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The Invisible Risk Of Reopening Workplaces
The Invisible Risk Of Reopening Workplaces

Over the last year, we’ve become all too familiar with the risk posed by a deadly airborne virus, but, as we move out of lockdown, there are other airborne hazards we urgently need to fight. However, while advice and guidance are abundant in the use of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in combating the spread of COVID-19, there has been very little said of the risk of using HVAC systems after a prolonged period of inactivity. As those familiar with HVAC systems know, air conditioning and ventilation systems are designed to be used regularly, if not constantly. Enclosed and moist environments As systems convey air and/or cool it, systems build up moisture and, having been inactive for many months, if not for a whole year, these humid, enclosed, and moist environments will have become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and fungus. Mould or mildew can grow in air ducts, filters, or vents as well as in drip pans and coils Mould or mildew can grow in air ducts, filters, or vents as well as in drip pans and coils. It spreads through the production of microscopic spores which float through the air and deposit on surfaces. In the right environments, these spores can form mold colonies, where they can then produce more spores that can be spread further. Worse, these spores can survive and linger in an atmosphere for long periods, and some molds can be deadly. Exposure to mold Now imagine that a contaminated HVAC system, which has been inactive for weeks, months, or even a whole year, is switched back on: Immediately, a current of air carries the spores through the ducting before projecting them out across every inhabited space, ready for workers, shoppers or visitors who are venturing out after lockdown to touch, inhale, eat or drink. As well as smelling musty and unpleasant, mold exposure can cause cold or allergy-like symptoms such as a stuffy nose, cough, or sore throat as well as headaches, nausea, skin and respiratory diseases. It can also be particularly dangerous to people who are immunocompromised or who have conditions such as asthma. Routine maintenance It sounds disgusting, but the risk is very much real. Unfortunately, there has been very little advice or guidance from the UK government to make property managers or users aware of this issue and so many will have neglected to protect themselves and their workers or visitors. Mould has always been able to grow inside HVAC systems, and this is why owners are obliged to have them regularly serviced. But unless that routine maintenance has gone ahead as planned throughout the lockdowns, and unless their systems have been inspected and disinfected again before opening, COVID-19 will be just one of many airborne health hazards people will face this summer. No clear warnings Government guidance encourages the use of various HVAC systems as part of its COVID-secure strategies Of course, the UK is not the only country to have imposed lockdown restrictions, and, over in America, their health authority, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published warnings around this. But, here in the UK, there have been no such messages: Government guidance encourages the use of various HVAC systems as part of its COVID-secure strategies, but it makes no clear warnings about the particular risk of using these after a period of prolonged inactivity. Mitigated risks I suspect that while larger workplaces with dedicated property managers and close connections to professionals such as ourselves will be more likely to have mitigated these risks, countless other organizations will not: I’m particularly concerned about small offices, hotels, restaurants, pubs, holiday cottages, and shops which may have systems unchecked for years and which would have had their hands full with other problems that were more pressing than maintaining an HVAC systems no-one is using. Cleaning and disinfecting HVAC Enhanced cleaning in other respects could also have made matters worse; if, for example, a carpet was shampooed at the start of lockdown and the HVAC system was turned off, a property manager will have inadvertently created the perfect environment for mold to thrive. Fortunately, HVAC systems can be disinfected and cleaned to make them safe again, but with so little awareness, many system owners will not be taking these steps. Action against mold However, while there may not be specific guidance in relation to the risk of mold in HVAC systems after lockdown, there are still laws in place which oblige property managers to take action. These include the Health & Safety at Work Act, The Workplace Health, Safety & Welfare Regulations, Occupiers Liability Act, and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. As a result, employers or property managers may be liable for illness or harm which may occur from the use of contaminated systems. As we approach the end of the lockdown restrictions, I would urge all HVAC engineers, property managers, and property maintenance professionals to immediately reach out to clients and warn them of this danger, because the last thing we need is another health crisis.

