Airthings, makers of indoor air quality and radon monitors for homeowners, businesses, and professionals, officially unveiled a brand-new capability for its business solution: the Airthings Virus Risk Indicator. Designed to create an indoor environment where people thrive, but viruses don’t, Airthings’ Virus Risk Indicator is now available to all new and existing Airthings for Business customers. The new feature helps people understand their indoor air quality and how it contributes...
The impact of COVID-19 has hit all areas of industry in a variety of different ways; with mass redundancies, restructures and the need for diversification now dominating the headlines. It has also made a lot of people question their own careers and what is important to them; in fact, Google searches for the term ‘career change’ are up more than 500% on this time last year. With more than half of the heating and plumbing industry’s workforce due to retire in the next decade, an...
The entire economy has been severely impacted by COVID-19, with small businesses being hit the worst. These businesses make up 47% of the private labor force and contribute 44% to GDP in the United States. Thankfully, not all small businesses are the same. Jobber’s Home Service Economic Report: Summer Edition analyzes the performance of the Home Service category throughout 2020, and shows a positive path towards recovery. It shows that the Contracting segment, which includes HVAC busines...
As the evidence around the health impacts of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) continues to build, experts from across the ventilation sector have come together to drive awareness amongst installers and the wider public that the Green Homes Grant can cover ventilation improvements alongside insulation installations. Green Homes Grant scheme The UK Government scheme, which launched back in September 2020, aims to support improvements to energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ). The scheme hig...
Millennials have been shaped by their experiences growing up with technology and by their heightened awareness of the environment. These facets of a consumer market dominated by millennials will guide the future of the HVAC market over the next several years. Each generation reshapes markets in their own image. In the case of millennials, trends and behaviors are influencing how companies design new solutions, including those in the world of HVAC. Sustainable solutions and personalized experie...
The Luxaire® brand of Johnson Controls, the provider of smart and sustainable buildings and the architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, and distributor partner Design Air, rallied the communities of Wisconsin to help raise funds for children with critical illnesses during the Make-A-Wish® Wisconsin Walk For Wishes® event. The state-wide fundraiser garnered record-breaking funds of $250,000 compared to previous Milwaukee Walk for Wishes events, which will grant 50 wishes to Wiscon...
The 14th edition of Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator study surveyed 150 commercials, institutional, and industrial facility executives in the U.S. in September 2020. The COVID-19 pulse survey included questions on coronavirus-related improvements, investments, and impacts. Flexibility, Health, and Safety Drive With the pandemic, facility managers have new concerns about building health, changing their motivation for building investments. Increasing building flexibility to respond to coronavirus and other emergency conditions was second in priority only to cost savings in driving investment during the pandemic. 81% said increasing the flexibility of facilities to quickly respond to a variety of emergency conditions (e.g., pandemic, natural disaster) was extremely or very important as a driver of investment 63% said protecting the health and safety of building occupants during the coronavirus pandemic was extremely or very important as a driver of investment Occupant Health And Safety Improving occupant health and safety while reducing energy costs during both pandemic and new normal occupancy conditions are also high priorities for these organizations. The percentage of organizations saying that improving occupant health and wellness was an extremely or very important driver of investment increased from 62 percent to 74 percent in 2020. 85 percent said energy cost savings was an extremely or very important driver of investment. Air Treatments and Ventilation Recommendations on various changes to indoor spaces to help control the spread of the virus Industry, trade, and public health organizations have recommended various changes to indoor spaces to help control the spread of the virus. In addition to increasing work schedule flexibility and reducing occupancy density, more than half of organizations have performed indoor air quality assessments, introduced elevated temperature scanning systems, and increased air filtration. More than 60% plan to install air treatment solutions, increase outdoor ventilation, and recommission building systems and equipment 20% of organizations used economic stimulus and recovery funds to pay for building improvements COVID-19 Related Building Investments Increase work schedule flexibility Perform an indoor air quality assessment Introduce occupant elevated temperature scanning systems Reduce occupant density Increase air filtration Install air treatment system (e.g., UV-C, bi-polar ionization) Increase outdoor air ventilation rates Recommission building systems and equipment Introduce touchless entry and access Add pre-scheduled occupant isolation rooms Introduce social distance tracking and tracing systems Reduced Energy Consumption Increasing outdoor air ventilation and air filtration can significantly increase energy use depending on building type and locations. This creates real potential for energy efficiency. During the pandemic, less than 10 percent of organizations have experienced an energy use reduction of greater than 20 percent despite significantly reduced building occupancy.
Johnson Controls, a globally renowned solutions provider for smart and sustainable buildings, is offering a high efficiency pleated air filter that provides an affordable solution instead of costly HEPA filtration upgrades. Its MERV 13 performance rating make the filter an excellent upgrade in existing equipment for applications such as hospitals, laboratories and pharmaceutical plants, commercial office buildings, industrial plants, or any HVAC system in which a higher degree of clean air is desired. KOCH Multi-Pleat Green13 filter The KOCH Multi-Pleat Green13 filter can help improve indoor air quality and potentially reduce exposure to COVID-19 virus. The Multi-Pleat Green13, along with other lines of KOCH filter products, support Johnson Controls mission to help make buildings more safe, secure and sustainable. “As buildings re-open, air filtration and other HVAC system components are key to maintaining occupant safety by creating clean, healthy indoor environments,” said Mark Mattingly, Vice President and General Manager, Air Filtration Products, Johnson Controls. Enhanced air filtration capability The Multi-Pleat Green13 offers an increased level of protection over disposable and ordinary pleated filters Mark adds, “We developed the Multi-Pleat Green13 Filter with more than 55 years of air filtration research and development experience so our customers can be confident this product will introduce clean, highly-filtered air into their buildings.” In addition, many facilities are unable to afford costly upgrades needed to install new systems that support HEPA filtration. The Multi-Pleat Green13 offers an increased level of protection over disposable and ordinary pleated filters and can work in the majority of existing ventilation systems. Designed with electrostatically charged synthetic fibers The media in the Multi-Pleat Green13 is produced with a specialized blend of electrostatically charged synthetic fibers for use in extended surface air filtration. This unique fiber configuration ensures greater stability of the electrostatic charge, reduced pressure drop and prolonged efficiencies compared to other filter media. The performance data is based on ASHRAE Test Standard 52.2-2017. The KOCH Multi-Pleat Green13 is a sustainable component of green building development. With its high MERV 13 performance rating, the Green13 can earn points toward LEED certification in the US Green Building Council’s Green Building Rating System.
