Editor's Note

HVAC Is A Crucial Focus As Schools Work To Reopen Amid Pandemic

As schools work to reopen safely in the midst of a global pandemic, HVAC is at the center of the mission. Adequate ventilation and effective air filtration are critical elements to ensure safe indoor air quality for educational institutions. Many schools are housed in older buildings that may not have been adequately maintained. Transforming them to address the new challenges of minimizing exposure to the novel coronavirus is that much more difficult. In fact, a recent study by the U.S. Governm...

Power Provider TVA Offers Incentives To Install UV-C Germicidal Lights

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the power provider in the United States, is offering incentives to businesses and schools to install UV-C germicidal lights to fight germs in indoor air. Customers that buy from TVA’s Preferred Partners Network can receive a $30-per-ton incentive toward adoption of approved UV-C technologies, which remove viruses and bacteria from indoor air. “Schools and businesses realize they need solutions to purify indoor air, and we want to help them insta...

Building Information Management 3D Modeling Simplifies Completion Of Building Projects, Including HVAC

Building Information Management (BIM) software creates an intelligent 3D model of a design or building project and provides documentation, coordination and simulation through each step of the project’s lifecycle, from planning to design, building to operation and even maintenance. Use of a 3D model enables stakeholders across various disciplines to visualize and understand every detail of a project before it is built, makes it easier to document a project, and facilitates communication amo...

Wyss Institute’s Eco-Friendly Invention Uses Evaporative Cooling

The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future. ‘cold-SNAP’ system The ‘cold-SNAP’ system uses a water-repellent nano-scale surface coating that is applied selectively to surfaces of a 3D-printed ceramic heat exchange. The result is much...

Zigbee Alliance Developing Specification Standard For Connected Home Over IP

As the Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved, the need has become obvious for stronger unity among brands and ecosystems to enable products within smart environments to work together more easily. Working to serve that need is the Zigbee Alliance, which seeks to promote collaboration in the Internet of Things by creating, evolving, and promoting universal open standards that enable all objects to connect and interact. Their effort took off when Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance announ...

Panasonic Research Verifies Hydroxyl Radicals Can Inhibit Novel Coronavirus

Panasonic has conducted research that verifies that hydroxyl radicals contained in water can inhibit the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The nano-sized electrostatic atomized water particles are generated by applying high voltage to moisture in the air. The patented technology - brand-named 'nanoe X' - is already used for air and surface purification in Panasonic’s air conditioning systems. The research suggests that the technology might be useful in fighting the coronavirus that causes C...

How HVAC Companies can Better Serve the Needs of Pet Owners

For HVAC installers, serving the needs of pet owners provides both challenges and opportunities. The consequences of pet ownership can take a toll on the operation and good health of a home’s HVAC system. Addressing that negative impact represents enhanced business opportunities, but maximizing those business prospects may involve scratching a few canine bellies and/or appreciating finicky felines. Just showing up at a service call might translate into a nightmare encounter with a protect...

California Board to Limit Global Warming Potential of Refrigerants

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is moving forward with rulemaking that sets limits and deadlines to decrease the use of refrigerants with global warming potential (GWP) in the commercial refrigeration market and in the residential and commercial stationary air conditioning equipment markets. California regulations are widely expected to influence the direction of other states seeking to regulate GWP of refrigerants. Declining to delay planned deadlines because of the novel coronavirus...

Study Discovers Novel Coronavirus RNA in Hospital’s HVAC System

A University of Oregon study has found viral RNA from SARS-CoV-2 in the air handling units (AHUs) of a healthcare facility, thus raising new questions about the possible role of HVAC systems in spreading the novel coronavirus. The study collected 56 samples from three different air handling units at the Oregon Health and Science University hospital in Portland, Ore., on four days in May and June 2020. Three areas along the path of airflow were sampled, including pre-filters, finals filters, and...

Displaced Oil Workers Finding Opportunity in HVAC Trade

Lower prices in the oil and gas industry have led to job losses as the sector has contracted recently, and that was even before the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked additional havoc on the national and world economies. The COVID-19 crisis is accelerating what was already shaping up to be one of the oil industry’s most challenging years. More than a dozen oil companies have declared bankruptcy so far in the United States alone, and widespread industry layoffs are expected to continue. Oil field...

Demand Spiking for MERV-13 Filters: Will a Shortage Delay Business Openings?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published guidance for businesses seeking to return to work during the coronavirus pandemic. Guidelines include instructions for businesses to ‘improve central air filtration to MERV-13 or the highest [standard] compatible with the filter rack, and to seal edges of the filter to limit bypass.’ MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. A MERV-13 rating means a filter is able to catch 90% of particles in the 3-10 micro...

ACA Survey Forecasts Continuing Business Challenges in a Post-COVID-19 World

As businesses seek a return to normal following the global pandemic, they also face the prospect of new hurdles if the worst of the virus reemerges. Uncertainty reigns, and businesses do not know whether day-to-day operations will return to normal in six months, a year or two from now – or never. In a survey by the American Supply Association (ASA), 27.3% of respondents expect operations to return to pre-COVID-19 levels in two to three months, and 25% say it will be four to six months. B...

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