How SaaS Enables Sustainable Supermarkets: Food Waste Reduction and Energy Efficiency
How SaaS Enables Sustainable Supermarkets: Food Waste Reduction and Energy Efficiency

Across the globe, annual food loss amounts total to approximately 1.3 billion tons of waste and 4.4 gigatons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To put that in perspective: If food waste were a country, it would rank as the third largest GHG emitting country in the world, surpassed only by the United States and China. The average supermarket, which brings in about $35M in annual revenue, will see $526,590 worth of food waste and 3,600 MWh worth of wasted energy use, where about 2,000 MWh is used for refrigeration—the equivalent of 170 households. SaaS for temperature monitoring Clearly, there is both an economic and sustainability burden to food loss besides the revenue loss and environmental impact. Luckily, this burden can be eased when using Software as a Service (SaaS), like food temperature monitoring. Supermarkets who monitor their food temperatures will improve their margins and overall profitability by selling food at its full price rather than marked down due to over ripening or close to expiration date. This, in turn, will deliver improved customer satisfaction because supermarkets will be able to continue to stock fresh food while minimizing the sale of old and ripened provisions.Supermarkets who monitor their food temperatures will improve their margins and overall profitability There are many benefits of using SaaS to improve supermarket efficiency, which can help to reduce food waste and lower energy costs in countless supermarkets worldwide. Many of the roughly 50,000 food retail locations that utilize electronics controllers use some level of SaaS technology like Alsense Food Retail Services, the newest cloud offering from Danfoss Climate Solutions for supermarkets and food retail applications. Alsense Food Retail Services is a sustainable, scalable, and secure modern platform that delivers tangible data to improve operational and energy efficiency while optimizing the performance of food retail operations. Its technology is engineered to provide supermarkets with actionable insights that allow you to track refrigeration asset performance, respond to alarms, integrate 24/7 monitoring, reduce energy consumption, and more to deliver savings as high as a 40% reduction in food waste and 30% decrease in energy costs. Examples of food loss prevention with Alsense Food Retail Services The sensor in the meat fridge notices a high temperature and submits an alarm to the cloud The alarm is analyzed by the Danfoss Enterprise Service Team (Managed services) The reason for the alarm is determined and a service provider is contacted The service provider is dispatched to the supermarket to fix the issue in the meat fridge to avoid food loss Danfoss’ advanced algorithms detect if the refrigeration systems are running efficiently or if they are over consuming energy Alsense Food Retail Services is a sustainable, scalable, and secure modern platform that delivers tangible data to improve operational and energy efficiency while optimizing the performance of food retail operations aktiv & irma, a supermarket in North Germany, has shown significant savingsWithout SaaS, the store’s ROI will take much longer than if you rely solely on the hardware as part of the Alsense Food Retail Services pilot program. In collaboration with Danfoss, they installed a solar photovoltaic system, storage system, and a charging station for guests. All major assets in the supermarket system are linked through the Alsense Food Retail Services cloud to manage loads and eliminate unnecessary peaks to best use each store’s energy. Regulating energy levels is accomplished through a variety of methods that offer potential savings: Load shifting: As high as 20 kW in additional peak reductions ($1,758.30 potential savings). Compressor curtailment Solar: 112 MWh electricity produced ($16,410.80 savings) Battery: Grid demand reduced by 40 kW ($3,516.60 savings) Peak load shaving: Charging station is throttled if needed to maintain target max peak level in the store. ($2,344.40 potential savings) aktiv & irma saved about 15% in additional energy costs and reduced over 70 tons of CO2 for a total savings of $20,168.80 compared to other supermarkets. For supermarkets that are considering marrying SaaS with their hardware expenditure, the return on investment (ROI) will depend largely on their level of SaaS investment. Without SaaS, the store’s ROI will take much longer than if you rely solely on the hardware. To put it simply, the more robust the SaaS program, the quicker supermarkets will see a return on the overall system investment. Alsense Food Retail Services? A zero-net, even net positive, billable energy supermarket is possible. The prerequisites to make these savings happen are based on energy efficiency, particularly reducing overall consumption and onsite heat and electricity generation and storage. Energy arbitrage services can enable energy bill optimization. Essentially, this means that energy can be stored in a battery and used when prices in the grid are high.Precooling can also be used to cool down cabinets before prices increase Precooling (curtailment) can also be used to cool down cabinets before prices increase. Another option is to turn off compressors for as long as possible when the energy prices are high. This means temperatures will drift upwards, so turn on the compressors before the temperature compromises food quality. Lastly, supermarkets have further potential to balance the grid via fast Frequency Response, peak Load Shifting, and seasonal Buffering. SaaS technology, like Alsense Food Retail Services, is a strong compliment to hardware assets that can help supermarkets achieve higher profitability and food loss and waste reduction. If a supermarket aims to go zero- or positive-net, the solution is to invest in both hardware and SaaS.