Johnson Controls, the provider of smart and sustainable buildings, announces the KOCH™ DuraMAX line of air filters. With a range of efficiency ratings from MERV 11 to MERV 16, DuraMAX filters are a smart and safe upgrade from bag filters and other box-style rigid filters and effectively help lower the spread of COVID-19 indoors. The DuraMAX line of filters works alongside other Johnson Controls HVAC products and solutions to help make buildings more safe, secure and sustainable. Indoor air quality solution “Primarily used for large commercial and industrial applications, the DuraMAX line of filters is a superior indoor air quality solution to help a wide range of buildings combat the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne diseases,” said Mark Mattingly, vice president and general manager, Air Filtration Products, Johnson Controls. DuraMAX is an ideal choice in filtration systems with high velocities or variable air volumes “These medium and high-efficiency filters include the DuraMAX 4V and 4VS-16 with an industry-leading MERV 16 rating and low resistance to airflows, allowing customers to save money on energy costs while experiencing the highest levels of filtration.” Tested in accordance with ASHRAE Test Standard 52.2-2017, DuraMAX is an ideal choice in filtration systems with high velocities or variable air volumes. High-Efficiency air filter The high-capacity mini-pleat design allows a nominal 24x24x12 filter to incorporate 194 square feet of filter space, which creates an extremely high dust-holding capacity to significantly prolong the service life of the filter. The DuraMAX 4v is designed to replace almost any competitive high-efficiency air filter in the market. The lightweight, all-plastic frame installs into side-access housings or front-load holding frames and is an ideal choice to replace bag filters and other box-style rigid filters. The durable, all-plastic frame makes the DuraMAX 4v the filter of choice in filtration systems with high velocities, variable air volumes and high moisture, or in areas where the user desires to incinerate the filters after use.
As the school year progresses in various formats, Trane® – by Trane Technologies, a global climate innovator – introduces expanded services to help schools evaluate, implement and fund indoor air quality improvements in their buildings. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) play a critical role in creating proper indoor air quality. ASHRAE® guidelines to address COVID-19 in the reopening of schools indicate that making changes to the operation of HVAC systems can mitigate exposure to airborne contaminants. Healthy indoor air quality “As schools bring back students for part-time or full-time in-person learning, healthy indoor air quality is a chief concern alongside other safety practices including wearing masks and social distancing,” said Donny Simmons, president, Commercial HVAC Americas at Trane Technologies. “HVAC systems, properly applied, are an important aspect of addressing environmental concerns within a school.” A thorough assessment is a helpful starting point for schools to understand their indoor air quality needs A thorough assessment is a helpful starting point for schools to understand their indoor air quality needs. The Trane® Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) assessment focuses on four critical pillars of indoor air quality – dilute, exhaust, contain and clean. The fact-based assessment equips school building managers with a clear and cost-effective roadmap for improvements that will bring facilities into alignment with CDC and industry recommendations. Isolation space evaluation The Trane IAQ Assessment now includes a supplemental isolation space evaluation to help schools better prepare for scenarios where students or staff experience symptoms while on campus. The evaluation can help schools create an isolation space in line with industry recommendations, including stringent guidelines for air exchanges, negative pressurization and other criteria. Trane’s comprehensive suite of solutions address conditions and recommendations across all four critical pillars of indoor air quality, including cleaning the environment to actively reduce the number of microbiologicals that may be in the air or on surfaces. Air cleaning technologies range from high-rated MERV or HEPA filters, to Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) and photocatalytic oxidation. Air cleaning solutions Trane now offers Synexis®-made Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (DHPTM) solutions to K-12 schools in the U.S To meet the evolving needs of schools and increased demand for air cleaning solutions, Trane now offers Synexis®-made Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (DHPTM) solutions to K-12 schools in the U.S. to help reduce the presence of viruses, bacteria, and mold in the air and on surfaces. Synexis® is the sole developer of the process by which naturally occurring humidity and oxygen are taken from the air to create DHPTM, which reduces the presence of unwanted microbes that may be present in the air and on surfaces, continuously improving indoor air quality and surface cleanliness. Synexis® solutions can be integrated into a school’s existing HVAC system or used as a portable, standalone unit in any room to treat the air and any surface the air touches, making it an ideal application for school isolation spaces, classrooms and high traffic areas like cafeterias and hallways. Best air quality solutions “Our customers count on Trane to bring them the best air quality solutions and strategies available, and we’re pleased to expand our portfolio with Synexis® solutions for schools,” said Simmons. “Implementing HVAC best practices and innovative air cleaning technologies, such as Synexis®, are ways schools can go on the offensive to help improve indoor air quality and create more peace of mind for students, faculty, administrators and parents.” “For many schools, the central issue is not whether they need indoor air quality improvements, but how they will they fund them – especially in a year marked by many other unplanned expenses,” said Simmons. “Trane’s expanded and flexible financing options help school districts move forward with the indoor air quality improvements they need now.” Delivering fast implementation Trane K-12 experts help schools evaluate the most affordable ways to pay for IAQ upgrades Trane Integrated Funding Solutions (IFS) includes Leasing and Managed Services Agreement options with deferred payment plans and extended terms for qualifying school districts. Additionally, Trane K-12 experts help schools evaluate the most affordable ways to pay for IAQ upgrades, including leveraging CARES Act funding, grants, utility rebates, and other available resources. The program is designed to help address schools’ financial constraints by eliminating immediate out-of-pocket expenses, preserving working capital and other forms of credit and delivering fast implementation of needed improvements. With flexible funding support, school districts can make needed upgrades to maintain proper indoor air quality now and help minimize impacts on operating budgets. “It’s a complex time for schools, and there is no single solution for all environments,” said Simmons. “Every school may have different needs – and variables – when it comes to indoor air quality. The bottom line is schools should work with a trusted partner and take a strategic, fact-based approach to make the best use of their budget and investments.”
During its meeting on 29 September 2020, the Eurovent Product Group ‘Air Filters’ (PG-FIL) elected Dr. Marc Schmidt (Vice President Technologies Europe, AAF International) as its new Chairman. He is joined by Dr. Thomas Caesar, who was re-elected for his second term as PG-FIL Vice-Chairman. Eurovent Product Group ‘Air Filters' The Eurovent Product Group ‘Air Filters’ (PG-FIL) met in a full-day online session on Tuesday, 29 September 2020, with a focus on regulatory updates under Ecodesign and REACH and the revision of several Eurovent Air Filter Recommendations. The group elected Dr. Marc Schmidt as its new Chairman for the next two-year term The group elected Dr. Marc Schmidt as its new Chairman for the next two-year term. He will succeed Mr. Jan Andersson of Camfil, who served as PG-FIL Chairman for many years. Dr. Thomas Caesar was unanimously re-elected as the group’s Vice-Chairman, continuing his role for the next two years. Importance of clean and healthy indoor air Dr. Marc Schmidt, new Chairman of Eurovent Product Group ‘Air Filters’ (PG-FIL), said “Correct air filtration is more crucial than ever for the health and well-being of building occupants. Under the banner of Eurovent, it is our duty to convey this message to the market, to the policymakers, and to the public, and to raise awareness of the importance of clean and healthy indoor air.” Marc adds, “I am humbled that the Product Group ‘Air Filters’, which represents manufacturers from all over Europe, has vested its trust in me to lead the charge on this.” The next meeting of PG-FIL is scheduled for March 2021. Given the continued uncertainty around the public health situation, the exact date and location of the meeting will be determined at a later stage. All updates will be timely published on the Eurovent website.
