On the commercial side, when people need a special kind of filter, most of the time they know it, especially if the equipment has a specific housing. Key decisions involve efficiencies. (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Clark.)

Ventilation and filtration technology continues to advance and evolve. From data center ventilation to indoor pool environments, and museums using UV protection to more basic filtration, contractors are finding new ways to apply new technologies to their advantage, and to the benefit of their customers.

Ron Cox, market manager and Certified Air Filtration Specialist (CAFS) for Kimberly Clark, has seen the trend of people being penny wise and dollar foolish. “When the recession started up, we saw people deliberately delaying filter changes,” he said.

Key decisions still involve efficiencies. MERV 8 is still the minimum to keep systems clean.

The difference between commercial and residential customers, said Cox, is that more commercial customers seem to know what they have, and what they need. “I’ve seen more cases where the residential customer just forgets they have a filter.”


Pat Reid, product marketing manager with Aprilaire, said he has seen two main trends in filtration that have increased tremendously in the last year: the idea of installing a high-efficiency air cleaner with every new system, and the growing knowledge of how to talk to customers about IAQ.

“Many successful dealers have evolved from quoting a high-efficiency air cleaner as an accessory, to including an air cleaner at no cost to the consumer in the equipment price,” he said. The benefits include differentiation of the contractor’s quote; recurring revenue; equipment protection; and consumer satisfaction.

An air cleaner might be seen as “nothing but a metal box taking up space when the blower isn’t running,” Reid said. “When you explain to consumers how whole-home air cleaners work, they’ll understand and ask how to turn them on.

“As indoor air quality specialists, it’s important for contractors to educate customers with respiratory issues so that they understand that to clean the air without a heating or cooling call requires more blower control options to move the air,” he said.

This means explaining the benefits of air movement and control. “Many successful contractors offer multiple air cleaner control options based upon the needs of the consumers,” Reid said. These can range from a simple thermostat fan-on switch, to programmable fan options, to controls designed specifically for the air cleaner.

“You don’t need to make your customer count on the weather to clean their air,” Reid pointed out. “Discussing and offering air cleaner control options will help differentiate your services and add value for the consumer.”

For more information, visit www.aprilaire.com and www.kcfiltration.com.

Publication date:04/19/2010