The Housing Minister, Chris Pincher, announces a series of ambitious new targets for a green building revolution. Designed to lower energy consumption and help protect the environment, the new standards will affect all homes and businesses – existing and new build. The new targets include measures to ensure: All new buildings are constructed to be highly energy efficient. Building work in existing buildings must meet new standards. Measures to tackle overheating in existing homes to...
Air conditioning technologies and solutions firm, LG Electronics USA is continuing to pave the way for the future of connected buildings, with the expansion of its award-winning controls platform, LG MultiSITE. Empowering building owners and operators to optimize their operations and efficiency, especially with Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, the MultiSITE lineup is packed with advanced features that deliver more building synergy and accessibility than ever before. LG MultiSITE contro...
Pelion, the connected IoT device service provider, and subsidiary of Arm, jointly announced a partnership with Johnson Controls, the pioneer for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings. This partnership will accelerate innovation in connectivity, security and intelligence at the edge for Johnson Controls OpenBlue technology. “This partnership combines Johnson Controls deep domain expertise in healthy buildings with Pelion’s device and edge management capabilities to usher in an era...
To help improve public transit safety and support economic recovery, Thermo King, a strategic brand of global climate innovator Trane Technologies, launches a new air purification solution for buses that continuously purifies the air while the bus is in operation. Thermo King’s Air Purification Solution has been independently tested and proven to be 98% effective in deactivating certain viruses, including a surrogate for the virus that causes COVID-19. Healthier air quality “Our p...
LENNOX EMEA, a company in the design and manufacture of heating, air conditioning, air treatment, and refrigeration equipment, through its three brands Lennox, Friga-Bohn, and HK Refrigeration, is hosting a content-rich ‘Learning Month’, which will run from April 15th to May 15th. Learning Month will comprise a series of free online webinars (in local languages) that provide professionals in the HVAC-R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration) industry with targete...
The Board of Directors of Trane Technologies plc, a global climate innovator, declared a quarterly dividend of $0.59 per ordinary share. The dividend is payable June 30, 2021, to shareholders of record on June 4, 2021. Trane Technologies has paid consecutive quarterly cash dividends on its common shares since 1919 and annual dividends since 1910.
Johnson Controls, the global company in smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions, will host its ‘Game On’ Rooftop HVAC Conference virtually on April 21, 2021. The interactive training conference will offer a free online learning experience, with in-depth presentations developed by our HVAC experts. The courses will cover the product and service of Johnson Controls, YORK and TempMaster commercial rooftop systems along with trending industry topics, which are available for professional development hour (PDH) credits. ‘Game On’ Rooftop Conference This conference is created for anyone involved in designing and specifying, building, installing or servicing commercial rooftop systems. Participants can create a personalized itinerary with 16 unique courses to choose from within three primary conference tracks: Industry and Application Education: The industry and application education track offers a number of trending industry topics, including the transition to low-GWP refrigerants, HVAC systems’ impact on a building’s indoor air quality and the effects of ASHRAE1 on package unit design, all for PDH credit. Product Information: The product information track will consist of interactive presentations with product managers about the company’s rooftop HVAC equipment and controls portfolio, along with open time to meet the product managers and ask questions. Product Start-up and Service: The product start-up and service track courses are hosted by Ducted Systems Academy trainers, as they demonstrate key setup and configurations on 15 - 80 ton commercial rooftop units and control panels, and answer participant questions. Importance of continuous learning in HVAC industry The HVAC industry is always changing, so continuous learning is no longer optional" “The HVAC industry is always changing, so continuous learning is no longer optional,” said Joseph Oliveri, Vice President and General Manager, Global Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls, adding “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this truly unique educational opportunity to give our customers a leg up in their business and also expose them to what we have to offer. It’s game on!” Participants will also be given the opportunity to connect with their representative to discuss future opportunities. In addition, after the conference, participants will get first access to the new ‘Game On’ website, which offers additional information, including 360-degree video tours of the Rooftop Center of Excellence in Norman, Oklahoma, the facility’s world-class testing lab and the Ducted Systems Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. At the completion of the conference, participants will receive 10% off one future Ducted Systems Academy course and will have full access to recordings of all conference classes also through the ‘Game On’ website.
Jobber, the globally renowned provider of home service management software, has unveiled Boost by Jobber, a grant program to further support the hard-working entrepreneurs within the home services sector. Aspiring entrepreneurs, new business owners, and long-time home service entrepreneurs are invited to apply for free grants, ranging from US$ 1,000 to US$ 20,000, depending on the category that their business qualifies for. Funding for Entreprenuers Twenty home service businesses across 50+ industries, such as lawn care, plumbing, residential cleaning, and painting, will be awarded US$ 100,000 funding in total. Applications are now open through May 5, 2021. Finalists will be announced in July 2021, with the list of winners announced in August 2021. Home service entrepreneurs impact their local communities and neighborhoods in meaningful ways" “Home service entrepreneurs impact their local communities and neighborhoods in meaningful ways,” said Sam Pillar, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Co-Founder at Jobber, adding “They employ millions of people while operating behind-the-scenes to keep homes, offices, and other spaces safe and in good working order, yet, despite their important contributions, small businesses are largely underserved when it comes to business financing.” Boost by Jobber grant program Sam Pillar adds, “Boost by Jobber helps address this gap by providing service business entrepreneurs with some extra working capital that may not otherwise be available through traditional banks and government grant programs.” Royce Ard, who owns My Amazing Maid with his wife, Tamara, further validates this statement. “Typically when I see a grant, I’m almost always assuming it's for a specific cohort and I wouldn’t qualify,” explained Royce Ard, adding “Loans are very, very, very hard to get. As far as going to a bank and getting US$ 10,000 for a small business like ours, you're not going to get it.” Grants Organized into categories Boost by Jobber grants are organized into categories that reflect various stages of company growth, from ideas on paper to recently launched ventures to established businesses, as well as an additional category for COVID-19 support. Five winners will be selected from each of the following: Almost-entrepreneurs (pre-business): Entrepreneurs who have the drive to start and run a home service business, however, are in need of funds to get started. New business owners (0 - 3 years): Entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of building their team, client list, and services. Experienced business owners (3+ years): Entrepreneurs who are ready to scale their mature business to the next growth stage. COVID-19 support: Entrepreneurs seeking financial support or resources for their team’s well-being. Helping home service businesses grow Jobber spoke service professionals to better understand the impact that extra cash flow could have on a business Jobber spoke with dozens of service professionals to better understand the impact that extra cash flow could have on a business, to create the grant categories, and to determine the dollar values assigned to each grant. Whether a company is looking to purchase new equipment, increase marketing dollars, launch a new service, train teams, or is in need of financial relief, funds from the Boost by Jobber program can make a big difference in helping small business owners be more successful. The value of cash flow “People don't understand the value of the cash flow,” stated Steven Knight, partner at Mosaic Home Services Ltd, adding “It's not necessarily only helping the business. It's helping the business owners as well with their ability to lead people. Cash flow helps them be a better business leader.” Boost by Jobber is one of many initiatives within Jobber’s home service ecosystem that is dedicated to supporting the home service entrepreneur, whether it’s through the company’s award-winning business management software, resources such as Jobber Academy, community building via the company’s Entrepreneurship Group on Facebook, and more.
