Houston Construction News – Focus by Doug Long, ASCS

Association News

Doug Long, Power Vac America Ltd.

In the last 10 years, more and more people have become aware of indoor air pollutants and their possible health risks and effects. The HVAC industry has also taken notice and is initiating steps to improve the quality of the air we breathe.

“People are becoming more aware of the health effects and problems associated with poor indoor air quality and the benefits of a clean HVAC system,” said Doug Long, president of Power Vac America Ltd. “There are more professional organizations that have been established to help those of us in the industry to better understand the problems and the solutions.”

“For example, we are members of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the Air Conditioning Contractors Association (ACCA).”

Awareness of what could be potential health risks in any indoor environment is not the only trend popping up around the industry.

“More and more projects are calling for a pre-commissioned clean of HVAC system and associated ductwork,” Long explained. “This is important to eliminate the construction dust and particulates from the system before the building is put into operation.

“The indoor environment industry is paying closer attention to particle loads within buildings. Dirty air systems can contribute to this situation.”

As trends in HVAC systems continue to focus on improvements in cleanliness, Long said he hopes to see “more training within the industry, more policing of unlicensed and uncertified contractors and more information regarding benefits of maintaining a clean HVAC system.”

“Maintaining a clean HVAC system is becoming increasingly important in controlling the indoor environment,” he added.

Power Vac America, a HVAC systems/air duct cleaning service specializing in pre-commission, post-construction and general cleaning of HVAC systems and ductwork, also works hard to maintain a strong working relationship not only with its HVAC contractors, but the general contractor as well.

With locations in Houston, Dallas, Austin and Waco and just 21 employees, Power Vac America has run into many challenges over the course of its existence, and education, education, education are among the most prevalent.

“Some of the greatest challenges in serving this industry are educating the end users in proper preventative maintenance, proper indoor air quality issues, and in using quality, licensed and/or certified contractors,” Long said. “As well as educating the building owners and occupants on the effect that dirty HVAC systems have on building hygiene and operation efficiency.

“Dirty systems do not operate close to design specifications and will not control the moisture loads within the building, which effect comfort and the indoor environment. This is along with the fact that dirty systems can build up irritating contaminants.”

Power Vac America is the largest air duct cleaning company in Texas and handles a variety of jobs ranging from chemical and electrical plants to houses and apartment buildings.


Original story published in March 2005 Houston Construction News

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