HVAC System Repair and Maintenance Crucial after Hurricane Flooding  

For the first time in recorded history, the U.S. was slammed with back-to-back Category 4 hurricanes — Harvey and Irma — from the Atlantic. Many people in Texas and Florida continue to battle and hopefully recover from flooded streets, scattered debris, damaged homes, and inoperable buildings. The economic costs associated with this tag team of natural disasters in the U.S. are expected to be $290 billion.  

Mold and HVAC Systems

Part of that recovery process will be to assess the extent of the water damage. In the hot and humid climates of Texas and Florida mold growth is the biggest concern.

Mold and mildew pose real threats to flooded buildings. The stagnant standing water presents the perfect environment for bacteria growth, making any porous materials susceptible.

Typically, mold grows on floors and walls, but flooded HVAC systems can also pose a real health threat if mold is allowed to grow. Ductwork and insulation that has mold growth can pose a health threat to the entire building if the HVAC system is running because mold spores can be carried through ducts and distributed throughout the building.

HVAC System Cleaning

Proper cleaning of HVAC systems after a flood is imperative to the health of building occupants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you remove all flood-contaminated insulation and materials associated with the HVAC system and discard them.

Then you should clean the interior of the flooded system with a HEPA vacuum to remove the dirt and debris as well as microorganisms that typical industrial vacuums may not be able to pick up. After the HVAC system is cleaned it also needs to be thoroughly disinfected to prevent the growth of bacteria and microorganisms.

The aftermaths of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma will likely be felt for years while communities work to clean up and rebuild their homes and businesses. Prioritizing HVAC system cleaning is imperative to protect the health of building occupants during this time. Using a good HEPA vacuum to get rid of spores and a mold controlling cleaner are good ways to stop bacteria from growing and recurring.

Check out these other resources for information on HVAC mold prevention and cleaning:

  1. Effective Industrial Mold Control: A Three Step Process
  2. Controlling Mold: An HVAC Professional’s Guide
  3. How to Rid Your AC of Mold
  4. Mold Clean Up After Floods
  5. How to Protect an HVAC Unit from Flood Water

Why Facility Managers Should Invest in HVAC Engineers and Technicians

In an effort to lower operational expenses and create environmentally friendly systems, more and more facility managers are investing in smart building technology’s potential.  Such an investment strategy will likely pay off since HVAC systems account for approximately 40 percent of a facility’s primary energy consumption.

Potential Impact

Wasted energy can cost between $1,000 and $3,700 per HVAC unit if your facility’s inventory (commercial air conditioners, heat pumps, and warm-air furnaces, etc.) includes units that are over 10 years old or use R22 refrigerant. So 20-30% efficiency gains are quite possible by retrofitting or replacing older, degraded equipment and investing in smart building technology.

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A Facility Manager’s Guide to Maintaining, Retrofitting and Replacing RTUs

As a facility manager, you’re likely aware the Department of Energy’s energy standards for rooftop units begin in 2018 and increase in 2023. But did you also know wasted energy can cost between $1,000 and $3,700 per unit if your facility’s RTU inventory (commercial air conditioners, heat pumps, and warm-air furnaces ) includes units that are over 10 years old, use R22 refrigerant, or have had little to no preventive maintenance? In other words, those old and inefficient RTUs are costing you and that doesn’t even include costly repairs and downtime.

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How Facility Technicians Can Prevent Evaporator Coil Corrosion Without Damaging AC Coils

It feels like summer has arrived in some regions and the last thing you want is your HVAC system to fail when a heat wave arrives. Detecting a drop in HVAC performance is often the only warning you’ll get that something is about to go wrong. But with dirty coils putting an unnecessary load on the system these warning signs can be hidden.

If you read our previous post, you already know that cleaning your facility’s HVAC coils can save up to 30% in power consumption, reduce wear and tear and improve IAQ by eliminating mold. But did you know that delaying the job can make the task harder and risk evaporator coil corrosion?

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Real-World Customer Success Powers Revamped Goodway.com

The right mix of tools and processes delivers crucial maintenance ROI for commercial and industrial HVAC companies — we’ve known that for years. But any other maintenance-intensive industry can also benefit by deploying top gear as well as using a little bit of savvy and the most effective methods.

