Responding to rising concerns that ventilation systems in buildings around the country remain too vulnerable to acts of terrorism, Comfort Systems USA has announced the formation of a new HVAC Access and Indoor Air Quality Initiative to educate customers on options to help mitigate such threats. The basis of this initiative stems from the company’s general concern that the HVAC systems it designs, installs and services have the potential to expose large groups of people to hazardous contaminants.“As a leading provider of commercial and industrial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) services nationwide, Comfort Systems USA felt it was our responsibility to apply our technical expertise to help address growing concerns about bio- and chemical terrorism,” said Chairman and CEO Bill Murdy. “That’s why we are carefully assessing the risks and developing practical solutions for the customers that have asked us to take the lead in their facilities.”Comfort Systems USA’s clients own or manage some of the nations’ largest commercial and industrial facilities, including office buildings, airports, government complexes, health care facilities, educational institutions and major sports stadiums. Murdy also announced the appointment of Senior Vice President Chuck Sherman to head up the initiative within Comfort Systems USA. Sherman leads Comfort Systems USA’s Business Solutions Group, a business unit responsible for developing large integrated solutions and having strong expertise in the development of facility assessment tools. “We are taking a phased approach in looking at the prevention, detection and response to the risk of harmful agents spread through HVAC systems, “ said Sherman. “There are many variables we take into account when addressing a facility’s vulnerability. According to Sherman, Comfort Systems USA looks closely at a range of subjects including placement of air intake vents air filtering technology, equipment room access, isolation of mailroom air handling systems, and even service technician background screening and badging."It is important that facility owners and managers understand that there are actions that they can take today to help safeguard against tampering with their HVAC systems,” concluded Sherman. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Comfort Systems USA is the premier provider of business solutions addressing workplace comfort, environment, processes and energy services. The Houston-based company has more than 125 locations across the nation. More information can be found at www.comfortsystemsusa.com.