Case Studies

Dave Downing & Associates

Supporting healthy, productive indoor environments

For 33 years, Dave Downing & Associates (DDA) has been a one-stop shop for innovative, high quality air and water filtration products and heat transfer equipment, serving HVAC and high-tech manufacturing industries. Dave Downing, president of DDA, founded the Phoenix-based company in 1981 with his wife, Linda, focusing on air filtration products for the air conditioning industry. Since then, DDA has diversified to meet the demand of a wide range of commercial and industrial clients and is now a proactive leader in improving energy efficiency.

Divide and conquer

“We started out in 1981, selling air filters for air conditioning systems, which are still a big part of our business,” shares Downing. “Initially, we acted like a distributor, we’d buy from suppliers in truck loads and some of the contractors and end users we were supplying also wanted installation service, so we diversified and it eventually led to a large installation crew. Today, I work with my sons Jason and Jeron and have 30 employees; about half are in service and installation.”

DDA has also significantly expanded its product line since the company’s inception. From air filtration and air pollution control and cleaning systems to industrial belts, evaporative coolers, cooling towers, heat exchangers, process filtration and biomedical filtration, pumps and fans and blowers; DDA truly runs the gamut in air, water and heat equipment.

“We deliver everything from HEPA filters for clean rooms to dust collectors,” notes Downing. “We also provide liquid filtration for restaurant quality standards to high-tech industries. We sample the whole economy in the commercial-industrial sectors, from power plants and mines to hospitals, high-rises, property management companies, municipalities, sports complexes and school districts. We also have a resale market in support of mechanical contractors.”

In 2007 DDA moved into its current 39,000-square-foot warehouse in Phoenix, yet again adding to the company’s all-encompassing capabilities. “We’re headquartered in Phoenix, but we have the capability to ship nationwide,” says Downing. “We manage national accounts across the U.S., which helps position us as industry experts in filtration. We have imported some of our products from China, but we are shifting our focus back to U.S. manufacturers, such as KUUL evaporative pads that are competitive with Chinese manufacturers.”

The additional square footage allows DDA to stock large quantities of filters. “We can bring a lot of product in at once and ship it out quickly, as well,” reveals Downing. “We also cut and fabricate special size filters in-house. We cut down some the standard sized products and resize for special applications, and we’re doing hundreds of these every day.”

Industry-leading expertise and innovation

Aside from manufacturing and distribution, DDA is also an industry leader when it comes to installation and service. “All of our salespeople are National Air Filtration Association [NAFA] certified filtration specialists,” tells Downing. “We strive to provide them with continuing education. Our sales team attends NAFA, ACCA and ASHRAE conferences to ensure we have the most up to date information. The knowledge our team has of the industry is huge.”

Downing says DDA’s partnerships with industry-leading suppliers, such as Clarcor, are also a critical component of the company’s success. “Our suppliers offer us technical support and innovative products,” he shares. “We’re currently seeking out more energy-efficient products and that’s possible with new fibers and nanotechnology.”

One of DDA’s suppliers, 3M, is a world renowned conglomerate. “3M delivers a low pressure drop, mini pleat, V-style filter with a self-sealing gasket,” says Downing. “We’ve had great response from customers on this product because it offers lower pressure drop and a huge horsepower savings. The filter eventually pays for itself with the energy savings.”

Downing goes on to cite Columbus Industries, which manufactures a 4-inch high efficiency, low pressure drop design filter. “In commercial buildings, this filter can replace older 12-inch units, resulting in less landfill waste and all-around improved efficiency,” he details. DDA prides itself on improving efficiency in a range of applications.

A custom fit

From the residential consumer to critical high-tech and medical applications, DDA’s products range from standard disposable fiberglass filters to pleated filters, bag filters, carbon cells, high efficiency mini-pleats to HEPA’s. “We provide custom filters for those hard to find sizes and types,” ensures Downing.

The company completed a job for the city of Scottsdale, Ariz., recently. “When the city took over a large area called West World, an undercover arena for horse shows and car events, we were contracted to change all of the filters,” he explains. “It was an interesting job because of the inside-outside application.”

DDA has also designed custom filters and filter frames for military applications. “Jeron worked with our suppliers to design a bank of filters to allow a local Air Force base to paint C130 planes in a specially designed hanger,” adds Downing.

The company also serves major national retail companies. “We are contracted to do coil cleaning, which ensures proper air flow and heat transfer, resulting in a more efficient system and lower energy bills,” explains Downing. “We offer this service for hospitals and any commercial entity that doesn’t want to use chemicals. The cleaning is done with 160-degree water at 2,000 pounds per square inch at the nozzle.”

DDA’s diversity in markets and product range has helped the firm weather the recession quite well. “We sample a bit of every part of the economy and that’s helped us survive,” says Downing. “After 2009, we saw a drop in volume because many plants shut down production, but its rebounding and we’re seeing an increase in order activity. It’s shaping up to be a good year and we will be hiring during 2014.”

With one of the most skilled teams in the business and industry-leading suppliers, Dave Downing & Associates continues deliver quality air and water filtration and HVAC, supporting healthy, productive indoor environments.

Published on: July 21, 2014

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