— By Jerry Dill —
When it comes to choosing HVAC air distribution products, there is more than meets the eye.
How often have you heard the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover?” Plenty, I’m sure. Typically when you hear the phrase, it is in reference to people. But today it can apply universally to just about anything. The same can be said, even, about new HVAC air distribution products such as grilles, registers and diffusers.
You can find supplies and returns in just about every commercial environment. You will see them in commercial office buildings, educational and healthcare institutions, airports, and shopping malls and plazas. You’ll also see them in regional and national hotel chains and restaurants. They are a staple product in all commercial HVAC systems. No big deal, right? Oh, but it is.
What is different about today’s newer, more innovative HVAC grilles is that they manufactured from a high-quality ABS polymer. Many of us associate ABS with the LEGO building blocks we played with and our kids and grandkids play with today. Just like those blocks that are the same today as they were 40 years ago, ABS plastic grilles offer the same durability and dependability. That can’t be said when it comes to the metal units. We’re not suggesting that you intentionally do this, but if you were to drop one of the ABS units and an equivalent metal unit, you will be able to pick up the ABS product and install it, but you won’t have the same results with the metal one.
Beyond its sturdy good looks, there’s more: ABS grilles won’t rust, corrode, discolor or fade. Metal units rust. Whether from the condensation or high humidity present in commercial kitchens, or from room temperature fluctuations, metal units begin to deteriorate almost immediately.
Another unique feature about the latest grilles is their patented ‘easy-attach knob’ and a magnetic-attached plaque for air supplies and a push-clip design for returns.
The new ABS grilles are:
- Easy to disassemble: No tools are required. With the quick-connect knob, in three easy turns you can disassemble the grille to hand clean it or, if desired, run it through your commercial dishwasher. Other brands require tools to take them apart, and for some, disassembly is impossible.
- Easy to clean: ABS units can be cleaned with a damp rag or coated with a standard cleansing solution. With one or two simple wipes, they will look factory new again.
- Very durable: ABS is a very durable plastic able to withstand damage if dropped from a ladder. Polypropylene and metal will dent or disform, making it literally impossible to get them looking presentable — let alone “factory new.”
- Regularly furnished in white or black but can also be produced in custom colors to match your unique, decorative taste.
Looking ahead to the second half of 2020, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the trying times we all suffered through during the first half of the year due to the coronavirus. We would also be remiss if we didn’t learn from this crisis and reevaluate how we heat, cool and ventilate our indoor spaces.
Aside from all the health risks we’ll continue to face as a result of COVID-19, it is safe to say that facility owners and managers — more than ever before — will take a much more regimented approach to the appearance and cleanliness of their properties. Decisions they had never thought twice about before, with regards to products and décor, will now be evaluated with far greater scrutiny to ensure the safety and well-being of their customers. Beyond form, fit and function when it comes to determining which air distribution product to use moving forward, cleanability and your customers’ peace of mind will carry more weight than ever before.
When it comes to air quality and customer safety and your HVAC air distribution, what IS on the inside is what truly counts.
— Jerry Dill is the general manager of HaVACo Technologies, which designs, manufactures and distributes a line of 2-by-2 air supplies and returns, among other air distribution products. Headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, HaVACo is a subsidiary of its parent company, The Plastek Group. For more information, visit www.havacotechnologies.com.