"Texas size" usually means the biggest and best when it comes to beef, cowboy hats and seemingly just about everything that happens in this 269,000-square-mile state.

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association will try the state on March 5-8 when it holds its 17th annual convention at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas.

Seminars on topics such as coil cleaning and Web site marketing, certification classes and a trade show are among the events the association has planned.

On March 5, in addition to training classes for ventilation inspectors and mold remediators, NADCA will hold two daylong forums, one for international members and another for those new to the duct-cleaning industry. Both start at 8 a.m.

The international forum will be aimed at members from the 28 countries where NADCA is represented. Markets, trends and other worldwide issues will be discussed.

If you're a new NADCA member, the association says it has created the basic training course - "Big Bucks in Air Ducts" - just for you. What equipment to buy, how to properly clean HVAC systems and other information for beginners will be presented.


Among the seminars at the convention:

"Power Washing: Equipment and Applications," at 2 p.m. March 6. Hosted by Robert Hinderliter of Delco Cleaning Systems, it will look at the different types of cleaning equipment available. Features and what type of equipment works best will be discussed. Work on coils and kitchen exhaust systems will be highlighted.

The explosion in the number of home-based methamphetamine labs in the last few years has led many states to clamp down on the sales of legal substances, such as over-the-counter medications, used to make the drug. The process of making "meth" gives off potentially poisonous gases, which can coat walls and other surfaces.

Since NADCA members may be called on to clean up these facilities after they're closed by law enforcement, the Indoor Air Quality Association is sponsoring "Testing and Remediation at Clandestine Drug Labs" at 3:45 p.m. March 6. The presentation will cover testing for contaminants, cleaning and worker safety.

This year's keynote speaker will be George Hedley of Hardhat Presentations. This award-winning speaker will give his "Business Success Blueprint," a seven-step plan for better controlling and guiding your company. Hedley is a certified professional speaker and the owner of a construction and real estate company. He will speak at 8:15 a.m. March 7.

Hedley will also give another seminar at 2 p.m. "Profit 101" will offer tips on ways to run a profitable HVAC cleaning company. Monitoring sales volume, costs and setting profit goals are among the topics Hedley is scheduled to cover.

Coil care

NADCA's new coil-cleaning guidelines are the focus of a presentation by Ductbusters' Tom Yacobellis. During "Essentials of Coil Cleaning" at 8:30 a.m. March 8, safety precautions, working in confined spaces and right-to-know laws are among the scheduled subjects. How to inspect and assess HVAC systems, drain issues and verifying a system's cleanliness will also be explained. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. March 8, a series of concurrent sessions dealing with energy management and marketing will be held.

In the energy management category, "Duct Leakage: The IAQ Connection" will take place at 2 p.m. According to Ken Summers of the Comfort Institute, contractors who don't understand duct leakage cannot properly fix air-quality problems, let alone excessive energy consumption. Duct leaks often are why houses get dusty, black stains appear on carpeting and houses are too humid, Summers says. How to remedy such problems will be the focus of this seminar. At 3:15 p.m., "Thermography: Applications and Insights" is to be held. Hosted by Lance Rock, this session will explain how duct cleaners can make more money by offering thermal imaging to pinpoint where energy is being wasted.

"Energy Management in a Resource-Starved Environment" at 4:15 p.m. will explain how to tell customers about the energy savings HVAC system cleaning offers in ways they can understand. The session will use figures from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers for estimates.

The March 8 marketing seminars are:

"Online Marketing: How to Land More Business with a Web Site" at 2 p.m. will give an overview on what goes into a good professional Web site. Establishing creditability, tracking results and "search" marketing are among the planned topics.

At 3:15 p.m., PeachTree Accounting will host "Tracking Results for Improved ROI." Attendees of this seminar will learn how to determine what return on investment their marketing dollars are bringing.

At 4:15 p.m., a question-and-answer session on marketing open to all attendees will be held.

For information on NADCA's 17th annual convention, write 1518 K St. N.W., Suite 503, Washington, DC 20005; call (202) 737-2926; fax (202) 347-8847; www.nadca.com.

Sidebar: NADCA convention city offers history, entertainment, nightlife

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association doesn't pad its convention schedule with as much free time as some other groups.

Meetings, seminars and receptions will keep attendees busy into the evening. However, even with the tight schedule, attendees should have some time for sightseeing.

And Dallas offers much to see and do. The city of 1.2 million is known for big cattle ranches, oil money and the Dallas Cowboys (and their famous cheerleaders). And while the oil business isn't quite like it was when "Dallas" sat atop the television ratings, this vibrant city still attracts tourists.

The city is also infamous as the site of the 1963 assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Convention attendees with interest in any parts of the city's history will find plenty to keep them entertained. Dallas also offers a robust nightlife with many notable restaurants and clubs.

Here are a few popular attractions.

The Dallas World Aquarium represents the waters in and around four continents. Sea dragons, manatees and sea turtles are among the rare species on display. The museum also includes a well-regarded rainforest display.

For history buffs, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a must stop. Better known as the Texas School Book Depository Building, it's where Lee Harvey Oswald is believed to have shot President Kennedy as his motorcade wound its way through the city Nov. 22, 1963. Exhibits focus on life in the early 1960s and the accomplishments of the late president. Police photos and recordings of reports of Kennedy's death are also included.

Another popular museum offers a very different look at the assassination. The Conspiracy Museum promotes the theory that Kennedy's killing was part of a larger plot that later led to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy and even the destruction of a Korean passenger airliner in 1983. Other presidential assassination victims, such as Abraham Lincoln and William McKinley, are also profiled.