ABINGDON, Va. - It didn't take Mike Wise long to warm up the attendees of the Southwest Virginia Chapter of the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) meeting on Feb. 17. Wise, a Honeywell sales representative for the region, made some eye-opening remarks to the chapter members in attendance.

Wise spoke about indoor air quality (IAQ) issues and how Honeywell is meeting the needs of fresh air ventilation. He began his presentation by stating, "Seventy percent of the contractors I run across have no business being in this business. They don't know what they are doing. IAQ is very important and, unfortunately, the government doesn't regulate the licensing of contractors, many of whom don't know much about IAQ."

He asked the members of the audience if any of them knew a building inspector who knew how many fresh air exchanges should occur in the home.

No one raised a hand.

Jimmy Kroll (left), Southwest Virginia RSES chapter president, talks with Honeywell's Mike Wise during a metting in Abingdon.

The Importance Of Ventilation

Wise said it is simple, "You have to exhaust air out of the home."

He said ventilation is important because of the proliferation of tighter buildings, which lead to the buildup of harmful indoor pollutants and decreased dilution of these pollutants. "The number of people who visit the doctor from symptoms of allergies or sinus problems has increased 200 percent over the last 10 years," he said. "Homes are too tight."

Wise pointed to ASHRAE Standard 62.2 as the legal standard for ventilation. He also noted "mechanical ventilation can cause uncontrolled air infiltration, allowing moisture and ground contaminants to enter a home."

He said that Honeywell has developed the Y8150 Ventilation Control System and W8150 Ventilation Control. Wise indicated that both products meet 62.2 requirements. He called the Y8150 the "complete solution for supply ventilation," stating that it was easy to install and calibrate, and the use of one part number simplifies ordering and stocking.

He noted that the system is part of the American Lung Association‚ Health House‚ program, and it is installed near the HVAC equipment, where it has a low probability of occupant interaction.

The W8150 is designed to help meet local ventilation codes and standards. It is customized to fit each house size and ventilation rate.

He added that being an IAQ expert could open up an important niche market and differentiate contractors from the competition. Wise said, "If you do nothing to differentiate yourself from the other contractors and there are three proposals on the customer's table, what do you think the customer will judge you on? Price."

Wise stated that these ventilation products are ideal for new construction, as well as for retrofit applications. But he said the challenge for contractors is to convince builders that these types of Honeywell products are an important part of residential IAQ.

"If you want to talk to a builder about ventilation and if the price is an additional $2,000, nine out of 10 builders will say no thanks," he said.

A local building inspector in the audience said he talks to small and large builders and is convinced that they "are just not getting it."

The chapter meeting drew a large number of questions about IAQ, which was an encouraging sign to Jimmy Kroll, the chapter's president. Kroll said the Southwest Virginia chapter meeting attendance is "always one of the highest of any RSES chapter."

For more information on Honeywell products, visit www.hotfreshcool.com. For information on RSES visit www.rses.org.

Publication date: 03/21/2005