The industry has changed a lot since the National Air Duct Cleaners Association first started in 1989.

What began as an effort to remove “dirt” and “dust” from HVAC equipment has today grown to include battling bacteria and sweeping out contaminants.

Perhaps that’s why this year’s convention, the association’s 19th, has a theme of “trends and transitions.” NADCA officials say that within a few years of the group’s founding, it became apparent that members would be included in much more than just vacuuming out dust.

In the convention brochure, they tell members that if duct cleaning is all they currently do, they’re likely missing out on the many other moneymaking opportunities the industry offers.

Many of those will be explored at the March 7-10 convention at the Town and Country resort in San Diego. Organizers have booked sessions on air-handler refurbishment, using ultraviolet lighting in HVAC systems and proper application of coatings. In addition, attendees will have a chance to take daylong training and certification exams March 7 in air-systems cleaning, ventilation inspection and mold remediation.

A trade show will take place March 8-9.

Here’s a list of some of the other sessions and activities. For more information, write NADCA, 1518 K St. N.W., Suite 503, Washington, DC 20005; call (202) 737-2926; fax (202) 347-8847; see www.nadca.com on the Internet.

Events

Here are the all-day sessions slotted for March 7. All start at 8 a.m.

“NADCA Air Systems Cleaning Specialist Training Course” is for certification candidates to help prepare for the ASCS exam. Cleaning methods, safety issues, mechanical systems and other topics are discussed. Program officials recommend the course to new technicians and certification students who want to learn quickly.

Another training course, “NADCA-Certified Ventilation Inspector” will also be held. Inspection and assessment of HVAC systems is the focus of this program. Codes, standards, system maintenance, indoor air quality and working with building owners are among the major topics. Environmental consultants, inspectors and cleaning workers are encouraged to take the course. It is also a primer for the certified ventilation inspector test.

Germs and other microorganisms are the focus of “Ventilation System Mold Remediator.” This in-depth session deals with how to remove contaminants from HVAC systems according to industry standards. Attendees must be ASCS-certified to attend this class.

“Big Bucks in Air Ducts: Introduction to HVAC Cleaning” is designed for people new to duct cleaning or considering getting into the industry. The basics of a profitable HVAC cleaning company will be revealed. Equipment, procedures and business advice will be offered.

Besides these sessions, NADCA has planned a forum for international NADCA members, and an introductory program on duct cleaning that will be presented in Spanish.

At 2 p.m. March 8, a panel discussion on jobsite problems will explore how to handle those unusual situations that happen away from the office. Four panelists and a moderator are scheduled.

“Developing a Million-Dollar HVAC Cleaning Business” at 4 p.m. the same day is designed for anyone who wants to move beyond the 80-hours-a-week family business model and become truly profitable. Jeremy Stamkos of Enviroair will explain his secrets for going from small to large in just a few years.

A loud talker

This year’s keynote speech will be at 8 a.m. March 9. Larry Winget, who calls himself “the pit bull of personal development,” will tell why NADCA members should “Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life.”

You may have seen Winget on television, at other conventions or read one of his books. His presentation is loud and he has an in-your-face style. If you’re looking for gentle criticism, look elsewhere. But he attempts to get at the heart of what holds so many businesspeople back in their personal and professional lives.

“Tips and Techniques: Air Handler Refurbishment” is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. March 9. Brad Kuhlmann of Midwest Duct Cleaning Services explains what else often needs to be done to HVAC systems after basic cleaning. Additional, profitable work that may be possible includes refurbishment of drain pans, adding rust inhibitors and replacing liners.

Ken Summers of the Comfort Institute will explain “Duct Leakage: The IAQ Connection” at 10:45 a.m. Summers says that if you don’t understand duct leakage, you cannot solve IAQ problems.

“Update: North American Anti-Microbial Licensing Requirements” at 11:15 a.m. March 9 is a short 15-minute session on which U.S. states and Canadian provinces require pesticide-applicator licenses for contractors who work with germ-fighting chemicals.

IAQ news

At 2 p.m. March 9, “Current Trends in IAQ” will be hosted by Joe Hughes of the IAQ Training Institute. How new movements such as “green” building and the ongoing fight against terrorism affect the industry will be explored.

Ninety minutes later will be a panel discussion on the outlook for the HVAC industry.

At 8 a.m. March 10, “Ultraviolet Light Technology Applications in HVAC Systems” is scheduled. Richard Shaughnessy, Ph.D., of the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma will explain how UV rays fight pathogens and can improve indoor air quality.

At 9 a.m. the same day will be “Optimizing IAQ Through Comprehensive Filtration.” Building consultant Hollace Bailey will talk about the common occurrence where more indoor air problems are reported after a system has been cleaned. Protecting the health of occupants during and after cleaning is the focus of this session.

A 10:15 a.m. March 10, “Coating Applications in HVAC Systems” is on the agenda. Pete Haugen of Vac Systems International Inc. will explain when to use these products to benefit clients.

San Diego's charms are many

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association is bringing its 2008 convention to sunny San Diego, California’s second-largest city.

With 1.3 million in the city itself and almost another 2 million in the surrounding county, the San Diego area is a very popular place to live.

It’s not hard to see why. It has perhaps the most perfect weather in the United States - temperatures average near 70°F year round, and sunshine is abundant, as are beaches, golf courses and numerous tourist attractions and nightlife.

If you’re heading to San Diego, there’s a very good chance you’ll want to visit one of its many beaches. There are more than a dozen to choose from. But cable TV’s Travel Channel voted city-owned Coronado as one of the 10 best in the country.

Mansions from the 19th century and yacht clubs line its white, sandy shore, while municipal lifeguards protect swimmers.

Did you know that the San Diego area offers gambling? A number of Native American tribes have opened casinos that rival those on the Las Vegas Strip. Among the largest is the Barona casino in nearby Lakeside, Calif. Hundreds of slot machines and numerous table games are available. Be sure to check out “California Craps,” where because of state law, the dice game uses playing cards.

Of course a city on the ocean has a long history of sea travel, and that’s what the Maritime Museum of San Diego celebrates. A large number of real ships from the last 100 years are preserved here.

And while you’re at the waterfront, you might just want to look for a whale. December through March, California grey whales migrate from Alaska to the warm waters around Baja, Calif. This 5,000-mile trek offers a chance to see thousands of these giant creatures.