Air Filtration - Expert Commentary

Importance Of Preventative Maintenance For Commercial Property Owners And Managers
Importance Of Preventative Maintenance For Commercial Property Owners And Managers

We visit the doctor for yearly check-ups and take our vehicles to a mechanic for maintenance and oil changes. The same idea applies to an HVAC system. An HVAC system can run around 2,000 hours per year and is a building system that is constantly expending energy. Without preventative maintenance, it is much more likely that a building owner could be overlooking silent issues that could cause a system to break down long before it should. Preventative maintenance is catching on for a reason. A 2021 survey from The Colling Media Snapshot asked homeowners across the US about preventative maintenance. The survey stated that during the last time they had an HVAC service, 41% of homeowners had a preventative maintenance inspection of their HVAC system. The importance of preventative maintenance is resonating with homeowners and commercial property owners are no exception. Below are three reasons why commercial property owners and managers should keep preventative maintenance top of mind: Tenant Satisfaction Preventative maintenance can affect the satisfaction and the length of stay of residents For commercial property owners, tenant satisfaction is a top priority. Preventative maintenance can affect the satisfaction and the length of stay of residents. The Rental Protection Agency states that repair problems are the third most common complaint in residents nationwide, which includes heating and cooling. Busy season for contractors occurs during the hot summers when outside temperatures are extreme and homeowners are excessively running their units. The typical HVAC contractor carries a backlog of 2-3 weeks’ worth of work during the busy season. Summers without air conditioning can be miserable for residents and detrimental to a building’s reputation and retention if system failures are not fixed quickly enough. Staying on top of preventative maintenance is a proactive strategy to mitigate emergencies. Capital Planning Planning for routine services is important for all HVAC owners and operators as neglecting preventative maintenance can devastate a budget. This is especially true if you are a commercial property owner or manager as overlooking preventive maintenance could cause failure to multiple HVAC systems and exponentially increase the cost of repair and throw a property owner even further out of budget. In addition to reducing last-minute emergencies, keeping the maintenance and replacement history of a building’s HVAC systems is important when it is time to sell a commercial property. How well a system is maintained can affect the sale price of a property, especially as buyers from the coasts expect up-to-date HVAC systems. Data-Driven Decision Making  IoT coupled with sensors and wireless networks provide perspective into both predictive and prescriptive analytics In commercial properties, HVAC systems consume more than 30 percent of the total energy use of a building. The Internet of Things (IoT) coupled with sensors and wireless networks provide perspective into both predictive and prescriptive analytics that can assist in decision making. With this data, building owners and maintenance techs can understand which systems are consuming the most energy, which ones are the most energy-efficient, and can identify when systems are breaking down. These actions provide a runway of time to proactively fix system failures before the cost to repair is greater than the cost of replacement.

HVAC Efficiency Enabled By The Smart Buildings Of The Future
HVAC Efficiency Enabled By The Smart Buildings Of The Future

