Breathe Easier

March 3, 2014

Device brings fresh air indoors.

Story and Photos by Ken Levy

There’s nothing better than a breath of fresh air. Bringing that fresh air indoors can be just what the doctor ordered.

When his son, Griffin, was diagnosed with asthma, David Davis knew he had to freshen the air in his home.

Davis, project development and support leader for FAMCO, Meridian, said that was “really motivational” in his fine-tuning and creation of the IAQ Economizer. The indoor air quality control system brings in and cools fresh air from outside while saving an average of 30 percent on energy costs.

According to the company website, the IAQ Economizer is “like automatically opening every window in the house with a guaranteed breeze to move the cool air, only without the security concerns of leaving windows open or having to worry about unfiltered air bringing dust into the home.”

Here’s how it works:

The FAMCO IAQ Equalizer is an auxiliary system added to a new or existing forced air HVAC system. It adds a controlled and monitored, dedicated fresh-air pathway into a home’s existing ductwork system. This pathway, including ductwork and
damper control box, is sized to move an equal or greater volume of fresh air than the system blower delivers when recirculating air during normal cooling mode.

Using existing system blowers, air volume is delivered is the same as normal air conditioning mode. All fresh air brought into the system passes through the normal furnace filter at the furnace. The product delivers 100 percent filtered fresh air into the home.

The Economizer automatically brings fresh, outdoor air into the home to provide cooling to interior spaces when outdoor conditions can support cooling. The warmer air that is being replaced in the house is vented through the attic.

Davis said he’d been working on the product design and perfecting it over about 11 years through his design company known as 1.5 Cannibals.

“The idea there is what I am trying to do is hungrier logic,” he said. “What you’re trying to do is get the most out of something.”

Working at Idaho Power years ago, Davis was asked to help the Idaho Office of Energy Resources with a pilot product for fresh air intake and cost savings.

“Through that pilot, a lot of feedback from the customers and contractors has gone into refinement of the product, and we’ve really identified that people not only need fresh air, they actually enjoy it, and it’s a product that people really appreciate,” said Davis.

Davis met Martin Artis, president of FAMCO, who was one of his customers. After they became friends, Artis offered the backing to make Davis’ design happen.

“We worked on refining this product over a couple of years, and my company licensed the product to FAMCO,” Davis said.

The fine-tuned, cost-effective product went available online through distributors in late 2013. Visit their site at famcoiaq.com.

Product costs, if installed by a contractor, can run roughly $2,000. A do-it-yourselfer could install it for as low as $1,600, Davis said.

For pricing and distributors, email info@famcoiaq.com.