ST. LOUIS — IAQ today is comparable to central air conditioning 40 years ago: It’s a new technology poised to evolve rapidly into a necessity for nearly every home.

That’s the conclusion of two pioneers of the hvac industry’s recent consolidation effort. Clean Indoor Air Inc. is a dealer network designed to capture the market early and “dominate the coming boom in residential indoor air quality.”

The two behind this plan are Jim Abrams and John Young, both former hvac contractors who formed Contractors Success Group in 1990.

Abrams and Young have funded four years of private research into the IAQ market and technology. In forming Clean Indoor Air, they say they have brought together:

  • An eight-member expert medical advisory panel, including researchers from Harvard and Purdue universities and other national leaders in the study of indoor air pollution;

  • Exclusive rights to products that are said to clean, disinfect, and freshen indoor air;

  • An IAQ training center in Toledo, Ohio — a $250,000 “home in a warehouse,” with six training stations to give hvac contractors knowledge and tools to get started in the IAQ industry; and

  • What they call a tried-and-proven “wealth-creation” system, including a turnkey marketing program for generating IAQ business from an existing hvac customer base.


To accelerate the launch of Clean Indoor Air, Young and Abrams are offering charter members “exclusive territories and rights” to the training and marketing program they say will eventually go to only 1,000 contractors across the United States.

The company expects to fill the charter memberships before the end of this year and to expand to the full 1,000 members before 2003. Clean Indoor Air opened its training center and began licensing dealers last year to test the market.

Abrams said, “The whole issue of indoor air quality is just dawning in the public consciousness. The health dangers of polluted indoor air are well documented, as are the benefits of the new IAQ technology.

“Hvac contractors are now in the prime position to profit from the growth of this industry. They have the customer base and the technical expertise to be the first into the market.

“Clean Indoor Air offers forward-thinking contractors the opportunity to become the recognized experts on indoor air quality in their markets at the very moment that homeowners’ demand for these products begins to explode.”

Young said, “This is a chance to seize local markets and ride the biggest boom in our industry in 40 years.”

Products, tools

Products available to participating contractors include:

  • OxyPure®, a duct-mounted, corona-discharge, oxidizing air purifier for reducing mold, fungus, and harmful airborne odors such as tobacco smoke, gases, and toxic agents such as formaldehyde, xylene, and other hydrocarbons;

  • Quantum 254®, a duct-mounted, germicidal, UV radiant biocide chamber that circulates air around a high-intensity UV lamp to eliminate airborne pathogens (bacteria and viruses) as they pass through the home’s ductwork; and

  • MicroPower Guard II®, a low-voltage electrostatic air purifier designed to reduce particles as small as lung-damaging dust and tobacco smoke from recirculating air.

Dr. Michael Evans, director of laboratories at the American Institute of Toxicology Laboratories, Indianapolis, and a member of Clean Indoor Air’s panel, said the rise of symptoms from allergies and poor indoor air corresponds with the construction of much tighter homes.

“Chemicals in the air can’t get out because our homes are designed to keep air in,” Evans said. “This results in buildup of chemicals that may have been around for years. . . . People who are allergy prone or sensitive could expect feelings of fatigue, frequent headaches, intestinal disturbances, and tightness of the chest.

“There are systems available to the homeowner today that can alleviate the situation of indoor air pollution, and it should be dealt with.”

Better for business

Wade Windham, sales and marketing director for AirTec Heating & Cooling, Tupelo, Miss., said the week-long training he and coworkers received at Clean Indoor Air’s training center had fundamentally improved his business.

“We came back and immediately started making a reputation as the only company around that knows how to do indoor air quality right,” Windham said.

“The CIA techniques were so much better, just on duct cleaning alone, that we went out and redid some jobs for free because we learned that the way we had been doing it before — just like all our competitors — wasn’t effective. Now we’re getting letters of referral, and business is pouring in.”

Pat Thomsen of Winston-Salem said her home was constantly covered with dust because of a problem with the air ducts. Compounding the situation was her dog, which was allergic to the dust and “tearing at herself” and shedding.

A company representative “showed us the dust around the heating system itself and said that it could not have been cleaned,” Ms. Thomsen later wrote. “She convinced us to allow your technician to come to our home to give us a more complete evaluation.

“I began to like her because she was not giving us a hard sell. She really came across as caring about our ongoing problem.”

Contractors looking for more information can call Clean Indoor Air at 800-467-0366.

RSES session asks: What's wrong with our buildings?

DES PLAINES, Ill. — An indoor air quality session titled “Why buildings don’t work anymore,” will be presented during the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society’s (RSES’s) annual conference on Saturday, Nov. 6.

The 1 1/2-hr session will address such questions as:

  • Whose fault is it when IAQ and moisture problems won’t go away?

  • Why, when we have the best hvacr equipment ever, are many buildings uncomfortable?

  • If we have more resources and knowledge regarding buildings than ever before, why do we have more performance problems as well?

  • Why can’t we build buildings like we used to?

For more information, contact RSES at 847-297-6464.