In today’s world, we spend almost 90 per cent of our time indoors, in our workplaces, leisure areas and our homes. It is no secret that the built environment has been relatively slow in its embrace of information technology and automation. According to KPMG’s ‘Building a Technology Advantage’ report, fewer than 20 percent of construction and engineering executives, and major-project owners said they are re-thinking their business models, so as to incorporate new technology. Yet, it has now become a necessity, as energy efficiency becomes a more prominent topic discussion, which is leading to sweeping changes across all aspects of our lives and none more so than in the built environment. Commitment to net-zero emissions Governments are beginning to impose tighter restrictions on building use, energy consumption and emissions. Policymakers around the world are committing to net-zero emissions targets, with more than 60 countries pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. For example, the European Union (EU) is committed to become a carbon-neutral economy, with net-zero emissions by 2050 and all new buildings within the EU must be constructed as near-zero energy buildings. Meanwhile, China has legislated that at least 30 per cent of all new buildings must be ‘green’. Smart technology to better manage HVAC Technology can help optimize energy consumption and create energy efficiency in our buildings Given this new trend towards energy efficiency in the real estate sector, smart technology is needed to better manage HVAC and energy consumption. Buildings currently contribute 40 per cent of global carbon emissions, a problem exacerbated by extreme weather conditions across the globe, which increases demand for electricity, as more people rely on air conditioning for cooling. Technology can help optimize energy consumption and create energy efficiency in our buildings, alleviating many of the problems that we have today. Technology enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) can optimize comfort and safety, while providing remote operability and access to everything from HVAC systems to security cameras. At the same time, data collection and integration with cloud-based services allow for powerful energy efficiency measures. Designing and operating Smart buildings The concept and operation of smart buildings is not new. Architects and developers have been installing separate systems to control lighting and HVAC for decades. Later systems have evolved and helped building managers control access to different areas of a site, mitigate fire risk and protect against power surges. What is new is the addition of web-based platforms, in order to allow these verticals to integrate seamlessly with each other. The building of tomorrow is achievable today, using the latest in automation intelligence to control lighting, air-conditioning and heating. With these digital solutions, everything can be controlled remotely and allow for complete control, whenever it is needed most. Increased use of smart technology The first step in managing HVAC energy is to understand exactly how much is being used and where it is used. With this information at hand, managers can highlight areas for improvement, which in turn will help a building become more efficient and ultimately, save money. Another step in managing HVAC energy is including smart technology alongside your system Another step in managing HVAC energy is including smart technology alongside your system, as it can minimize maintenance costs. Predictive fault-finding can save maintenance time and labor, as well as minimizing downtime for expensive equipment or services. It is estimated that smart-enabled predictive maintenance is three to nine times cheaper than a traditional reactive approach. Tenant and occupant satisfaction are often also higher, as systems that experience failure can be identified, repaired and re-booted quickly. Smart building systems Smart building systems, such as ABB i-bus KNX ClimaECO and ABB Cylon BACnet solutions, can combine HVAC in one holistic solution, from central control and management of heating and cooling systems, down to room-level automation. Smart systems simplify the implementation of intelligent automation in modern buildings and using pre-installed algorithms, can make autonomous decisions on things, such as adjusting lighting and HVAC levels, to reflect time of day, external environment, occupancy levels or other variables. Additionally, data collection and data analysis enabled by IoT allows for increased knowledge and better predictions of use. Working with a smart building, which is interconnected, can act and learn on this data, while providing remote access to data and analytics for human oversight. The ROI of smart technology implementation In addition to legislation driving change, being ‘smart’ provides other real benefits for developers and owners. As a building adapts to the demands of its users or the goals of its managers, it can save energy, cut emissions and reduce energy costs. More effective and efficient use of power can save money, quickly repaying initial technology expenditure Comparing energy savings to the falling cost of installing a basic smart management system, smart buildings immediately prove their worth. According to HSBC, if a smart system delivered an energy cost saving of 25 per cent, on an installation cost of US$ 37,500, for a 50,000 sq. ft building, the annual savings could be as much as US$ 23,000, giving a payback period of less than two years. More effective and efficient use of power can save money, quickly repaying initial technology expenditure. HVAC and lighting alone can account for about 50 per cent of energy use in an average commercial building, but by incorporating smart automation, managers may see decreased energy costs of up to 30 to 50 per cent. Leading the fight against climate change Technologies, such as IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are crucial to help us in the fight against climate change. These technologies help users, owners, operators and facility managers interact with the buildings of the future effortlessly, with personalized comfort and maximum efficiency. Artificial Intelligence and IoT is constantly in a state of evolution, as more applications for the technology are discovered. Given the ever-changing nature of technology, the possibilities for smart buildings in the future are endless.

