We all know that heating and indoor air quality play a significant factor in providing a happy and healthy work environment, and that yearly maintenance is necessary to keep those systems running efficiently.  

Jeff Hodge, a member of the Cambridge service team, has provided some simple tips for mid-year maintenance to your commercial or industrial HVAC unit.

End-of-Year Maintenance Tips

1. Filters - Service the filters as needed based on the “loading” experienced. Turn off the heater before servicing filters. Remove the filters from the filter section by opening the filter access door. Handle the filters carefully to prevent debris from being dislodged from the filter into the heater.

2. Check the belt - periodic belt adjustments help ensure the sustainability of the belt. If a belt is too tight, it can prematurely wear out the bearings and the belt. If the belt is too loose, it can slip or squeal. 

3. Check the discharge temperature - Use a wired thermistor at the mixing box to calibrate the system if necessary. 

4. Inspect the control panels - Look for loose or frayed wire connections and make sure all connections are tight. 

5. Perform a gas valve leak test - This will ensure the integrity of the valves. 

6. Grease the bearings – Dependent upon usage, your bearings may need to be regreased. The grease should be evenly distributed around the race. However, do not use the standard bearing grease in the Baldor motor. Instead, this motor takes special grease that can be referred to in the technical manual. 

7. Check and clean the evaporator and condenser coils - Dirty coils will drastically reduce cooling equipment efficiency and strain the compressor. 

8. Perform a gas valve leak test - This verifies the integrity of the valves.

9. Verify that the manifold differential gas pressure matches the nameplate.  It is extremely important that this is set up properly.  If the manifold pressure is incorrect, the heater temp rises and its efficiency will be affected.   

10. Inspect the direct evaporative media (CELdek) - Ensure that there is proper water flow across the media. 

11. Check the calibration of digital thermostats - Press the up arrow and hold it; the display should show 0F.  If not, the calibration may have been adjusted to show a warmer or cooler temperature than desired.

Additional Resources

It is important to achieve maximum efficiency from your commercial or industrial HVAC system. For more tips and instructions see our “How-To” videos, and with any further questions, please reach out to the Cambridge service team.

Reducing our own carbon footprint with solar panels and evaporative cooling

As part of our corporate social responsibility, we know we have to be stewards of our environment, and for nearly six decades, have invented and brought to market some of the most energy efficient HVAC technologies available in the manufacturing and distribution market segments. Our heatingevaporative cooling and ventilation technologies alone operate at 40%-65% savings versus traditional technologies.

Our systems make a big difference for each individual facility through operational cost savings, but the true environmental impact is when 55,000 of our facility installations compound for massive electrical and natural gas savings.

Complementing our own HVAC system performance, Cambridge sought out the opportunity to install solar panels in support of the energy reduction mission. Our CEO John Kramer says, “When the solar opportunity came about, I jumped on it because energy savings will have an impact on our business, on our community and on the world.” He went on to say, “Cambridge exists to enrich the lives of others and this move has an impact on future generations. Enriching lives is not just about the here and now. It has a longer-lasting impact.”

This also drove the decision to invest in an ESC-Series Evaporative Cooling unit to cool our building while using a fraction of the energy that traditional cooling methods use.

Our solar story

The Cambridge solar installation on our plant roof in Chesterfield, Missouri - consisting of 424 individual solar panels - is one of the largest solar installations in our city. On an average week, our panels yield 600 KWH, giving us the ability to cut down on our emissions drastically. Since the installation, the solar panels have saved 262 t of carbon from being emitted from our facility - equal to the yearly output of over 34 homes or 103 passenger vehicles. Moreover, the savings have amounted to around $2,200 a month in electrical savings and are enough to cover 10% of our total electric consumption.

Never Done Improving

Cambridge believes in continuous improvement, and we aim to find new and innovative ways to better our environment consistently. Whether through large projects such as solar panels or finding small ways each day. No matter the size of the project we are dedicated to enriching the lives of those around us and of generations to come.

As we look out over the next ten years, we will continue to share stories about energy transformation within manufacturing and distribution businesses. New technologies enable us to share building performance characteristics in real-time so that more leaders are inspired to change their working environments for their people while simultaneously serving their communities and the planet with energy footprint reductions. “This is my passion, and our leadership team is committed to it,” says Kramer.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour please contact sign up on our website or contact tlittle@cambridgeair.com.

A safe and healthy work environment benefits everyone committed to success. 

The ESC-Series evaporative cooling unit is a semi-custom fabricated air handler that can utilize direct (DEC), indirect (IEC) evaporative cooling, or a combination of both indirect/direct (2-Stage) evaporative cooling to meet specific usage and dimensional requirements. Heating options are also available. The evaporative cooling unit uses 100% outside air to provide tempered make-up air and building cooling. The ESC-Series unit is designed for industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings needing better indoor air quality without the equipment or operating costs associated with mechanical cooling.