Prolojik remains at the forefront of harnessing the ubiquitous nature of lighting controls to contribute to the measurement and control of the COVID virus. Building on one of its latest innovations, Proxima allows organizations from commercial workplaces to schools and universities to empower people to manage their own risk and exposure to the COVID virus, through wearable technology in the form of a wristband or lanyard that connects wirelessly to Prolojik’s Proxima sensor network. Real time analysis The movement and temperature of each wearer can be monitored throughout all areas within the space, vibrating when people are within 2 meters of each other, as well as taking their temperature to alert them of potential illness. Data collected via the Proxima sensor network can be stored on premises for real time analysis or shared with third party systems such as BMS. For example, if someone contracts COVID within an organization, it is possible to track that person interactions in the preceding days, identify others that have been in close proximity to them, therefore exposed to the virus and potentially at risk. Integration with the lighting control system The enormous benefit is that Facility and Building Operators can focus on specific areas, rather than having to close entire buildings down. As with education, this approach allows for a far more targeted approach to infection management, by isolating individuals or specific social bubbles. The integration with the lighting control system means that all areas of the building are within the trackable zone, including workspaces, circulation areas, back-of-house, plantrooms, car parks, presentation spaces and external spaces. Key data Each wearable will provide key data on the following aspect of employee care and building management: Targeted Messaging People and Asset Tracking Profile-based control Lone Worker Monitoring Building Sanitization Physical distancing Environmental monitoring Indoor Location – way finding Revenue Leakage Asela Rodrigo Managing Director of Prolojik comments, “At a time when businesses and educational institutions need as much support as possible to be operational, Proxima wearables provide the ultimate reassurance and comfort for employee and students. The unique difference is the stand alone sensor infrastructure which can equally be fully integrated with any lighting control systems to increases the measurable and trackable area.”
Our world plunged into a new set of uncomfortable norms in 2020. Mere months ago, life for much of the planet chugged along at its customary monotonous pace. Then, without forewarning, an insidious health threat thrust upon us. COVID-19, colloquial for SARS-CoV-2, is a novel coronavirus that originated in China in late 2019. It quickly burned around the globe like a dry brush fire. Not since a hundred years ago has humanity confronted mask wearing and social distancing in efforts to prevent suffering on a pandemic scale. A single COVID-19 viral particle is extremely small at 0.06 microns. This pure form of COVID-19 is not found outside a laboratory and would not survive even if it made its way into the environment. A single sneeze can eject 200 million COVID-19 particles into the airInstead, SARS-CoV-2, when expelled by infected human hosts, is encapsulated by mucus material. Hosts shed airborne viral particles in two modalities: droplets and aerosols. Droplets are about 1 micron while aerosols approximate 0.5 microns. Millions of viral droplets and aerosols are sloughed-off by talking, laughing, coughing, sneezing, singing or simply by breathing. A single sneeze can eject 200 million COVID-19 particles into the air. Portable air purifiers provide a potent tool in the fight to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The selection and deployment of an appropriate purifier are instrumental in lessening airborne viral droplets and aerosols. Advanced purification units can sterilize air as well as trap pathogens. This best-of-both-worlds approach to disease prevention is vitally important. HEPA Filtration An air purifier must have a medical-grade HEPA filter if the goal is trapping airborne pathogens. HEPA filters remove 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. HEPA has different levels. The H-values of HEPA range from H10 through H14. Medical-grade HEPA is H13 or higher and provides filtration efficiencies of 99.95% of 0.1 micron-size particles per liter of air. As a result, medical-grade HEPA is highly effective in COVID-19 droplet and aerosol elimination. Clear Air Delivery Rate Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is a critical metric of a purifier's ability to remove particles of a given size and is measured in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM.) This drastically differs from a CFM metric alone. CFM as a standalone value demonstrates only the volume of air moved through a system without regard to particle removal. CADR is a compulsory and precise method of comparing air purifiers in a standardized manner. Choosing a purifier with the highest CADR is always preferable. Experts recommend devices with a CADR that moves the total air volume of a room through the purifier 5 to 6 times per hour. Portable air purifiers provide a potent tool in the fight to reduce the spread of COVID-19 Ultraviolent Light Ultraviolent Light (UV) is a powerful sterilization strategy. UV is used in medical settings worldwide for this purpose. While utilizing UV in a purifier is advantageous, selecting a device with UV in 254 nm wavelength is paramount. UV outside of this wavelength can excite oxygen into creating harmful ozone molecules consisting of 3 oxygen atoms. Cutting-edge air purifiers have 254 nm UV bulbs formulated with doped quartz. Such doping precludes secondary harmonic UV wavelengths from radiating from the bulb. UV is an invaluable element of air decontamination if ensured UV is 254 nm and doped bulbs are utilized. Photocatalysis Some air purifiers employ photocatalytic Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) membranes to complement their UV. The resulting photocatalysis dramatically enhances the sanitizing effects of UV. A TiO2 photocatalytic reaction under UV radiation provides additional disinfection pathways in addition to UV directly acting upon pathogens. Thus, both direct UV and photocatalysis provide exceedingly effective methods of microorganism degradation and destruction. Other Technologies Other technologies are found in purifiers, such as sophisticated filters to thwart VOC/TVOC compounds and negative ion generation. Negative ions have antibacterial properties, including marked reductions of acinetobacter transmission. Also, negative ions have the beneficial capacity to precipitate airborne PM1.0 and PM2.5 particulate matter, which are impurities that affects health. Advanced purification units can sterilize air as well as trap pathogens With the COVID-19 age upon us, portable air purifiers provide enormously powerful weapons in protecting the health of persons inside enclosed spaces. Air purification coupled with other air quality measures -- such as ensuring a suitable amount of outside air exchange, air agitation with fans and upgrading existing HVAC filters with MERV-13 -- present an effective and comprehensive approach to health and safety.
