ATLANTA — It wasn’t too long ago that the only time people thought about the air they were breathing was when they wanted to light up their next cigarette, which they could do anywhere — in hospitals, on planes, at the grocery store. IAQ wasn’t even a thing. But that was then, and this is now.
“There is an overall increased awareness of indoor air quality and its importance,” said Mat Charles, vice president of sales – Air Products, RGF Environmental Group. “We are seeing implementation of IAQ systems for troubled environments in residential and commercial settings, with involvement from more progressive clients and architects/engineers.”
As homes and buildings get tighter and more efficient, it’s become apparent that the air treatment practices of the past — or the lack thereof — are no longer sufficient.
“We’re constantly working with our HVAC contractors in the field to help steer our research and product development in line with their needs and also the consumer demands,” said Walter Ellis, general manager and executive vice president of engineering, RGF. “What the contractors are looking for is ease of installation.”
IAQ products can be a great revenue stream, but installation time is a big factor. That’s why RGF is making its products quicker to install and maintain.
“As allergens cause more issues in our tightly sealed homes, homeowners understand that upgrading their filters can provide incredible health benefits,” Charles said. “In response, we recently launched our Microcon® 350 and 675 whole-home, fan-powered HEPA filters to satisfy this need.”
Microcon installation requires no costly electrical or mechanical alterations, and the units run side stream to the HVAC system, eliminating pressure drop.
“The unique fan-powered design offers HEPA-grade filtration with very low power consumption,” Charles said.
Additionally, the company also released the Avid Air®, an inconspicuous, hard-wired air purification unit that flush mounts into a wall or ceiling in smaller spaces like bathrooms, closets, and dressing rooms.
Avid Air’s stainless steel fascia assures long life and durability, while the security screws serve to mitigate tampering and vandalism. The unit utilizes RGF’s proprietary Photohydroionization® (PHI) technology, which includes UV and quad-metallic catalyst components to actively purify the air through the creation of ionized hydro-peroxides. This reaction reduces bacteria, viruses, mold spores, odors, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The unit does not require an existing HVAC component in the location of treatment and can be easily wired into the space.
“We have several projects in research and development now,” said Ellis. “Some are still too early for us to comment on. Others that we are very close to launching include the adaption of new low-wavelength UV LED technology to our products.”
This will offer increased life expectancies and higher energy efficiencies. The company also has a brand-new catalyst with higher conversion efficiencies that will soon be available.
“Connectivity is also a topic that comes up from both the consumer and the contractor alike,” said Charles. “Monitoring the functionality and performance of IAQ products is something everyone is interested in. Expect to see our IAQ app in app stores in 2019.
“RGF’s sales, and the interest from contractors, indicates that consumer demand for IAQ products is rapidly expanding as more people start to care about the air they’re breathing,” he added.
And as interest in the company has increased, RGF directs some of that attention toward its employees, according to Amanda Jasper, marketing coordinator, RGF.
“We just created something called Shark Tank Café, which is really cool,” she said. “It’s like a Key West-style fishing house theme.”
The way it works is, the company has fresh, healthy foods delivered to vending machines: dishes like falafel, salads, etc. It’s open for everyone, but employees who do an exceptional job or come up with a great idea may earn some comped meals.
“We also have Envisionland, which is a koi pond with a quarter-mile trail around it,” Jasper added. “It’s almost like you’re walking through a rainforest. We’ve got a ping-pong table, pool table, putting green. We’ve got macaws, peacocks, ducks.
“It’s a great place to work,” she continued. “They take great care of us.”
Publication date: 2/18/2019