Cambridge had the pleasure of hosting a virtual tour for the MAM's "Gearing Up" 2021 virtual conference. This video, led by Becca Jenkins, shows the improvements that we have made to one of our workstations and provides some insight into how a lean culture of continuous improvement looks.

Providing a safe and healthy environment for employees continues to be a priority for manufacturing leaders, especially in facilities where manufacturing conditions create a potentially harmful environment for those working inside. Many manufacturing and industrial facilities that are plagued with poor indoor air quality typically do not have adequate ventilation. This lack of proper fresh air can create a variety of poor conditions such as high concentrations of harmful contaminants, hazy indoor conditions, improper process or product quality, OSHA safety violations, or even severe employee illness.

The first step in solving your Indoor Air Quality issues for your manufacturing environment is a properly sized mechanical exhaust system, preferably located nearest to the source of indoor contaminants. The rate of exhaust airflow or amount of fans may vary due to the process or the type of contaminant. As the exhaust fans capture, contain, and expel these harmful gases, fresh air is drawn into the building and into the occupied space thus lowering the concentration of harmful elements.

A proper ventilation strategy must not stop here – as many manufacturing environments needs and processes change, they fail to add the necessary tempered make-up air units, resulting in poor temperature control, negative building pressure, uncomfortable cold spots, and sometimes poor product quality.

In these situations, a right-sized make-up air solution can bring in the clean air that is direly needed. This type of system not only improves the quality of air within the building to meet ASHRAE and local standards, but also protects the health of the employees.

Cambridge M-Series 100% direct-fired units are the most efficient way to offset building exhaust and improve Indoor Air Quality by introducing fresh clean air from outside.  Our Make-Up Air units are designed with reliability and energy savings in mind, along with low costs for installation and maintenance. M-Series heaters include patented Cambridge Low-Fire Start Technology and proprietary stainless steel burners are specifically designed to provide year-round ventilation and tempered make-up air for a wide variety of commercial and industrial facilities.

With CFM ranges from 1800 – 75,000 available and the ability to customize the system to your facility, these units are utilized across the United States in applications from tire factories to paint booths to food processing plants.

Do you feel like your facility is working against you? When the air in your facility is too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, or too contaminated from your manufacturing process, you can turn to Cambridge Air Solutions for support and guidance. Join us for an Air Solutions tour customized to address your specific questions regarding how our technology can help you address your facility challenges. Your knowledgeable Cambridge guide will walk you and your team through our facility and answer any specific questions you may have regarding HTHV, Makeup Air, or Evaporative Cooling technology.


Video recap from our livestreamed Grand Opening from Tuesday, June 29th, 2021.

This 20 minute tour will be a quick glimpse into a lean workstation as well as a high-level look at what a people-centric culture is all about. We touch on continuous improvement (lean) and a close-up to what expansion during a pandemic looks like. We also showcase our M-Series Make-up air product line that brings in the fresh, tempered air into warehouses, factories and distribution centers all over the county.


Have questions about your specific facility and how to provide ventilation? Ask us anything.
We can arrange for a 45 minute virtual or in-person deeper dive of our technology.Your knowledgeable Cambridge guide will walk you and your team through our facility and answer any specific questions you may have regarding HTHV, Makeup Air, or Evaporative Cooling technology.

Since this tour is customized to specifically to address your facility’s challenges, we ask that you complete the online form below. When you hit the ‘SUBMIT’ button, it will go to our Sales Development Representative for review. The SDR will reach out to you to setup a mutually agreeable time for everyone to meet either in person or online. We encourage you to include everyone on your team who may be involved in the decision to improve the environment of your facility.

Sign up for a 1:1 tour here.
 

This blog was guest written by Matt Lanham, Regional Sales Manager at Cambridge Air Solutions.
 

What it Means to "Do Nothing" as a Leader
I’m supposing a few of you are picturing your toes in the sand, a good book, the feel of a gentle breeze and the rush of the tide crashing on the sand.  Maybe a comfy couch, a Saturday afternoon nap with absolutely nothing on your agenda. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

In the facilities management world, doing nothing can take on a different meaning. “Doing nothing” means meeting status quo - nothing more - and it can have a dramatic effect on everything from comfortable workspaces to employee health to retaining the best talent available for the job. When faced with the decision to invest in your facility, it can be tempting to put it off or assume that your current system is performing “OK” and there is no immediate need for action. But now that facility leaders are challenged with creating better cultures and healthier working environments inside their production spaces, the cost of doing nothing is now greater than ever in regards to your employee’s health, productivity and job satisfaction.