Positive Input Ventilation: A Breath Of Fresh Air For Pandemic-Based Retrofitting
Positive Input Ventilation: A Breath Of Fresh Air For Pandemic-Based Retrofitting

A quick glance at official COVID-19 mitigation guidance reveals that it promotes increased ventilation air change rates, as the most effective way to keep people safe. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just open a window or turn up your ventilation system, if you have one. The fact is, however, that the vast majority of domestic properties in Britain does not have a mechanical ventilation system and rely on natural means for background ventilation, including windows, trickle vents or air bricks. In short, homeowners or tenants must physically open windows, after having decided whether they want to. This is an imperfect system for several reasons. Firstly, cold or wet weather might lessen an open window’s appeal and secondly, natural ventilation is a weather dependent process, as sometimes there’s simply no air movement. In other words, a natural ventilation strategy does not guarantee effective ventilation. With an airborne virus still being transmitted across the country, it’s important to understand the best options available to combat the spread. Building to minimum standards Building using a strategy that comprises natural background ventilation is the simplest, easiest and cheapest method of compliance to Part F: Building Regulations. That’s why it is the most common. We call this building to ‘minimum standards’. The problem with this approach, which is perfectly legal and entirely acceptable to Building Control, is that it often leads to problems caused by insufficient ventilation, such as condensation, mould, dust mites and odors, once the building is occupied. This issue has been made far worse, in recent years, since we committed to the 2050 Climate Change Targets This issue has been made far worse, in recent years, since we committed to the 2050 Climate Change Targets and started retrofitting insulation improvements to millions of existing properties. Our already well-sealed properties were sealed up even further, thereby causing all the moisture and pollutants produced by the occupancy to stay in the house, unless ventilated away. Pros and cons of positive input ventilation Positive input ventilation (PIV) is a highly effective means of dealing with such issues. PIV systems can be retrofitted into existing buildings, in order to improve the rate of background ventilation and eliminate the problems mentioned earlier. PIV is widely accepted in social and private housing, because it is unobtrusive, not behavior dependent, easy to install, highly cost effective and improves building energy efficiency. PIV can, therefore, help increase air change rates for naturally ventilated buildings. Unfortunately, however, new problems can emerge through the use of such systems. Increasing ventilation can create thermal comfort problems, leading to expensive heating bills and uncomfortable occupants. Rise in outdoor pollution ingress It can also increase outdoor pollution ingress, which, in turn, can exacerbate health issues and lead to deadly asthma triggers, as confirmed by the ruling in the Ella Kissi-Debrah inquest. In short, PIV and other ventilation strategies, despite comprising filtration, can still let pollutants in. On top of these issues is viral particles emitted indoors, a key concern in the current climate, which can be displaced faster by more air changes and are not easily destroyed. This arguably means the rate of transmission remains high. What is needed is a retrofit solution that achieves all the benefits of PIV, while removing and destroying indoor and outdoor pollutants, including viral/microbials. Active PIV is that solution. Active PIV: A huge step forward Active PIV with Photohydroionisation (PHI) increases fresh air ventilation air change rates Active PIV with Photohydroionisation (PHI) increases fresh air ventilation air change rates, thus reducing indoor humidity and providing safe, and effective active air purification throughout the indoor environment. Most importantly, it complies with COVID-19 mitigation guidance and removes, and destroys pollutants from both indoor and outdoor sources, including odors, VOCs, radon and other gases, allergens, such as pollens, mould, pet dander and dust mite faecal matter, particulates, including smoke or traffic soot, and viral/bacterial emissions, including SARS-CoV-2, at the point of transmission. This level of protection is not possible with increased ventilation alone or passive air treatments, such as filtration, UV, PCO, or ionization. Active PIV, therefore, provides an extra layer of indoor protection, over and above PIV that is continuous and not behavior dependent. PHI technology delivers active air purification The PHI technology that delivers active purification essentially mimics Earth’s natural air cleaning processes. Minute concentrations of ionized hydro peroxides are created, whenever there is sunlight, water vapor and oxygen present. These active molecules break down and destroy pollutants on contact, and revert back to water vapor and oxygen afterwards. Active PIV recreates this process in an indoor setting, constantly replenishing new active molecules to replace the spent ones. It is perfectly safe to breathe and effective against all three categories of indoor air pollutants, including: Particulates Microbial Gases Active PIV to counter COVID-19 pandemic Active PIV is the perfect innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be easily and quickly retrofitted, and its effect is instant. For social housing managers, it delivers the best possible protections to the indoor spaces, which are occupied by the tenants for whom they are responsible. In terms of both its innovation and effects, Active PIV technology is the breath of fresh air that the ventilation industry and a pandemic-stricken world sorely needs.

