Real winter in Seattle and our heat pump still works!

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!

My backyard after an 8” 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.

Smart defrost is shown with gold colored condenser fins. Outdoor temp 25F in this photo. Indoor 70F

Good news is I still have that shovel from Minneapolis!

Room Air Purification in the real world

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.

https://www.priceindustries.com/content/uploads/assets/literature/catalogs/rap—room-air-purifier-catalog.pdf

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.

The Camfil CC500 is a nice sized, portable room air cleaner, we have this one in the kitchen. It’s quiet and simple to use. https://www.camfil.com/en-us/products/air-cleaners–air-purifiers/city-range/city/camcleaner-cc500-_-56430

Next is the Loren Cook Mobile Air Cleaner. This is a beautiful machine and has the most commercial feel to it. https://lorencook.com/product/mobile-air-cleaner/

If you want to learn more call me at 206-767-2600 or email me at keithg@acimechsales.com.

Confusion around COVID virus killing? It’s easy – really

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!

Electrification of HVAC

Watching the changes happening in the Washington State energy code is fascinating. The idea that electric baseboard heat for the most simple heating application is going away… well it’s amazing.

Heat pumps are so much more efficient at heating. My house is heated and cooled with a VRF heat pump and it’s great. The idea of heating at higher efficiency just makes so much sense.

I removed a Lennox Pulse furnace, originally installed in 2004, with a GREE Solar VRF heat pump. No more burning gas to heat the house. The new WA State code will demand new thinking like this.

GREE 36,000 BTU Air Handler Heatpump
48,000 BTU GREE VRF Solar Heat Pump
Custom cooling and heating for Master Bedroom

Transforming a website

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.

Creative solutions out of necessity

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.

Essential business – it’s about Healthcare

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!

scientist standing in laboratory
Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels.com

COVID-19 and our Pacific Northwest business

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.

cooking hands handwashing health
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com