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A Fresh Coat of Paint

We’ve done it again! It seems to be about a pattern right now, running like clock work. Every two years or so, we tear up our site and build it anew. It’s exhausting, but it keeps us on the cutting edge of technology. We’re always looking for the next big thing to make everyone’s lives just a little easier. A Brief History of Our Site 2010 – Procure Inc. Goes Digital This brings back some memories. Our first take on a website was definitely a product of it’s time. It was a simple, static web site coded in bare bones HTML 4, running on a tiny shared hosting set up for $8/month. Life was a little simpler back then. Most kids didn’t have smart phones, Netflix was still better known for their DVD service, and most of our orders were faxed in. (A note from Scott: This may have gone live in 2008. This is just the last archive copy of it.) 2012 – A Real Store Quite a leap forward from our last update. In 2012 the store moved to an actual store platform. Our lines were online, you could login, place orders, and search our product offerings. It was the first actual store we had. No longer just some simple ad floating on the internet. 2013 – The First Face Lift This is getting to look a bit more familiar. Running on a dedicated platform made it MUCH […]

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Your Yearly AC Checklist

It’s a slow day in the office and not a one of us here can really focus on our research. The weather is beautiful outside. The sun is shining, there’s a few little clouds drifting lazily in the endless blue sky. The birds are chirping and going after a feeder dangling lazily from a window across the street. I’d drag my computer outside and work from the sidewalk, but Lead Salesman Scott said he’d take my spot by the AC vent. Ah, right, the AC. We should get ready to turn that on. A Long, Harsh Winter Your air conditioner works hard all summer and gets to relax for the winter. Except that it doesn’t. The winter is perhaps the harshest time for your air conditioner, when it’ll have some of the highest risks of taking damage. All summer long, if something’s gone wrong, you’ll notice and get it fixed. In the winter? Not so much. Ice could crack a coil, debris could block up the coils and fans, a seal could fail, a rat could chew through some wires, and more could go wrong. We believe in preventative care as much as possible. Your HVAC Professional should do most of the work of inspecting your air conditioner, BUT there is a little bit you can do. Primarily speaking, you should clear all the dirt, debris, leaves, and other things away from the condenser unit. Keeping this area clear will […]

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Why Do We Use Belts?

It’s getting hot out, you turn on your AC, and everything works great for about an hour or two. Outside, your condenser reaches saturation, it’s cooling fan doesn’t budge, and soon the house is back to the sweltering mess it had been before. It’s unbearable, but there you are. Welcome to Summer, right? The Belt Drive There are a ton of applications where we need something to spin, whether it’s a fan, blower, or even the drum in a washing machine. We often use a belt to connect the blower and anything else back to a single motor. Eventually that belt gives out and needs to be replaced. This could be from simple wear and tear, rot, or even accidental damage, like running over a rope with a tractor, jamming up the mower deck blades, and then burning up the belt with friction. Belts offer a number of advantages though. They’re cheap to manufacturer, flexible, and can reduce the total number of parts a given machine needs. A belt can power multiple output devices, synchronize those output devices, and it frees up the designers to create different designs with fewer parts or more compact layouts than could otherwise be achieved. But WHY?! You could put the blower right on the motor! Belts also serve two other majorly attractive purposes in cutting down costs. A belt allows us to do gear reduction and it allows us to use some cheaper (but […]

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The History of IAQ and Radiation

We’ve covered how Radon is bad for your home and business. We’ve covered how IAQ is important. What about the one place where the two mix: history. The greatest development for air quality, the High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA Filter) exists because of radioactivity and a need for workers to survive in a very, very dangerous workplace. Working With Atoms In the 1940s the world was at war. Numerous countries were deep into nuclear research. The US had its Manhattan Project, Germany had the Uranprojekt or Uranium Club, and Japan had Ni-Go. The problem with working on nuclear materials is that they can kill you before you’ve ever noticed. They directly emit radiation, but far more deadly is the potential to create radioactive dust and gasses. Little chunks of your nuclear material or nuclear byproducts that float in the air. This is the same issue you face with Radon. Uranium and other nuclear materials produce something dangerous that gets into the air. The issue is a bit scarier with things like the Manhattan Project. At least in your basement you’re dealing with lesser radioactive gasses and particles. Still deadly, but at least you can’t expose a sheet of x-ray film with them. In the lab and nuclear production facilities, this wasn’t a matter of working through allergies, though the causes were the same size. This was a matter of walking into a room, taking a breath of contaminated air, […]

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The Unseen IAQ Mennace

We’ve talked about all manner of Air Quality issues: pollen, viruses, volatile organic compounds, and more. There is however, one less frequently talked about devil in the air: radon, methane, and other ground seepage. These are harmful, either explosive, cancer-causing, or otherwise dangerous materials that can seep from the soil below. You’ll never know they’re there until it’s too late. How Does It Happen? Time for some science. The ground beneath you is not pure, solid dirt and rock straight to the Earth’s core. It’s not all one particular elemental composition either. There’s pockets of different materials, gasses, radioactive elements, and so on. These materials either work their way to the surface or they emit something that does. Consider for example, a gas like methane. This exists underground, in porous areas of rock or in large, hollow caves. It’s under extreme pressure from the rest of the Earth pressing down on it. All it takes is a path to the surface for it to flow out. When we do mining for it, we drill down and use a pipe to provide that path to the surface. The Methane is a low-density gas, it wants to move higher up, in the same way helium can make balloons float. There is some amount of natural seepage. The gas makes it way up through the ground and rock, tiny pores and cracks that let it slowly escape. The ground beneath you is not […]