Control Systems: an Important Part in the HVAC Process
Control Systems: an Important Part in the HVAC Process

Control Systems have always played an important part in the function of HVAC systems and for many years were centered around the safe and optimum performance of the hardware deployed. Every HVAC system is a closed-loop process, with inputs fed into control logic that determines the best course of action to achieve the desired output. Energy management and integration into Building Information Management saw the advent of energy-saving techniques like free cooling and night-time purge reduce mechanical cooling loads, whilst occupation data allowed greater holistic management of systems. These are well-recognized practices that are being refined using predictive weather data, additional focus on heat recovery and more environmentally energy sources. Control Systems have always played an important part in the function of HVAC systemsThe scope of the typical systems loosely described above are around the management of systems on one site and their operation and maintenance tends to be centered around that particular location. Multi-site Development & Management The UK temperature-controlled warehousing market tends to develop on a project-by-project basis that fosters the site-by-site focus of ongoing management and maintenance. For multi-site logistics operators and manufacturers and distributors with a multi-site portfolio. this approach has the following disadvantages: Disparate system KPI data collection and reporting Setpoint adjustment left to untrained operators who apply their individual assessment of compliance risk and often don’t consider the financial and operational implications of fine-tuning (or meddling) Enterprise-wide energy management is difficult to control Duplication of staff tasked with reporting and maintenance Inconsistency of measurement and interpretation Slow response to system failures Poor interpretation of operational processes that impact system efficiency Portfolio Management The distinction here is that a portfolio of temperature-controlled sites is managed centrally instead of independently. The enabler to the solution is the rapid Energy management and integration into Building Information Management saw the advent of energy-saving techniquesdevelopment of access control systems and data communication. The next step is vital in the customer engagement process; what do they want to see? What’s important and what is not? How often do they want to see it and in what format? From experience of going through this process this is a voyage of discovery for the warehouse operator in understanding the stakeholders in their business. Quality and compliance managers are the obvious starting point, facilities managers, finance managers who are tasked with reducing energy costs, customer service and the end customer. Alongside the KPI monitoring, Jet Environmentals created a hierarchy of alarms management that alerts the right people with system information, that triggers a sequence of actions driven by the data. Trends are monitored to predict where there might be a problem on the horizon so action can be taken before there is an issue. Faults and failures are alerted instantly and corrective action alerts sent to the right people.  Conclusion The continuous development of HVAC controls and reliability of secure data connections has provided a means of improving performance, lowering cost and building trust in provider/user relationships. To be successful, the roll-out of such a project requires the willingness and collaboration of all parties and the groundwork defining stakeholder requirements is vital in defining a scope that meets expectations.

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Listing Cost-Effective And Energy-Efficient Window Air Conditioners For 2020
Listing Cost-Effective And Energy-Efficient Window Air Conditioners For 2020

Summer season is solely throughout the nook, which suggests it will be prolonged sooner than the first waves of sweltering heat. For those looking for a quick and cheap choice to cool down their personal residence, or explicit areas of personal residence similar to the storage or office, a window AC is an environment friendly option. Window ACs are no longer the ear-grinding energy hogs that they were in the past. Many of the window ACs in the market currently are easy to place in the house, run quietly, and use up much less electrical vitality, as compared with a number of their older brethren. For those on the lookout for a high-efficiency model, similar to the LG LW801-series or the Haier ESAQ406P, listed below collectively is a list of the very best window AC gadgets for 2020. Friedrich Chill 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner In order to ensure optimal energy efficiency, the Friedrich Chill 6,000 BTU model is Vitality Star rated For those with an enormous bedroom, the Friedrich Chill 6,000 BTU window air conditioner from Friedrich Air Conditioning can take care of the entire room’s cooling needs. Gentle sleepers will have the benefit of how quietly this air conditioner operates, with minimal noise and disturbance. The unit, moreover, oscillates left and right, thereby ensuring complete coverage of the room. In order to ensure optimal energy efficiency, the Friedrich Chill 6,000 BTU model is Vitality Star rated, so as to ensure users are saved from the sky-high energy costs. The unit can be placed in a window, or in a wall, and the power wire can run to the left or right, counting on the place that the outlet is located in the room, for added flexibility. LG LW8016ER 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner This energy efficient LG LW8016ER model has a 12.1 effectivity ratio, in accordance with the Vitality Star rating for energy efficiency, a rating that guarantees energy savings when switching from an older model. This window unit consists of three cooling modes and three fan speed modes. RCA 5,000 BTU, 115V Window Air Conditioner The RCA 5,000 BTU, 115V window air conditioner hits a sweet spot by way of price and usefulness. It’s rated for a 150 sq. feet room space, and offers 360-degree airflow administration for effective cooling of every nook and corner in the room. The filter is easy to clean, which makes the system easy to handle and the bundle deal encompasses a window mounting gear. This cost-effective window AC offers three cooling speed modes and three fan speed modes. Haier ESAQ406P Serenity 6,050 BTU This Haier AC features a twin motor and cross-flow design for enhanced air distribution The Haier ESAQ406P Serenity 6,050 BTU window AC is one of the costlier models in this list. This is largely because it offers additional modes than most gadgets, including four different cool settings, including cooling mode, fan mode, energy-savings mode and dehumidifying mode. This Haier AC features a twin motor and cross-flow design for enhanced air distribution and a timer for effective scheduling throughout the day. It has also been rated as one of the quietest AC gadgets available in the market. LG Vitality Star Window AC 8,000 BTU with Wi-Fi The LG Vitality Star Window Air Conditioner 8,000 BTU with Wi-Fi connectivity is able to effectively cool large rooms, up to 340 sq. feet in space, making it the preferable option to cool down enormous rooms. It has a 12.1 Vitality Effectivity Ratio, and also features Wi-Fi connectivity option. It is also offers smart access via the LG ThinQ app (obtainable for iOs or Android) and voice-control option with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant system. There are three fan speeds and various different modes to pick from, along with an auto-cool setting and four-way air deflection to direct the air to any corner of the room. This LG window AC also offers additional user-friendly features including digital contact controls and automatic restart option. Also, the window AC features a washable and reusable filter, which ensures money is not wasted on frequent filter replacements. Frigidaire 6,000 BTU Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner Frigidaire is pulling out all the stops with its 6,000 BTU Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner. This window AC offers user-friendly access with the Frigidaire Wise app on a smartphone. Users can flip the power on/off, alter the temperature, change between different cooling modes, and alter fan tempo and speed, all on the comfort of their couch or mattress. For those who forget to clean the air filter regularly, the app will routinely send alerts to the user’s smartphone, whenever it is time to clean the filter. Users looking to bring down their energy bills, the Frigidaire window room AC is Vitality Star licensed and the app even lets them create a 24 hour on/off schedule for the air conditioner.

