Positive review on growth in PNW, despite costs

Cle Elem river in Suncadia

Growth is happening at a quick rate in the Pacific Northwest. Natural beauty is all over the place. It costs more to live here, but people want to be around the mountains and water.

Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Boeing, and a host of others want to be where high quality employees can be found. We have seen high costs in construction, yet the work keeps coming.

Hermanson Commercial Construction Cost Index Q3 2021

Supply chain disruptions and steel prices contribute to the higher prices here, and expectations are the increase level off. My friend who leads a large retailer supply chain group says it might not get better until 2023!

At least I get to work through these problems in a beautiful place.

Mt Rainier from the road to Paradise

Supply chains and privately held companies in HVAC

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Who knew months ago that supply chains would be disrupted in HVAC the way we see today? It is not just HVAC. I ordered a replacement car last month for my leased car ending December 2021. The new car won’t arrive until December! Good timing.

Most of the factories we represent at ACI Mechanical and HVAC Sales are privately held, and had fewer product availability problems, than publicly held firms. In my opinion it is because private companies Like Loren Cook Co. and Price Industries are not afraid to have real inventory on hand. We stocked up on Gree Mini Splits and VRF last year, and it is paying off with customers buying our products, in part because we simply have the products on hand! We just sold out of all of our 50 foot line sets, just because we had them.

Gree Mini VRF In Stock
Gree and Kinghome on hand

We like to follow the old saying “You cannot sell from an empty wagon”.

Simply better in person

HVAC applications are often complex. Solving them in person is far more fun than over email or Teams. Our Portland office celebrated with an Open House on July 13th with over 170 guests in attendance. Face to face problem solving and relationship building!

Photos from ACI Mechanical Portland Open House

We had a featured speaker from the Oregon Energy Trust, teaching on changes in the Oregon Energy Code. Many manufacturers taught on their latest products for comfort and efficiency by design.

Some of my favorite photos included or stand-in Mark Trader, away for his Honeymoon with new wife Katie!

Mark Trader, Katie and Brian Wolford

#hvac #Fans #energyefficiency #heatpumps

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.


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.