Articles by Barbara A. Checket-Hanks

Radiation Puts HEPA Filters on the Frontline

April 18, 2011
In one sense, it’s almost comforting to think of radiation as an IAQ problem - a very big one - but whose first line of defense could be a HEPA filter. In another sense, it’s disconcerting to think of its likelihood due to the number of existing nuclear plants. The earthquake-tsunami events in Japan have drawn attention to defense against radiation.
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Busy Contractor Finds Way to Cut Labor Costs

April 18, 2011
State Automatic Heating & Cooling fabricates plenty of ductwork in its sheet metal shop, but when it came time for heating the shop to improve employee comfort and productivity, the owners chose a fabric air distribution system instead of spiral metal duct.
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On Shortages, Rationing, and Such

April 11, 2011
One of the things people on the home front remember about WWII was the rationing of materials and food, which were diverted to the war effort. In short, consumer goods took a back seat to military production. It had its effect on the fledgling refrigeration industry. Read the rest and find out how to win a prize.

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Fighting Temptation to Ignore Ductwork

March 21, 2011
Steve Lauten, president of Total Air & Heat in the suburban Dallas area, seems to focus the company primarily on energy conservation measures such as home efficiency and energy conservation. But intertwined with the company’s systems-based approach is a belief that good IAQ must be part of the result.
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Is Collective Bargaining at Risk?

March 21, 2011
The resolution of the standoff in a Wisconsin state-employee union contract “negotiation” has all union locals and contractors paying close attention throughout the country. All have been wondering what the ramifications will be for them. We asked a sheet metal union executive and a unionized HVAC contractor a few questions to compare their points of view.
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IAQ and Energy Efficiency Are Linked

March 21, 2011
For some time, energy efficiency and IAQ were thought to be mutually exclusive HVAC goals. They actually can have negative or positive effects on each other that can be mitigated by contractors in a number of ways: coil care, duct repair, and the judicious use of specific equipment among them. A recent trend has been linking the impacts IAQ and efficiency can have on each other.
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Hard Data Coming on Maintenance, Operation

March 14, 2011
A few years ago, I suggested that in order to show building owners the value of regular maintenance, contractors should show building owners information on the performance and longevity of regularly maintained equipment. Unfortunately, such hard data didn’t seem to exist. It looks like that will soon be changing.
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In Search of Long-Term Relationships

February 14, 2011
Happy Valentine’s Day to all our readers! This is a suitable time to think about relationships of all sorts, business as well as personal. The ones that work have a lot in common - like trust and honesty. As we at The NEWS continue the celebration of our 85th anniversary, we want to find the long-term relationships among our subscribers.
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Go All In With These Contractors

January 31, 2011
Contractors who keep both their employees and customers satisfied have found that a family feeling can improve their odds. In these cases, the goodwill comes from something other than a dollar sign, and it is widespread among this year’s Best Contractor to Work For winners.
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Employee Needs Comes First

January 31, 2011
This year, we are happy to name a well-deserved repeat winner in the Northeast region. Isaac Heating and Air Conditioning first won The NEWS’ Best Contractor to Work For contest in 2003. The essentials haven’t changed: It’s still a family business for more than one family.
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