ran that clearly had an interesting past. It had a condensate pump to pump the water just a few feet up to a drain that went to a common drain. The “cleanout” after the trap is supposed to be a vent, not a cleanout, which means it needs to be uncapped and vented higher than the indoor drain pan so that if the drain backs up the water goes back into the system and trips the condensate switch.  With the current position, the vent could not be raised because it would come right up in front of the filter.

My best guess is that when the installing contractor installed a new, larger air handler it no longer had the fall they needed to get the existing drain so they capped the vent (seen in the photo above before it goes into the wall).

I’m using this system as an example because it has every possible drain don’t you could come up with

  • No Cleanout
  • No float switch (condensate switch) to prevent pan overflow
  • Vent Improperly placed or causing filter obstruction
  • Using a pump when one wasn’t originally needed
  • Using a common drain with no vent
  • No insulation on the condensate drain horizontal runs

We did rectify as much of it as we could here which included

  • Adding a condensate switch
  • Repiping with a proper cleanout and vent before the pump
  • Insulating the horizontal portions

Unfortunately, we couldn’t eliminate the pump and I forgot to take “after” photos

This is an example of a drain properly pitched, insulated, trapped and vented with a system and secondary pan switch installed. Two things I do notice on this one is the pan doesn’t look like it overlaps 3″ at the top of the unit, The cleanout would be better right above the trap and I can’t tell what’s supporting this drain to ensure the pitch stays correct.

It’s amazing how much there is to the simple, humble condensate drain.

— Bryan

Let’s Start with the basics.

Water freezes at 32° Fahrenheit and 0° Celsius at sea level and atmospheric pressure. When any surface is below that temperature, and the air around it contains moisture, ice/frost will begin to form. In some situations, ice is to be expected, such as in refrigeration evaporators and exposed portions of the refrigeration suction line and the metering device outlet in refrigeration applications. Frost and freezing are also likely in heat pumps operating in heat mode. The outdoor coil on a heat pump becomes the evaporator coil, and during low outdoor ambient conditions, it is expected that the outdoor coil will eventually freeze and require defrost.

The reason that frost/ice is inevitable in some applications is just due to the laws of thermodynamics (moving heat). To get heat from one place to another you need to have a difference in temperature. So inside of a freezer where you hope to get the box temperature to 0°F  the coil temperature needs to be BELOW 0° to transfer heat out of the freezer and into the coil and then down the suction line to the compressor. If you have a freezer with a design coil temperature difference of 10° and a design superheat of 8° the coil will be at -10°F and the suction temperature at the evaporator outlet will be -2°F.

On a heat pump running in heat mode, you will commonly find an evaporator (outdoor coil) that runs 20° – 30° colder than the outdoor temperature. This means that if it is 30° outside the outdoor coil temperature could easily be 0°F. In these cases, ice is normal and periodic defrost is expected and required.

Some systems we work on and install will freeze. Air conditioning is not one of them.

In an air conditioning system, we must keep the evaporator temperature above 32°F. We can easily know the evaporator temperature by looking at our suction saturation temperature (suction gauge temperature for the particular refrigerant). For R22 32° is 57.73 PSIG at sea level, R410a is 101.58 PSIG, and R407C is 67.80 PSIG.  If we don’t keep our evaporator coils above these coil pressures/temperatures, the system will freeze. The rate at which it will freeze is a function of –

  • Time – The longer it runs at or below 32°, the more frost/ice will build
  • Moisture – The more humidity the air contains as it passes over the coil
  • Temperature Difference – The colder the coil, the faster ice will build
  • Air Velocity / Dwell Time – The faster the air moves over the coil, the slower ice will build, the slower it moves, the quicker it will build
  • Coil Design – Closer fins will freeze faster

The ice buildup always starts in the evaporator and works it’s way outside. If you have a frozen compressor, you have a frozen evaporator. When you find a frozen system, take your time and get it fully defrosted. Take care to manage the ice melt water and keep it away from motors and boards where it can cause damage and a shock hazard. Some towels and a shopvac are great to have handy when defrosting a unit. When possible allow it to defrost slowly and naturally to prevent damage.

So what circumstances can result in low coil temperature?

Low Evaporator Load 

Low load is often equated with low airflow… and it usually is low airflow, but there is a bit more to the story than that.

An air conditioning system has one final design result, one big end goal that we are shooting for. Matching the refrigeration effect to the evaporator load.

We must match the quantity of refrigerant moving through the evaporator coil to the amount of heat the evaporator coil is absorbing

That is our mission, and that is the primary reason we measure superheat. Superheat gives us a look at how well we are matching refrigerant flow to heat load. High superheat means evaporator underfeeding; low superheat means overfeeding.