Latest Lennox news

Sila Services LLC Acquired Fahrenheit HVAC To Deliver Exceptional Home Comfort Solutions
Sila Services LLC Acquired Fahrenheit HVAC To Deliver Exceptional Home Comfort Solutions

Sila Services LLC recently acquired Fahrenheit HVAC, adding Fahrenheit's commitment to reliably professional same-day HVAC repairs and installations to Sila's already impressive portfolio of companies. Fahrenheit has provided outstanding and affordable care to its customers for over three decades. Sila is an HVAC industry veteran, with an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, and has been delivering exceptional home comfort in heating, AC, plumbing and electrical services, throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, since 1989. Home comfort expert "By extending our reach and adding the highly trained Fahrenheit technicians' services to our already premier packages, we're taking Sila to the next level," said Lou Pellegrini, CEO of Sila. "We're extremely pleased to be welcoming the Fahrenheit HVAC family into ours and there's a reason we are both household names in the Southeastern Pennsylvania area. Because we treat your home like we treat our own – ensuring you have efficiently running systems and invaluable peace of mind." Sila's factory-trained and certified technicians serve over 500 homes a day With over 7000 ‘A’ ratings on Angie's List, earning its prestigious super service award for multiple years running, Sila is the complete home comfort expert. A preferred partner of Carrier, Google Nest, Lennox, Mitsubishi, Unico, and other manufacturers, Sila's factory-trained and certified technicians serve over 500 homes a day, with 100% satisfaction guaranteed every single time. Saving customers money Repairs: Dependable and prompt repairs that ensure customers never have to wait too long to get back to living life in comfort. Tune-Ups and Maintenance: Prevention is key to keeping heating and AC systems in peak shape, ready for extreme weather. Annual Sila tune-ups include a 15-point safety inspection and filter change. Maintenance plans keep systems running reliably and efficiently – preventing breakdowns and saving customers money. Replacements and Installations: When replacements or new installations are necessary, Sila helps its customers select the perfect solutions for the home or office that fit nicely into any budget with attractive financing. Go Green: For those considering greener options for heating and AC, Sila offers geothermal systems that use natural, sustainable energy from the ground.

LENNOX EMEA, Standard Unit Coolers Compatible With A2L Refrigerants
LENNOX EMEA, Standard Unit Coolers Compatible With A2L Refrigerants

