Air-Care’s Video Inspection System

Air-Care’s Video Inspection System

by Wayne Tracy
wayneThe days of using a flashlight and mirror to inspect a Heat Exchanger, Evaporator Coil, Plenum Box or Trunk-line are now gone.  Using Air-Care’s Video Inspection System you can now inspect the dark realms of any system with accuracy and simplicity.  With the optional Infrared Heat Exchanger Camera even the hardest to reach areas can now be viewed.

This system is a valuable sales tool for both residential and commercial work.  What better way to convince a customer they need your services than show them just how dirty their HVAC system is.  In the rare occasion you come across a system that may not need cleaning you are simply building credibility for your company, which will ultimately lead to referral work – you can’t lose by inspecting systems prior to cleaning them.

visHaving the VIS system also provides an alternative source of income by providing your services to local HVAC, Mold Detection, & Restoration companies.  They usually do not have inspection equipment to look for damaged, leaking, collapsed or disconnected ducting in inaccessible areas.  These areas may be crawl spaces, ductwork between floors, or underground ducting.  You can sell your inspection services to them and work as a sub-contractor or get direct referrals from them.

Some commercial jobs, especially government jobs will require “before & after” documentation of a cleaning job.  Using the VIS – VI system you will be assured of having crisp, clear images of your cleaning process.

ductThis system features a high-resolution color camera head with a proprietary ring-light with diffused, high intensity white lighting.  The benefit of this proprietary combination is high quality, clear images without the distortion or halo effects of small infrared lights around a camera head. The camera is mounted on a reinforced vinyl insertion cable 25’ long to allow for easy insertion into any type of ductwork.

The system also includes a powerful laptop computer with at least a 15” display, preloaded with Windows 7 operating system and all the software needed to view and record video.

If you already have a laptop, no problem, just order our camera kit and video capture card.  Just call in the specs or check our website for the minimum specs required of your laptop and we’ll let you know if it’s compatible with our camera and video capture card system. (Mac format will not work with our camera system)


“HELP! Something has died in our HVAC system!”

skunkA few years ago I received a call from the school district that office employees in an elementary school were complaining of a dead animal smell whenever the air conditioning system was running.  The office area had a 30-ton air handler and an open plenum return system.  When we first entered the building the smell was very obvious, but it smelled more like a sewer odor than dead animal smell.  The first thing we checked was for any floor or sink drains with siphoned traps.  The school custodian showed me all areas with sinks and traps. To be sure we poured water down all the drains.

We returned the following day and found we still had odors.  Using our video camera system I checked several supply duct lines and the air handler.  This inspection revealed no obvious problems or signs of contamination. The only thing remaining to check was the return drop for the open plenum in the suspended ceiling.  Upon removing the ceiling panel near this drop I noticed a light shining into the space in the ceiling a few yards from where I entered.  Further investigation showed this to be a trap door in the hard ceiling of a janitor’s room.

mopUpon opening the door to the janitors room I noticed a mop sink and a wide-open ceiling hatch directly above it (the custodian had not shown us this room the 1st day we were there).  As I approached the sink there was an obvious sewer odor coming from the drain, the trap had siphoned and sewer gases were escaping into the room.  Every time the air handler come on it was pulling the odors from this room and circulating them through the office area.  I put water in the trap and closed the hatch to resolve the problem.

Although the video inspection did not resolve this problem, while inspecting the duct lines and air handler I noticed they were extremely dirty and recorded my inspection.  I showed the school district’s environmental engineer the tape and conditions of the system.  A few days later he contracted with us to clean the entire system.

This example clearly shows that video systems are not only a diagnostic tool, but also a beneficial sales tool.  Whenever I’m asked to quote a commercial duct-cleaning job I ask permission to perform a video inspection of the system.  It only takes a short amount of time and improves my chances of selling a job.

Share this post