There is an issue though, we could have a correct superheat and still have a coil temperature of under 32°, and this is not acceptable in an air conditioning system. When the coil absorbs less heat than designed the coil temperature and suction pressure drop. In cases where a TXV or EEV is controlling suction superheat the suction pressure will drop even further as the valve attempts to keep the superheat from plummeting.

This is why we must size a system, and it’s ductwork appropriately for one another as well as for the space, climate, and even altitude. If we install a system that requires 1200 CFM of airflow to properly balance the refrigeration effect to the load at 75° design indoor temperature and that system is only receiving 900 CFM of airflow, you run an excellent likelihood of freezing. This is especially true when the outdoor temperature drops or the customer decides to drop the thermostat lower than usual.

Low load is often due to low airflow, low indoor ambient conditions and equipment oversizing. Low load conditions will have symptoms of low suction pressure, low superheat, low head and high evaporator Delta T. Start by looking for the obvious, dirty coils, dirty filters, dirty blower wheels, blocked returns, mismatched equipment, improper blower settings, closed registers and undersized ducts. You can then move on to performing static pressure tests to locate more difficult issues.

Low load is the most common cause of persistent freezing and should be top of mind when a technician is diagnosing a freezing system

Low Refrigerant In the Evaporator

System undercharge or underfeeding due to restricted refrigerant flow (restricted filter driers, plugged screens, failed expansion valves or undersized pistons) can also result in freezing over time. Low refrigerant can result in fewer molecules of refrigerant in the evaporator coil which results in lower coil pressure because the coil contains both saturated liquid at the beginning of the coil as well as superheated vapor towards the end. This type of freezing requires time because less refrigerant in the coil equals less refrigeration (cooling) effect.

If the coil temperature is below 32° in an undercharged situation, the coil will simultaneously build frost as the beginning of the coil after the metering device AND underfeed the coil resulting in high superheat. Over time as the frost builds it will start to block the opening of the coil which blocks airflow and insulates that portion of the coil from airflow which reduces the coil load. Eventually, once the coil is blocked with frost almost all of the load is removed from the coil and you have a low refrigerant issue that LED to a low load issue that resulted in a complete freeze up.

Once you defrost the system and test you will find that low refrigerant charge conditions result in low suction, low subcool, high superheat and low head pressure. Refrigerant restrictions will be low suction; high superheat, high subcooling.

Often once you resolve the charge issue, you may also find another low load issue as well that contributed to the freezing. In many cases when low charge is the cause, the customer will notice the issue before the system is FROZEN SOLID.

Low refrigerant will often result in a partially frozen coil more than a full block of ice. Remember, low COIL refrigerant can be restriction related or low charge, but if it’s low charge you will have low subcooling if it is restriction it will have high subcooling.

Low Outdoor Ambient

When a cooling system is operated during low outdoor temperatures the condensing temperature and head pressure will drop. If the head pressure drops low enough the suction pressure will also drop resulting in freezing. The only way to resolve this cause is to install some type of head pressure control such as fan cycling or fan speed control to keep the head pressure from dropping significantly.

Blower Issues

If the indoor blower shuts off, the coil temperature will drop. Sometimes a blower motor will have internal issues or controls issues that cause it to shut off periodically. This can cause intermittent freezing that can be hard to diagnose. Checking controls, belts, blower amperage, bearings, and motor temperature can all help in diagnosing these issues. Sometimes leaving an amperage data logger on the motor along with a coil or supply air temperature sensor can give you the ammunition you need to pinpoint an intermittent issue.

When diagnosing a freezing situation don’t jump to conclusions, get all the ice defrosted before making a diagnosis and keep a sharp eye out for airflow and design issues. Freezing is often due to more than one issue combined that act to turn your customer’s air conditioner into an ice machine.

— Bryan

 

I ran a service call today with another tech where the previous tech had diagnosed an intermittent piston restriction. I read the history beforehand and for the past several years there were a lot of assorted comfort complaints and lot of little charge adjustments in both the Summer and winter, it is worth noting here the system, like many in our market this system a heat pump.

There were mentions of freeze-up during the Summer and high pressure cut out during the Winter which had me thinking airflow even before we arrived.

As we pulled up I noticed it was a townhome community with four homes per building.

There was no tenant home so we accessed the home via lockbox and as we walked up the stairs I was noticing the home was quite small… two bedrooms and two baths and when we opened the air handler closet it was….. 3.5 tons

The place had 12″x12″ tiles on the floor and it was a simple rectangle so we counted up length x width and the entire home was just under 1200 sqft.