Having spent the last few months working from our sofas, dining tables and ironing boards, many of us have become accustomed to the world of remote working. But we’ve now arrived at a point where many businesses are starting to reopen their doors or have plans to do so in the near-future. Employers will be hoping that a return to work will prove productive, reinvigorating the workforce and driving growth. To this end, however, they will need to instill confidence by demonstrating how they can keep employees safe and comfortable. Bringing employees back to work will be complex. For a start, businesses have had to implement a large number of new safety measures in response to COVID-19. However, ensuring safety in the workplace goes beyond adhering to social distancing measures and anti-bacterial cleaning stations. Behind the scenes, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) play a crucial role in facilitating a safe workspace. Whether it’s the systems implemented to limit the spread of the virus, the ongoing servicing of these systems or their wider environmental impact, HVAC solutions and facilities managers (FMs) rest at the heart of a safer return to work. Embracing new strategies for clean air Walking in the building through a new automatic door, most office workers will be greeted with a queue for the lifts and plenty of signage reminding you to sanitise your hands and keep your distance. Some may have their body temperature scanned by a thermal detection camera on entry, which could also count how many people enter to ensure numbers are safe. Others could be met with an anti-virus access point that scans your face using facial recognition rather than a pass, and enforces hand hygiene by dispensing sanitiser before the lifts will open. Behind the scenes, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) play a crucial role in facilitating a safe workspace All of these measures, however strict, are part of the new normal: ‘contactless’ buildings. Designed to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, facilities managers have plenty of options when it comes to keeping people safe. But not all of them are so apparent when entering a building. Some of the most important measures are those we can’t see. A healthy and safe working environment has always relied on a building’s HVAC infrastructure – temperature control, good air flow, and a reliable level of comfort are top of most office workers’ priority lists. But the pandemic has taken this to a new level of importance. As a critical part of their wider health and safety plan, facilities managers can look to identify strategies to increase clean air levels further. This could include increasing outdoor air circulation to decrease pathogen exposure, with smart air handling units. These will enable managers to bring in more outside air to displace potentially contaminated air, by increasing ventilation and air change rates. Improving Filtration Methods Improving filtration methods is another possibility, by adding additional filters including high efficiency filters and HEPA filters, to trap more particles and increase the percentage of clean air in a building. Portable HEPA solutions are also an option for those who need more flexibility. In addition to air filtration and circulation, it is also possible to use UV-C lighting to effectively ‘disinfect’ the air or surfaces, using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to inactivate viral microorganisms. These can be installed brand new or retrofitted into existing facilities, to reduce costs for FMs and speed up implementation. These innovative uses of HVAC to limit the spread of infection could have a huge impact on the health and safety of occupants in any building – and this is by no means limited to offices. Within healthcare and laboratory facilities, for example, solutions like room pressurisation, air change rates, humidity and temperature controls are all critical to reduce contamination in the air and on surfaces. A healthy and safe working environment has always relied on a building’s HVAC infrastructure Safety is an ongoing process No matter which HVAC solutions a facilities manager chooses, it’s not a case of installing them and then waving goodbye. As with any good health and safety strategy, constant monitoring is crucial to ensure building occupants are well looked-after – and this also ensures you can get the most out of HVAC investments. For some this means keeping a close eye on how your HVAC equipment runs, to ensure that they’re reaching optimum performance and delivering the best ROI. Working with a partner who can provide continuous service and monitoring is critical, so that the pressure is off FMs themselves. Especially now, having remote monitoring capabilities is an added bonus, so that minor issues can be fixed without an engineer having to visit the site. For those with smart technologies in place, such as smart connected chillers, FMs may rather be reliant on predictive maintenance and monitoring tools, which use AI and automation to predict issues before they arise, and ensure equipment runs reliably and downtime can be minimised. Whether in person or remotely, good quality service and maintenance of HVAC equipment goes a long way – both to get the best return on investment, and to keep buildings as safe and comfortable as possible. Enabling a smarter and more sustainable workplace HVAC has always been critical to keeping employees happy and healthy at work – but for a long time this has had a negative impact on the planet. Inefficient HVAC systems can give a building a much bigger carbon footprint than it would ideally have. 75% of organizations plan to increase their investment in energy efficiency and smart building technologies Last year, our Energy Efficiency Indicator survey found that 75% of organizations plan to increase their investment in energy efficiency and smart building technologies. The opportunity, then, to overhaul HVAC systems in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 is also an opportunity to invest in more efficient, greener HVAC technologies, built for the future. Taking a holistic approach to your HVAC equipment is the best way to do this, to ensure efficiency gains can be made across an entire building or estate, by connecting intelligent systems. Chillers, for example, with efficiency and intelligence built in as standard can reduce energy use and carbon emissions for a building, or collection of buildings, helping FMs meet energy targets and keeping costs low. Choosing the optimal HVAC system Under current circumstances, the decisions made by FMs are pivotal in enabling business continuity and will ultimately impact building occupants’ comfort and safety. It should therefore come as no surprise that businesses are paying close attention to every move FMs make. Choosing the optimal HVAC system for your building and ensuring regular servicing and maintenance will prove cost-effective and energy efficient. Not only this, but smart HVAC technologies go a long way in enabling a safer, productive and more sustainable working environment. By picking the right tools for the job, businesses of every type can position themselves for growth while remaining as safe and secure as possible.
While lockdown restrictions are being eased, it is likely that COVID-19 will leave a lasting legacy on our attitudes to ventilation, building management, and safety. As schools readjust to operating within the new norm, one thing is for certain: there is always room for vigilance when it comes to school processes and safety. Whether to reduce costs, maximize efficiencies, or achieve optimal well-being of school-going children, smart technologies are here to stay for their extensive benefits. Schools of the future will be smarter COVID-19 has underscored the importance of automated processes, which are adaptable to different building occupancies and shifting challenges. As schools around the world take the first steps towards digital transformation, the simplicity and ease of integration of some smart technologies are showing marked cost savings; streamlined safety, maintenance and operational efficiencies; and enhanced green potential. Real-time reporting from sensors and technologies are mobilizing schools to adopt a data-driven approach to take their schools into the future. COVID-19 considerations Real-time reporting from sensors and technologies are mobilizing schools to adopt a data-driven approach Since withdrawn, the government’s guidelines on schools’ management during COVID-19 provided food for thought for governing bodies and facilities managers in the school setting, driving the adoption of data-based smart solutions to counteract operational challenges and reduce costs. The guidelines dealt with partially closed facilities - and guidelines for full opening have since been issued. Within the school context, the categories outlined in the original guidelines are perennially important and, with a bearing on safety, the more precise, the better. Coronavirus and temperature checking Across different facilities, temperature screening has become a naturalised daily occurrence, with elevated temperatures a good indicator of underlying illness. In the school setting, crowd screening technology has the potential to give live temperature readings, alerts, and access control functionality. It can also be used as a contact traceability tool when high temperatures are detected. Using infrared sensors, this technology provides medically accurate readings in real time with minimal disruptions or student backlogs. Hot and cold water systems It is likely that COVID-19 will leave a lasting legacy on our attitudes to ventilation, building management, and safety The dormancy of school buildings has created a secondary worry around Legionella - and the latest guidance from The Department of Education encourages the usual pre-term building checks are conducted. This bacteria causes Legionnaires’ Disease, which is preventable yet potentially fatal. Mitigating the risk of Legionella spread is an ongoing responsibility; one which is traditionally labour-intensive, involving hot and cold water temperature testing and flushing. Automated Legionella testing removes the need for human effort, cost, potential exposure, and manual record-keeping. It also provides alerts of undesirable temperature readings and expedited response times (which, in buildings of extensive pipework, can avoid hefty maintenance bills). This smart approach to Legionella maintenance is a simple compliance tool, which will help to ensure