A number of standard unit coolers from Friga-Bohn, which supplies a wide range of market-leading refrigeration solutions to the food industry, are fully compatible with A2L refrigerants. The unit coolers support use with both new A2L refrigerants such as R1234yf, R454C, and R455C, as well as existing HFC refrigerant solutions. As a result, a single unit can provide for present and future requirements, reducing inventory for wholesalers and easing selection choices for installers. The market for unit coolers is changing. The F-Gas regulation means that a ban is in place for new installations using refrigerants with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of more than 2500. Furthermore, other refrigerants are having their availability limited by diminishing production quotas, which is consequently affecting prices. Refrigerant producers have to fall within a regulation-defined limit of Teq CO2 (carbon dioxide equivalent tonnes) per year. So opting to produce a refrigerant with a high GWP means less product availability, leading to a higher price. CO2 refrigerant Friga-Bohn can confirm that a number of its unit coolers offer compatibility with new A2L refrigerants CO2 has become the preferred refrigerant in high-capacity refrigeration installations due to its low GWP and good thermo-physic properties. However, for small/medium-capacity systems, the choice is not so obvious. CO2 is of course an option, but alternatives such as A2L refrigerants are very attractive as their constituent technology is similar to HFCs while offering a far lower GWP. To ensure simplicity of choice for installers, Friga-Bohn can confirm that a number of its unit coolers offer compatibility with new A2L refrigerants, as well as existing refrigerant solutions. This approach differs from other market systems, which are only suitable for one or the other. Wholesalers, therefore, benefit as they only need to stock a single type of unit cooler-one capable of meeting the requirements of both applications. A2L-compatible coolers The A2L-compatible coolers available from Friga-Bohn include MR and MH series ceiling units, NTA dual-discharge units, and 3C-A cubic units. Typical applications include cold rooms in cafes, hotels, bars, restaurants, local shops, minimarkets, and supermarkets, with options available to suit both positive and negative temperature conditions. Despite their low GWP (R1234yf, R454C, and R455C have a GWP of less than 150), A2L refrigerants carry a ‘slightly flammable’ security classification. For this reason, all Friga-Bohn unit coolers using A2L refrigerants have been subject to a comprehensive risk assessment, with INERIS, the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks, providing full approval and validation. A2L refrigerants provide the opportunity to reduce environmental impact and comply with the F-Gas regulation A risk analysis is also necessary for each installation to ensure safety for users and the general public; a process that should take into account the entire refrigeration system as well as its environment over the product life cycle. Here, Friga-Bohn can offer several newly developed tools to help simplify this process for installers. The availability of these tools ensures that the ‘slightly flammable’ classification of A2L refrigerants should not be an obstacle in reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. Transitioning to lower GWP refrigerants In summary, A2L refrigerants are a good solution when transitioning to lower GWP refrigerants. They provide the opportunity to reduce environmental impact and comply with the F-Gas regulation for small/medium capacity installations. However, changing to A2L does require some technical knowledge. Here, Friga-Bohn is ahead of market competitors – the company is fully prepared and ready to help wholesalers and installers with any assistance they may require in helping the food sector achieve a safe and effective switch to a future based on low-GWP refrigerants. Friga-Bohn can also help wholesalers to educate installers about this important industry shift.

IWBI Announces New WELL Performance Rating Focused On Using Dynamic Human And Building Performance Metrics
IWBI Announces New WELL Performance Rating Focused On Using Dynamic Human And Building Performance Metrics