Now sqft per ton is no way to do a load calculation… I admit it

But this townhome had occupied spaces on both sides meaning the only exposures and windows were on two sides with big trees shading the back, the building was built in 2007 and this system was installed in 2016.

What’s the next move you would make?

Common Sense

The great thing about having 4 other, almost identical units on the building is that we can easily see what tonnage they had installed, and they were 2-ton units…. makes more sense.

So in 2016 some fly-by-night company hacked in a 3.5-ton unit rather than using a 2-ton that may have been a little oversized to begin with given the low loads on this home.

The result is a system that is running REALLY low airflow resulting in low evap temperature and low superheat in the summer and high head pressure in the winter. Techs had been trying to “fix” the problem each year with little charge adjustments rather than finding and fixing the underlying issue.

After walking around the home we found some vents closed… likely because they were blowing somebody’s wig off with the high air velocity.

We went in the attic and found some ducts unsealed, some insulation pushed out of the way and two bath fans venting freely in the attic.

None of this required fancy tools or advanced diagnostic techniques to diagnose… just some common sense… some looking around and a little comparison to figure out the story.

Elementary my dear Watson… Elementary

— Bryan

I’ve always opposed the practice of grabbing a hub puller as the first method of removing a blower. This video by Brad Hicks with HVAC in SC on YouTube demonstrates the exact method I use to safely remove a blower wheel without damaging anything. Thanks Brad!


 

Transcript

This is going to be on removing blower wheels from blower motors I see a lot of guys that will just get a fancy puller they won’t do any prep work on the motor shaft they’ll just drop their puller on there and try to remove it. Sometimes it works sometimes it gets everything bound up to where you have to replace the blower wheel.
Basically, what I do is just loosen the set screw,  you can see how rusty this one is right here but loosen the setscrew and force the wheel on the hub down farther first.  You can see now we have some clean metal and then I just take a couple minutes to just with a piece of Emery cloth or sandpaper just clean this shaft up really really good. Take a couple extra minutes to prep that shaft once that’s nice and clean you just grab something some sort of lubricant rust breaker wd-40 in this case spray a little bit on there and nine times out of ten this wheel will come right off no problems at all without any puller. I do hope that helps thanks for watching.
— Brad

When working in a business with people, you have two options:

1. Become bitter as you experience people and life and issues
2. Grow from experiencing people and life and issues.

 

I’m not proud to say it, but I realize now that when I started my business and had bad experiences, I would run to option #1. and start building a wall between people and myself. Every difficult situation would bring me to my wall and I’d add another row of bricks.

It happens. We get taken advantage of, our expectations are completely dashed and unmet, we lose money, our ego is crushed, etc.

Often times money was never the issue for me, but it was more a matter of emotional heartache and inconvenience. 

A quick example: In the early stages of starting our family business I had a commercial customer where I was installing air conditioners within cell phone tower equipment rooms. Every job made money, but frustration would build with last minute changes on their part. We’d make special trips to get different supplies to help meet their demands, and I sensed in myself that I was building my wall higher and having thoughts like: “I will not work with these types of jobs in the future”

I see now that I was putting an emotional limit on myself and was simply-unwilling to grow.

Instead of focusing on the fact that I had an opportunity to expand and broaden both my experience and customer base, I was shrinking my horizon by committing to only approach things that I was comfortable with and things that I naturally enjoyed doing.

While I didn’t give up entirely on insane projects, I would often be heard saying to a customer, “We aren’t taking on that type of project at this time” or to the office personnel I’d say, “Nope, I’m not going to deal with the difficulty of that type of customer.”

Somehow I felt as if I was being a strong leader by being willing to “Just say no.” 

I was fooling myself. Instead of allowing circumstances to be an opportunity to grow, I was allowing circumstances to control my behavior.

What changed for me was coming to realize that I spent too much time judging motives and allowing the behavior of others to affect how I looked at my business and purpose.

As time passed I came to see that I could keep on the way I was going, but I wanted more. I wanted to expand myself, I wanted to see that others’ crazy wasn’t so terrible after all. In fact, I too have a form of crazy; it just looks different than someone else’s.

Why not choose to work together and support one another instead of creating walls of indifference? Find enough common ground to make it a win/win situation.

While I would still say there are times to say “no” to a job or a potential customer, it’s based off of different reasons than what I had before. It might be “No, I can’t make money on this job,” or “My employees just don’t have the skills and/or equipment to handle this problem,” or “The scope of work is way too vague for me to bid on this,” instead of the old “This is new and unfamiliar. I’m not doing this!”