statutory obligations and prevent sometimes punitive penalties. A Smarter Outlook On Energy And Green Transformation Without question, saving energy is smart - and smart technologies are leading the charge in helping schools to reduce consumption and achieve green goals. This is being achieved in a range of ways - from constant monitoring of HVAC usage, heating systems, and lighting to the development of data-driven maintenance schedules to keep equipment performing efficiently. Smart sensors can deliver real-time insights on usage and occupancy, reducing waste to a minimum. Ventilation Air quality is a fundamental component of a healthy indoor environment, with compromised air quality linked to disease and allergies. Research has also shown a correlation between indoor air quality, student performance, and teacher retention. Proper ventilation is one of the best ways to work towards good air quality. Smart technologies assist in myriad ways. One example is by providing real-time alerts on changes or undesirable metrics around pollutants, noxious gases, atmospheric conditions and humidity (with mold and damp in mind). In trying to achieve a balance of mechanical and natural ventilation, one is able to monitor and remotely control HVAC usage, as well as monitor and record the frequency of opened and closed windows in selected areas, to evidence effort in this regard. There’s Smart and There’s Smarter Proper ventilation is one of the best ways to work towards good air quality Iot (Internet of Things) solutions providers, like us, have developed a suite of smart solutions which cater to the schools of the future. Wireless, long-lasting and cost-effective solutions combine a system of tags, sensors, and pressure pads, which transmit data over a secure and private network. These powerful tools send data to a remote dashboard in real time, with alerts for undesirable readings, breaches, and metrics - tailored to facilities owners’ buildings, assets, and needs. With a user-friendly interface, these systems also collect data for thorough record-keeping and meaningful data insights, which have the potential to inspire informed decision-making and strategic development as schools continue to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
In an economic sense, the COVID-19 pandemic has created winners and losers. While the tragic human and societal consequences are undeniable, when it comes to economics, some businesses have clearly fared better than others. For example, the hospitality industry has basically been decimated. Meanwhile, the HVAC business has thrived during the pandemic. Part of our success has been driven by increasing awareness of the role of air ventilation in fighting the virus. There has been renewed interest in air filtration, not to mention the benefits of UV-C to mitigate germs circulating in the air. Useful And Timely Information When customers wonder about how HVAC can be leveraged to make home and office environments safer, our industry’s business owners and technicians have mostly provided useful and timely information, while resisting (hopefully) any tendencies to exaggerate product claims or oversell possible solutions. The most successful HVAC professionals during this time have been the ones who have educated their customers without taking advantage of their understandable anxieties about the spread of the virus. Importance Of Comfort Work-from-home movement has increased awareness about the importance of comfort as we spent more time in our homesThe whole work-from-home movement has arguably increased awareness about the importance of comfort as we have spent more time in our homes. Staying at home makes consumers more conscious of how well – or badly – their HVAC systems are operating. Investing to improve home systems makes an even better economic sense if we are spending more time at home. In contrast, for instance, to an urge to invest more in our cars and trucks because we were spending all that time commuting. Pandemic Shutdown Shielding the HVAC market from the worst of the pandemic’s economic downside was the designation of HVAC industry employees among “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The designation, in effect, enabled HVAC companies to continue to operate throughout various pandemic shutdowns. Challenges Faced Furthermore, HVAC technicians and companies have risen to the challenges of social distancing and wearing masks as they are invited into customers’ homes and businesses during the pandemic. Personally, “I experienced a couple of visits from my local HVAC technicians early in the pandemic, and they could not have been more considerate and compliant with the prevailing norms to promote good health.” Renovation Of Spaces Business shutdowns also provided a window of opportunity to renovate spaces (including HVAC upgrades) without any worry about interfering with a customer’s operations. Many facilities were manned by skeleton crews or completed shut down, and the quiet operation eliminated any of the usual concerns about disruption of business operations to address HVAC repairs or maintenance. Business Opportunities HVAC systems became the focus of strategies to make environments safer There have certainly been business challenges during the pandemic, and some installer companies saw a slowdown during the worst of it. However, when it came time to open up businesses and schools again, HVAC systems became the focus of strategies to make environments safer. These requirements also provided new business opportunities for HVAC professionals and helped to keep their employees engaged and employed. Negative And Positive Effect The impact of a global pandemic can be devastating for any industry. As the COVID-19 pandemic has played out, the tremendous impacts can be seen in almost any market sector. However, as these things go, the pandemic has translated into a pretty good year for many HVAC companies, certainly better than some of the other small- to medium-sized businesses in a long list of industries. The pandemic’s impact on increased demand for the HVAC industry’s products and services provided new opportunities to serve customer needs and solve their problems. 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, but hopefully, HVAC businesses will finish the year in decent shape and looking ahead to an even more prosperous 2021.
The impact of HVAC systems on the spread of the novel coronavirus has been a hot topic since the beginning of the pandemic. However, it is striking that, even given all the discussions and guidance, there is still a lot that we do not know. Vaguely speaking, we know that crowded spaces with poor ventilation and/or low humidity levels tend to promote virus spread that filtration can help to remove the virus, and that measures such as UV-C radiation can help to disinfect indoor air. But even those suggestions are far from definitive and may be undermined by future study. In general, we ‘think’ that HVAC systems are a factor in spreading the virus, but we are not sure. Air flow Obviously, because the coronavirus is new, much information about the relationship between HVAC and virus spread is based on studies that were carried out in previous years related to other germs, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, which are similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But can this previous testing and studies really be extrapolated to apply to the new disease? The answer is that no one really knows; therefore, such information basically amounts to educated guesses. There have been some studies since the pandemic began about how HVAC and air flow impact disease spread, some of them in China. However, these studies involve smaller sample sizes and come with caveats, disclaimers, and fine print contained in footnotes about the limitations of the conclusions. Hypotheses are often formulated, but typically the authors have not conducted aerodynamic testing or used other techniques to confirm them. HVAC and the transmission of pathogens A rush to provide useful (if flawed) information is understandable in the midst of an emergency More study is needed, and more time is needed to complete those studies and expand our base of knowledge on this important subject. A rush to provide useful (if flawed) information is understandable in the midst of an emergency. Acting on imperfect information has likely saved thousands of lives. But that success does not diminish the need to pursue more detailed and accurate information. Those pursuits will likely extend years into the future and well past the aftermath of the pandemic. Studies are needed in specific areas to round out the knowledge base and prepare us to better understand the impact of HVAC on disease spread in the next pandemic. There are no clear answers, and the role of a building’s HVAC systems in transmission of pathogens requires more attention. Further areas of study Among other areas, we need studies to cover: Epidemiologic factors to measure the role of ventilation, recirculated air, and to adequately quantify ventilation rates Use of computer simulations to more accurately track the spread of fine-exhaled droplets. More robust examination of the direct role of HVAC in transmitting and removing viable viruses within respiratory droplets or short-range aerosols. More research by multi-disciplinary teams that include HVAC engineers, epidemiologists, virologists, infectious disease experts, and other experts working together. Broader studies should cover the fields of epidemiology, engineering and aerodynamics/aerobiology. More partnerships between building facilities management departments and those tasked with preventing infection. Will the pandemic change HVAC? The pandemic has impacted the HVAC market in many ways. As more of us spend time at home, we become more concerned about issues of air quality and indoor comfort. Some of the changes in our work-life patterns will likely be permanent, which will have a lasting impact on how office buildings are used – and how they are heated and cooled. It may be that the global pandemic changes the HVAC market for good, both challenging us to expand our technologies and providing opportunities to enhance our businesses. In the future, 2020 may become a pivotal date in the history of the HVAC market – a date after which nothing is ever quite the same. Establishing a sound scientific basis to direct the changing role of HVAC ‘after Covid’ will enable the industry to invest in safer technologies and innovative approaches to drive the future of the industry – and of the world.