Focus on the Ventilation
One of our governing bodies, the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), set forth standards to provide necessary minimum ventilation for occupied working spaces. This limit is always being pushed as healthier buildings demand less recirculated and more outside air for worker safety.  With proper filtration and the right amount of exhausted air, workers can experience better cross-flow ventilation, removing a ton of contaminants that can cause health and safety problems.

But indoor air quality (IAQ) is only a small part of a much larger picture. Leading an efficient workforce while maintaining a high level of quality in the end product is paramount to a company’s future. Greater than 85% of all manufacturing in the US comes from small businesses and what the larger big-box warehouse and manufacturers can attest to, worker comfort is a priority for their long-term growth, recruiting and retaining top-notch talent and for the overall safety of people.
 

Summer Temperatures
As warmer temperatures take hold of a majority of the United States, processes inside of manufacturing spaces cause internal temperatures to rise even faster,  largely due to the processes going on the production floor. While many facilities utilize a combination of intake and exhaust fans, this is just a first step in battling heat stress.  Several recent studies indicate that there is a direct correlation between rising temperatures and productivity levels – so much that there is a 1:1 correlation between temperatures above 77˚F and worker output.  Not to mention at higher temps employees are more likely to have accidents and produce products of a lesser quality. By doing nothing at all, facility leaders are already spending several thousands of dollars daily, weekly or annually in lost productivity and down time. 
 

Can You Air Condition a Warehouse or a Factory?
Inside our homes, there is great success in using vapor compression/direct expansion (DX) cooling with recirculated air, but with huge heat gains from processes inside manufacturing spaces, DX cooling isn’t adequate enough nor does it provide enough outside air to satisfy minimum occupancy requirements. Moreover, the cost to run DX cooling is some of the highest in the HVAC industry. Some plants consider using chilled water systems, but typically require a large capital investment up front to install chiller plants, pumps and other equipment.
 

Nature’s way of cooling
For centuries, manufacturing spaces have utilized evaporative cooling to provide temperature depression inside their spaces. They know that because of a very simple design, there are less moving parts and MUCH less energy required to run them. While typically thought as a viable alternative in drier climates, the use of 2-stage evaporative cooling (including an indirect heat exchanger coupled with direct evaporative module), is gaining a lot of traction in climates of the Midwest, Mid-South and Southeast United States. These facility owners know that their customers demand a high quality product, their workers rely on healthier working environments to be productive and they can provide temperature relief without spending a fortune operating their systems.
 

Come and See for Yourself
At Cambridge Air Solutions, we not only manufacture equipment to help create healthier working environments, but we’ve experienced some of these same challenges – internal heat stress, worker comfort and unhealthy indoor temperatures.  Come connect with us either virtually or in person to see how we have tackled some of these issues, installing a large Two-Stage evaporative unit on our building to help offset internal heat stress while lowering our indoor temperatures to help maintain a healthy work force.

This blog is guest written by Matt Lanham, Regional Sales Manager at Cambridge Air Solutions.

The horsepower paradigm

Watching from the pits of a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) event, while a team of mechanics ushered a top fuel dragster into their tent, broke the engine down, retooled and quickly rebuilt 6000 horsepower in front of me. These guys know how to harness an extreme amount of power necessary to propel a driver ¼ mile in less than 4 seconds. While I observed the bevy of activity taking place like a well-choreographed production, a team of technicians huddled around a computer display, making minute adjustments to the engine; trying to tweak out every last drop of power necessary to win the next race.

What are these technicians most concerned about? Atmospheric conditions and its direct effect on the generation of the most power they can achieve – all for one 3.6 second race.

A basis of design
I am often asked to substantiate our talking points regarding the true power of our S-Series space heater. Utilized in warehouse and manufacturing environments, these units pack a ton of horsepower to offset heat losses caused by infiltration, open dock doors and skin losses inside buildings. Small in stature, we offer units ranging from 250,000 BTU all the way up to 3,200,000 BTU. Being the only unit available that can achieve 160F discharge and temperature rise does raise some eyebrows. Other manufacturers have claimed to be “like Cambridge”, but the simple fact of the design of the unit offering a blow-thru arrangement, it has inherent advantages over every other heating unit in the market.

More efficient design due to atmospheric gains
Bringing in 100% outside air and introducing it to our blower FIRST before raising the temperature is the basis of the S-series unit. Due to this, we often show our engineering community the effect of our fans processing an air mass that is higher in density – thus containing more oxygen; a vital component in clean combustion.  Without diving into the laws of thermodynamics, fans that process cooler, denser air help produce higher BTU outputs than units that pull air thru a burner – where they are processing warmer, less dense air. Cambridge is the only manufacturer to build its own burner - a fully stainless steel unit - while keeping the mechanical components out of the hot air stream leading to a longer life-cycle of the components.