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announces the upcoming launch of the WELL Performance Rating, a new designation rewarding building owners and operators for using measurable and validated building and human performance metrics to gain insights into health and well-being of the people inside and enhance conditions in their spaces based on those insights. The rating will consist of features drawn from the WELL Building Standard (WELL) along with new pathways and beta features that will be informed by the IWBI Performance Advisory, WELL Performance Testing Organizations (PTOs) and a host of industry pioneers in smart building technologies. Smart building technologies “The industry has done a great job of capturing environmental building performance metrics on site – energy and water use, for example – but we need to be able to marry these eco-friendly indicators with health performance metrics to enable balanced choices about the health of planet and the health of people,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO of IWBI. The industry has done a great job of capturing environmental building performance metrics on site" “With this incredible and diverse array of partners, advisors and other contributors, we are confident that the new rating will unlock and accelerate the use of smarter, more integrated approaches to improve and enhance well-being and performance.” The WELL Performance Rating will be comprised of WELL features specific leadership thresholds air and water quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, lighting and experience, helping projects both quantitative and qualitative to track, monitor and improve the performance of both the buildings and the people inside. Stand-Alone designation IWBI’s global network of 42 WELL Performance Testing Organizations, IWBI member organizations and its broader community of over 18,000 WELL Accredited Professionals (WELL APs) and registrants in more than 100 countries will support customers in their pursuit of the WELL Performance Rating. This new designation will add to a growing suite of WELL ratings that includes the WELL Health-Safety Rating and the forthcoming WELL Health Equity Rating. Each can be achieved as a stand-alone designation or milestone along the way to WELL Certification at Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum level. For WELL Portfolio participants, achieving these ratings will contribute to their WELL Score. IWBI members contributing to the development of the WELL Performance Rating include Aircuity, Carrier, CETEC, Cognian Technologies, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Kaiterra, Lennox International, Schneider Electric, SGS, Thornton Tomasetti and Trane Technologies. Creating healthy buildings We have led the industry in HVAC and building health and are currently pursuing certification" What industry pioneers say about the WELL Performance Rating: “Like WELL, we have long been committed to taking a holistic approach to the full spectrum of factors that create healthy buildings for people, including air quality, safety, and [functional] conditions such as thermal comfort, lighting, sound and environmental issues that contribute to better cognitive function and well-being.” “We have led the industry in HVAC and building health and are currently pursuing certification under the rigorous WELL v2 standard at our own world headquarters. Carrier is proud to support the WELL Performance Rating, which will provide people with confidence to return to the things and places they love and missed,” said David Gitlin, Chairman and CEO, Carrier. Innovative building solutions “At Honeywell, we’re not waiting for the future, we’re making it by creating innovative building solutions that foster and improve well-being and unlock positive outcomes at scale. By collaborating with IWBI on the WELL Performance Rating, we’re ushering in a new era of building performance, bridging building health while being conscious of environmental impact, and equally important, inspiring innovation and spurring market transformation that advances occupant well-being and productivity,” said Vimal Kapur, President and CEO, Honeywell Building Technologies (HBT). At Honeywell, we’re not waiting for the future, we’re making it by creating innovative building solutions" “As we continue to build on our history of more than 135 years delivering smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, we are excited about the opportunity to collaborate on the launch of IWBI’s WELL Performance Rating. The Rating will serve as a powerful accelerant that we know the market needs right now to help us all realize our shared vision for healthy buildings, while also aligning seamlessly with our proven and leading work to improve operating efficiency, boost productivity and advance sustainability,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls. Pioneering integrated solutions “As we move more decisively and strategically to meet our decarbonization goals in all buildings all around the globe, it’s imperative that we are just as ambitious in seizing the accompanying opportunity to optimize these spaces for the health of the people inside.” “By leveraging the science behind WELL and with today’s launch of the WELL Performance Rating, we are poised to chart a path to remake the buildings of the future and continue to deliver on Schneider Electric’s longstanding mission to pioneer integrated solutions that leverage the power of digitalization to achieve peak performance, efficiency and reliability, all while enhancing occupant health,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO, Schneider Electric. Improving human experience Now more than ever, people need safer, healthier, and more efficient indoor spaces" “Now more than ever, people need safer, healthier, and more efficient indoor spaces. We focus on helping building owners and operators assess, mitigate and monitor indoor environmental quality to ensure occupants’ well-being and the building’s performance. The WELL Performance Rating helps validate that the right measures are being taken for people to thrive in the spaces where they live, learn, work and play,” said Dave Regnery, CEO, Trane Technologies. “AI and IoT technologies perform at their best when employed to improve human experience. We are proud to collaborate with IWBI through the WELL Performance Rating as we evolve our services to deploy technology-based solutions to address changing market needs. This initiative supports us on our journey to becoming a more sustainable, data-driven company and our commitment to enabling a better, safer and more interconnected world for all our stakeholders,” said Frankie NG, CEO, SGS, WELL Performance Testing Organization. Evidence-Based solutions "IWBI has been instrumental in driving the evolution of building occupant health and well-being, cementing scientific rigor and robust measurable goals as a means to advance building performance. The innovative WELL Performance Rating is set to become another ground-breaking tool,” said Adam Garnys, Principal Consultant Strategy, and Dr. Vyt Garnys, Managing Director & Principal Consultant, CETEC, WELL Performance Testing Organization. “There is new urgency in how we shape, guide and foster advancements in building performance to better align with the science of supporting human health. Through this collaborative launch of the WELL Performance Rating, we are doubling down on that promise of actionable, evidence-based solutions to drive continuous improvement across the key health metrics that help enhance productivity, increase comfort and support well-being,” said Liam Bates, Co-Founder and CEO, Kaiterra, IWBI Performance Advisor.

vfd