A 93-year old woman in Glasgow, Ky., lost her husband last November after 73 years of marriage. Thousands of miles away, a disabled veteran in Rancho Cordova, Calif., suffers from asthma. Both were in dire need of a new HVAC unit, and neither could afford it. They are two of the 210 recipients of new HVAC units in the Lennox International “Feel the Love” campaign for 2020, which honors residents and families facing physical, mental or social disabilities, financial challenges, or those who have made an impact through military or community service. heating and cooling equipment HVAC Services Inc. in Kentucky and Bonney Plumbing, Electrical, Heating and Air in Rancho Cordova, Calif., installed the two new HVAC units. They are just two among the hundreds of HVAC installers and local community members who took part in the Lennox Residential program, which has given back to local communities since 2009. Local installers across the country began requesting nominations in June from community members. We received more than 50 nominations from across the greater Sacramento region" "We received more than 50 nominations from across the greater Sacramento region,” said Oscar Poort, Bonney General Manager. For the first time this year, Bonney is participating in the program in partnership with Lennox Residential. For the past 10 years, the Lennox “Feel the Love” program has donated heating and cooling equipment to help deserving residents across the country, helping more than 1,500 families throughout North America stay comfortable and safe in their homes. supporting the community Across the country, deserving individuals and families are nominated in their hometowns to receive new heating and cooling systems. Each nomination recognizes an “unsung hero” who may be going through hardship, helping others in need, or simply supporting their community. Lennox provides each selected recipient with a high-efficiency Lennox Merit system complete with a three-year Comfort Shield Labor Protection Plan. Local dealers donate their time and labor to make the program a success. Past nominees have included teachers, firefighters, community volunteers and families impacted by natural disasters. This year, Lennox has expanded the program to include medical professionals and other essential workers on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. essential HVAC units “As many prepare for a winter working and learning from home, a new HVAC unit can make a significant impact on one’s health, comfort and happiness,” says Stephanie Bond, Director of Marketing at Lennox Residential. Since 2009, “Feel the Love” has been a key program for Lennox Residential to give back to its communities With the ongoing challenges as the pandemic continues, Lennox is expanding the “Feel the Love” program through the end of the year to continue installing much-needed HVAC units to recipients. Among the 2020 recipients are COVID-19 frontline workers, including medical professionals. Since 2009, “Feel the Love” (formerly known as Heat U.P.) has been a key program for Lennox Residential to give back to its communities. corporate responsibility program Culminating in “Feel the Love Day” in October, Lennox partners with HVAC installers and local community members in the United States and portions of Canada to deliver HVAC units at no cost to people who consistently put others before themselves and need a helping hand. Lennox is committed to contributing to its communities, investing in the future of the HVAC industry, and giving back through its corporate responsibility program. Displaying generosity benefits everyone, including corporations like Lennox, who receive well-deserved recognition for their investments in doing good. The entire HVAC industry benefits when companies become helpful and constructive forces in the communities they serve.
Viessmann heating, cooling and ventilation products have been selected by PERI GmbH, one of the suppliers of formwork and scaffolding systems, as well as civil engineering solutions, for Germany’s first 3D-printed house. Located in the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Beckum, the two-storey, 160 m² single-family home is currently under construction. The 3D printing process has already been applied to the walls of the house. A nozzle applies special concrete in layers. The print head moves over three axes on a fixed frame and is controlled by just two people. It takes just five minutes to print one square meter of a double-shelled wall. Energy efficiency rating This innovative technology saves more than time compared to conventional construction methods; it also significantly reduces resources and allows for greater freedom in building design. When completed, the first home will be heated and cooled by a high-efficiency Vitocal 200-S air/water heat pump and ventilated by the Vitovent 300-W ventilation system. The temperature will be perfectly regulated all year round. The new Vitoset heat pump-hybrid cylinder WPU 300/100L will be installed as a heating buffer and DHW cylinder The heat pump is highly efficient with a COP (coefficient of performance) of up to 5.0 (EN 14511 at A7/W35°C) and has an energy efficiency rating of A++. The new Vitoset heat pump-hybrid cylinder WPU 300/100L will be installed as a heating buffer and DHW cylinder. The hybrid cylinder solution saves a lot of space since it consists of one 300-liter enamel DHW cylinder and a 100-liter buffer cylinder. The cylinder is delivered in one piece and is completely insulated. Additional residential projects Fresh, clean, and especially germ-free ambient air is more important than ever in times of COVID-19, and so the Vitovent 300-W central home ventilation system will also be installed in Germany’s first 3D-printed house. This quiet ventilation system is particularly quiet and compact and recovers up to 92 per cent of the heat from extracted air during the cold weather, saving heating costs. In combination with the Vitocal 200-S heat pump, the ventilation can be conveniently controlled using the free ViCare app on a smartphone. PERI GmbH expects 3D printing to gain in importance in the next few years, and additional residential projects are already in preparation.
