What brought you to the HVAC&R industry?
Like a lot of people, I fell into the industry. I didn't know what I was going to do after graduating. Luckily, I stumbled across an opportunity with an energy-efficiency consulting firm and haven't looked back. Since becoming part of the industry, I quickly came to realise and appreciate the scale and significance of the HVAC&R sector, as well as the huge impact it has on our economy, our emissions and our daily lives.
How long have you been a member of AIRAH?
I joined AIRAH in 2015, but I had been using the AIRAH manuals and reading Ecolibrium for a few years before that.
What’s your favourite HVAC&R-related memory?
There was building I was brought in to work on that was always freezing cold in winter and getting near constant complaints from the occupants, no matter how hard the heating would run. I helped identify and fix a series of major air leakage issues in the facade. Next winter, the occupants were comfortable and warm, and in addition we had reduced gas use by 30 per cent. It was a great example of a win-win situation.
What’s something everyone should know about the HVAC&R industry?
Energy efficiency doesn't mean compromising on thermal comfort. It’s about getting the same outcome with less energy. There are plenty of ways to both reduce energy use and improve thermal comfort at the same time.
How do you see the HVAC&R industry developing over the next 100 years?
Building design, materials and construction will continue to improve, increasing the comfort and sustainability of our buildings. We'll see a trend of buildings requiring less heating and cooling plant, and there will be greater focus on air tightness, insulation and mechanical ventilation.
For more on James Spears, visit his LinkedIn.