Products Designed to Combat Mold, Provide IAQ

August 13, 2007
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QwikTreat is an aerosolized biocide that’s designed to treat coils and other air conditioning unit components with a mold inhibitor. (Photo courtesy of Mainstream Engineering.)

Today, controlling mold in HVAC systems involves more than just cleaning coils. Some contractors not only have an arsenal of mold-fighting tools, but they are carving a profitable niche by marketing IAQ and providing real health benefits to their customers.

“Mold and IAQ work can be lucrative, but like anything in life, you have to know what you’re doing and have the right tools,” said Alan Garber, president of A&A Supply, a 26-year-old independent HVACR distributor in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., which, among other items, sells a full range of mold-fighting products.

One full-service mechanical contractor that successfully uses a variety of products and service techniques for its regular service customers is Quality Air Conditioning Co. Inc., Ft. Lauderdale. In regard to IAQ services, the company offers microbial testing, evaluation of the ventilation system, testing for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), duct cleaning, system cleaning and sanitization, and recommendations for effective filtration.

Quality’s service manager, Ronald Jones, has several tips for cleaning both residential and commercial air conditioning units. They are:

• Foaming coil cleaners - In his estimation, Lift Off by GoldCoast Chemical, Hollywood, Fla., is a very safe product, capable of foaming and removing heavy dirt. Jones recommends waiting for 30 minutes to let the foaming action do its job, then rinsing the evaporator coil with water before restarting. Brushing is avoided because it can lodge the dirt into the coil and make it difficult to remove later, he said.

• Nonrinsing coil cleaners - In his estimation, QwikClean by Mainstream Engineering, Rockledge, Fla., is a lighter duty cleaner that complements Lift Off “because it’s applied with an aerosol can periodically and its adhering qualities continually repel dirt and reduce accumulations,” he said.

• Condensate pan treatments - Jones’ choice is Pro-Treat by DiversiTech, Duluth, Ga. Dissolving tablets are designed to eliminate biological contaminants in condensate pans and drains. Since a tablet shock treatment initially eliminates biological growths, but only remains a few days, Jones complements it with slow-releasing algaecide strips, such as Algae-Guard by Controlled Release Technologies, Shelby, N.C. The company said its product offers protection of three to six months for pans and drains.

• Mold inhibitors - Jones selects First Strike Micro Coat, also from Controlled Release Technologies. The company said it is a mildew-resistant spray coating that controls odors and biological growths.

• Ultraviolet (UV) lights - As a back-up, Jones also installs Fresh-Aire UV lights by Triatonic Environmental Inc., Jupiter, Fla. He said they can be quickly installed in new or retrofitted, commercial or residential units’ blower sections within 15 minutes by experienced service technicians.

“We like Fresh-Aire’s flexible, multitap power supply that allows it to be hooked up to low voltage, ranging anywhere from 18- to 32-volts,” said Jones.



BEST SUGGESTION: GET EDUCATED

Both Jones and Garber agree that education is the key to providing IAQ success.

For contractors looking to gain knowledge regarding mold and IAQ, Mainstream Engineering offers its IAQ Certification exam. The online test is designed to help contractors qualify employees. Successful graduates can order wall plaques, truck decals, promotional cards, and/or arm patches to let customers know they are IAQ knowledgeable.

“Consumers see the certification advertised and are confident that a trained IAQ technician is working on their equipment,” said Ross Soyka, director of marketing, Mainstream Engineering. “Almost 50 percent of all households have one or more members suffering from allergies, so adding IAQ services will benefit the consumer while helping contractors attract more business.”

To help the contractor along, Mainstream Engineering offers a free, downloadable 60-page IAQ study-reference manual at www.epatest.com. The manufacturer will also hold an “IAQ and Mold Remediation Training” seminar on Oct. 24 at Coastline Distributors, Port Richey, Fla.

For more information, call 321-631-3550.

Publication Date: 08/13/2007

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