A Look at the Price Engineer’s HVAC Handbook

At R.L. Craig Company, Inc., we are distributors of HVAC equipment for numerous different manufacturing companies. One of those companies is Price Industries, a respected supplier of air distribution products and solutions. Among their latest undertakings is the Price Engineer’s HVAC Handbook. This 22 chapter, all-inclusive handbook is an impressive collection of technical content. It took over 18 months to compile, and was the work of more than 30 Price engineers and designers. As you might expect, the Price Engineer’s HVAC Handbook covers a wide range of subjects and topics throughout the commercial and industrial air management industries, including a discussion on the theory of HVAC.

The 1st edition of the Price Handbook is broken down into two main sections: Fundamentals and Applications.

Fundamentals:

The Fundamentals section breaks down established concepts into easy to understand parts. It covers topics like air distribution systems, indoor environmental quality, and the basics of acoustics. Readers can use it both as a learning tool and as a reference text that includes detailed illustrations.

Applications:

The second section is filled with new concepts and the latest research on design guidance. It covers such critical topics as duct design, VAV diffusers, radiant heating and cooling, and healthcare applications in 14 detailed chapters.

The goal of the Price Engineer’s HVAC Handbook is to bring together a tremendous amount of information in one document. It is an important learning tool for anyone with the desire to learn more about the concepts and technology that drive the HVAC industry.

For more information about the Price Engineer’s HVAC Handbook or to obtain a copy, contact us directly at R.L. Craig Company, Inc. today.

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Take a Look at the MacroAir AirViz 3D Motion Tool

Making a large industrial equipment purchase can involve a tough decision-making process. Without the ability to “try before you buy,” many industrial purchasing agents are limited to reading product reviews and profiles, and possibly watching sample demonstrations before determining which product to choose. Even then, it can be hard to know exactly how the machinery will function in a particular workspace without being able to test it in the area.

Now, however, a new modeling tool has been developed by MacroAir that allows customers and prospects to see how their fans will direct airflow in a particular space. The tool, called AirViz, shows how the airflow will move and act using color-coded 3-D video, allowing engineers to more accurately determine how many fans a space will require and where they should be placed.

MacroAir released a video describing the benefits of AirViz and demonstrating how the online tool works by showing virtual air movement in a facility. They also mentioned a success story in which a customer thought they needed three fans in their facility, but determined they really only need two after seeing the AirViz graphics. With 800 locations, this business was able to greatly reduce costs by saving themselves from purchasing 800 unnecessary fans. This is just one example of how the 3-D modeling software is already benefiting industrial clients.

Watch the YouTube video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrLA_BXLtpk

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Celebrating Manufacturing Month by Supporting STEM Education

Rear view of class raising handsWith National Manufacturing Month in full swing, industrial companies and associations are working hard to engage the next generation of workers. Lately, there have been countless headlines about the industrial skills-gap as baby boomers edge closer to retirement. To combat the issue, many manufacturers have opened their doors to student groups this month. In addition, many groups have hosted gatherings to discuss other ways of getting young people excited about manufacturing and contractor jobs.

Recently, Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) of Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana hosted an Education and Dinner Meeting. The event brought together local contractors and company representatives, including from R.L. Craig Company, and officials from the county school system to network and brainstorm ideas to make sure all kids are aware of skilled job options.

Many high school students and graduates are already semi-prepared to enter the workforce without even realizing it. Thanks to a greater emphasis on STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), many students are being exposed to more technical concepts and gaining necessary skills for advanced trade careers. Having access to challenging courses is vitally important to preparing the future workforce for these jobs. But getting them excited about the coursework and industry is the next step. Thankfully, educational leaders and industrialists alike are working hard to achieve this.

Taking part in National Manufacturing Month is one great way to open the door to this field. Continuing to support STEM education through open houses and other events, as well as by encouraging apprenticeships all help in gaining attention for these technical positions.

What other ways have you been able to create interest in STEM careers? Let us know in the comments.

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Heating your Warehouse and Beating Winter Woes

While your employees may have their favorite coats and mittens that are great in the cold weather, wearing them while they’re working probably isn’t all that appealing. In the winter months, a heated workplace is a happy workplace. And no matter how large your warehouse is or how cold these winter temperatures get, R.L. Craig Company can provide you with the most efficient heating solution for your space.

You may be thinking that, due to the sheer size of your workplace, heating it in an economically efficient way would be impossible. This is not true at all. Our industrial space heaters are specifically designed to distribute heat efficiently in large spaces, like in warehouses. We make sure that you and your employees are comfortable, and that you’re not paying through the nose for quality heating.

Gas unit heaters can be used in warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and other large spaces, with low costs of operation of course. Our effective space heaters ensure even heat distribution and can also provide heat to specific areas. Quality space heating systems can also quickly offset the temperature dropping effects of cold air that could infiltrate the building through doors or other openings.

