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Explosion Proof HVAC: Air Conditioners for Hazardous Location

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See our Explosion Proof HVAC page!

It’s My Birthday and I Have to Work…Yippee!

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Yes, that’s right. Today is my birthday. Not typically a big fan of holidays (probably all those years of missing holidays due to shiftwork have de-sensitized me), I’m actually looking forward to today.

As a general rule, I enjoy coming to work, although it took me a while to settle in here. I think it’s because in my typical over-achiever fashion, I really hate being the one in the room that doesn’t know something. And here in “commercial-and-industrial-HVAC-world“, well, these days that’s often me. I have a strong industrial background, ground-up in fact having started my working life as an Instrument Technician, but often feel a bit out-of-place in this highly specialized industry. But…the situation is steadily

For one thing, I’ve found a handful of things here at CAPS that I am one of the best at. For instance, pretty much everyone knows now if they have an Excel question, they should come to me. Also, I’ve written some jam-up press releases lately (it’s my English grammar and rhetoric background) that make us look and sound like the professionals we are. Also, while I’m not a pro at Photoshop or InDesign, I can get the more informal jobs done when needed. So, I’ve now got a comfort zone that is allowing me to enjoy my work and respond to company needs.

But the birthday thing…well, that’s something else entirely. I think the pleasure in coming to work on my birthday may have something to do with how much our company feels like family. I’m not talking the Hallmark card family, but a highly interactive, riding the ups-and-downs, occasionally dysfunctional and not always totally happy family. You know…a “real” work-family.

When I try to put a finger on why it feels like that here at CAPS, I think it must have to do with the work we do and the way we do it. When projects come in that push us to our design, manufacture, or installation capability limits, we buckle down, together, and push through to get it done. Not only do we value our customers, but we also value the relationships we build with them. In order to meet their needs we often have to put in the extra time, work odd hours, reallocate manpower, and perform some crazy work activities. Work through a few of those intensive project activities with the group around you and you’ll see what I mean. Intensive group activities, in my experience, result in either bonding, or breaking. We’ve built some really strong bonds here.

So, here I am at the start of my day and have TONS of fun things planned. I’m spending the morning with two of our Service department folks working on some spreadsheet automations designed to make their work flow better. Then, I’ll be teaching an Excel class over lunch. After that, I’m trying to finalize two brochure designs, work through some details on our upcoming trade show, and complete a SlideShare presentation that shows off a big project working its way through our shop this week.

Yikes! Look at the time! Guess I better get my gear (laptop and notes) packed up and head out now. But I did want to share my news with you…it’s my birthday, I have to work, and I’m happy about it. I guess if you had a great team of people around you all the time, you’d feel that way too.

Scheduled Maintenance

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by Bea AmayaCAPS Marketing


This is the time of year at CAPS that we begin putting a real focus on maintenance activities and preventive maintenance contracts for our industrial and commercial customers. When our south Texas warm weather starts moving in, our Service department folks can get really busy as calls for field service often reach the “emergency” level for customers.

Preventive maintenance agreements provide for scheduled inspections and basic maintenance activities on equipment in order to maintain peak efficiency, reduce utility costs, avert system failures, and extend the life of HVAC equipment. As the name implies, “preventive” maintenance is a proactive approach that gives customers the biggest bang for their buck; catching and repairing problems before they occur is always preferable, and less expensive, than waiting until a breakdown occurs.

This week we are preparing to send out our newest batch of mail-outs focusing on reminding customers and potential customers about the benefits of scheduled maintenance. And as a side-benefit both to us and our customers, scheduled activities make us so much more efficient and timely with our responses as well-planned work schedules are preferable to working in emergency response mode any day of the week.

CAPS Team at AHR Expo

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Emerson party at Cowboy Stadium was a blast! Pictures were taken, food and drink were consumed, footballs were thrown, kicked, and caught on the field, and a great time was had by all. Big thanks to Emerson for a great kick-off to tomorrow’s AHR Expo!

Aluminum Advantage

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Custom Air Products & Services, Inc. (CAPS) is a leading manufacturer of custom air handling equipment. Our custom units are available in many configurations, sizes, capacities and materials, but one of our most impressive material choices is aluminum.

There are many benefits of aluminum construction, including:

  • Long Life. Equipment constructed from aluminum has a much longer life expectancy than that constructed from steel and/or galvanized steel.
  • Corrosion Resistance. Aluminum is very corrosion resistant, even if it gets scratched, scraped, or creased. Steel units, on the other hand, are susceptible to rust and corrosion especially in conditions of high moisture or high humidity. Something as simple as a scratch can start the rusting process making it only a matter of time before the unit begins to show deterioration.
  • Light Weight. Aluminum units are very light weight, reducing the overall weight of the equipment and avoiding the need for additional structural support for roof mounted or hung unit applications.
  • Competitive Cost. Although other manufacturers use steel construction due the higher cost of aluminum, we have found here at CAPS that our manufacturing processes allow us to offer aluminum constructed equipment that is competitively priced. Combine that with the cost savings recognized by the longer life of the unit and you might be surprised to discover the long-term cost savings make these units truly cost effective.