The pandemic has upended way of life around the world and the impact on the future of buildings, building performance, and building use is in many ways still unknown. Danfoss recently convened a virtual EnVisioneering Workshop to explore the pandemic’s impact and how it might reset building markets and energy-performance strategy whether new building use patterns will slow or accelerate energy decarbonization and electrification, and what their significance will be on indoor air quality solutions. Carbon-Neutral buildings Pre-pandemic, building design was already experiencing early waves of transformation, said Lisa Tryson, director of corporate communications at Danfoss. Now, a shaken world economy, new public health priorities, evolving standards, and a possible shift in the way everyone goes to work are pointing toward a market reset. Pre-pandemic, building design was already experiencing early waves of transformation Moving forward, they see opportunities emerging around healthy and carbon-neutral buildings but the industry will need scale and speed to reach these ambitious and evolving targets. Remote work and retail cannibalization sending consumers to virtual platforms for shopping and entertainment lead the list of notable trends impacting the built environment. Rich Overmoyer, president and CEO of Fourth Economy, suggested to Workshop participants that both trends are impacting the urbanization of the past decade. Flexible work arrangements Flexible work arrangements are allowing people to move away from major cities to more idyllic suburban and rural communities, leading building owners to consider reconfiguring space use for both health and profitability. New opportunities, Overmoyer indicated, include innovations on home ownership finance particularly as population shifts drive home costs and an emerging affordability crisis and in construction models that can encourage commercial building renovation and rehabilitation. Scott Foster, director of sustainable energy at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva, Switzerland, maintained that high-performance building design addresses many of the challenges the pandemic has brought to the world of buildings, including the need for healthy indoor environments, new and expanded technology integration, and long-term cost reduction. High-Performance buildings A move to high-performance buildings would create an improved new normal in buildings Moreover, deploying high-performance buildings would drive an economic restart, boost social equity in the built environment, improve quality of life in the broadest terms, and attenuate the global climate crisis through reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions. In brief, rather than being derailed by the pandemic, a move to high-performance buildings would create an improved new normal in buildings and establish a new trajectory for truly sustainable development. Jenna Cramer, executive director of Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance, outlined how the City of Pittsburgh has developed a track record and useful experience base in how to act on the new possibilities that Foster highlighted. Indoor air quality Pittsburgh was the second city in the United States, after New York, to adopt the UN Sustainable Development Goals and its 2030 Agenda. The City has a well-established 2030 District, which in 2019 already had 86.3 million square feet and 556 buildings committed, achieving an array of performance improvements for the District: 23.1 percent energy use reduction; 19.8 percent water use reduction; 122 individual buildings providing indoor air quality (IAQ) data; and 26 percent cut in carbon emissions from transit (2018 data). Drilling down on IAQ, 2030 District Property Partners are monitoring CO2 and odors in the reporting buildings, establishing no idling zones outside them, and moving on several other interventions. Pittsburgh’s work to make the UN’s vision of sustainability in and by buildings a reality is showing important results. Sustaining new direction Building owners need to be incentivized to commit to that new building future The task now, Cramer suggested, is to organize the building community across the country to establish and sustain a new direction for buildings that can meet the demands of sustainable development broadly defined which embraces the specific challenges to which the pandemic has given rise. Pittsburgh is proving what can be done. Building owners need to be incentivized to commit to that new building future. Drake Erbe, vice president for market development at Airxchange who has served in senior positions supporting an array of standard creating organizations, nationally and internationally reported on trends in emerging standards that he expects will further strengthen the high-performance tide in the U.S. and abroad. Energy performance requirements He noted the development of data as a key element in the evolution of building design through Building Information Modeling for construction, and how maturing data capacity is now empowering other players in the building marketplace. Utilities, power generators, local jurisdictions, financial institutions, and others are able to harness the same capacity for better performance reporting requirements, operation management, and determining asset financial value. In Europe, that has meant the emergence of Smart Standards development that can leverage data capabilities to achieve and maintain wholly new levels of building energy performance requirements. Through the international cooperation on standards and the mounting of global market forces, the U.S. can expect to be under growing pressure to move in the same direction. High-Performance standards Several forces are slowing the implementation and impact of high-performance standards Thought leadership in the standards arena, then, is adding to global and local aspirations and demonstrated performance capabilities to drive the shift to high performance despite the pandemic. Richard Lord, a senior fellow at Carrier, however, expressed concern that several forces are slowing the implementation and impact of high-performance standards. He pointed to action being taken by cities, on the other hand, as successful efforts to work around standards to achieve aspirational building performance levels. The emergence of the Healthy Building movement, which focuses on the physical, psychological, and social health of building inhabitants, he suggested, is becoming a potent force driving building performance. Currently emerging standards Overall, Lord sees the impact of currently emerging standards being perhaps superseded by reactions to market forces, policy demands, and MaxTech, as the demands for energy performance lie adjacent to the physical properties and the science of cooling and heating. The turn to a holistic approach to buildings is, consequently, gaining a momentum of its own The turn to a holistic approach to buildings is, consequently, gaining a momentum of its own a holistic, or systemic, approach positing that all building related energy uses, and both outdoor and indoor climatic requirements, are considered in integrated design and management of an individual building or cluster of buildings. Urban Green CEO John Mandyck saw the future in similar terms and offered the New York City experience as an illustration. The risks of climate change are simply too great for city government to turn a blind eye, and, as a consequence, the city is moving ahead forcefully on implementation of performance requirements set in motion pre-pandemic. Retrofit-Based strategies In addition, health and climate have shown themselves to be inseparable. Finally, the transition to a high-performance building stock would rely on retrofit-based strategies with the potential to create more than 140,000 new jobs. High-performance buildings are required not only by rising aspirations for building quality, but also as a response to a pandemic battered economic future. The Workshop was part of Danfoss EnVisioneering Symposia Series, which for more than 15 years, has sought to drive conversation and engagement on the urgent and emerging trends challenging the HVACR industry.
A high-performance pipe designed to make heating systems more sustainable than ever before has been launched by Uponor, a total solutions provider of systems for the safe transportation of water around a building. Ecoflex VIP Thermo Ecoflex VIP Thermo represents the next generation of pre-insulated pipes, thanks to its ability to significantly minimize heat and energy losses. The product’s efficiency stems from its unique hybrid design that combines technology from bonded and unbonded insulated pipes to create a solution that delivers up to 48% lower heat loss, compared to unbonded pipes and 34% compared to bonded pipes. In addition, Ecoflex VIP Thermo is also highly flexible and durable, making it ideal for complex designs and projects, where the installer is working in confined spaces. With up to 60% less bending force compared to alternative solutions on the market, Ecoflex VIP Thermo can be navigated around obstacles or laid across bumpy ground, without requiring additional connections. This minimizes potential weak points that could lead to leaks after the pipes have been laid. Ideal for local and district heating networks Uponor’s new pipes are ideal for use in both local heating networks as well as the district heating networks Uponor’s new pipes are ideal for use in both local heating networks that supply individual properties and where house-to-house connections are required, as well as the district heating networks that are being increasingly used for large complexes and multi-residential developments. Installers working on projects where efficiency and sustainability considerations are key can rest assured that using Ecoflex VIP Thermo will ensure a heating system that meets the highest standards for both. Choosing such high-performance solutions is vital, especially as the pipes which connect heating systems to the buildings that people live and work in can account for up to 50% of a system’s heat loss. A further benefit of Ecoflex VIP Thermo is that the outer diameter of the pipe is up to 30% smaller than other alternatives available on the market. This means that the trenches running from a heating network to a building can be smaller, saving on time and labor, while also making it easier for the installer to find suitable pathways for the pipes to run. Energy-efficient and low carbon heating Mark Dowdeswell, Senior Category Manager at Uponor, said “Our extensive experience at Uponor working on high-performance heating systems means that we know what installers need their pipes to provide. We’ve used this expertise and insight to create Ecoflex VIP Thermo, a pre-insulated pipe that combines the highest standards of energy efficiency with advanced installation benefits.” Mark adds, “Ecoflex VIP Thermo delivers energy-efficient, low carbon heating by significantly reducing the heat losses that typically occur when water travels from a heating network to a building. We’ve not sacrificed functionality in place of sustainability to achieve this, as thanks to its flexible, compact design, Ecoflex VIP Thermo simplifies the application process while being highly reliable. These properties mean installers can rest assured that not only will the pipes be easier to work with but that they will keep on working without leaks or issues for an extended period of time.”