So when you need a heating solution for your warehouse, distribution center, factories, or other large workplace, remember that R.L. Craig can help. We have been providing industrial heaters for close to six decades and our staff has almost 250 years of cumulative experience. No one has the expertise and experience that we do, so why would you go anywhere else?

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To Your Health: HVAC Systems in Clean Rooms

In our previous blog post, we touched on the role of air conditioning in today’s hospital environment, including the importance of temperature in specialist procedures like open-heart surgery and neonatal. Due to their potentially life-saving nature, medical facilities’ HVAC systems must also provide ventilation that maintains appropriate indoor air quality, controls infection, expels contaminants, and establishes an environment conducive to medical procedures and healing.

Likewise, the air integrity within research facilities’ “clean rooms” must be environmentally controlled to keep concentration of airborne particles (contaminants) within specified limits. Clean rooms are used in a number of industries critical to improving society’s health, including the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and medicine, medical devices and biotechnology.

Air from outside clean rooms must be filtered to exclude dust, and air inside them is constantly re-circulated. As a means of removing contaminants in clean room applications, all air entering a clean room must be treated by one or more filters, the most common of which are high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and ultra-low penetration air (ULPA).

HEPA filters, as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy standard adopted by most American industries, remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in diameter. Meanwhile, ULPA filters remove at least 99.999% of airborne particles .12 microns or larger.

Controlling sub-micron airborne contamination in a clean room requires controlling the total environment, including airflow, pressurization, temperature, humidity and specialized filtration. This makes HVAC a key component in maintaining the integrity of the clean room environment.

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The Birth of the Indoor Shopping Mall

Not many people outside of building design and architecture may know the name Victor Gruen, but the Austrian-born architect is credited with revolutionizing the way America shopped. Considered the inventor of the modern shopping mall, Gruen is best known for his work in designing the 800,000 sq. ft. Southdale Center, the country’s first enclosed shopping mall. With 72 stores and two anchor department-store tenants, Southdale opened in Edina, Minn., in 1956 – and transformed the retail environment and American consumption patterns.

“Suburban shopping centers had always been in the open, with stores connected by outdoor passageways. Gruen had the idea of putting the whole complex under one roof, with air-conditioning for the summer and heat for the winter,” best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell wrote in 2004. “Victor Gruen designed a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant shopping complex with a garden court under a skylight – and today virtually every regional shopping center in America is a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant complex with a garden court under a skylight. Victor Gruen didn’t design a building; he designed an archetype.”

As Gladwell – as well as The Atlantic this summer – noted, air conditioning was an appealing early amenity of the enclosed mall. Today, if not shopping online from the comfort of their own home, consumers are generally inclined to meander in air-conditioned retail indoors when making purchases during warm months and in heated stores during cooler months. That is why large commercial spaces such as malls and major retail stores require thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality.

At R.L. Craig Company, we are able to meet the air conditioning, heating, and ventilation needs of indoor shopping malls and other large commercial spaces. Whether you are an engineer, architect, contractor, building owner or in charge of facility maintenance, our commercial HVAC products and services can help you achieve your air-management objectives.

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5 Major Contributions of Air Conditioning to Society

While once a luxury, air conditioning has now become an indispensable feature of many American homes and businesses. At R.L. Craig Company, we provide solutions for many process applications where the objective of air-conditioning systems is not only to control temperature, but also humidity, air quality and air movement. Here are five areas where air conditioning has greatly contributed to manufacturing and society.

5. Electronics

Heat is a potent enemy of most electronic equipment. Computers, for example, generate a lot of heat, requiring direct cooling constantly to prevent them from burning out. “The development of the entire IT industry might not have happened without cooling technologies first pioneered by air conditioning,” The Atlantic says.

4. Healthcare

In today’s hospital environment, some specialist procedures, like open-heart surgery, require low temperatures, while others, such as neonatal, necessitate relatively high temperatures. Moreover, healthcare facilities’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems provide ventilation that maintains appropriate indoor air quality, prevents the spread of infection, and preserves a sterile environment for patients and staff.

3. Large Commercial Spaces

Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, shopping malls, even sports stadiums – all of these are spaces wherein thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality are desired. Of course, a commercial kitchen will need more cooling power than a small retail space, and a stadium built to host the World Cup in a Middle Eastern desert has different air-conditioning needs that an office building.

2. Clean Rooms

Air acts as a vehicle for bacterial and gaseous contaminants. Because many of these airborne contaminants are harmful either to products or people working in the “clean rooms” of manufacturers’ research facilities, their removal is crucial. That is why a very high level of air cleanliness and control of temperature and humidity is essential for a wide range of research facilities.

