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Control & Automation

Who’da Thunk? Indoor Air Quality as a Category is Actually Kind of Interesting

It’s not exactly 4K or RGB lighting, but IAQ gives dealers something interesting to talk about: wrecked hardwood floors, asthma, mold, nose bleeds, home warranties … and profit.

Who’da Thunk? Indoor Air Quality as a Category is Actually Kind of Interesting
In CE Pro's IAQ Webinar, integrators will learn about humidity, clean air and ventilation ... and how to work with HVAC contractors for more business.

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At Aprilaire, we know how important comfort and health are to you and your family. That’s why we’re committed to helping you control indoor air quality (IAQ). Our...
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Julie Jacobson · July 27, 2016

Who knew indoor air quality (IAQ) could be so interesting? I didn’t realize, for example, that your hardwood floors want humidity in the 30- to 60-percent range to avoid cracking from dryness or warping from dampness.

Home warranties on the wood could be voided if the proper humidity is not maintained, according to Jon Fischer, HVAC automation sales manager for Aprilaire. He has unpaid claims from customers to prove it.

During my conversation with Fischer about CE Pro’s forthcoming Webinar on IAQ, I realized that we probably lost a good $20,000 to $30,000 on a Minnesota home we sold because the wood casings around our giant windows were so damaged from condensation.

Proper ventilation and humidification could have preserved the value of our home and kept us more comfortable to boot. And let’s not even get started on my cigar collection ….

These are the kinds of things Fischer will discuss during a live Webinar on Wed., August 17 at 2:00 pm ET.

Integrators have become strong champions of automated temperature controls, but IAQ is something they should be adding to the conversation with clients and prospects.

“We want dealers to understand that temperature control is only one aspect of indoor air quality,” Fischer says. “They’re selling [cumulatively] tens of thousands of thermostats per year, but they’re just controlling temperature.”

IAQ Isn’t Boring if it Means More Business! 

Besides humidification and de-humidification, the IAQ category includes such things as air filtration, circulation and ventilation – important features to reduce dust and allergens.

“Obviously indoor air quality is nothing sexy like 4K TV,” he says. “It’s only the air we breathe.”

IAQ is becoming more critical than ever due to improvements in construction that tighten the barriers around the home.

“My house is very very tight for energy efficiency,” says Fischer, “When you have all that off-gassing of wood floors, paints, stains, carpeting … they get trapped inside.”

What’s an integrator to do? Most respectable home-control systems can communicate two-way with the rich features of HVAC and IAQ systems for accessing functions beyond temperature controls.

The integration with IAQ makes for an easy conversation starter if you notice a customer’s hardwood floors, prized guitars, museum-quality paintings, little children with their vulnerable little lungs … and anything else that might be affected by poor air quality.

Fischer says integrators don’t need to become HVAC contractors themselves. Rather, they should know enough about IAQ to discuss it competently with customers and then partner with local specialists to do the job. Those specialists are doing IAQ all day long, and there's benefits for them to bring an integrator into the job.

“It’s important to make good relationships with HVAC contractors,” he says. “Then there’s no finger-pointing and more business.”


REGISTER FOR IAQ Webinar: Wed., August 17, 2016 at 2:00pm ET




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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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Control & Automation · News · Blogs · Products · Aprilaire · Energy Management · IAQ · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by Igor Kivritsky on July 28, 2016

You’re exactly right Julie and it baffles me why integrators are willing to take on that much liability installing an automated thermostat for what, $50 extra profit?  We quit installing HVAC control and other mission critical items such as access control, security integration, etc. a number of years ago.  It was the smartest move we ever made.  Overall company sales went up, profit went up, headaches went down, customer happiness went way up and referrals went way up as well.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on July 28, 2016

That’s an interesting point, but no different from someone freezing because their thermostat misfires.

Posted by Igor Kivritsky on July 28, 2016

Maybe it’s just me but did anyone think of the liability of this?  It’s one thing if little Jenny can’t watch Barney because the TV doesn’t work but if the humidity is all wrong because someone made a programming mistake and the hardwood floor crack…  Sounds to me like a recipe for disaster.

Posted by Igor Kivritsky on July 28, 2016

Maybe it’s just me but did anyone think of the liability of this?  It’s one thing if little Jenny can’t watch Barney because the TV doesn’t work but if the humidity is all wrong because someone made a programming mistake and the hardwood floor crack…  Sounds to me like a recipe for disaster.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on July 28, 2016

That’s an interesting point, but no different from someone freezing because their thermostat misfires.

Posted by Igor Kivritsky on July 28, 2016

You’re exactly right Julie and it baffles me why integrators are willing to take on that much liability installing an automated thermostat for what, $50 extra profit?  We quit installing HVAC control and other mission critical items such as access control, security integration, etc. a number of years ago.  It was the smartest move we ever made.  Overall company sales went up, profit went up, headaches went down, customer happiness went way up and referrals went way up as well.