In a new video series from Motili, the company has outlined how strategic electrification and variable refrigerant flow or VRF systems are bringing environmentally-friendly heating and cooling options to residential and commercial building owners. Strategic electrification in HVAC Recent government programs, code requirements, and utility rebates have been driving a movement of the electrification of the HVAC industry. This strategic electrification in HVAC sees increased use of electricity instead of fossil fuels within systems, to bring about positive impacts, such as more easily decrease pollution, decarbonizing the atmosphere, and drive down overall HVAC cost to run. Additionally, the electrification within HVAC systems frees up the building owner or homeowner from worrying about fluctuations in the fossil fuel market and eliminates any potential carbon monoxide poisoning, as there is no gas. Variable refrigerant flow or VRF systems Electrification is applied to an HVAC system by variable refrigerant flow or VRF Electrification is applied to an HVAC system by variable refrigerant flow or VRF. VRF systems are large and ductless systems that use heat pumps to provide simultaneous heating and cooling between different rooms or zones. This type of system optimizes the action of heating and cooling, significantly reducing carbon footprint along the way. VRF supports strategic electrification by reducing the overall heating and cooling costs for building owners, consumers, and society as a whole and helps address issues that are on the rise in decarbonization legislation. Benefits of VRF systems “The benefits of a VRF system are many - tax credits, utility rebates, and consumers can customize systems with their heating and cooling needs,” said Matthew Sallee, Vice President of Business Development at Motili. Matthew adds, “VRF systems are also quiet, easy to install, and are 30% more efficient than conventional HVAC systems. Here at Motili, we are constantly looking for ways to make the planet a healthier place and strategic electrification is one of the ways we can support a greener HVAC experience.” Assessing and completing HVAC systems work Motili brings contractors, operations teams, and the industry’s most advanced property management technology platform together to assess and complete HVAC work requests from start to finish. Motili automatically schedules, dispatches, manages, and invoices job requests and its predictive analytics improves budgeting accuracy by predicting product life cycle. Motili leverages its nationwide network of over 2,000 contractors and 1,000 distribution centers to provide HVAC and hot water services, across the US, to customers large and small.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy, and sustainable building solutions, through its YORK brand, has expanded its line of premium commercial rooftop units, now available in 25-80 tons variants with new and dynamic features. YORK Sun Premier platform The expanded YORK Sun Premier platform is designed to offer contractors faster installation and simplified start-up while providing building owners with high-efficiency levels that significantly reduce operational costs over the life of the unit. The expanded Premier line gives our customers additional features to ensure efficient start-up and installation" “YORK is committed to creating industry-leading equipment designed for performance, confidence, and long-term value to customers,” said Kevin Stockton, Senior Product Manager at Johnson Controls. Kevin Stockton adds, “The expanded Premier line gives our customers additional features to ensure efficient start-up and installation so contractors can finish their jobs faster while providing unmatched efficiency and reliability in the long term.” Featuring start-up wizards and OLED display To simplify system configuration and minimize start-up time, units feature start-up wizards, a 5.5-inch OLED display and an optimized numeric keypad, which are standard on all units. This can be upgraded to the optional new high-end graphical user interface, which features a full-color touchscreen that provides quick access to system status, performance metrics, and schedule parameters. RTUToolkit app Start-up is further simplified with the new RTUToolkit app for Android and iOS. With the app, contractors simply scan a unique QR code on each rooftop, which enables on-demand access to unit-specific details, technical literature, and direct connection to technical support. Premier rooftop units streamline the design process with integrated system selection tools, easily accessible building information modeling files, improved submittals, and simplified specification. The high-performance base models offer a complete range of factory options. These include various airflow path configurations, indoor environmental quality options, such as ultraviolet lights, and modulating options for improved comfort. Easy maintenance with service-friendly features Maintenance is also simplified with service-friendly features, such as an optional Mobile Access Portal gateway Maintenance is also simplified with service-friendly features, such as an optional Mobile Access Portal gateway that offers remote monitoring for ease of connection while at the jobsite, allowing technicians to interface with units without getting out of the truck. In addition, the smart equipment-enabled units provide seamless integration with state-of-the-art building controls systems, including Verasys, and with OpenBlue, a dynamic connected platform for smart, healthy, and sustainable building solutions from Johnson Controls. YORK Sun Premier commercial rooftop units YORK Sun Premier commercial rooftop units meet aggressive Department of Energy 2023 energy efficiency standards. Offered in standard efficiency (up to 10.9 EER/15.8 IEER), high capacity, or high efficiency (up to 11.4 EER/16.9 IEER), the Sun Premier units can provide up to 50 percent greater efficiency at part-load than is required, depending on the standard. Modulating options, such as compressors, an energy recovery wheel, and gas or electric heat, further improve energy efficiency. Premier units are backed by industry-renowned warranties, offering greater peace of mind. Standard one-year parts warranty A one-year parts warranty is standard on all Premier units, along with either a six-month or one-year promotional labor warranty (vs. the industry-standard, 30-day labor warranty) when started by a certified contractor.