Johnson Controls, a global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, and the Village of Lindenhurst, New York announced their partnership through a major Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). With goals that include sourcing project funding, addressing deferred maintenance and setting the standard for efficiency, the Village will undergo a community-wide initiative for sustainability. The $5.8 million ESPC is guaranteed by Johnson Controls to generate $8.3 million in energy cost savings over 20 years, helping the Village achieve long-term budget neutrality. The project will consist of Village-wide cutting-edge infrastructure improvements such as solar energy systems, LED municipal street lighting and other renewable energy technologies. High-efficiency boiler Johnson Controls will replace the Rainbow Community Center’s aged boiler with a new high-efficiency boiler The ESPC encompasses 11 buildings across the Village, two parks and a marina. LED lighting will be installed within municipality facilities and in outdoor community spaces, generating $31,000 in lighting rebates. To further maximize the Village’s energy efficiency efforts, Johnson Controls will replace the Rainbow Community Center’s aged boiler with a new high-efficiency boiler, as well as install electric car charging stations at Village Hall. For energy renewability, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will be constructed on facility rooftops, as well as the rooftop of a new carport in the Village’s commuter rail parking lot. Greener future "Sustainability is a pillar of our work, and we are honored to power the Village's mission for a greener future." — Chris Fitzsimmons, Johnson Controls account executive “Sustainability is a pillar of our work, and we are honored to power the Village’s mission for a greener future,” said Chris Fitzsimmons, Johnson Controls account executive. “Our experts have the deep industry experience to provide constituents with a comprehensive approach, delivering infrastructure improvements to maximize their commitment to both energy efficiency and their citizens. Through consistent collaboration with the Village of Lindenhurst through an ESPC, the project will be paid over time through its guaranteed savings, empowering the Village to focus resources on community wellness and services while costing taxpayers nothing.” Efficient energy Johnson Controls experts will also help the Village of Lindenhurst develop innovative waste oil heating practices Johnson Controls experts will also help the Village of Lindenhurst develop innovative waste oil heating practices, converting used truck oil into efficient energy for the community. These product and process upgrades will allow the Village to prioritize sustainability while also addressing changing community needs. “This partnership with Johnson Controls will help the Village remain forward-thinking, allowing us to explore new opportunities for efficiency,” said Village of Lindenhurst Trustee Pat Pichichero. “We are proud to be a leader in sustainability in the Long Island region and are dedicated to providing a community that will continue to serve citizens for generations to come. From energy updates to our Rainbow Community Center to new LED lighting in the marina, these improvements will help the Village remain a thriving community for residents and visitors alike.” Safety and health guidelines Using video communication platforms, this project was procured, developed and closed remotely in order to adhere to safety and health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognized by federal, state and local governments as an essential business, Johnson Controls is committed to safely supporting its customers during uncertain times. Johnson Controls has a long history of working with local governments throughout North America to create environments that inspire and engage both residents and leaders. Through Performance Infrastructure™ projects, we have helped 579 local governments modernize equipment and building systems, improve infrastructure and energy spend and address on-going maintenance needs.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned provider of for smart and sustainable building solutions, has announced the completion of phase one of its project with Gunnison County, in Colorado, USA, which included the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and LED lighting in five County buildings. PV panels and LED lighting The phase one improvements are the continuation of the Gunnison County’s long-standing commitment to reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities and operations. The solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and LED lighting will help the County reduce greenhouse gas emissions, made possible by an Energy Services Agreement (ESA). The County has been electrifying and improving the efficiency of its facilities over many years The County has been electrifying and improving the efficiency of its facilities over many years, and the addition of PV generation is an exciting next step in a long-standing commitment to lowering the environmental impact of County operations. The project was enabled through the Colorado Energy Office. Solar arrays deployed When considering their sustainability mission, Gunnison County officials were committed to leveraging solar power to achieve their strategic GHG reduction goals. Selected for its specialized experience in solar PV technology, energy storage, lighting and structured finance programs, Johnson Controls worked with county leaders over the past year to put their plan into action. The completed solar arrays, built on six County buildings, will total approximately 308 kilowatts (kW) in provided power. All-electric heating and cooling systems Two of the sites are located on buildings that have previously been converted to all-electric heating and cooling systems, using highly efficient ground source heat pumps. The solar arrays will directly offset the electric power needs of facilities and the County estimates solar will generate 40% of the power for the Courthouse and 80% of the power at the Health and Human Services Building. “There is a lot of pride in Gunnison County having large-scale solar arrays provide power for public buildings, proving our commitment to being a leader in sustainability,” said Gunnison County Commissioner, Jonathan Houck. Achieving strategic GHG emissions reduction goals Reducing our County’s GHG emissions is a crucial part of our dedication to a greener, healthier community" Jonathan adds, “Reducing our County’s GHG emissions is a crucial part of our dedication to a greener, healthier community. Our partnership with Johnson Controls allows us to continue exploring new energy efficiency opportunities to serve future generations of Gunnison County.” When considering their sustainability mission, Gunnison County officials were committed to leveraging solar power to achieve their strategic GHG reduction goals. Selected for its specialized experience in solar PV technology, energy storage, lighting and structured finance programs, Johnson Controls worked with county leaders over the past year to put their plan into action. Energy Services Agreement (ESA) By employing an Energy Services Agreement (ESA), the project leverages energy cost savings to help pay for the project over time. In addition, this project is supported by additional funding secured through a US$ 497,500 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). These funding methods enabled the County to quickly make necessary infrastructure improvements for long-term sustainability. "Funding from the DOLA Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) program is helping Coloradans socially or economically affected by the development, processing, or energy conversion of minerals and mineral fuels," said Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Executive Director, Rick M. Garcia, adding "It is also an incentive for eligible local governments to launch planning and implementation of renewable energy solutions that meet the needs vocalized by their communities." Making buildings energy efficient “Johnson Controls has been making buildings efficient and safe for 135 years, and our obligation to deliver comprehensive, best in class solutions to our customers has never been more important,” said Rowena Adams, Account Executive for Performance Infrastructure at Johnson Controls. Rowena adds, “Solar and energy solutions like the ones we’ve implemented throughout Gunnison County’s facilities will continue to make the community a healthier place to live, work and play. These energy projects are the result of strong leadership at Gunnison County. They are an impressive force.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic spread, phase one of the project was completed in compliance with the social distancing practices to be followed, as per the federal government and health organizations’ health and safety guidelines. Phase two of the project will be completed by leveraging the same safety measures and is scheduled for completion in Fall 2020. Installing ground source heat pump system Phase two includes building envelope improvements within the County’s Blackstock Government Building Phase two includes building envelope improvements within the County’s Blackstock Government Building and a ground source heat pump system which will dramatically reduce energy use and will make the building the County’s 3rd all-electric building. “Gunnison County has had a long-standing commitment to reducing energy use and lowering greenhouse gas emissions from its operations through energy efficiency and adoption of alternative HVAC strategies, such as ground source heat pumps,” said John Cattles, Sustainable Operations Director at Gunnison County. Modernizing equipment and building systems John adds, “The solar arrays are an exciting next step along the energy journey the County has been on. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that is able to take the vision and values set by our elected leaders and efficiently and consistently turn that into great projects and outcomes for our community.” Johnson Controls has a long history of working with local governments throughout North America to create environments that inspire and engage both residents and leaders. Through Performance Infrastructure projects, we have helped nearly six hundred local governments modernize equipment and building systems, improve infrastructure and energy spend, and address on-going maintenance needs.