Here at CAPS our primary construction begins with a full welded structural aluminum base, not bolted, followed by construction of an all-aluminum frame. This framing system consists of extruded structural members with cast aluminum corners. A neoprene gasket is applied to both the interior and exterior of the frame before the inner liner or outer casing is installed to give a true thermal break to the construction. We employ aluminum material in the units wherever possible—outer casings, inner lines, filter racks, blank-offs, pans, panels, and more.

Feel free to contact us and arrange a tour of our facility where you can see for yourself how our aluminum constructed units can start saving you money today.

by Ronnie Voelkel

Custom Air Products & Services’ 2012 Outstanding Safety Record

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Maintaining a safe work place is the highest priority at Custom Air Products & Services, Inc. (CAPS). Assuring an accident-free environment at their facility and in the field provides for employee well-being, promotes sound business practices, and reflects CAPS’ focus on customers as well. The primary goal for each Custom Air Products & Services employee is to return home unharmed after every work day.

CAPS is proud to announce another OUTSTANDING year in Safety Performance with three-year Experience Modification Rating (EMR), OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rates (TRIR), and Lost Time Rates (LTR) well below industry averages.

Year Manhours EMR TRIR LTR
2012 407,231 0.82 0.00 0.00
2011 390,821 0.85 1.02 0.51
2010 379,420 0.75 1.58 1.58

CAPS’ EMR recent history is below the accepted threshold of 1.0 can continuing to decline in recent hears. The TRIR is another major recognized measure of safety performance and is based on the number of incidents relative to the hours worked.

Robert Covington, CAPS Safety Director said, “Our increased focus and support from ALL Management and Field Supervision has, no doubt, helped lead us to meet our annual goal of ZERO recordables.”

If you would like more information about this topic, please feel free to contact Robert Covington, Safety Director at (713) 460-9009.

by Michael Deatherage, CAPS Sales

Custom Air Products Takes ASHRAE/AHR Expo by Storm

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Custom Air Products & Services, Inc. (CAPS) will be sending 14 of their employees at the end of January to the AHR Expo—the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Exposition. This expo occurs each year in conjunction with the ASHRAE Winter Conference—American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The group of employees traveling to Dallas, Texas includes engineers, CAD designers, production supervisors, project managers, as well as several divisional managers.

Custom Air Products specializes in the design, installation, modification and servicing of industrial and commercial air conditioning equipment.

“We are sending this team to Dallas to search for better and more efficient ways to run our fabrication, installation and service divisions,” says company president Taylor Norris. “Each of the employees in attendance will be tasked with researching specific vendors and product lines with the goal of finding opportunities to increase our efficiency, quality, or production processes in order to improve the products and services we provide to our customers.”

The AHR Expo will open in Dallas on January 28. A full program is planned for attendees including technical presentations, educational offerings, certification testing, as well as social and technical tours in the area.

CAPS has its headquarters in Houston, Texas and currently employs over 180 highly skilled individuals providing products and services to a wide range of public and private companies. In addition to the fabrication and installation divisions the company has an experienced service team that handles maintenance issues, preventative maintenance programs, equipment replacement and other HVAC and plumbing needs of their customers. In a support role for all three major divisions is a full engineering department who remain continuously engaged in all phases of fabrication, installation, and service as needed.

by Don Doss, CAPS Sales

What is an Air Handling Unit (AHU)?

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An air handling unit, sometimes called an air handler, is a piece of equipment that is used to condition and circulate air as a component of a heating, ventilating and air conditioning system. This handler is usually a large metal box that contains a blower, heating and cooling elements, filter chambers, sound attenuators and dampers. The air handler connects to ductwork that in turn, distributes the conditioned (and heated or cooled) air throughout the building before returning it to the AHU. There are some units that discharge and admit air directly to and from the building, without the need for ductwork.

There are three basic types of an air handling unit. When trying to decide on the purchase of custom air products, Houston residents should choose from the following:

  • Terminal units: Include only an air filter, coil and blower. Simple terminal units are often called fan coil units or blower coils.
  • Makeup air units: Larger air handler that conditions 100% outside air, rather than recirculated air.
  • Rooftop units: Air handler designed for outdoor use and are positioned on roofs

What if your building needs a Custom Air Unit?
There are times when your specifications and building design severely limit your standardized HVAC unit choices. Perhaps your current unit is shoehorned into the building’s structure, and replacing it with a different sized unit would mean tearing down walls and increasing the amount of time occupants would have to go without conditioned air. Or, maybe you have just searched and have been unable to find a unit that meets your performance requirements.