Nortek Announces Gibson®, Nu Tone® And Frigidaire® Air Conditioning Units And Heat Pumps
Nortek Announces Gibson®, Nu Tone® And Frigidaire® Air Conditioning Units And Heat Pumps

The introduction of this product series completes the final phase of an overall redesign of Gibson®, NuTone® and Frigidaire® branded 1.5- to 5-ton, single-phase air conditioning units and heat pumps. The air conditioner is available in 13-, 14-, and 16-SEER models, and the heat pump is available in 14- and 16-SEER models. Standard features include Copeland scroll compressors and a liquid line filter-drier for field installation in an accessible position to facilitate easy periodic change-outs. Coil-protecting wire guard Featured aesthetic and functional additions include a coil-protecting wire guard that adds cabinet structural integrity and holds a plastic mesh in place to safeguard against hail and accidental contact damage. The wire guard is secured by the top and three corner screws to promote quiet operation and easy disassembly for coil cleaning access. The series features a barcode on the interior control panel to scan and access all the particular unit’s Nortek website documents.

Nortek Global HVAC Showcases Their Latest Products And Solutions At AHR Expo 2018
Nortek Global HVAC Showcases Their Latest Products And Solutions At AHR Expo 2018

Nortek needed all hands-on deck at the AHR Expo as the company showcased numerous new equipment lines in multiple categories, including split system air conditioners, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) units, data center management modules, heat pumps, gas/electric packaged systems, and more. “Like all manufacturers, we’re focused on keeping up with government regulations across all our product lines,” said Philip Windham, President, Residential HVAC, Nortek Global. “Additionally, we’re aiming to deliver comfort to our customers as efficiently as possible across a wide range of solutions.” packaged rooftop units Mammoth RTUs Our customers can easily replace outdated units with a rugged and innovative design available in our Mammoth brand" Nortek Global HVAC introduced a new line of next-generation Mammoth Light Commercial packaged rooftop units (RTUs) at the expo. Model R7TQ is available in 6-, 7.5-, and 10-ton sizes. These RTUs fit directly on common pre-existing curbs without the need for curb adapters, eliminating delays and saving installation time. Even gas and electric connections are in the same location as many older units, so no service reroutes are required. “We created our rooftop products for contractors, building owners, and facility managers who need low-cost, drop-in direct replacements,” said Dave Garvin, Product Manager at Nortek Global HVAC. “Now, our customers can easily replace outdated units with a rugged and innovative design available in our Mammoth brand.” minimum efficiency standards The unit’s components are factory-installed using Nortek Global HVAC Demand Flow Technology (DFT). Foam panel construction and hinged panel doors are standard. The 1-inch foam panel wall construction ensures IAQ is fiberglass-free, which inhibits mold growth. Panel walls are easy to clean and provide a super-high R-value. High-quality hinges eliminate screws on the roof and keep the access doors in place, even in high-wind conditions. “We believe the construction quality is what makes these rooftop units a real game changer,” continued Garvin. “The many improvements we’ve made for this product line stand to make a major impact for our customers.” At 12.7 IEER, model R7TQ met federal minimum efficiency standards well in advance of the 2018 implementation date. packaged heat pump Q7RF Nortek also showcased its all-new 16-SEER, 12-EER, 8.2-HSPF, energy-efficient Q7RF packaged heat pump. This two-stage heat pump includes all-aluminum Micro-Channel evaporator and condenser coils, which are lightweight, small in size, durable, and reliable in harsh environments. The model is Energy Star listed and qualifies for federal, state, and utility rebates. The Q7RF single-packaged heat pump features a small footprint for ease of installation. Micro-Channel coils contribute to the smaller size of the unit and offer exceptional heat transfer for high efficiency