History of Airxchange
Airxchange was founded in 1982 in response to the conflict between indoor air quality and energy conservation. Indoor air pollution had been recognized as a major public health issue by regulatory agencies and scientists from around the world. Half of all illness had been attributed to the air we breathe indoors.
Airxchange studied the indoor air problem: moisture, formaldehyde, allergens, radon, volatile organic compounds, airborne virus and bacteria, odors, the list goes on to tens of thousands of natural and man-made pollutants reaching concentrations far in excess of those found outdoors. These contaminants affect health and comfort and there is no practical means to effectively eliminate all their sources.
Increasing rates of outdoor air ventilation was (and remains today) the only known means of reducing concentrations of all indoor pollutants. This presented a dilemma: how to reconcile the need to increase ventilation with the need to conserve energy. Energy efficient ventilation was the logical response.
With more than 60 years of combined experience in the research, development, manufacture and supply of energy and building related products, Donald Steele and Lawrence Hoagland set out a long term energy efficient ventilation strategy. It would have to provide outdoor air at much higher rates without energy penalty. It would have to control moisture loads as well as heat loads. It would have to be reliable and easily maintained. And it would have to be economically viable for both users and suppliers.
The air-to-air heat exchanger, specifically the rotary exchanger known as a heat wheel or enthalpy wheel, would answer the need. Enthalpy wheels use the energy which is normally lost in the exhaust air to heat, cool, humidify or dehumidify the outside air as it is introduced into the building. Not a new idea, heat wheels were proven technology in use for several decades.
Airxchange updated the technology with modern structural design and lightweight polymer materials. Improved maintainability, greater reliability and an expanded range of applications are the results of this fresh approach. Today energy recovery ventilation has arrived as mainstream technology for the HVAC industry and Airxchange is the leader in the field.