For custom air products, Houston customers can confidently turn to Custom Air Products & Services. We are able to create custom products using innovative, modular designs that allow for equipment replacement with minimally invasive processes. CAPS can design and fabricate mulitzone, double duct or standard units that are exactly proportioned to the existing equipment space; and our Registered Professional Engineers work with stainless steel, aluminum or galvanized steel on site in order to manufacture the perfect unit that meets every customer’s exact specifications. Trust our expertise the next time you need to replace your air handling unit with either a standard or custom product.

Managing Industrial Air Conditioning Costs: Choosing Air Conditioning Equipment for Large Spaces

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With today’s rising energy costs, companies are very interested in finding ways to save on their utility bills. One of the largest sources of electricity use among businesses is industrial air conditioning. What is most surprising, however, is the amount of energy that can be saved just by choosing the right air conditioning equipment. Industrial managers who are in charge of large spaces, such as manufacturing facilities, should consider the following prior to ordering an air conditioning system:

  • How much are you currently paying for your industrial air conditioning?
    Instead of continuing to overpay for your utility costs, it may save your business money to begin researching the different air conditioning units that are available today. Modern units are surprisingly efficient and often more than pay for themselves in just a short length of time. The best way to learn about the different units that are available and how these efficient units can save your company money is to speak with an air products supplier and learn about the cost of a new unit compared to how much you are currently spending on heating and cooling your facility.
  • How many air conditioning units are appropriate for the size of the space?
    A quality air products company should be able to come to your site and analyze its size in comparison to the available air systems. Many industrial managers are experts in their own fields, but are understandably not as knowledgeable about air handling units. For this reason, it will end up saving you time and frustration if you work with an air conditioning professional. However, be sure to come with your own list of questions, such as the cost efficiency of many smaller units in comparison to a few large units; or whether a rooftop or modular air handling unit is right for your building.
  • Will the installer need to make major structural changes in order to install the new air conditioning equipment?
    You may need a new air conditioning unit, but you also need to continue to run your business. It is important that you find out an estimate of how much disruption you can expect during the installation. Better yet, an air products company that can custom design a modular system may be able to replace your unit using the exact dimensions of your current one.

Custom Air Products is proud to carry a full line of air handling and HVAC units, and our experienced staff is able to help you decide which air conditioning equipment to choose, as well as how many units to place in your facility. Call us today at (713) 460-9009 to begin saving money on your industrial air conditioning costs.

Custom Air Products – HVAC Service Houston Companies Can Count On

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When it comes to HVAC services, Houston and neighboring cities can depend on Custom Air products and service to provide thermal comfort for all seasons. We pride ourselves in the combination of expertise and experience necessary in a good HVAC company.

What Is HVAC?
HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. These three are the chief elements of climate control. The professionals at Custom Air know firsthand that a good HVAC system not only fosters good health, it helps you save money on energy expenses. Climate control is one of the most crucial aspects of design, so it’s imperative to always have commercial HVAC service handy in case of an emergency.

How Industries Benefit from Good HVAC Systems

  • Cooler, more conducive environments go hand-in-hand with productivity
  • A well-regulated work environment ensures good employee health
  • Museums need effective climate control to archive certain historical artifacts
  • Good ventilation rids offices and restaurants of mold and other unwanted organisms
  • Efficient HVAC units reduce operational costs by lowering energy expenses

What to Look for in an HVAC Service Company

  • Knowledge
    Knowledge of air-handling units and other components of climate control are necessary in your commercial HVAC service company. It takes a knowledgeable service technician to calculate the amount of heat load in a room, detect faulty air-handling units, etc.
  • Expertise
    Your technician must be able to solve problems by studying system layout designs. They will be able to read and interpret schematic layouts to determine the best solutions in any given circumstance.
  • Safety
    An efficient service technician should be able to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations for fuels and hazardous materials. Reviews of safety standards and specifications should be initiated during commercial HVAC equipment replacement, and a follow-up should be in place until the project is completed.
  • Speedy Service
    When your system is due for repair or replacement, your customers and employees shouldn’t have to surrender their thermal comfort for long periods. An HVAC service company must be able to respond to queries in a timely fashion. In the same vein, a top-notch HVAC service company is able to devise detailed and specific plans for your problems as quickly as possible.
  • Maintenance
    A good company is always equipped to carry out recurring maintenance and seasonal overhaul on HVAC components. Efficient services are able to reposition fans and replace motor bearings when necessary. Some companies even offer preventive maintenance contracts and commercial HVAC equipment replacements needed to keep units healthy.

More Information
Whether you’re seeking some quality maintenance solutions or need help making design decisions, Custom Air Products & Services is the trusted name for commercial HVAC services Houston residents can always depend on, no matter the month or season. We design, build, and install HVAC products for commercial industries. Call our trusted field of experts today at 713-460-9009 or send an email to