1. Cities

For buildings and the city spaces they occupy, air-conditioning has been a game-changer. Before air conditioning, houses were designed with airflow in mind – more windows, higher ceilings, deeper porches. Today, houses are designed not for ventilation, but for central cooling systems. Air conditioning has had a profound effect not only on how people live and work, but also where: air conditioning made possible America’s dramatic population shift to the Sun Belt, turning cities once considered virtually uninhabitable during summer months into desirable locations.

For more on air conditioning and refrigeration’s history and role in society, see Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century. And stay tuned for our next couple of blog posts, where we’ll take a closer look at HVAC in healthcare and commercial spaces.

 

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Where to Look for HVAC Incentives and Rebates for Businesses

Business owners often face a dilemma when considering replacing or updating their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Although operating an energy-efficient HVAC system is a proven money saver in the long run, the initial cost of installation can be a major concern. In a 2012 Energy Efficiency Indicator report, organizations worldwide cited HVAC improvements as one of the top energy-efficiency efforts they made in the 2011-2012 period. In the United States and Canada, 77% of respondents cited HVAC improvements as an energy-efficiency measure. Yet when executives in the U.S. and Canada were asked to name the top barriers to pursuing energy efficiency, the No. 1 answer given was a lack of funding to pay for improvements (37%).

The big question then becomes how to fund the investment:

To help businesses reduce costs and become more energy efficient, various government opportunities provide commercial and industrial customers incentives and rebates for installing high-efficiency gas and electric equipment, including packaged HVAC systems, chillers, and water/steam boilers. Here are a few resources to check out for related incentives:

  • Consider Section 179D of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which includes full and partial tax deductions for investments in energy-efficient commercial buildings that are designed to increase the efficiency of energy-consuming functions. Partial deductions of up to $.60 per square foot can be taken for measures affecting HVAC, lighting, and the building envelope, creating potential for $1.80 per square foot if all three components/subsystems qualify.
  • A quick search of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency for our home state of Kentucky reveals comprehensive information on state and federal corporate energy efficiency tax credits and utility rebate programs applicable to commercial, industrial, and residential sectors.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. Small Business Administration offers a listing of state, local, and regional programs that offer financial assistance to help small businesses become more energy efficient.
  • Business and building owners can also search the U.S. Department of Energy’s state incentives and resource database, where they can access thousands of rebates, grants, loans and other incentives for implementation of energy savings projects in facilities.

And, of course R.L. Craig Company is always a resource for your air management questions and needs!

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Fabric Ductwork: How and Why It Will Work for You

There are a lot of advantages in using fabric ductwork if you’re building a large commercial space or manufacturing facility. In terms of cost, labor-intensiveness, air dispersion, hygiene, and long-term maintenance, fabric ductwork is a hard choice to beat. It’s definitely something to keep on your radar if you’re setting up a cost-effective HVAC system that also helps you receive LEED credits for your business.

Need more specifics about all these advantages? Here’s a point-by-point list:

  • Cloth is much, much cheaper than metal, especially if the cost of insulation, paint and diffusers is included. For an equivalent amount of  fabric ductwork, you save anywhere from 10 – 50% than you would when purchasing standard metal ductwork, depending on many variables.
  • Furthermore, installation is faster, easier and safer. When compared to metal, installation time can be 30 to 50% faster.   Time is money. It is so easy, even a salesman can install it.  Check out my video on YouTube.
  • Certain applications require the ductwork to be cleaned periodically. Costs for cleaning metal ducts can be expensive and require the services of trained technicians.  In contrast, to clean your fabric ductwork, unzip it and take it to the Laundromat. 
  • With the ability to disperse air at any customized point along its length, fabric ductwork can actually outperform metal ductwork in terms of efficiency.

It looks great, will never rust, there is no paint to peel, it’s light weight, first cost is attractive and air dispersion in the space is excellent. What do you all say to that? Let us know what you think online, or better yet, email or call us here at R.L. Craig today!

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A New Website – and Vision – for R.L. Craig Company, Inc.

We’re pretty excited here at R.L. Craig Company to have our new website up and running. The domain name remains the same, the quality products and services we provide are exactly as before, but the level of user-friendliness, navigability and amount of information in our website has improved quite a bit.  Not only do we feel we’ve provided a better experience for our online customers – a website worth visiting time and again- but we’ve also integrated our social media program into our website. Now, you can visit our website, click on the Twitter, Facebook, or WordPress logos that are featured on our page, and discover all of our latest news and views about all things HVAC industry-related.

With easy-to-read banner navigation, and with links to outside reference materials as well as related websites, we think our website can be used as a valuable information resource for contractors, engineers and end users.   Please take a few minutes to browse through our website and see for yourself!  The R.L. Craig Company is continues to evolve and grow to meet the needs of the HVAC industry.   Let us know how we can help you service your clients.

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