Joe Maglio, president of Rx4 CleanAir & Aqua Defend, has felt for years that every home in the Southeast should have a central dehumidifier.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. - It is very difficult to categorize a company like Rx4 CleanAir & Aqua Defend. A look at the company’s website makes it seem like a pure retail outlet, but the company’s IAQ service goes much deeper than that.

“We address all the issues in a residential home,” said Joe Maglio, president. From the outside, that includes drainage, retaining walls, hardscapes, foundation repair, and waterproofing; on the inside, that includes crawlspace and basement repair, moisture control, mold remediation, air purification, allergy relief services, and chemical and VOC reduction techniques.

Beyond its intense IAQ focus, what sets this contractor apart is the fact that “We care; it is not about the money, it is about doing it right and feeling passionate about what we do,” he said. “Our track record of success in solving issues, and what our clients say about us, is truly something that we cherish. It is refreshing to know that all of us take pride in what we do.

“The bottom line is we provide healthy environments for healthier living.”


The company got started in 1996. At first, and perhaps surprisingly, “The HVAC industry is one that I did not want to get involved in,” said Maglio.

“We have tried working with the largest [contracting] companies to the two-truck mom-and-pop companies,” Maglio said. “It seems that the HVAC industry mindset is to get it done as cheaply as possible. I have seen ductwork run like spaghetti junction, improper air balance - the list goes on and on.

“The other day I saw a home that just had a company install a new coil and outside condenser,” he continued. “They threw the metal coil box out and inserted the coil in a fiberboard casing, with a fiberboard supply plenum. It was two weeks old and full of mold. The tape was loose and the air was blowing into an unfinished, unconditioned basement.”

He also observed that when most contractors perform a basic service/tune up, “they never clean a coil, and that is where the bacteria are usually found.” When he realized that he couldn’t find an HVAC contractor to service the company’s customers in a way that would support his company’s IAQ requirements, he started his own HVAC division. “Our website includes services and pricing.

“We believe that comfort should be a given,” he said. “You would expect them to deliver cool air and heat - we believe that is a given. Our goal is to provide the very best air quality. Clean air is the best medicine, and we stand ready to deliver.”


Maglio described the company’s growth into IAQ as an evolution. “We evolved into IAQ. Our goal has always been clean air; everything that we do involves that mentality.”

Humidity control is a major part of the work, which is why the company includes drainage, foundation repair, and waterproofing among its offerings.

“For years we have felt that every home in the Southeast should have a central dehumidifier for the following reasons: controlling rh in the home, ASHRAE 62.2 air exchange, VOC reduction, etc.,” Maglio said.

“We have partnered with Ultra-Aire and have installed several of their whole-house ventilating dehumidifiers. We have been extremely satisfied, not only in the quality and performance, but their service department and tech support is superior,” he said.

The company started its Aqua Defend division to focus on these water-related home problems. These include foundation issues, moisture, or water intrusion problems that could decrease the value of any property if left unchecked.

Its key markets are some of the most humid in the country. They run from Atlanta down to Columbus, Ga., and Auburn, Ala.

Maglio said the company’s biggest current hurdle to overcome right now is “getting our message and mission statement out there in a very competitive field. I would say our weakness is sales and marketing,” he continued; “we are doers, and it is hard to get our message out there. I believe that with separating the two companies, and having a more direct and streamlined message, could help us.”

The company has two IAQ specialists and two HVAC techs with two trucks; “other crews are used to go between the two companies, wearing one standard uniform image with both logos, which totals another three service vehicles, trailers, pick-up trucks, a bobcat, track hoe, dump truck, and a flat bed truck,” for a total of 15 people, plus two managers and three office people.


Maglio sees a lot of opportunities in the HVAC-IAQ industry. “It is definitely changing, still exciting, and I believe will consolidate with the companies that truly care about making a difference in people’s health and lives,” he said.

“Homes are not built with health in mind, and the more energy efficiency they strive for, and the more they build with no integrity, the more the need for these types of services.

“I am exactly where I want to be,” he concluded, “helping families live healthier lives. It is truly a great feeling.”

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Publication date:07/19/2010