When representing manufacturers that constantly innovate their products, it is ACP’s responsibility to understand how and why their technology evolves. Sometimes change is required by code, but more frequently a product is developed or redesigned to make a process more efficient. While mechanical plans must comply with code, factors like efficiency, convenience, and compatibility are under the discretion of the architects and engineers designing a building. Just like doctors stay up to date with medical procedures, engineers should be in tune with industry advances and how they can positively influence a design. The following technologies are just a few examples of how manufacturers have advanced in this way:

Outdoor Duct – The traditional method of insulating and cladding sheet metal duct for outdoor use is antiquated. While code compliant after installation, weatherization to the system is inevitable after its typical 1-year warranty. Water penetration, air leakages, loss of thermal resistance, and microbial growth are all reasons why the industry needed a new solution for outdoor duct. These are the same issues that Thermaduct targets with its titanium-infused vinyl-cladded, close-cell phenolic duct that offers high R-Values and low (if any) air leakages without the use of fiberglass insulation or duct liner. Pre-fabricated and ready to install upon job site arrival, Thermaduct saves the contractor time and effort while providing the owner a sense of security with its 10-year warranty. Contact ACP today to learn more.

EC motors – Since the early 2000s, many manufacturers have realized the advantages of replacing their low-horsepower permanently-split capacitor (PSC) motors with electronically commutated (EC) motors. Not only do they operate at lower temperatures (providing a longer design life), they are inherently controllable, more efficient, and much quieter than other induction motors. Specifying EC motors should be a standard practice for low operating horsepower fans. This is why both Greenheck and Price integrate them into many of their products including fans, terminal units, and rooftop ventilators.

Air Curtains – Although air curtains are commonly associated with loading docks, engineers and architects should really start thinking about bringing them indoors. Why? They could save a lot of money and space by replacing vestibules with them. Since 2015, the IECC has recognized air curtains as a legitimate substitute to the C402.4.7. vestibule code. As long as there is a minimum velocity of 2 m/s (393.7 fpm) at the floor, building owners can gain back valuable square-footage. Concerned about the looks or noise of a bulky air curtain? Consider Powered Aire’s new model: the Chameleon. Contact ACP to learn more.

Low Static HEPA Filters – Required by code for a number of clean room applications, HEPA filtration is a necessity notorious for imposing high static pressure loads on mechanical equipment. Thankfully, AAF/Flanders has introduced the world’s first HEPA-rated filter that offers 50% of the static pressure load required by traditional ultrafine glass-fiber media. Using a durable, tear-free, fabric-like material called expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), AAF/Flanders HEPA filters represent another way building a better building is possible with Air Control Products.

Authored by Matthew Halley
Air Control Products, Inc.