Editor's Note

Economizers Save Energy, Costs, And Provide More Fresh Air

Incorporating cool and dry outdoor air into commercial HVAC systems can save money and energy, while causing less wear-and-tear on cooling systems. An economizer is a device that works alongside rooftop HVAC systems to augment the system with outdoor air, in order to provide what has become known as ‘free cooling’. Economizers Economizers introduce low-temperature or low-enthalpy outdoor air into a building to reduce or eliminate mechanical cooling, depending on outdoor air conditi...

Understanding The Impact Of The Texas Freeze On HVAC Systems

This year’s Texas deep freeze struck the region hard, causing an estimated $10 billion in damage. It was one of the costliest winter weather events in the state’s history. The extreme weather conditions severely impacted HVAC systems, too, overtaxing equipment and challenging contractors to keep up with the pace of repairs. What did not happen, despite some homeowner insurance claims filed in the aftermath of the extreme cold snap, was ‘frozen refrigerant.’ Although the...

Polyimide Membranes Show Promise For Dehumidification, Say Researchers

Membranes made of an organic material called polyimides, which are then treated to become hydrophilic, provide a promising approach to developing dehumidifiers that could eventually bring down the price of HVAC systems and make them more environmentally friendly. Research at Texas A&M University’s College of Engineering describes how the polyimide material could be used to dry environmental air using less energy. Triggering Hydrolysis Polyimides are made of chains of repeating, ring...

Active Technologies Needed For Indoor Air Quality As Pandemic Plays Out

The most likely scenario for the next 12 months in the United Kingdom is far lower risk of serious COVID-19 illness due to the vaccine. However, there will be big swings in R rates, and there is uncertainty about how effective vaccines will be against COVID variants. The ‘R’ rate is the number of people one infected person will pass a virus on to, on average. As the scenario plays out, and more companies open for business, issues of indoor air quality will continue to be top of mind...

Innovative Technologies Will Drive The Future Of HVAC

Innovation is a driving force behind most industries, including HVAC. Keeping up with industry research, and looking toward the future, helps HVAC professionals to anticipate upcoming changes to the industry, and to be prepared when they happen. There is no shortage of innovation in the sphere of HVAC. I recently came across some interesting designs (and one product already on the market!) that provide a useful glimpse into the types of projects that may shape the HVAC industry of tomorrow. La...

HVAC Improvements Enabling Return Of Cruise Ship Travel

The cruise ship industry has cracked the code on keeping passengers and crew safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, including changes to on-board HVAC systems to use more outside air and to filter out particles as small as the novel coronavirus. The industry, which voluntarily suspended worldwide operations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, under the guidance of international and national health authorities, plans to resume worldwide operations fully later in 2021. Health protoc...

Predictive Maintenance Systems Combine Sensors And Data Analysis

The connectivity of the Internet of Things (IoT) provides new tools to monitor the well-being of an HVAC system, to provide instant alerts to any operational problems and even to predict when problems are likely to occur. Being alert to early warning signs of a problem enables deployment of less-expensive fixes before the problem escalates. predictive analytics Remote monitoring and predictive analytics of HVAC systems have been even more valuable during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, when...

Women At HB McClure Company Find A Rewarding Vocational Pathway In HVAC

The demographics of the HVAC workforce are changing and more women are being welcomed into the HVAC industry in a wider variety of roles. In part, the changes are because of necessity as Baby Boomers retire from the workforce and leave a labor and skills gap to be filled. HVAC commercial service business, HB McClure Company, based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is embracing change and encouraging more women to consider a career in the HVAC workspace. The company’s female employees are h...

Strict Environmental Needs Of Data Centers Pose HVAC Challenges

The computing power we know as the Internet actually resides in millions of data centers that house rows and rows of computer servers. And each data center represents a unique HVAC challenge: How to keep the equipment cool, the air pure and the humidity low. Providing the ideal operating conditions for a room full of computers requires the best that the HVAC market can offer.  Data centers come in all shapes, sizes and configurations. Some are huge facilities that serve the needs of giants...

HVAC Companies in the News as Cold Weather Pummels United States

Deadly cold weather recently made headlines in Texas, where wintry conditions knocked out power to around 4.5 million homes at one point. Power outages, combined with freezing conditions, sent Texans scrambling for home heating alternatives, such as generators and fireplaces, and to seek shelter in powered warming centers or businesses. Some resorted to living in running cars. Snow, ice and extreme cold have been widespread this year in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States, too. At one...

Lessons From The Past: The Value Of Ventilation In A Pandemic

If history truly repeats itself, might we learn lessons from the past – even lessons about managing a novel coronavirus that upends our way of life and changes the world forever? The most commonly cited parallel to the COVID-19 pandemic is the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Both diseases are caused by viruses that had not been seen before. In both cases, no one had immunity to a highly infectious germ that was spread through respiratory droplets. Both outbreaks occurred in multiple waves o...

Pandemic Spotlights Need To Balance Costs While Improving Air Quality In Schools

Attitudes about indoor air quality need to change, especially given the current pandemic that forces people to spend most of their time indoors. But addressing the pandemic through increased ventilation and better indoor air quality can be expensive. For example, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest in the nation, has spent $6 million on HVAC upgrades and new air filters in response to the pandemic and expects to pay about $1.7 million a month for ongoing inspections and...

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