For instance, take Rexnord Corp.’s seal factory’s maintenance success. Eight Goodway VAC-2 industrial vacuums have boosted the factory’s operational efficiency — and these vacuums haven’t had to be service or replaced in three years.

Want some details? Rexnord Corp. is one of the many organizations featured on our new customer case studies and testimonials pages hosted on the revamped Goodway.com website.

Keep reading to see if your company’s use case is included:

CASE STUDIES

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Without Small Data, Big Data and Cloud-Based Software are Useless to HVAC Maintenance

Yes, the facility management industry has entered the age of ‘big data’ where extremely large data sets are being collected and analyzed to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, primarily between HVAC equipment and energy optimization.

However, “Big Data” may be the most worn out catchphrase ever. When you think “big” you think Wall Street, the Pentagon, Silicon Valley. Places far and away from where you live and work, with needs far different from what you encounter in systems management. And is there any word less exciting than “data?” But unlike in other industries, the HVAC industry seems to realize big data is driven by small data and small data is still king. Without small data, big data is useless.

Martin Lindstrom recently wrote a book with a simple premise: sweat the small stuff. Big data, says Lindstrom, extrapolates correlations between small data. Small data, however, provides the why and HVAC facility technicians are already masters of small data. You deal with it every day. Your life revolves around minute differences of 1 and 2 percent that translate into massive differences for your boss or client. Those facilities gauges and monitoring systems are a treasure trove of small data. And small data is what you rely upon on a day-to-day basis. While big data has a lot to offer regarding big, sweeping decisions on energy policy at the very top, small data helps you to troubleshoot and make improvements at the micro level. Those small changes can mean big differences in terms of system performance.

The difficulty with spending your day at the small data level is that you’re often tasked with inputting that data yourself, and there’s quite a bit to track. Think of all of the maintenance log data you’ve scribbled on paper. Now, additional time must go into comparing that data to past logs. Consider that you can’t immediately get feedback on the implications of your latest reading so you’ll have to pause and eventually restart your thought processes. LogCheck reduces this pain and provides you insights from your small data right in the field. By entering routine inspection data into their mobile app rather than paper, you get instant feedback while you’re still in front of your equipment as well as an online dashboard for deeper analysis.

Goodway’s VS-S Video Borescope and VS-W Borescope, are also great tools for getting the small data you need to keep your facilities running. These borescopes are primarily used for inspecting inside tubes. To focus in on the tube’s walls and blockages, each scope’s field of vision is quite small. They are used to visually identify issues before cleaning and gather photographic evidence after cleaning to help assess quality. 

Most everyone can agree that Big Data is the likely future in facility maintenance. But Big Data’s power comes mostly in making big decisions. The day is coming, sooner rather than later, when your chillers will tell you what they need. Until then, you’ll need to continue to figure out the small stuff, and we’ll keep trying to make it as pain free as possible.

How Drones Reduce HVAC Maintenance Costs, Collect Data Quickly, and Improve Safety

Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called “drones,” are coming into their own in facility maintenance. Facility managers employ drones to inspect areas difficult or dangerous to monitor, including HVAC systems. No longer the exclusive domain of hobbyists and the military-intelligence community, drones are poised to revolutionize the way America does business.

Consider drones also being deployed to inspect difficult and dangerous areas like rooftops for HVAC maintenance. Using a drone to survey a rooftop allows you to fully understand a maintenance or cleaning need before sending a technician up, drastically reducing his time spent in a dangerous situation. Even with scaffolding and safety harnesses, he’s taking on risk. A drone, however, takes virtually no risk. You might lose the drone, but drones are comparatively inexpensive and prices keep dropping.

Check out this UAV Boiler Inspection by a drone.

Drones possess benefits far beyond safety, however. They reduce maintenance costs significantly, collecting data faster than any human can. That’s not just money saved in man hours. It’s also money saved through getting equipment back online sooner rather than later. High definition video, recorded via drone, allows facilities managers and maintenance engineers the opportunity to examine potential problems and discuss solutions from the safety and comfort of their offices.