In what can only be described as a very turbulent year, many businesses have had to shut their doors and have all but forgotten about the general upkeep of their sites. With priorities shifted to keeping companies afloat and staff employed, maintenance and servicing has taken a backseat, and many systems will be deteriorating unnoticed. It goes without saying that one of the first tasks that employers will have to tackle when returning to work is a deep clean. As we are still in the throes of a pandemic, a clean and disinfected workplace is the number one priority that needs to be ensured, before any staff can be welcomed back to work. This should be closely followed by maintenance of the site’s equipment. Importance of regular HVAC maintenance Regular HVAC maintenance is extremely important as it keeps systems performing efficiently and effectively Regular HVAC maintenance is extremely important as it keeps systems performing efficiently and effectively. The nature of HVAC maintenance does change depending on the time of year, and with some sites being shut for months and through different seasons, managers will need to review their current equipment to ensure it is compliant and working correctly as soon as possible as signs of normality start returning and facilities begin to reopen. While warehouses and factories may have still been operating in some capacity over the last 12 months, many office buildings have seen little to no employees for more than a year in some cases, therefore, risking deterioration and even damage to their systems going unnoticed and untreated. But with so many pieces of equipment at each site, it is often hard to know where to start and what to prioritize. Following HVAC manufacturer’s recommendations In order for businesses to keep functioning as best as they can and to avoid any more disruption, those in charge of maintenance and servicing need to be educated on how the conditions of a system affects the type of work it needs. Manufacturer’s recommendations should also be taken into account. To help define what these are and how to approach them, mechanical and electrical engineers recommend: The coils and pipes in HVAC equipment that are responsible for heat transfer are checked regularly, because if the equipment gets dirty, it won’t transfer heat and energy as well. Checking controls annually to ensure that the HVAC system is running properly, as control calibration can alter. By scheduling regular check-ups, accurate operation is maintained. Maintaining equipment with fans quarterly to maximize longevity. Three key areas include monitoring the impellers, belts and bearings for any dirt, wear and tear, friction or erosion. Keeping an eye on filters, as when they are clogged, it increases the pressure drop in a system, which makes fans work harder to maintain the same airflow. A quarterly clean is usually sufficient for most filters. This is also true of strainers in systems. Optimizing HVAC and electrical equipment With spring now upon us, businesses need to optimize their HVAC and electrical equipment for maximum efficiency With spring now upon us, businesses need to optimize their HVAC and electrical equipment for maximum efficiency. This includes reviewing the sequence of operations for a morning warm up and cool down. However, it’s important to remember that because of prolonged closures over the last 12 months, autumn and winter checks, and in some cases, even summer checks were not able to be carried out in 2020, so before the spring work begins, backdating the maintenance is a good place to start. Ensuring buildings’ energy efficiency With the help of experts, HVAC maintenance doesn’t have to be time-consuming and overwhelming, but it’s a critical part of maintaining an energy-efficient building that is both comfortable and reliable. With regular servicing and some basic knowledge of what is required, sites can maintain optimum efficiency all year round. Noise complaints can also be an issue, if HVAC maintenance isn’t carried out regularly. Spring is a good time for businesses to perform services on their equipment, prior to the summer months starting and should be used to ensure that condenser coils and air handler filters are both clean. The dirtier the equipment, the noisier and less efficient it becomes, which is bad news for any business. Preparing buildings for staff returning to work When a building is returning to normal occupancy after a lengthy closure, additional checks must be considered before reopening is discussed. When a building is initially mothballed, it must be prepared for long term vacancy, but many businesses will not have had this opportunity before the national lockdown, which basically entails that these checks will not have been carried out. After a building becomes unoccupied, it is not the case that maintenance activity should also stop After a building becomes unoccupied, it is not the case that maintenance activity should also stop. At the very least, the frequency of existing planned maintenance will change, but in some cases, more maintenance tasks are required in order to keep the site ticking over. This includes flushing of water systems, Legionella testing and insurance inspections to keep the property functional and compliant. Countering health and safety issues As the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted across the United Kingdom and many businesses are gradually reopening, it will present health and safety problems that have not been faced before and will very likely see a surge in services and maintenance being required. With this in mind, it is vital that maintenance becomes a priority as normal service is resumed to not only ensure efficiency, but also to make sure that no employee or visitor to a site is put in danger. Emerging from a surreal 12 months, there is no doubt that companies will still face challenges, so it is crucial that avoidable maintenance problems do not become one of them, so don’t delay in booking routine checks.
As part of the UK Government’s stated commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, gas boilers, along with other fossil-fuel burning boilers, are to be banned in newbuild homes from 2025 under the Future Homes Standard. Although the ban has received a widespread welcome in principle, there has been criticism. Environmental groups have criticized the ban for not going far enough in tacking the escalating climate crisis, and the construction and home-building industries have criticized it for the challenges it brings in achieving a viable home-heating alternative in such a short space of time. Placing significant demand Despite the criticism, the ban doesn’t go far enough; applying to newbuild homes only, with, as yet, no plans to phase out gas heating in existing homes. New heating technology has to be ready to roll out before 2025, whether it’s to 160,000 homes per year (the annual approximate figure of new homes built) or the UK’s entire housing stock of 29 million. Despite the criticism, the ban doesn’t go far enough; applying to newbuild homes only The Home Builders Federation, in reaction to the Future Homes Standard, has said, “It’s going to be a challenge and a huge area of work.” And it is widely acknowledged there is significant demand placed on the building and HVAC industries to produce a long-term, viable solution. Challenges include the creation of new, cost-effective designs of energy infrastructures, and implementation in time for the short deadline of less than four years away. Gas boiler heating systems From energy design engineers to developers, suppliers, and energy companies, everyone in the supply chain is affected in delivering a solution that UK homeowners can afford and that developers can supply. The communications challenge also cannot be underestimated, to bring along the public to the reality that homes cannot, ultimately, continue to be heated by the gas boilers they are so familiar with. The most likely low-carbon alternative to gas boiler heating systems is generally acknowledged to be heat pumps and heat networks, powered by renewables. It has been estimated by the Committee on Climate Change that by 2030 there will be 2.5 million heat pumps in new homes. Heat pumps offer comparable heating power to gas boilers and are powered by low-carbon electricity. Heat pumps have great potential for saving carbon; approximately 25-85 tCO2 per home over an average lifetime, reducing carbon emissions by 90%. Existing gas system But hydrogen is expensive to produce and although the existing gas system could be readily used for supply But for heat pumps to provide the level of warmth, particular in winter, and summer, weather in the UK, their effectiveness relies on excellent insulation, including triple glazing and adaptations to walls, floors, and ceilings. And while there has been a drive to get our draughty homes better insulated in the UK in recent years, with various grants and funding, this will be particularly crucial for newbuilds going forward. Hydrogen boilers could be an alternative to gas boilers. Hydrogen produces no emissions when burnt, only water and heat. But hydrogen is expensive to produce and although the existing gas system could be readily used for supply, and by consumers already familiar with a boiler system, it is not yet seen as a full solution to the replacement of gas. Technically qualified workers Trials are due to be carried out in the north-east with hydrogen-ready boilers. But the impending deadline and challenge for production and systems to be ready and tested, for mass implementation is unrealistic. Even before the Future Homes Standard was announced, there was an acknowledged shortage of skills. Engineering UK, in a recent survey, found that an additional 1.8 million engineers and technically qualified workers would be needed by 2025 in order to meet demand. But the impending deadline and challenge for production and systems to be ready and tested Nearly a third of HVAC firms have declared a skills shortage, with many feeling there is a crisis in the sector of sufficient qualified workers who can satisfy the new regulations. Now the demand is set to rise with the ban, as well as Brexit. A large proportion of qualified HVAC workers are sourced from the EU, further compounding the crisis of the skills shortage already faced. Zero-Carbon technologies From imagining life without a gas boiler to a young person seeing their future career in engineering and renewable energy, effective communications and campaigns could go a long way. Targeted lifestyle campaigns, with positive, compelling case studies of homes of the future being powered by green, zero-carbon technologies could help to drive the momentum for innovation from a domestic base. Talent strategies could also combat the reality of an ageing and diminishing workforce in HVAC and other sectors. It’s vital now, more than ever, that young people see a career in renewable and eco-living technology as, not only rewarding but futuristic, global, and sophisticated. Any alternative to gas heating has to be affordable for UK households, and therefore for housing developers to adopt. Fuel poverty is a real risk. Energy-Saving measures The right help needs to be in place to support the development and take-up of the alternative According to the Committee on Climate Change, it costs £4,800 to install low-carbon heating in a new home, but £26,300 in an existing house while there are various funding initiatives for households adopting energy-saving measures, the right help needs to be in place to support the development and take-up of the alternative. Not just for newbuild homeowners, but beyond 2025 when existing households are called upon to switch. The Home Builders Federation have said of the Future Homes Standard, “Ambitious deadlines pose enormous challenges for all parties involved including developers, suppliers, energy companies in terms of skills, design, energy infrastructure and the supply chain.” Low-Carbon heating technology But there is also a stated dedication to achieving what can be realistically achieved, proving that there is a genuine commitment to ensuring our brighter, cleaner future and planet with low-carbon heating technology. The ultimate challenge now will be in Government, agencies, and industry working together, in a dedicated way, to be realistic about, and tackle the challenges across the board so the right solution for our home-heating future can be achieved, in time, and ready for a rollout for the new homes we build from 2025.