Micro-Channel coils contribute to the smaller size of the unit and offer exceptional heat transfer for high efficiency. Each unit features Nortek Global HVAC’s patented defrost process. Traditional fin-and-tube heat pumps have coil headers on the sides and defrost horizontally. However, in a Micro-Channel heat pump, the coil is rotated 90 degrees so that the headers are at the top and bottom, not the sides. If the defrost started from the top-down, the bottom of the coil would never defrost completely. product management team The Nortek Global HVAC patented process adds a hot gas bypass so that hot gas goes from the top down as well as the bottom up, ensuring the entire coil gets defrosted. The F series is available in the Broan and Frigidaire brands. The PSA/PSH series, is available in the Maytag brand. “Our engineering and product management team worked very hard to pull this together and give customers something new, and they’re really happy about that,” said Windham. “From a design perspective, we thought long and hard about the serviceability of this unit. We spent a lot of time to ensure not only its reliability but how it’s installed and maintained. For example, each panel has only a pair of screws to get to the coils." modular heat pumps VRF Multi-Zone Systems Nortek Global HVAC also exhibited a line of commercial VRF multi-zone systems. The complete line consists of V5 mini VRF heat pumps, V5 modular heat pumps, and V5 heat recovery systems. The V5 VRF systems feature DC inverter-driven compressors for precise temperature control These VRF systems offer contractors and consumers several benefits, including a user-friendly selection software; longer piping lengths for more flexibility on each job; simple, easy-to-install communication wiring; minus 22°F (minus 30°C) heating performance; indoor units that automatically address conditions, eliminating the need to set dipswitches manually; simple debugging/commissioning software; and more. precise temperature control The V5 VRF systems feature DC inverter-driven compressors for precise temperature control. Up to 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) of total piping length and up to 36 indoor connections make them easy to install, network, and maintain. Standard gold and blue fin coating provides increased performance and greater corrosion resistance. The V5 mini VRF systems are designed for light commercial or residential applications. Their compact design and inner profile make them adaptable to tight spaces, and they feature up to 984 feet (300 meters) of total pipe length. Both feature an energy-efficient, ultra-quiet DC inverter compressor and powerful heating capacity in low ambient temperature. These 208/230V condensers are available in 3-, 4-, or 5-ton sizes and will accommodate up to seven, eight, or nine zones. Indoor units are available in wall-mounted, ceiling cassette, console, universal floor/ceiling, and ducted-type units. Commercial VRF systems Nortek exhibited several other products, including the R7TQ gas/electric packaged system “Commercial VRF systems are growing in popularity due to their efficiency and flexibility,” said Keith Clark VRF National Sales Manager, Nortek Global HVAC. “We’re proud to offer a high-value VRF product at a reasonable price, so our contractor customers can be competitive on jobs.” The VRF unit will be marketed under the Gibson brand. “Our VRF operates at minus 22° at 80 percent capacity, which differentiates us from some of the other brands here on the show floor,” Windham said. “We had a customer from Wisconsin recently call and say, ‘We forgot to install the auxiliary heat, but we wanted you to know the building is at 68°. We forgot we had to do it because the building is working so well without it.’ We enjoy hearing success stories like that.” Nortek Solutions Nortek exhibited several other products, including the R7TQ gas/electric packaged system, which was a bronze winner in the HVAC light commercial category of The NEWS’ 14th annual Dealer Design Awards; the 96 percent AFUE Model FG7TE/FG7TN gas furnace, which comes with a factory-installed electronically commutated motor (ECM) and programmable control board; and more.

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