Provide Better Value With Better Air-Handling System

I read Joanna Turpin’s editorial [“High Energy Bills Change Conversation”] in the Sept. 22 issue ofThe NEWSand was compelled to respond to the “Bad Ductwork” portion.

I have been in the HVAC business since 1986, and all 22 years have been devoted entirely to the air-handling side of the equation. My company is focused solely on engineering, manufacturing, and distributing air-handling components and complete air-handling systems that make it easier to install good ductwork in the field.

Based on what I’ve experienced, you’re not the only one with bad ductwork. I have always been amazed that more emphasis is not put into engineering and installing systems that will complement the equipment to which they are connected, especially when ducts are installed in concealed spaces.

In many cases, the installer probably is smoking something and, yes, may have also done the design. For some reason, this job is often delegated to untrained, unskilled workers that just walked in off the street - the new guy. The issue is compounded when market conditions are good, installers are in high demand, and compensation is geared toward activity pay or piecework.

I’m certainly not saying all systems are bad. Many, I’m sure, are doing a fantastic job in this area, and I applaud all who are. My point is, the air-handling system presents an excellent opportunity to provide customers with a considerable value as opposed to a long-term liability; value that not only provides comfort, but saves money at the same time.

David Harris, President
Simplified Components Inc.
Lakeland, Fla.

Been There, Done That

[Editor’s note: This letter is in response to Mark Skaer’s article “Striving for Super Efficiency,” Sept. 8.]

Having started in this business in ’75, I guess that makes me an old timer, and I find myself amused at how so many “new” innovations look so darn familiar!

Reading about the new Trane all aluminum evaporator, I envision old Carrier engineers saying, “Been there, done that!” Even the new micro-channel condenser coils from York look a lot like the old aluminum Singer coils from the late ’70s.

And the mini-split market seems to be going strong, but I recall about 30 years ago installing a 6,000-Btu Luxaire split system. Seemed like a great idea for spot cooling, but the idea never appeared to catch on ... until now!

How about these new alternative refrigerants? Didn’t Carrier have one called Carrene about 30-40 years ago? I remember, when I first started, the old guys then were talking about the old days using sulfur dioxide refrigerant. Maybe years from now, I’ll sit around telling the young guys about R-22, and they’ll say, “R-what?”

Bruce Dix
Dix Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.
Bradenton, Fla.

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Publication date:11/03/2008