Lights Out: Schools Under Threat From PCBs

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) aren’t good for humans. You probably guessed that by the name – they hardly sound like things you’d want to inhale or ingest.

iStock 000002424978Small photo (specialty vacuums preventative maintenance general building maintenance facility maintenance 2 )In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that PCBs cause cancer in animals and have a large number of toxic effects on humans including damage to the immune, nervous and endocrine systems along with reproductive issues.

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Cheap Natural Gas Fires Up Cogeneration Plant Proponents

In 2006, Koda Energy inked a deal with Minnesota company Rahr Malting Co. to build a power plant that not only generates electricity but captures waste heat created during the process and puts it to use.

iStock 000039111840Small photo (power gen industrial cleaning green infrastructure green building energy resources )These “cogeneration” plants aim for both environmental stewardship and fuel savings, which fluctuate with the price of natural gas.

When the plant got the green light, for example, the price of natural gas was $13 per one million BTU. By 2012, it bottomed out at $2. Is cheap natural gas the start of a slow decline for cogeneration?

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Up in Arms: Legionella Found in Unlikely Places

In 1976, Legionnaires at the Pennsylvania America Legion convention in Philadelphia started to get sick. At first, symptoms seemed identical to those of a typical pneumonia-based lung infection but the disease spread rapidly; over 200 people became ill and several died.

iStock 000043111880Small photo (specialty vacuums commercial hvac maintenance and efficiency hvac facility maintenance 2 cooling tower maintenance )The outbreak prompted the discovery of Legionella, a water-loving and lung-hating bacteria. Mist from contaminated water – possible when showering, using hot tubs or even after prolonged exposure to air conditioning – causes this infection, which results in high fever, hacking cough and muscle aches.

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Clean Coal: Future or Fossil?

Our world has a coal problem. In the United States, coal-burning power plants are the largest source of air pollution, while in China some reports peg coal-based air pollution as the culprit for the deaths of more than 1.2 million people in 2010.

iStock 000027803296Small photo (power gen energy resources clean energy economy )Beijing has plans to impose low-sulphur coal policies across all industries next month, but this won’t cure the underlying problem: Massive carbon dioxide emissions.

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Top 10 HVAC Posts of All Time

Today we’re bringing you our Top 10 HVAC posts of all time. Drum roll, please.

iStock 000030000724Small1 photo (hvac maintenance planning hvac maintenance checklist commercial hvac maintenance and efficiency hvac industry hvac complaints hvac )1. Top 3 HVAC Expert Predictions for 2014
In this post, we talked to a few key experts in the HVAC field about their predictions for the upcoming year. It garnered lots of attention from our HVAC industry readers because it’s a good resource as they look ahead to the coming year.

2. How to Clean Your Heat Exchangers – Checklist Download
This post provides information on heat exchangers, including a link to a printable checklist that includes all the tools and products you need for the job. Our cleaning checklists are always popular as they’re great resources to put to use in everyday life.

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