With the roadmap laid out for the government to guide us out of lockdown, the end of the pandemic seems as though it could be in sight. However, HVAC units remain outdated in hotels, hospitals, schools, and offices and there is a worry that COVID-19 can still spread quickly and easily through air vents, mitigating the effects of lockdowns and vaccinations. Dr. Rhys Thomas, Chief Scientific Officer at infection mitigation specialist PP-L and a frontline NHS doctor, says that the government’s neglect of using HVAC solutions to reduce transmission is a major oversight. Airborne transmission indoors By failing to follow the lead of other nations that are now recognizing the importance of ventilation in relation to the airborne nature of the virus, the UK’s approach hasn’t been as comprehensive or as forceful as it could be, with quietly introduced, piecemeal changes to regulations being too little, too late. At the moment, some governments don’t want to come out and admit that COVID-19 is an airborne hazard and that their failure to recognize it as such has led to higher infection and mortality rates and suffered even greater impacts from new variants. Research shows that 80% of the spread of the virus is through airborne transmission indoors– the inhalation of infected droplets that are moving around in the room’s air currents or ventilation systems– which a two-meter distance or the opening of the window is unlikely to combat. New quarantine hotels The UK was geared up for an influenza-like pandemic rather than an airborne one The airborne nature of COVID-19 is what has caught governments off guard and meant we are still playing catch-up while new variants are starting to appear, which was also always to be expected. In terms of preparedness, the UK was geared up for an influenza-like pandemic rather than an airborne one, such as the challenge posed by a SARS coronavirus. As with all airborne illnesses, the greatest risk of transmission is indoors and in confined spaces such as public transport, office buildings, factories, and even potentially the new quarantine hotels which are being introduced to prevent the spread of the virus. The governments ‘hands, face, space’ messaging cover the opening of windows to help with airflow, but the reality is much more complex. Latest SARS Coronavirus The risk of infection indoors is vastly higher than outside, and current advice simply isn’t enough. There’s a perception – even in hospitals – that fresh air is clean air. I’ve been shocked to see hospitals that I’ve visited assuming that simply opening a window is enough. That is simply not the case – the air needs to be disinfected by ultraviolet light for it to be clean enough to prevent the spread of coronaviruses. I saw this in practice in the first SARS pandemic in 2003, where UV was used and proved incredibly effective in South East Asian hospitals once again against the latest SARS Coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The spread of the virus around the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which hit global headlines in January 2020 when more than 700 passengers and crew tested positive for COVID-19, has become a case-in-point for the theory behind the airborne transmission. Killing airborne contaminants Part F of the Building Regulations on ventilation has been updated and is out to consultation Researchers from Harvard and the Illinois Institute of Technology developed a computer model of the cruise ship outbreak, which found that the virus spread most readily in microscopic droplets light enough to linger in the air. The research added to the pressure already being placed on the World Health Organization to recognize the airborne dangers of the virus, including an open letter signed by more than 200 experts. The key point here is that there has been some level of recognition from various government departments that the virus is airborne, and they have mitigated accordingly. Part F of the Building Regulations on ventilation has been updated and is out to consultation, and the Health and Safety Executive’s COVID-Secure Guidance for the Workplace on Ventilation has also been quietly updated in recent weeks to recommend the use of ultraviolet air filtration systems, which are proven to kill airborne contaminants. Key communication issue These UK regulations are now, at last, starting to get more aligned to other global institutions’ recommendations such at the renowned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who support the importance of ventilation and UV devices to significantly reduce infection risk. This is a positive step, but the key communication issue is that if the government don’t fully endorse and be more vocal about the airborne threat of COVID-19, and regulatory changes being made, then neither will the wider public. This is a huge issue because the government is already preparing for this virus to be around in some form for many years to come. With 40 million doses of vaccine set to arrive in 2022 and an overall supply line that is set to last until 2025, it’s clear that there is an acknowledgment that this will be a long fight. The SAGE scientists like Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance are also referring to this virus as endemic now. Long-Term readiness The government is already building long-term readiness and diluting the risks by using different suppliers With 407 million doses of vaccine on order, the government is already building long-term readiness and diluting the risks by using different suppliers, but without the acknowledgment of the airborne risks, this can only do so much – it needs to be a joined-up, blended approach. Prevention is better than the alternative because in this case, there is unlikely to be a cure for a virus that spreads and mutates at the rate this one does. Trying to keep ahead of this virus is a dangerous game. It is incredibly adaptable and there is an awful lot of guesswork about predicting the spread and virulence of new and more easily spread strains. Ongoing lockdowns are simply not an option and are increasingly ineffective as people struggle with the monotony and isolation they bring. We need to get on the front foot and not only rely purely on medicine to help solve this crisis. Air filtration systems Engineered solutions like UV-C (also known as UVGI) and air filtration systems are needed wherever possible to help cut this virus at the knees and stop transmission in the first instance. These solutions are now being brought in by several industries and many countries around the world are specifically recommending them because they are recognizing that the guidelines in their current form aren’t doing enough. Those industries such as food manufacturing and production that rely on having people on the ground and in their factories are having to look beyond what they are advised and finding solutions that actually do work. Hospitals, schools, and hotels are the next places that need to be looking at this kind of response, especially with the government’s travel regulations meaning that potentially infected travelers are being kept in potentially inadequately ventilated spaces that could actually accelerate contagion spread to other travelers or staff. Action needs to be taken now, or we risk the further unnecessary spread of this dangerous pathogen.
