A Tampa, FL, company is offering aid to those facing hvacr maintenance problems that could prove costly because of hot weather this past summer. BBJ Environmental Solutions said proper maintenance helps lower energy bills and improves the quality of the air.

According to a statement from the company, "Hvac system evaporator coils and drip pans are a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, algae, and other fungi. A .05-in. buildup of this sticky, dirty substance can cut efficiency by 32%. These contaminants can also seriously curtail a system's ability to deliver air to the conditioned space. They can shorten a system's life by forcing it to work harder, causing wear and tear, potentially costing hundreds of dollars in overtime, as well as the higher energy bills."

Worse, according to Robert McLellan, physician and public health professional specializing in environmental medicine, these microorganisms can make people sick. "Not only do they smell bad, they can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. For people with underlying allergies or respiratory disease, exposure to blasts of molds and other `bio-nasties' from air conditioners may precipitate nasal congestion, asthma attacks, or other breathing problems. These exposures can also produce flu-like feelings or even pneumonia."

The company noted that several states are considering indoor air quality legislation, among them California. The company said that with the use of antimicrobial products, growth of mold and bacteria colonies could be inhibited for as much as six months.

"Air conditioners are perfect for the growth of molds and bacteria — dark and wet," said Robert Baker, ceo of BBJ Environmental. "I became acutely aware of just how important these types of products are when I was responsible for the medical and research facilities at a cancer center in Texas, where seriously ill patients could die from exposure to a fungus that causes pneumonia. "Cleaning the system first with a product such as our Power Coil Clean and then applying an antimicrobial makes a lot of sense these days for both our health and our pocketbook."

BBJ develops, manufactures, and markets products that are designed to eliminate air contamination in heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. The products are sold through private label partners, wholesalers, and hvac contractors. For more information, contact www.bbjenviro.com.

Publication date: 09/10/2001