Believing In The American Dream

As an ex-contractor, I found myself shaking my head as I read the guest editorial by Charlie Greer titled “Debate Rages About 24-Hour Service” in the August 11 edition.

There were numerous issues not mentioned in the article. First, all contractors have a certain number of customers that require A/C for their health. They may have heart ailments, respiratory problems, or other health issues where a lack of A/C can be a life or death matter. Just look at the incredible number of preventable deaths recently occurring in France.

Second, while it may be true that most owners do not put themselves in the on-call rotation, they are the ones wearing multiple hats, often causing them to work late into the evenings and on weekends when most of their employees are enjoying their time off. From what I’ve seen, most owners are among the lowest paid employees when measured on a per hour basis.

As a believer in the American dream and a supporter of entrepreneurship, being in business gives us the right to work as long and as hard as we want. And it is this work ethic that is often critical to our success.

There are concerns for everyone involved, but fairness dictates that we not look at just one side of issues.

Richard V. Osgood
Mail Concepts Inc.
Jacksonville, Fla.


Investigate The Problem

The Aug. 18 article by Peter Powell (“EPA Fines Bakeries $5 Million for Leaks”) was informative. It should be expanded upon in the very near future by The News, since this is simply not a problem associated with the bakery industry. It was only a matter of time before an industry was pinpointed by the EPA. Do you think other bakeries are looking at their HVACR systems now?

However, it’s unfortunate that the firms weren’t more proactive in correcting the situation while investigating possible solutions. There are solutions to eliminate Freon leaks when it comes to standard fin tube air conditioning coils in these situations.

Most people in our industry don’t understand that yeast, food enzymes, various food mixtures, and even cleaning solutions in process facilities can cause such problems. Most people don’t realize that industry by-products during manufacturing have a detrimental effect on copper, copper tubing, brazing material, brazed joints, and the dissimilar metals used in the construction of A/C equipment. These conditions are often found in bakery applications, water treatment plants, paper mills, beef and chicken process houses, candy manufacturing facilities, sugar mills, and even residential homes with wells supplying home water with high levels of sulfur gas. In most cases, people continuously replace coils and repair leaks because they have not fully investigated the capabilities of do-it-yourself protective coatings or coatings applied by a qualified firm.

Our industry must educate itself and learn how protective coatings for HVACR equipment can help prevent such problems. Investigate the problem. Don’t simply replace coils and equipment. There is a solution to every problem. We simply need to look. Five million dollars in fines could have been saved by being proactive and finding a solution to the problem instead of ignoring the condition.

Mike Bielamowicz
Product Support
Bronz-Glow Technologies Inc.
St. Augustine, Fla.


Good Show

From the other side of the pond, we welcome the EPA’s efforts in penalizing refrigerant-based environmental pollution. [“Bakery to Pay Penalty For Refrigerant Leak,” August 11].

We are in the final stages of developing a relatively inexpensive, but very sensitive, noninvasive flash gas monitoring system that has been proven to alert contractors and/or owners of as little as 5 percent of gas charge depletion. The reported fines in the past 6 months are edging towards $9 million (Meyers Bakery & Earthcare, University of Washington, et al.), so this represents an excellent commercial opportunity for astute contractors wishing to enhance long-term relationships by preventing their customers from being prosecuted in the first place.

David Peall
Chairman
A B Technology Cambridge Ltd.
Wistow, Cambridgeshire,
England

Publication date: 09/08/2003