Spruce Environmental Technologies Inc.
Spruce Environmental Technologies Inc. (Spruce) began as a small radon mitigation manufacturing company headquartered in a bedroom in the home of Alan Zucchino, Spruce president and founder. Shortly after forming the company in 1989, Zucchino was joined by David Kapturowski and Howie Zidel. Today Spruce continues to manufacture and distribute products for improving indoor air quality, just on a much greater scale.
Headquartered in Ward Hill, Mass., Spruce employs 75 people and produces many indoor air and water quality products for radon mitigation, general ventilation, moisture control and radon testing. Spruce’s customers include contractors and developers who install the products in residential markets nationwide. The company is recognized for the superior effectiveness and reliability of the products it produces under brands including RadonAway, AIRaider, AccuStar and HomeAire. Many of Spruce’s inline ventilation fans are Energy Star rated. Above all, Spruce prides itself on providing the best possible customer service and technical support with each of its fine American-made products, designed to keep homes and workplaces across the country safer and healthier.
“Our products save lives, literally,” asserts Zucchino. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and results in approximately 21,000 deaths annually. After years in hi-tech, Zucchino had a desire to do something more meaningful. Having learned about the dangers of radon gas, he identified a need for reliable and effective radon mitigation products.
Becoming a Global Leader
In its first year Spruce only manufactured a small number of radon fans designed for a niche application within the radon market. Gradually, the company grew and diversified to incorporate radon testing kits, manufactured and analyzed at AccuStar testing labs; aeration units to mitigate waterborne radon; and HomeAire’s indoor air quality ventilation systems to cover the range of indoor air pollutants.
Every Spruce product is produced in the U.S.A. in order to assure the highest standards of quality. “Of course, our products are of the absolute highest quality, but the company also was built upon our ability to provide the best possible customer service so as to establish relationships, not just take orders,” expands Zucchino. Spruce’s mission to provide its client base with superior customer service has been one of the driving forces behind the company’s growth and diversification over the years.
Spruce continually researches new technologies, techniques, products and services. In addition to creating new products, the company’s product development team identifies areas for product improvement and makes modifications to suit the changing needs of its customers. The team has developed several lines of exhaust and ventilation products under the Spruce, RadonAway and HomeAire brands.
A few years ago the Spruce team identified an intersection between its HomeAire and RadonAway product lines. “Essentially, our research discovered that properly installed radon fans are effective for reducing dampness and moisture. As a result, we developed HomeAire’s Active Dampness Control [ADC] system,” explains Zucchino. Because radon fans draw gases and vapors from below a home’s concrete slab, these fans can also be used to create a difference in pressure to draw out moisture along with soil gases from beneath the slab, preventing them from entering the home.
When building the system into a new home, a layer of aggregate is spread and the ADC-T connection, designed specifically for this purpose by Spruce’s engineers, is installed. Before pouring the concrete slab, crews install a vapor barrier to inhibit vapor intrusion. This allows the ADC fan to efficiently prevent radon, moisture and other soil gases from ever entering the home. The fan draws the pollutants into the vent pipe to release the gases safely into the atmosphere above the roofline.
“Dehumidifiers can actually draw moisture in, whereas the ADC system works from the outside in so moisture and radon never enter the home,” states Zucchino. The system can prevent up to 1,000 gallons of water per year from entering. Thus it reduces the risk of mold, mildew and insect infestation, as well as bacterial and other moisture-related health complications, while using less energy than needed to power a dehumidifier.
The Spruce team also works to find new ways to make its radon and moisture products more esthetically appealing. Spruce’s line of RadonAway radon fans has followed a traditionally round design, but the company recently released a new rectangular shaped fan that blends in with the home’s other mechanical systems. “The SF 180 box fan offers the same performance and quiet operation of other Spruce products, but provides a more unobtrusive appearance,” reflects Zucchino.
Going Green, Thinking Ahead
Spruce makes efforts to improve more than just indoor environments. As an Energy Star Partner, the company is committed to the conservation of energy and natural resources. As a major energy conservation project, Spruce installed a 75 kW solar array on the rooftop of its corporate headquarters. The system now supplies its office and manufacturing facility with one-third of its annual energy needs. Any excess energy generated is redistributed to other users on the electrical grid.
Spruce’s ventilation products and systems are used in new construction, remodeling and real estate transactions. The slump in the housing industry that came in 2008 had its effect, but Spruce successfully navigated through the turbulent times without a reduction in workforce. Customers across the country will continue to look to the company for the most popular, reliable and effective air/moisture/radon ventilation products available as Spruce Environmental Technologies Inc. leads the charge for proactive indoor air quality solutions with every product manufactured.
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