This is my second winter in Seattle. After six years in Minneapolis I have lived in warmer places like Dallas. Seattle winters are mild, one of the pleasant surprises of this beautiful city. One surprise is the biannual snowstorm!
I was a little worried about my GREE VRF heat pump after windchills in the 15F temperature range. It turns out the heating is fine down to 4F, temps rarely seen in Seattle. Some models with UltraHeat work down to -31F. I feel good about pulling my old gas furnace and replacing it with a heat pump.
Good news is I still have that shovel from Minneapolis!
One of the most creative things I have seen in years is this video from Ruskin. The character is “Amelia Airflow” and she flies through the air to show us how air moves in a building. It is a simple, fun, and accurate description of air as a fluid.
Let’s take a look at some photos of actual products that clean the air in a room. All photos are from our ACI Mechanical and HVAC Seattle office. We have about 25 people total and several working from home.
Here is the Price Room Air Purifier with HEPA, UV-C and Ionization. The conference room always smells fresh and we know we are killing viruses. I took this first photo with the lights off to see the UV-C light. This conference room can seat 10 people.
By now we all know the rules; wear a mask, social distance, and be smart about listening to the science. The virus particles are small. Science proves things like ionization, HEPA filters, and high ventilation rates reduce the chance of getting COVID. We all know how big a pizza is, knowing the COVID virus is so small, that it needs special attention to reduce and remove, is required.
I like what @PriceIndustries, @Camfil, @LorenCookFan and @BigAssFan are doing to really make a difference. We use @Aerius ion producing equipment for the most simple virus killing AHU and Rooftop applications. Together we can beat COVID!
When I joined ACI six months ago I was happy to learn that our leadership team had already embarked on updated software from INFOR SXe to help modernize our financial, project management, and inventory systems. We bolted on a B to B tool to the system called InSite to give our customers e-commerce access to our three warehouses, and eventually buy stocked products with their phone. We launched last week!
The ACI team has been great at taking on the challenge of a new website and”e-commerceizing” the paper stock catalog, a staple of the business since 1985, into an electronic store. I knew this would be a lot of work, and I can see it paying off already in our website traffic and time on the site. Our website has changed from essentially an electronic brochure about our company to a useful tool! More to come as we develop and grow it into a strong tool for our customers with real-time order tracking. I don’t think Jeff Bezos has to worry about us as a competitor, but I know for our customers, internal and external, that our information is power.
I am always impressed with creative people. Their ability to see new things, create new things, solve problems in new ways.
One of the outcomes from the pandemic is new creative ways to capture and kill germs. Portable fans with HEPA filters, Big Ass Fans with UV-C lighting, and diffusers with new filters never applied before.
HVAC is a science, but with create people behind the science, great things can happen.
Since the stay-in-place order from Washington’s Governor Inslee we have been working hard as a team on healthcare facilities. Many consulting engineers have designs now in place for emergency healthcare facilities. Labs like the photo shown below are included.
It has been great to see the ACI team rally (mostly from home offices) to help designs for complex systems. UV, Humidification, and complex filtration systems are among the tools we are using.
I am looking forward to seeing the actual building serving others!
I have been doing this for a while now: leading teams who sell HVAC products to all types of customers–retailers, hospitals, education facilities, and government projects, to name a few vertical markets. Business in the fall, into the winter, was good. Our customers were busy. During a meeting in December one customer said, “I don’t know how I am going to get all the work done!”
I have never seen an economy change so quickly as it has in the wake of this pandemic event.
9-11 was bad. The Financial Crisis of 2008 was worse. The part about the one in which we find ourselves today is the impact of the unknown.
For now, we are helping contractors get what they need, helping engineers (who might be working from the dining room table) get answers on product applications, and rescheduling all kinds of meetings to a date called “TBD.”
I hope I write the next blog about the US coming through this OK. Time will tell.