The cruise ship industry has cracked the code on keeping passengers and crew safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, including changes to on-board HVAC systems to use more outside air and to filter out particles as small as the novel coronavirus. The industry, which voluntarily suspended worldwide operations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, under the guidance of international and national health authorities, plans to resume worldwide operations fully later in 2021. Health protocols to mitigate COVID-19 risk The cruise ship industry resumed sailing in parts of Europe, Asia and South Pacific in July 2020 The cruise ship industry resumed sailing in parts of Europe, Asia and South Pacific in July 2020 and completed more than 200 sailings by the end of 2020. The success of these early sailings demonstrated the effectiveness of new protocols to mitigate risk of COVID-19 among passengers, crews and at destinations. The industry will resume operation in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and elsewhere in 2021. Cruise operators, such as Royal Caribbean, have implemented new HVAC systems as part of the protocols. Supplying 100% fresh and filtered air Royal Caribbean says its HVAC system now continuously supplies 100% fresh and filtered air from outdoors to all indoor spaces. There is a total air change up to 12 times an hour in staterooms and about 15 changes per hour in large public spaces. Fan coil units provide an extra layer of protection in local spaces, such as public venues and staterooms, continuously scrubbing the air of pathogens and using MERV 13 filters to capture aerosols between 1.0 and 3.0 microns with 90% efficacy. Bio-aerosol assessment study Royal Caribbean participated in a bio-aerosol assessment of its ‘Oasis of the Seas’ ship by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The study involved releasing billions of 1-micron aerosol-sized microspheres, each containing a uniquely DNA-barcoded inert virus surrogate, at pre-selected spaces throughout the ship. The test was intended to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the vessel’s indoor air management strategies and to understand spread of aerosols through the HVAC system. Low risk of cross-contamination of air Testing results led to minimal changes, such as ensuring air exchanges are close to hospital standards and using MERV 13 filters Over a week aboard the Oasis of the Seas, scientists released billions of the individually tagged microspheres and then tracked where they went and how long they lingered in the air, and on surfaces. Testing results led to minimal changes, such as ensuring air exchanges are close to hospital standards and using MERV 13 filters. The study confirmed that cross-contamination of air between adjacent public spaces is extremely low and undetectable in most test cases. Royal Caribbean’s Healthy Sail Center determined seven important elements the cruise line can do to manage indoor air and keep it clean. These elements include: Enhanced filtration to the highest level possible Optimize airflow patterns Use negative pressurization in isolation rooms Minimize unfiltered, re-circulated air Increase number of air changes per hour Use portable HEPA filters in congregate areas Maximize outdoor functions and physical distancing Facilitating return to operation of cruise ships At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, between March 1 and July 10, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered nearly 3,000 cases of COVID -19 or suspected COVID-19 infections and 34 deaths across 123 cruise ships. In October 2020, the CDC lifted its no-sail order, laying out guidelines for big-ship cruising to resume operations in U.S. waters. The Cruise Lines International Association (CIA), which represents 95% of the cruise ship industry, has said its members will return when the time is right and that timing will be based on factors, including input from scientists and medical experts. Cruise companies also have new technologies available to them now. For example, the Italian company, Integra provides an air sanitizer that uses an odorless disinfectant to combat airborne illnesses. It can be installed in 15 minutes.
The connectivity of the Internet of Things (IoT) provides new tools to monitor the well-being of an HVAC system, to provide instant alerts to any operational problems and even to predict when problems are likely to occur. Being alert to early warning signs of a problem enables deployment of less-expensive fixes before the problem escalates. predictive analytics Remote monitoring and predictive analytics of HVAC systems have been even more valuable during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many buildings have been empty. Potential problems come to light faster and can be repaired less expensively, even if no one is on site to complain about an obvious failure. When buildings are occupied, the customer experience is even better and operational and maintenance costs are lower. These capabilities can be integrated with other Building Management Systems (BMS) to provide a broad-based view of various operating systems throughout a facility. In addition to early warning of system failure, system monitoring can also provide new and smarter tools for keeping track of indoor air quality (IAQ) and to minimize energy consumption. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Cloud Predictive and preventive maintenance are key to ensuring that issues are addressed before they can do damage Sensors and other devices deployed in today’s systems provide hundreds of new data points that are interpreted by Artificial Intelligence (AI) operating in the Cloud. The combination provides detailed and useful insights into how a system operates over time, thus maximizing operation and minimizing energy usage in ways that are more in tune with environmental needs than ever before. Predictive and preventive maintenance are key to ensuring that issues are addressed before they can do serious damage, according to Johnson Controls (JCI). Smart data analysis enables more informed and smarter decisions, thus resulting in reduced maintenance costs, improved efficiency, and overall peace of mind, as per the company. Connected Services Johnson Controls (JCI) offers Connected Services to provide customers with constant equipment monitoring and data analysis, and uses the data proactively to identify faults before they occur and even predict future optimization opportunities and efficiencies. Integration of both equipment and software into a single system makes it more than a sum of its parts. Johnson Controls lists some key benefits of implementing an integrated system: Identify energy savings opportunities. Regular reports on the operational performance provide insights on areas of improvement. Extend asset life. Identifying and managing required maintenance helps to extend equipment lifespan. Minimize repair costs. Faults mitigated at an early stage avoid major failures. Reduced emissions. Operational performance reporting enables chillers to operate in the most efficient range. Monitoring system performance Emerson’s Sensi Predict line goes to the root of HVAC systems to monitor performance, identify issues and alert contractors and home owners to the efficiency, energy usage and overall performance of HVAC units. An internal Emerson study reviewed the most common HVAC failures and determined that installing the technology could detect up to 80% of failures in these areas, before a home owner suffers system outage. Real-time and connected systems use a variety of sensors that constantly monitor the functioning of an HVAC system. Connectivity puts more information than ever at the fingertips of HVAC professionals, making them more responsive than ever to customer needs.
The demographics of the HVAC workforce are changing and more women are being welcomed into the HVAC industry in a wider variety of roles. In part, the changes are because of necessity as Baby Boomers retire from the workforce and leave a labor and skills gap to be filled. HVAC commercial service business, HB McClure Company, based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is embracing change and encouraging more women to consider a career in the HVAC workspace. The company’s female employees are happy to speak up about the advantages of working in the HVAC industry. Promoting women in HVAC industry Kara Boeckel began working at HB McClure Company as an HVAC technician and is now a Preventive Maintenance Coordinator. Back in trade school, she was the only woman in her class. She faced negative preconceptions about her capabilities compared to male counterparts and there were no female role models. Women were 50% of the U.S. labor force in 2019, but only 2% of employees in the HVAC field were women Despite the challenges, Boeckel found her vocational pathway. Now, her peers at HB McClure Company give her support and help her get past any fear of being a minority in a male-dominated field. “Now I don’t see being a female as a weakness,” said Kara Boeckel, adding “I see it as a strength.” Women were 50% of the U.S. labor force in 2019, but only 2% of employees in the HVAC field were women. And that number had increased from an even lower figure eight years before – 0.6%. Need for more HVAC technicians According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC employment will likely increase 15% through 2026. The growth, combined with the current labor shortage, means technicians are needed to fill the estimated 115,000 new positions that the industry expects to have available by 2022. If trends continue, many of them are likely to be women. However, more awareness is needed to attract employees of any gender to the HVAC market. “Students are not as exposed to the prospects in this industry,” said Shelly Matter, HB McClure’s Director of Business Development, adding “There is a shortage of skilled tradespeople, male and female.” Monetary benefits in HVAC After completing the required field training and certifications, many possibilities open up for women to grow their career, with job positions ranging from Foreman to Project Manager, Engineering to Sales. Shelly Matter has been in the commercial/industrial HVAC industry for more than 20 years. Now, she makes presentations at expos, conferences and local school career fairs. The number one question among prospective HVAC employees that she meets is, ‘How much does it pay?’ Shelly Matter is happy to assure students that it’s possible to make a generous living in HVAC, after one establishes capability and reliability. Challenges and opportunities in HVAC The best part is meeting wonderful customers and helping them solve their commercial HVAC problems" Kelly Overlander, New Business Development Representative at HB McClure, was formerly the owner of a successful hair salon for more than 15 years. After she sold her salon and entered the mechanical trades industry, Overlander is proud of her ability to bring value to customers. “My job delivers a variety of challenges and many opportunities for professional growth,” said Kelly Overlander, adding “The best part is meeting wonderful customers and helping them solve their commercial HVAC problems.” Importance of role models Having good role models is a critical aspect of women seeking to enter the HVAC business. Angela Klingler, HB McClure New Business Developer, sees a need for more female trade school instructors and appreciates the value of women surrounding themselves with people who have expertise and then learning from their strengths. She advocates mentoring, sharing industry opportunities and partnering with organizations, such as the Partnership for Career Development, to help bridge the gap between industry and education. It all comes down to identifying what one is passionate about, and then combining that passion with a career that aligns with those passions. “When you go to a nursing home and the heater isn’t working, you not only fix it, but you have taken care of bringing warmth to someone’s grandmother, and she’s thanking you,” said Kelly Overlander, adding “Working in HVAC is very rewarding.”