And you can say goodbye to your clipboard. Drones collect data, then send it off for storage in the cloud. Once uploaded, facility management software makes sure maintenance requests don’t get filed away in the “pay no mind” file. Your facility management software will send an alert to the relevant maintenance technician. You then have a record of that alert, increasing both efficiency and accountability.

The footage your buddy took after he strapped a GoPro to a drone is just the tip of the iceberg. Drone applications over the next year will make day-to-day maintenance safer, easier and more cost effective. Perhaps most importantly, drones and related technology will make sure maintenance gets done. That’s an overall increase in your company’s efficiency. And that means more money to reinvest. With the cost of drones plummeting, don’t get left behind as this revolutionary new technology reshapes American industry.
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Goodway’s Coverage of The AHR 2017 Expo

The AHR Expo is a massive trade show where every year, thousands of industry insiders, manufacturers and distributors converge on a Convention Center to show off the latest and greatest in the world of HVACR. This year’s Las Vegas event is particularly exciting, with new technologies such as split cassette systems from @Samsung, VRF systems and Internet of Things-enabled technologies promising to revolutionize the field.

Samsung’s development sparked interest due to its aesthetic appeal. The HVACR industry is starting to design its products not just from the perspective of what works best, but also what customers will want to look at, year in and year out. New VRF systems mean lower costs, but also less wear and tear on the system in general. @Rinnai America debuted a tankless system with 96 percent thermal efficiency. Some companies, such as @JohnsManville even used technology to display old wares, like their tower showing differences in sound attenuation.  

And, of course, there’s the Internet of Things. Smart thermostats are just the beginning. @BellGossett updated its intelligent pump and variable frequency drive. On-site setup and configuration is estimated to have been cut in half by this updated pump. @Victaulic debuted the world’s first grooved, installation-ready copper fittings. One subject that continues to be left out of the innovation conversation, however, is maintenance.

Maintenance is often an afterthought in the world of HVACR, despite the fact that companies might be losing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in a year due to poorly running machines. Maintenance relates directly to efficiency and efficiency is synonymous with profitability in the field of HVACR. Take for example, microchannel coils. These coils are frequently cleaned using caustic hydroxides, which corrode and dissolve the aluminum within the coils. Improperly maintained machines means a shorter lifespan for basic equipment, higher cost of ownership and lower efficiency over the life of the cooler.

In fact, efficiency, tightly tied to maintenance is one of the strongest indicators of profitability. The investment, facility management and maintenance side of HVACR is aware of this. The manufacturing sector, however, seems less interested.

Goodway is proud to own innovation in the field of HVACR maintenance. We remain keyed into the industry, looking not only for new ways to clean equipment, but also constantly improving the mechanical and chemical solutions used. This means lower cost of ownership, less downtime and increased efficiency. Maintenance might not be the most exciting area of the HVACR world, but @GoodwayMachines is working hard ensuring maintenance doesn’t get left behind as HVACR becomes increasingly high tech.

Smart Technology for Significant Chiller Energy Savings

In the average building, chillers account for between 35 and 50 percent of energy expenditures. Even minor adjustments in chiller efficiency can significantly lower the overall overhead of your business. Chiller efficiency and its relationship to the Internet of Things will be on everyone’s mind this weekend at the AHR Expo 2017 in Las Vegas, NV.

Magnetic bearing chillers are a quantum leap in chiller technology. They can save a single business $4 million over the life of the chiller in energy costs. These new chillers don’t require oil, or mechanical seals and gears. This ensures a far longer lifespan. At the same time, it can dramatically increase efficiency of the chiller. The U.S. Naval Facility in Newport, Rhode Island saw an energy savings of 65 percent when switching over to these new chillers. What’s more, you don’t have to change out the gaskets, bearings or seals. In terms of total cost of ownership and downtime, magnetic bearing chillers are far superior even to the chillers being producers 10-15 years ago.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel to increase the efficiency of your chillers. The Internet of Things automates efficiency with very little upfront cost. Daikin has just released two chillers (one scroll, one screw) capable of natively monitoring energy consumption at the equipment level. This provides facility managers with a robust, streamlined solution to reduce overall energy costs without any headaches.