In summary:

  • Find opportunities in difficulties
  • Shed fears and embrace new things
  • Find common ground with others and don’t judge their motives
  • People are crazy, and so are you
  • Valuing others will genuinely grow you as an individual, and as a business


What is an experience where you’ve had to deal with heartache, but can still see it as an area of growth?

 

 

At the time of the publication of this article, COVID-19 (coronavirus) is spreading across the world at an alarming rate, and many people have self-quarantined to help slow and/or stop the spread of the virus. These precautionary measures are prudent and responsible. However, with the increased amount of time people will now spend inside their homes, there is a hidden factor to be aware of, which many people won’t think about. The prolonged occupancy of homes with increased cooking, bathing, and cleaning time will significantly impact the indoor air/environmental quality of these homes. An issue like this may not be measurable, but it is inevitable. In a time when many technicians, companies, and manufacturers will use this health crisis as a way to promote the sale of IAQ products in ways that can only be judged as unethical, it is imperative to the honest and curious technician to understand how to do her part in educating customers, and keeping everyone healthy.

This article will stay away from talking about specific types of boxed devices out there that “purify” the air, because that’s a topic for another day. The focus here is on the three main processes available to technicians and homeowners to improve indoor environmental conditions. Taking these one by one, technicians should have a thorough crash-course understanding of each and its importance to indoor air quality (IAQ). Ventilation, Filtration, and Humidity Control.

The first step in understanding a healthy indoor environment is to recognize the villains one must fight against in order to keep an environment healthy. Particulate Matter (PM), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Humidity (high or low), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Ozone (O3), etc. are just a few. These are the elements that tend to concentrate themselves in tight indoor environments. Each of the “Holy Trinity of IAQ” is designed to deal with these undesirables in their own dedicated way.

Everyone should know what a bath fan is. If you don’t have a bath fan, you probably live in a house not updated since the 1970s, and you likely have other decor issues to deal with as well. Bath fans are the most common mechanical ventilation in homes today. They are a form of negative pressure ventilation. As the fan pulls air from the room and expels it (hopefully not in your attic), this creates a negative pressure on the building envelope, and air from outside is pulled in through the cracks and crevices around your windows, door frames, attics, and through Jerry’s mouse hole…which everyone has…right? This type of ventilation is by far one of the least desirable, because you exact zero control over the quality of air you are bringing into the home. The air could be high in humidity and temperature, or it could be passing through layers of blown-in insulation inside your attic; neither of which are ideal. Air from these places isn’t really fresh.

The general consensus is that positive or balanced pressure ventilation is best. Examples of positive pressure ventilation include Make-up air units (MAU), Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS), and the use of a scuttle (a small duct run from outdoor air into the return ductwork for HVAC systems). Balanced pressure ventilation is accomplished through mechanical equipment like Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV), Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV), and Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilators (CERV). Each of these technologies has their advantages and ideal applications. The reason positive/balanced ventilation is desirable is for its ability to control the fresh air. If you can control the air you breathe, you can keep it “fresh”. For all of these options, there are applications for which they can be used that actually improve upon the quality of the air entering the space. But why do we care about ventilation? What’s so important about it?

Houses used to be built loosely. This isn’t to say they were built poorly, but houses used to be loose enough to allow for tons of natural ventilation. The codes and standards have evolved, and we now construct assemblies more airtight than in the past. This is why the EPA has published that indoor environments are often 2-5 times higher concentrations of air pollutants than outdoor levels, and can reach upwards of 100 times worse! This is because as people bathe, clean, and cook, VOC concentrations, Particulate matter, and humidity levels increase dramatically. People thought bath fans were for bathroom odors, but really that’s just a nice side-effect. They are for removing water vapor during and after showers/baths. Ventilation is utilized to dilute VOCs, CO, CO2, and other chemicals in order to maintain a comfortable indoor environment. I know of people who grew up watching their mother open all the windows of the house for a couple hours a week in order to “flush” the house. Mechanical ventilation is just like that, except more controllable and technologically advanced.

Particulate Matter is another indoor environment characteristic, which can cause a variety of health concerns. Particulate matter is categorized by its size in diameter, which is measured in micrometers (or microns). A lot of buzz is generated around PM 2.5, which is particulate matter with a diameter of 2 and a half microns; that is due to PM 2.5’s ability to do major damage to the human respiratory system. To give you an idea of the size of PM 2.5, the EPA has published that PM 10 is considered inhalable. PM 2.5 is 75% smaller than that! This means PM 2.5 tends to stay in the air stream longer than larger, denser particles. However, PM 2.5 is not the smallest particulate matter that can potentially do harm. PM 1 and 0.5 are also in the air, and they can easily make their way to our lungs and bloodstream. In order to combat against these airborne particles, it is important to filter the air with a high-quality air filter. There are filters designed to trap PM 2.5 and smaller (MERV 11 up to HEPA), and they are a critical component to any air distribution system. The third edition (2018) of the EPA Technical Summary of Residential Air Cleaners states that a MERV 13 is recommended for every HVAC system, or as high a MERV rating as the system will allow. 

