The latest offering from Rotobrush International LLC, a Texas-based manufacturer of duct cleaning products, is the BlowBeast Negative Air Machine. The new unit was on display at this year’s AHR Expo. Larger than its companion BrushBeast, the BlowBeast is designed for commercial and industrial applications larger than 36 inches in vertical height. The BrushBeast is for smaller residential and light commercial jobs.
The BlowBeast weighs 145 pounds total. It has an air flow of 2,700 cfm free air (2,100 with HEPA filtration). The BrushBeast had been Rotobrush’s most powerful system. The BrushBeast runs on one 13 amp breaker, while the BlowBeast requires two. The BrushBeast is designed for one-person operation, while the BlowBeast requires two people. Although the units are powerful, as the names imply, the decibel level is low enough to use in a hospital, a growing area of demand for duct cleaning that requires extra certification.
More contractors are getting into duct cleaning, said John Kovacs, Rotobrush’s vice president of sales. The main reason is more customers are asking for it. Contractors are saying they don’t really have a choice to offer duct cleaning unless they want to lose their customers to a competitor who will come in for duct cleaning and then get customers signed on a maintenance contract, Kovacs said.
To help with the sales process, Rotobrush offers Rotovision. This is a small camera that attaches to the end of a hose. It shows in real time what is happening during the duct cleaning process, providing a video recording along with still shots. Rotovision comes with a 45-foot cable and 12 LED lights. It’s fully submergible underwater, making it useful for dryer vents or disaster recovery. In addition to acting as a marketing tool, Rotovision provides reassurance to customers about the work.
“You can validate that you did exactly what it is you said you were going to do,” Kovacs said.
Duct cleaning proves a good way to get through the shoulder season. Kovacs said many contractors book jobs during their busier times and offer a discount on the service. Others offer free duct cleaning with changeouts, the way car dealers offer oil changes with the purchase of a vehicle.
“Any way that you can include more value in the service itself is going to help you,” Kovacs said.
The units use polyester collection bags for first-stage filtration that cover five to 10 jobs, based on a 2,000-square-foot average. The second-stage HEPA filter gets 700 to 800 jobs. Whenever a contractor changes out the bag, Rotobrush recommends blowing out the HEPA filter with an air compressor. The initial equipment purchase comes with enough bags for about 50 jobs. Additional supplies can be ordered from Rotobrush’s Grapevine, Texas, offices.
Rotobrush usually brings in 40 to 50 customers a month to these offices for training.
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