Finally back to near normal-let’s celebrate!

Six months ago we gambled by setting a July date for ACI Open House events in Portland and Seattle. You know…the kind where we shake hands, talk about products and projects, and frankly just connect in person. It looks like the right decision!

Seattle opens up “fully” on June 30th. The city celebrated 70+% vaccination rates, the first US City to make it.

If you are in Seattle or Portland during the week of July 12-15th stop by and say hello!

Inflation in HVAC Products is real

I have worked in the HVAC Products business since 1988, and never once time have I seen the inflationary pressure than this year. Look at this three year graph of cold rolled steel:

reference fred.stlouisfed.org

Some of our manufacturers have issued three price increases within five months. Normally increases look like 2.5% to 4% in one year. Now we are seeing 10% + increases on products made of steel. For customers it is a real challenge, and for us it becomes an exercise in extra tight communication with our contractors to keep them ahead of the increase curve.

Core Values

Our company has implemented EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System, founded by Gino Wickman. It’s a great tool for Vision, Traction, and Accountability. One of my favorite parts of the program is a deep dive into company Core Values.

These values already existed, and answer the question, “What is important to the people at ACI?” Here are the results:

Our employees all agreed, these values reflect who we are!

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.