EPA Technical Summary: Residential Air Cleaners (2018)

It is important to note that Particulate Matter does not refer to just dust. Particulate matter can be made up of pollen, viruses, bacteria, fibers, fungal spores, vehicle exhaust, etc. This fact makes it clear that filtration is not only important for the HVAC system, but also for the incoming air to any mechanical ventilation system. Humans are constantly submerged in this fluid called air. We must give more thought to the quality of the air we breathe. 

The final head of our three-headed IAQ dragon is Humidity Control. This can refer to either high or low humidity levels. Either extreme is unhealthy and can create an environment prime for health risks. On one hand, high humidity can cause respiratory issues, encourage dust mite life, allow viruses and bacteria to increase, allow VOCs to become airborne, allow increased chemical reactions, and allow microbiological growth to take place. On the other hand, low humidity levels can also cause respiratory issues, irritate mucous membranes, allow viruses and bacteria to increase, and allow for the production of ozone. The happy medium is the generally accepted ideal humidity index, which falls between 35%-60% relative humidity.

In order to control humidity indoors, a technician must be aware of her climate zone, and whether she must work to increase or decrease humidity levels indoors in relation to outside levels. For arid climates, humidification is necessary, and options such as higher airflows and in-duct steam humidifiers are great solutions. For humid climates, running lower airflows and adding mechanical supplemental dehumidification is ideal. Some dehumidification systems allow for ventilation as an option, and they include a high MERV filter to cover all the bases. This option is an ideal solution for certain applications. Humidity must be controlled in an occupied space for that space to be comfortable. People are much more sensitive to humidity than temperature. 

Looking at these three paths to creating and maintaining healthy air inside a home, it is important to realize these are Indoor Air Quality solutions. To create and maintain a fully comfortable indoor environment, air leaks, insulation, and load matching are other issues that would need to be addressed. However, in addressing the current issues with air quality in homes, this “Holy Trinity” is all any technician needs to exert energy into in order to help keep occupant air clean. There is a mindset that humans are never more intimate with their surroundings than when they inhale the air into their bodies. Technicians must take action to educate consumers and recommend the most effective solutions for IAQ improvement. 

There are many companies and manufacturers using this health crisis to promote the sales of popular air “purifiers”, which use chemistry to “clean” the air in lieu of ventilation, humidity control, and filtration. The technology of these products will be discussed in a later article, but the most important take-away at this juncture is how important it is to maintain control over the humidity, the outdoor air coming into the space, and the concentration of particulate matter in the air stream. The methods of dealing with the issues mentioned in this article are the only methods that have been time and volume tested over decades, and they have standards in place to help ensure their effectiveness on IAQ. 

So what do technicians do right now? Many homeowners may not want to spend the money on advanced in-duct filtration, mechanical ventilation, and humidity control during this time of uncertainty. Joe Medosch from HaywardScore.com has shared a very ingenuitive and affordable solution for many people to effectively filter indoor air. 

This DIY method is a great way to help encourage homeowners to remain healthy as they spend more time inside their homes. This “box fan filter” may also make it more viable for sensitive people to open their windows and doors for longer periods of time during pollen season, as this enhances the circulation of air inside, and adds filtration throughout the home. Another recommendation for homeowners is to utilize the bath fans and kitchen exhausts as a way of ventilation. ALWAYS run a bath fan during bathing activity, and continue to run it 10-15 minutes afterward in order to prevent as much water vapor as possible from remaining inside the home. Portable dehumidifiers and humidifiers are also available. 

Another recommendation for every technician, business, and the homeowner is the use of IAQ monitors throughout the home. Real-time monitoring and translation of data over time allows people to see the effects of their activities on IAQ. For technicians and businesses, it is a great way to track the effectiveness of your work over time. Without measurements and testing, you can only guess!

As we work together to combat the spread of viruses in our communities and around the world, the HVAC/R industry has a large opportunity to help educate customers on how to create and maintain a healthy indoor environment. We must take care to avoid fear-mongering and sales tactics geared toward the exploitation of people’s vulnerability and miseducation. Practice integrity, do your research, and implement industry best practices always

 

– Kaleb

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