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Cleaning With Light

If you’ve spent any time under the sun on a long, hot, clear day, you’ve probably gotten a wicked sun burn. I may have overcooked myself a bit during our nice Easter weekend too. This brings up an interesting thought: what happens to airborne pathogens exposed to the same light? A sunburn is the result of millions of skin cells being irradiated by UV Radiation. Sunlight contains UV, Ultra-Violet, which can cause skin cancer in high enough exposures. It’s not dangerous in the same way X-Rays are, those would be lethal with a few hours of exposure. UV is weaker, but it still wreaks havoc on small cells. Messing With Molecules Let’s start out with some basic physics. We’re going to ignore the whole “particles & waves” thing for now and just say that all light is made of particles called Photons. When you turn on a light, it spews out photons, that bounce off the wall, lose some energy, strike your eye, and then you perceive the ‘color’ of that photon. What happens is the photon rams a cell in your eye with a certain amount of force, it’s energy, and that tells you it’s ‘color’. To the 3 physicists reading this, shut up. I know it’s more complicated. The problem happens when we give that photon more speed, more energy. Eventually, the photon moves too fast for our eyes to detect. It’s not visible light any more. It […]

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Don’t Clean Your Coils

With a Pressure Washer We previously mentioned that clean evaporator and condenser coils are happy coils. Dirt and debris builds up, restricts airflow, and prevents the coils from doing their job. Recently we realized, while there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything, there is a really wrong way to clean your air conditioner. High Powered Cleaning Suppose you need to clean something that’s incredibly ground in. You might scrape at it, or find someway to break up its edges and get under the layer of dirt to pry it up. It’s going to take forever, require a lot of work, but eventually gets the job done. What if you could instantly apply all that force to every weak spot in the dirty build up, and just blast it apart? This is in part, how a pressure washer works. On the one hand, we’re applying a massive amount of force in a small area. Any imperfections or weak points are going to make the substance fracture. The water will shoot through the dirt, and then blast outwards and send it to bits. On the other hand, water isn’t exactly abrasive like sand, BUT it will carry away a little more material with every drop that hits. Detergents can be added to the mix to chemically breakdown whatever it is that’s getting sprayed. If there’s an especially solid build up, you can essentially blast and melt it […]

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Upcoming Site Maintenance

Today we’re going to take a peak deep inside the workings of Procure Inc. and the den of code that makes the entire thing tick. We’re also going to have some downtime coming up for maintenance to our site, planned maintenance so we can give you a little heads up. Downtime – Friday 4/19/19 During the day on Friday our website will be offline or intermittently available starting at 10 AM Eastern Time and continuing until 6PM Eastern Time with the potential to be extended into the weekend. During this time, you will not be able to access any portion of the site. Why The Downtime? We’re going to be applying a significant update to our site. In testing, we’ve found this particular update to be more time consuming to apply than we’d like. From start to finish, our best deployment time was two hours on our development systems, and we’ve done this enough times to know it never goes that smoothly for the real show. How Do You Update a Site? That’s the boring stuff out of the way. Let’s look at the cool part of this: I get to geek out at you and Lead Sales Guy Scott about how our website works, how the internet works, and a very basic idea of what we do to keep it all working. The Servers Every website comes from a server of some sort. This is a computer that runs […]

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Why Is Pollen A Problem?

It’s Spring! The grass is green, the trees are leafy, and the flowers are quite pretty. This however, brings with it an air quality problem: pollen. The HVAC solution to pollen is to maintain positive pressure in the building, good filtration, and implement some good cleaning practices. That however, is not what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about the science of pollen and why we have pollen allergies, because few HVAC Blogs look at this type of science, but we do. Plant Reproduction Most complex life on Earth needs two organisms to reproduce. You have two parents, your dog had two parents, and the tree in your front yard, probably had two parents. The thing is though, trees and flowers can’t walk up to each other to reproduce, they’re just static-things that shift in the breeze. Something has to move genetic material from one plant to the other. Pollen is how plants reproduce. They’re hardy cells that get carried off into the wind in such vast quantities that they’re all but guaranteed to swarm a compatible plant. These cells contain that tree’s genetic material and they’re designed to mix with another plant to produce seeds that will eventually grow into another plant. This is an ongoing process, but it’s worse in the Spring when plants are bursting back to life after a long, dormant winter. Varying weather conditions will cause days with more or less pollen. After a period […]

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What is the Equinox?

We have two major ways to divide the year: the Equinoxes and the Solstices. These are events coinciding with specific details about the Earth’s orbit and they’re used as the basis for when each season begins. The Spring Equinox just passed us, on March 20th. Let’s look into exactly what that means. Orbital Movement of the Earth The Earth’s movement through space is a little more complicated than just going in one big circle. Our great, big blue marble: Rotates around its Axis This creates the days. One side faces the sun, the other is in shadow. Wobbles back and forth on that Axis This plays a role in creating the seasons. The wobble causes the Summer in the northern part of the world to be warm, while it becomes cold in the southern part. And vice versa for the winter. Moves around the sun in an uneven circle (elliptical orbit) This is where we derive Years from. 1 orbit of the sun is 1 year. This doesn’t break down exactly into an even number of days, which is why we have Leap Years. These movements ultimately work out two 4 major things: the longest day of the year is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest is the Winter solstice. On these days, the Earth’s steady wobble has reached it’s peak. It’s rocked as far on its side as it’s going to move. This movement to the […]

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