With news of the coronavirus' airborne droplets being able to be neutralized via advanced filtration, Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical is responding by providing Houston homeowners with state-of-the-art HVAC testing and next-gen products to combat the COVID-19 pandemic surge. As the virus re-surges throughout Texas and parts of America, infectious disease experts are learning that COVID-19 can be contracted by inhaling tiny, invisible particles that hang in stagnant air for hours. HEPA filters and UV light A recent investigation by ABC's Good Morning America (GMA) revealed that a combination of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters and UV light are homeowners' best defense against the virus droplets. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo said recently that large malls should be required to install HEPA systems before re-opening. Delta Airlines is also equipping its fleet of aircraft with HEPA filters, while American Airlines said its planes have been using the systems since the 1990s. The licensed HVAC professionals at Abacus Plumbing can inspect current residential systems and suggest a solution from their extensive line of HEPA and UV products. Cleaning air to clear out COVID-19 particles HEPA systems, such as the REME HALO, can remove 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns" "Obviously, cleaning surfaces is still important, but cleaning the air that recirculates through homes and buildings is now a huge focus," Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Nancy McClellan told GMA. “HEPA systems, such as the REME HALO, can remove 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns,” said Dr. Rajat Mittal, a professor studying the dynamics of COVID-19 particles adding, "That is potentially good news, because almost all the droplets that are going to be carrying viruses are all within that range." REME HALO air purification system Abacus Plumbing so trusts the REME HALO that it's installed in the company's own HVAC systems. "To help keep our employees as healthy as possible, Abacus installed the same air filtration equipment in our offices that we install in our customer homes," said Abacus Plumbing Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alan O'Neill, adding "In an essential business like ours, we have to do everything possible to help prevent our team members from allergies, germs and viruses. We owe it to our employees to invest in their health, and our customers who depend on us to be ready to serve 24 hours a day.” The HALO purifies the air in homes from the source, the HVAC system. Its patented technology is hospital tested and military approved to reduce allergies, fight odor and kill bacteria, mold and viruses. Ensuring health and safety of Houstonians "We haven't come across anything that it can't handle," said Rene Luna, whose company, The Partner Group, has been selling HALOs to Houston distributors, like Abacus Plumbing, since 2006, adding "It doesn't wait to clean the air in the equipment and it actually cleans your air and your living space. It's by far the leader in the industry." With COVID-19 finding new ways to harm Houstonians, Abacus is ready to help homeowners protect the health and safety of their family by installing the best defense available.
Like many first responder organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic has led the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) to implement several new policies and procedures to help keep officers safe so that they can continue their essential job of protecting the community. As a result, officers at the department's Firearms Training Center have been limiting trips to the grocery store as well as limiting access to the facility by non-essential personnel to curb any unnecessary exposure. Through GEA4Heroes, GE Appliances provided the center with a new refrigerator to keep foods safe for on-duty officers. First responders and healthcare workers Additionally, GEA supplied a new washer and dryer set to allow officers to clean potentially contaminated materials. "It's tough and uncertain times, and we realize that as far as essential job duties and employees is that we both fit into the category," LMPD Ofc. Matt Gelhausen said. "And we're both working together to be able to fulfill our job to be able to continue to serve this community, and in turn, as GE Appliances does serving our nation." GE Appliances launched the GEA4Heroes program in April with United Way Worldwide. A significant portion of appliances produced during the first two weeks of April are being donated to first responders and healthcare workers across the country.
Mercyhealth, a healthcare provider with multiple hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin, announced it will deploy Molekule's air purification technology, including its newly released commercial product, Air Pro RX, intended for healthcare facilities, to enhance protection for its patients and frontline medical personnel. The devices will be deployed throughout Mercyhealth's five hospitals in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Molekule's PECO air purification technology has been demonstrated to capture and destroy airborne viruses, including testing of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) proxy viruses. Waiting areas and emergency rooms air purification Mercyhealth will be prioritizing the use of Molekule's air purification devices to inpatient rooms for patients who are symptomatic or who have tested positive for COVID-19, providing even greater protection for patients and medical professionals who face potential increased exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The devices will also be integrated across several of Mercyhealth's waiting areas and emergency rooms. FDA issued guidance for the use of particular air purifiers against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) during COVID-19 Mercyhealth will be utilizing Molekule Air devices and Molekule's newly released medical-grade unit, Air Pro RX, which is intended for critical care environments including their Intensive Care Units and operating rooms. Air Pro RX has been granted 510(k) Class II Medical Device clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It uses the same PECO technology as Molekule's suite of consumer products, is portable, does not require any HVAC installation, and begins cleaning the air immediately. Quality air for employees and visitors "At Mercyhealth, our goal is to bring the latest standards of medicine and the best quality of care to the millions of patients we treat annually, as well as provide protection for our employees and visitors," said Ruth Yarbrough, Mercyhealth Vice President of Quality. "After a pilot study and further evaluation by our medical and quality teams, we are excited to be among the first hospitals in the United States to utilize Molekule's PECO technology in our facilities." This announcement comes shortly after the FDA issued guidance for the use of particular air purifiers against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) during the current COVID-19 emergency. Molekule's devices satisfy the performance criteria outlined by the FDA in the guidance, and thus can be sold during the current health emergency as medical devices intended to destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Air purification technology Patients are in respiratory distress and healthcare workers are at a high risk of airborne exposure" Because SARS-CoV-2 can be aerosolized and transmitted through droplets in the air, having proper air purification technology that may be effective in the destruction of the virus, in addition to personal protective equipment (PPE) or other similar medical countermeasures (MCM), adds an important layer of protection to high-risk areas. In addition to the recent guidance provided by the FDA, Molekule's Air Pro RX device has specifically been granted 510(k) Class II Medical Device clearance by the FDA. "As a company rooted in scientific innovation, we are constantly looking at ways to bring the power of PECO technology to those who need it most," said Jaya Rao, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Molekule. "Today, we are facing an invisible threat in the air and it's more important than ever to get our PECO technology into medical facilities where patients are in respiratory distress and healthcare workers are at a high risk of airborne exposure. The work we are doing with Mercyhealth is a defining moment for getting new air purification technology deployed in the battle against this virus." SARS-CoV-2-like virus effectiveness Molekule's most recent third-party testing conducted with the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, Intertek, on virus Phi X 174, a proxy virus to SARS-CoV-2, demonstrated the ability of Molekule's PECO technology to destroy the virus and reduce the virus concentration by 98.7% in two hours. Additional testing recently conducted at Aerosol Research and Engineering Labs (ARE) using the virus MS2 Bacteriophage, a proxy virus for SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and measles, due to also being an RNA type virus and particle size, demonstrated the ability of Molekule's technology to reduce up to 99.99% of the virus concentration in just 2 hours. In December of 2018, Mercyhealth and Molekule concluded a pilot clinical trial in Mercyhealth's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), which was recently published in The Cureus Journal of Medical Science. The clinical trial pilot evaluated the effects of Molekule's patented air purification technology, PECO, for hospitalized children who were admitted with respiratory distress. Mercyhealth found during this pilot trial, that the use of PECO technology was associated with a reduction in the overall length of hospital stays, as well as reduced rates of intubation, nebulizer usage and non-invasive ventilation.
Round table discussion
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of HVACInformed.com. We will be asking timely questions about the HVAC market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the industry. Launching this new feature in the middle of a global pandemic made choosing our first question quite easy. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What has been the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the HVAC market?