Six Fundamentals

There are six fundamental principles to offering solid IAQ solutions. These are six areas that we should already be addressing in our everyday HVAC business. By understanding and controlling these principles, you can be well on your way to providing a substantial IAQ solution for your clients.

These six principles are:

  • Thermal Comfort
  • Humidity Control
  • Filtration
  • Building Pressures
  • Ventilation
  • Pollutant Source Control.

Remember, “Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.” Using the six previously mentioned principles, we, as an industry, need to look at the whole house or building as a system.

As an HVAC contractor, you must consider how the building performs; how the mechanical systems perform; and how the occupants interact with the two. Then and only then can we start to understand the dynamics of IAQ and all it entails.

IAQ solutions require measuring and testing airflow
HVAC technician using a vane anemometer to test room airflow at the grille.

Gadgets Are NOT the Answer

Stop the gadget upselling. Contractors tend to have the misconception that certain products are silver-bullet solutions based on manufacturer claims. They think these products are like bug-zappers: zapping pollutants, bacteria, microbes, and viruses in midair.

This is often not the case. In fact, in many instances, the byproducts these devices produce are more harmful than the actual pollutants they are meant to treat. Contractors need to offer real solutions.

Duct Cleaning and UV Tech Mandates

Because of the pandemic, another hot IAQ topic right now is whether a governing body (local, state, or federal) should mandate duct cleaning or require all ducts to include UV technology to kill germs. Let me take you through how such a process or directive could change the HVAC industry.

If states mandated duct cleaning, the results would be inconsistent at best because most duct-cleaning techniques do not address the sterilization of microbes, viruses, or bacteria. In some instances, if not done properly, duct cleaning can make IAQ worse.

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