Hawkes Place is a property like no other. Situated in Sevenoaks, Kent, one homeowner has created a truly unique building where every room is connected through home automation devices. Designed and built by Tony Gotts as a personal project, the three-bedroom, one-storey property was the first smart home he had built. The unique design sees each room completely curved, with no square corners in sight. With the entire house automated, including audio, lighting, heating, blinds, and front door access, the property has been built to a high standard to create a truly remarkable home. Controlled entrance system To support the installation, Mr. Gotts called upon the experience of the electrical contractor, Luke Kavanagh of Lake Home, who suggested one single supplier cover all of the home’s automation needs. To transform his property into a smart home, the owner wanted to connect the heating, lighting, blinds, and audio, while also incorporating a controlled entrance system. In addition, each room of the house required its own touch screen control system. Hawkes Place was the first property with which the owner had utilized home automation systems to this extent, and therefore an easy-to-use all-encompassing system was required. Door entry system Every room in the property had at least one element of smart technology installed Electrical contractor, Luke Kavanagh, recommended Legrand’s User Interface range, including its MyHOME Up system, coupled with its Bticino door entry and Nuvo audio systems. “As soon as I understood the brief, I immediately recommended the Legrand suite of smart home products,” Luke comments. “I contacted Chris Janes at Legrand, who drove out to Kent to discuss the different options with the homeowner in person. This was really useful as it enabled the owner to see exactly what was possible for the size of the property.” Every room in the property had at least one element of smart technology installed. Throughout the house, the heating, lights – both inside and outdoor – and blinds are all controlled by the MyHOME Up system, providing the end-user with full control at all times. The accessibility of the house was also enhanced, thanks to the use of a Bticino door entry system. Audio distribution system Additionally, the Legrand Nuvo multi-zone audio distribution system was installed throughout the property. Allowing audio to be managed and controlled in numerous rooms, users can connect music and audio streaming services and play in all areas of the home. For this project, one major advantage is the ability to bring together control of door access, as well as the lighting, heating, and blinds, on mobile phone apps. In addition to this, 7-inch touch screen panels were installed into every room, allowing complete control. For the installer, Legrand’s MyHOME Up system served two key benefits: its ease of installation and the functionality for the end-user. Once connected to the BUS system and the app is installed, the devices will set-up automatically. Intense training courses The app allows the installer to easily access multiple devices when starting up the system Luke comments: “Coming from an electrical background, the simplicity of Legrand’s systems means we are able to support project managers transform properties into smart homes. I don’t have expertise in IT, and I find that other similar systems require technical knowledge in order to complete the installation, which often includes expensive and intense training courses.” One of the key benefits of a MyHOME Up installation is that the innovative app supports the connection of all devices and is easy to control for both the installer and end-user. The app allows the installer to easily access multiple devices when starting up the system, thanks to the self-learning procedure, while the user can then manage their home automation scenes at any time. Confidently creating scenes Luke continues: “The whole installation process was very easy, not just from my point of view but the end user’s as well. The customer has gone from being a smart home novice to confidently creating scenes which improve day-to-day living habits. Since the installation was completed, we have already successfully recommended the system on another three projects.” In addition to installation and account support, Legrand also offers free training courses. The MyHOME Up range can be installed after just one day’s training, and installer Luke Kavanagh utilized this free service before installing the system. Luke adds: “I had previously undertaken a number of Legrand’s training sessions, including a session in Belgium, as well as for MyHOME Up. It is a really good program, and makes the system incredibly easy to install for anyone in the profession.” Creating smart scenes YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicated that almost one-quarter of Britons own one or more smart home devices The course explains the role of smart devices in the home, and shows how creating smart scenes and actions can help end-users decrease their energy usage and waste. Free to attend, the training program is ideal for contractors and system integrators and takes place at Legrand’s state-of-the-art training center in Birmingham. Home automation is not new. In fact, YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicated that almost one-quarter of Britons own one or more smart home devices, excluding smart meters, while one in ten have two or more. High customer satisfaction While adoption is becoming more common, electrical installers and contractors are tasked with the challenge of understanding this often-complex technology, to enable them to enhance their services to customers. Taking advantage of training from manufacturers, like Legrand, can make the installation much easier, while also providing high customer satisfaction. Luke Kavanagh concludes: “This project is an excellent example of how a simple, slick and extremely efficient home automation system can be installed. The Legrand products are very easy to install and the customers are always left smiling, testing new combinations each day. While not all systems are the same, I would recommend taking advantage of any available training because it not only equips you with the ability to install effortlessly, but it also provides the knowledge to answer any customer questions.”
Very few homeowners ignore the need for keeping temperatures in their homes at comfortable levels. One isn’t going to overlook the need for an effective heater when it is freezing cold outside, right? Of course not. That need is obvious. Not all needs are quite as obvious, though, even if they are equally important. For instance, the need for great indoor air quality in one’s home. Make IAQ services part of on-going HVAC services in Loveland. The problem with indoor air quality is that there are just so many different ways in which it may suffer. Fortunately, the IAQ professionals on the company’s team ensure that, no matter what is wrong with the indoor air quality, one will have the right solutions in place. Humidity Issues The company is sure that some people have little experience with portable humidifier and dehumidifier units Humidity is a tough nut to crack. Too little humidity in the home is certainly not desirable and can have a number of unpleasant consequences. These can include dry, itchy skin, nosebleeds, increased instances of illness, and more. However, too much humidity is not great, either. If the air in the home is too humid, then one may run into musty odors, issues with warping wooden floorboards, wood rot, and even the promotion of mold growth. The company is sure that some people have little experience with portable humidifier and dehumidifier units. However, if one is serious about optimizing humidity in the home, these are not what one should choose. One should want whole-house solutions to humidity problems, and that means that wanting a whole-house humidifier and/or dehumidifier installed in the residence. And that means hiring a professional to do the right job. Airborne Pollutants Perhaps the most common issue that homeowners encounter with their indoor air quality is that of airborne pollutants. Dust, dirt, pet dander, pollen, and other debris can get into the air in the home. Also about breathing all of those pollutants into the lungs. But, what can one do about it, right? It’s not like one is going to ditch Fido just because he sheds. The company suggests that there may be a way to completely eliminate the risk of airborne pollutants making their way into the home. However, one can remove the pollutants from the air that they breathe quite effectively with the right equipment in place. Whole-house air filtration systems, for example, or more advanced air cleaning systems, may be used to clean the air that fills the home. Biological Pollutants It may sound scary and the company is not trying to alarm the people. However, it has to be said. Biological pollutants in the home pose a health threat. With UV germicidal lights, one can destroy biological pollutants like viruses, mold spores, and bacteria that are putting health at risk.
