I am often asked how I would rate the HVAC community’s level of preparedness to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. My answer is this: The HVAC industry is ill-prepared.

Everyone is looking for a quick fix, plug-and-play, and cookie-cutter solution, but no one wants to do the actual work. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is not a “one size fits all” process, but rather, it requires a multi-discipline approach.

Every client, every home, every building is unique.

IAQ Is Complex

The HVAC community struggles to understand IAQ complexity. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the way we think and approach IAQ. This shift should include more training, not just in HVAC mechanical science but also in building science and building forensics.

John Ellis is an expert in providing IAQ solutions
John Ellis

If HVAC companies genuinely want to offer their clients the best IAQ solutions, they need to have a process to address each situation on a case-by-case basis.

There always seems to be a debate about whether IAQ services are warranted and necessary. The main reason for this debate is the lack of real knowledge. Many companies use IAQ as a catchphrase. They offer it but don’t understand it.

I think the HVAC community has some of the smartest people and the best group of professionals to go after the IAQ market. We control humidity, filtration, air exchanges per hour, and much more. HVAC has the biggest impact on a building or home. Even as a contractor in California, I based my whole business model around providing IAQ solutions.

IAQ Requires A Process

Having a solid working knowledge of IAQ will better prepare contractors to serve their clients’ needs. Pandemics will come and go. But I think now, more than ever, people have become more aware of the importance of IAQ and having a clean, healthy, home environment.

It’s been said that we spend 90% of our time indoors. With the current events and the stay-at-home orders, that number is much higher. Our homes are supposed to be our sanctuary, our haven. Offering solid IAQ solutions can help homeowners achieve that goal.

IAQ is not just a single service but a process. A contractor must be able to go into a project and Investigate, Analyze, and Quote. The investigation process consists of your technicians gathering evidence and data, then analyzing that data. From there, you present a quote based on the information collected. Then you can provide IAQ solutions.

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