“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a popular song written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and popularized in the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter, says Wikipedia. Dean Martin made it great, and now John Legend makes it modern. I love this old school image below.
But that’s not the point, I am talking about staying warm inside with air distribution and how we make buildings feel great. We have Price Industries linear slot diffusers to separate cold windows from work spaces; smart, high performance heat pumps that far outperform electric heaters, like 3 to 1 better, and big fans that push warm air down from the ceiling in a large building. It is fascinating stuff, how a machine can effectively make you quietly comfortable. Take Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle for example:
Heat rises, the air molecules are lighter than cold air because they are farther apart from each other. When you get the warm air circulating with cold air, life gets better for the occupant. Even though it’s cold outside we at ACI Mechanical and HVAC Sales know how to use science to make people comfortable!
I am always learning new things from others in the HVAC business. For example, at the SMACNA Annual Convention this week I learned a lot from Steve Taylor. He is probably one of the smartest engineers in our business. He balances practicality and energy savings with high building performance. Here is a slide from the conference where he aggregates the real causes of COVID transmission:
The summary: Vaccines work, and keep your distance if you can. Also, adding lots of outside air to a building really does not have any effect on transmission! This was a surprise to me, but his explanation of the science proved it.
My point of this blog is two fold,
1. If you don’t go, you don’t know. I was not expecting to learn what I did from Steve Taylor.
2. Relationships matter, we all know it, but going and talking with others in our commercial HVAC business helped all in attendance. Thanks SMACNA for an outstanding event.
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.
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.
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.
We like to follow the old saying “You cannot sell from an empty wagon”.
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!
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.