Fort Collins Heating has heating systems that can heat the homes more efficiently. Times are tough for a lot of people right now, and a little bit of improved efficiency can go a long way. And even if a person’s finances are fine, why pay more than they should have to for their home comfort? Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Follow the tips given below to keep costs in check and enjoy more affordable heating in Loveland, CO. Use ceiling fans If one has ceiling fans and is not using them in the winter, then they are not using the ceiling fans properly. But before saying “okay” and just pulling that chain, one should stop to make sure that the ceiling fans are rotating in the right direction. If a person is not aware—and it’s not that uncommon—there is a switch on the body of the fan that allows switching its directional rotation. In the winter, one wants the ceiling fan to be spinning clockwise. Remember, these fans aren’t doing anything to actively cool the air in the summer. They just circulate air, helping to feel more comfortable. And by reversing their direction in the winter, one can do the same. Hot air rises, so heat can get trapped up at the ceiling in the home. By running fans in a clockwise direction, one can force that heated air back down into the living space. Change air filter Pets, general cleanliness, and even the outdoor environment can all influence conditions in the home A person will change the air filter when they complete the heating tune-up. But that’s a once-a-year service, right? And once a year is not frequent enough when it comes to changing the air filter. It varies as to how frequently these filters need to be changed. Pets, general cleanliness, and even the outdoor environment can all influence conditions in the home—conditions that will, in turn, influence how frequently one needs to change the air filter. Remember, the purpose of an air filter is not really to protect the indoor air quality throughout the entire home. It is there to protect the HVAC system itself. A dirty air filter creates excessive airflow resistance, boosting energy usage and operating costs. Plus, it can lead to issues that further impede energy efficiency. Scheduling Heater Maintenance There should be no getting around this one. A properly functioning heater is an efficient heater. And the only way in which to keep the heater in the best operating condition possible is by scheduling routine, professional maintenance. The maintenance program makes keeping up with routine maintenance easier than ever—and it offers a whole bunch of additional benefits.
Panasonic Corporation has announced, in collaboration with Grab Holdings Inc. (Grab), the international superapp creator in Southeast Asia, to further raise GrabCar Premium standards by providing cleaner and more comfortable traveling experience for GrabCar Premium passengers, using nanoe X. The initiative will see 5,500 GrabCar Premium vehicles in five cities across four countries, including Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (Vietnam), and Jakarta (Indonesia), to be equipped with nanoe X generators, which will be available from the middle of January 2021. Panasonic air quality solutions In recent years, interest in air quality has been increasing worldwide. Under the slogan of ‘Quality Air for Life’ mainly in Southeast Asia, Panasonic is providing air quality solutions that control temperature, humidity, ventilation, and airflow to deliver high-quality air environments tailored to homes, stores, offices, etc. At the core of these solutions is Panasonic’s proprietary nanoe clean technology. nanoe X nanoe X is a nanosized particulate ion produced by applying a high voltage to water in the air and contains hydroxyl radicals nanoe X is a nanosized particulate ion produced by applying a high voltage to water in the air and contains hydroxyl radicals (highly reactive components) that easily act on various substances. The production of these hydroxyl radicals has been increased tenfold, compared to conventional products. nanoe X is used in home appliances such as air purifiers, air conditioners, washing machines, and refrigerators, as well as in automobiles, trains, and commercial air conditioning equipment because of its various effects such as deodorization, suppression of bacteria and allergens. nanoe X generator The nanoe X generator, which will be installed in GrabCar Premium vehicles, is powered by a USB port and is compact enough to fit in a car cup-holder, making it easy to generate nanoe X to clean the air inside the car. Panasonic will continue to pursue the realization of ‘Quality Air for Life’ in various areas of everyday lives and society, including home appliances, automotive, and housing-related fields, to deliver a healthy lifestyle.
Tunnel ventilation systems are essential to the infrastructure of tunnels, which serve to connect people around Japan. Panasonic's solution is driven by a complex network of jet fans, electrostatic precipitators that clean the air, large exhaust fans, ventilation towers, and silencers. Together these components ventilate vehicle emissions, limit noise, and ensure a safe exit in case of fire. When driving through tunnels, they've probably seen what looks like a jet engine hanging from the ceiling. These are in fact jet fans, which help direct airflow to an extensive exhaust network. Sensors monitor conditions in tunnels and help save energy while cleaning the air for release. Silencers are used because the exhaust fans are incredibly loud. Tunnel ventilation solutions Safety is paramount as the large jet fans are installed in the tunnel ceilings above cars, thus Panasonic is vigilant in the manufacturing and installation process to ensure no errors. The ability to offer a one-stop solution is one of Panasonic's strengths. As an industry that began in 1964, Panasonic has years of experience, and its people feel an obligation to protect it and the responsibility to evolve it. Infrastructure advances such as Panasonic's comprehensive tunnel ventilation solutions are a major contribution to society. They provide clean air to the community and a safe driving environment, helping drivers feel confident as they cruise through Japan's tunnels.
Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS), the exclusive provider of Zoned Comfort Solutions® and a supplier of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and cooling systems, is pleased to support METUS distributor, S. G. Torrice Company, in its donation of Mitsubishi Electric equipment to Homes For Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives. S. G. Torrice Company supplied equipment to outfit Homes For Our Troops’ control/equipment room in their Taunton, Massachusetts office. Specially adapted homes The new equipment replaces a malfunctioning 8-year-old system. The donated Mitsubishi Electric equipment included: (1) A/C Outdoor unit (PUYA12NKA7) (1) Wall-mounted Indoor Unit (PKAA12HA7) (1) Low Ambient Wind Baffle (WB-PA4) (1) Wall-mounted Remote Controller (PAR-40MAAU) “Homes For Our Troops does incredible work for injured veterans by building specially adapted homes so they can rebuild their lives,” says Stephen Torrice, president, S. G. Torrice Company. “We’re honored to support an organization whose focus is to support those who have sacrificed their previous way of life for our country.” Financial planning services Since 2004, Homes For Our Troops has been building and donating custom homes nationwide for injured post-9/11 veterans so they can rebuild their lives. These specially adapted custom homes enable veterans to focus on their recovery in a safe environment, and regain their freedom and independence. Veterans also receive financial planning services for long-term success after the home is built. S. G. Torrice Company is a full-service, family-owned HVAC distributor founded in 1958 by veteran Samuel G. Torrice. The company is headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts and has 12 locations serving residential and commercial HVAC dealers in Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Round table discussion
The practice of working from home soared during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and many observers see a likely continuation of the trend, as infection risks gradually subside. Both environments – home and office – depend on HVAC systems to keep occupants comfortable (and safe!). Therefore, the industry stands to be impacted whichever way the trend plays out. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: How will remote working affect residential and commercial HVAC?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software and other technologies to facilitate connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. Use of the IoT is expanding among both business and residential applications. However, there are hurdles to overcome, including security, privacy and networking challenges. As more HVAC devices embrace the IoT, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the HVAC market?
Sustainability has been a core concept in the HVAC industry for decades. Environmental concerns often drive product innovation, for example. However, environmental challenges persist and there is ongoing pressure on the industry to respond responsibly. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps is the HVAC industry taking to address climate change and sustainability?