In fact, 2017 is set to be the year of the smart building. Internet of Things-enabled chillers will play a vital role in keeping building maintenance costs down and reducing environmental impact without skimping on keeping the building cool. What’s more, IoT-enabled chillers take the burden of scheduling maintenance off of the facilities manager. In some cases, the chillers will be able to order their own replacement parts and maintenance equipment before you even know there’s a problem. When off-site maintenance crews show up, they won’t need you to tell them what’s wrong with the chiller. They’ll already have a host of metrics to help them make the right repairs, helping to save you money on man hours and reduce downtime.

While the Internet of Things will provide significant improvements in efficiency, those won’t matter much with dirty chiller tubes. The RAM-PRO-XL Contractor simultaneously cleans your chiller tubes while preventing corrosion after cleaning. You know how quickly your tubes can start oxidizing and corroding during cleaning. The RAM-PRO-XL Contractor Chiller Tube Cleaner’s TubeGuard system makes sure that won’t happen. The tablet-based system uses biodegradable cleaners without sacrificing anything in the way of power.

Combine the latest advancements in connected technology with robust maintenance tools for optimum performance in your chillers. And if you happen to be attending the AHR Expo this year, make sure to check out our exhibit at Central Hall – C4328.

Your Guide for Top Innovations and where to find them at AHR Expo 2017

Innovation will take center stage at the AHR Expo 2017. The Innovation Awards recipients this year represent the very forefront not just of HVAC, but of the trend toward automation, smart buildings and Internet of Things integration. This new industry trend, poised to explode in the coming year, can save your company and clients tens of thousands of dollars through efficiency and optimization.

Next week the industry will be introduced to Telkonet’s EcoSmart VRF Controller. This is one of the first devices offering control of variable refrigerant flow HVAC systems. The controller operates on the EcoSmart platform, one of the most flexible platforms in the HVAC industry. With VRF technology reducing energy costs by 30 to 40 percent, the time is right for smart controllers that will help to reduce those costs even further. Find it at exhibit C970.

KMC Commander from KMC Controls, Inc. is an enterprise-class IoT control platform for building and operations management. You can visualize your operations in real time and access them straight from your mobile device. This is for any larger enterprises looking to maximize efficiency, safety and comfort, while minimizing energy consumption, saving your company thousands of dollars per year. Check it out at exhibit C1552.

PMPost is an IoT-enabled particle sensor able to measure particles in 10, 2.5 and 1 micrometer. You can monitor your readings in real time through a web portal. Measure particles in your clean room or construction site with the most accurate and up-to-date information. You can see the PMPost at exhibit C1758.

The SMART Air Hood™ Balancing Instrument from Dwyer Instruments measures the airflow in HVAC systems, including grilles, diffusers and registers. It’s also the first in its industry to offer predictive airflow balancing. This sets the perfect flow setpoint for each individual diffuser, while maintaining the appropriate balance for the HVAC system as a whole. See this at exhibit C4124.

You don’t need to be fully connected to use the VG200W Wireless Digital Vacuum Gauge. It works just fine on its own or connected to a smart device utilizing the free VGLink application. Completely wireless, the device provides not just measurements, but also diagnostics, monitoring, testing verification and support, streamlining your maintenance process and preventing problems before they happen. Find it at exhibit C2322.

There will also be a variety of chillers, including those with game-changing magnetic bearing technology. With magnetic bearing technology you never have to change gaskets, bearings or seals ever again, because they don’t use oil. They also boast significant savings, such as the U.S. Naval Facility in Newport, Rhode Island that found a 65 percent energy savings when switching over to magnetic bearing technology.

If you agree that chiller maintenance is a key to optimizing energy efficiency, come check out Goodway’s exhibit C4328. We’ll show you the next generation of chiller tube cleaning, RAM-PRO-XL. Our most advanced tube cleaner yet, this product will prevent corrosion even while the chiller is offline after cleaning. Combined with emerging Internet of Things technologies, your company can reap a significant savings on your overall energy costs.

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