Healthier buildings using 100% outside air
Indoor air quality is a hot topic lately, largely due to end-users wanting healthier working environments for their most precious asset - their people. Business continuation is dependent on having a consistent and healthy work force and recirculated air inside of spaces isn’t healthy. To offset unhealthy indoor contaminants that build up in spaces that use recirculated air, proper use of HVAC units bringing in 100% outside air is paramount. Recirculation units also offer a lower temperature rise, and need to run for much longer periods of time to offset heat and pressure losses inside of spaces. This is wasted energy.

High performance support
There’s no questioning the 400+ building and case studies we’ve performed in a variety of markets with solid data to support worker comfort, more even temperatures and gas and electrical savings over other technologies out there.  Our contractors have come to love the fact that we make our S-series units the most complete heating and ventilation package there is in the market – taking a lot of the guesswork out of their day searching for missing pieces or parts they thought they were getting. Our support team of engineers, technical trainers and technical advisers are there to help our contractor and engineer community with on-site or virtual training, developing the next solution or running a heat load with layout; giving our customers the confidence they need, knowing the factory is backing them up.

Come visit and ask us anything.
Come witness for yourself what a high performance team of individuals do every day at Cambridge Air Solutions. Come see us virtually for exposure to our Lean journey or a product tour. Come feel that same heart-pumping charge we get seeing our folks improve everything they do – every day.

Cambridge High Temperature Heating & Ventilation (HTHV) Space Heating Systems are designed to meet a building's heat and air load requirements and be energy efficient. 

Discharge air from the S-Series HTHV Heater creates a large volume of fresh, warm air flowing throughout the building which eliminates higher ceiling temperatures and uncomfortable drafts. The S-Series Heater utilizes 100% fresh air to dilute contaminants generated within the building. This virtually eliminates air quality problems associated with infrared heaters or conventional air heating systems that recirculate indoor air.

The video below highlights the technology behind our S-Series heater or you can click here for more product information.

Many building owners working through retrofit or new construction projects are familiar with International Mechanical Code (IMC) standards, which state that an HVAC smoke detector be installed on any air handling system with a capacity greater than 2,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM).

 Following installation of a new air handling system, most building owners will need to have their new heating or ventilation equipment inspected by municipal code authorities, who adhere to requirements put into place by the IMC. A common item flagged on installations of industrial HVAC equipment—including Cambridge Air Systems products—is that a smoke detector was not installed on the system. This is a common request made by engineers and building inspectors that we see at Cambridge Air Solutions – and is a misinterpretation of how our 100-percent outside air make-up air systems and industrial heating products work. Have you ever received a request to include an HVAC smoke detector with your Cambridge heater? You are not alone. Within this article, the experts at Cambridge seek to alleviate any confusion over whether a smoke detector should be installed on your new HVAC system, and why your inspector may have flagged this issue in the first place.

When Are Duct Smoke Detectors Required?

It is true that with most traditional recirculating air distribution systems, installation of an HVAC smoke detector is required. Within Section 606 of the International Mechanical Code (IMC),this requirement is clearly addressed, stating the following: 606.1 Controls required. Air distribution systems shall be equipped with smoke detectors listed and labeled for installation in air distribution systems 606.2 Where required. Smoke detectors shall be installed where indicated in Sections 606.2.1 through 606.2.3. However, the code statement does not end there. It continues: Exception: Smoke detectors shall not be required where air distribution systems are incapable of spreading smoke beyond the enclosing walls, floors and ceilings of the room or space in which the smoke is generated. Cambridge Air Solutions systems, including make-up air units, ventilation systems and industrial heaters use only 100-percent outdoor air to heat and ventilate. Because of this design, Cambridge’s air systems are incapable of spreading smoke beyond these parameters. The IMC Commentary provides further explanation on the intent of the code: It is not the intent of Section 606 to require duct smoke detectors in systems that function only as exhaust systems or only as makeup air systems. Remember, a make-up air supply system that discharges 100-percent outdoor air into a building does not withdraw air from the building and, therefore, cannot contribute to the movement of smoke. Because of this important reason, Cambridge units fall under the exception stated in IMC code section 606 and thus do not require an HVAC duct smoke detector system installation.

Why Are There Duct Smoke Detector Requirements?

It is more important to keep in mind that the intended application of Section 606 is to address the potential hazard caused by ducted air distribution systems that link together rooms and spaces within a building, thereby providing the means to distribute smoke to such rooms and spaces. For more traditional systems, which recycle indoor air, the smoke detector requirement is in place to quickly detect smoke coming from one area of a large commercial building and to alert other areas within the large facility. Safety is the key reason why smoke detectors for HVAC systems are often required. Note, that 100-percent outdoor air systems of any type, including Cambridge Air Solutions equipment cannot transport smoke beyond the area of fire origin and are thus exempt from the provisions of this section.