Todd DeMonte & Larry Carlson – The Present & Future of IAQ & Restoration Madison Industries, Therma-Store, LLC & Phoenix Restoration Equipment an American Success Story

Air Date: 10-11-2019|Episode 561

This week on IAQradio+ we welcome Todd DeMonte, Chief Innovation Officer for Madison Indoor Air Quality and Larry Carlson of, Phoenix Restoration Equipment a Division of Therma-Stor, LLC to discuss the present and future of IAQ and Restoration. These gentlemen know whats happening now and are expected to predict future trends in the industry. They are a dynamic duo that will help you navigate these fast changing industries during this evolving period. They also work for an American company doing there manufacturing in Madison, Wisconsin, an American Success Story!

Todd DeMonte has years of experience developing and producing products that improve and control indoor environments. It is his work with Therma-Stor, LLC and Phoenix Restoration Products that would be most familiar to IAQ and water damage professionals. He has led to many patented innovations that yield real benefits. Mr. DeMonte led Therma-Stor from 2003-2019 and now leads innovation for Therma-Stor and its eight sister companies.

Larry joined Therma-Stor in 1992 as product manager for ventilation and dehumidification products. In 1994 Larry introduced the Phoenix 200, the first LGR dehumidifier. Through 2003 he oversaw the expansion the Phoenix Restoration Equipment product line to include the Guardian HEPA Systems, Focus axial air mover and Phoenix 300 and 200 MAX. After 2 years at Dry Air Technology where Larry assisted in the creation of the Atlantic LGR and Force 9, he returned to Therma-Stor in 2006 as marketing manager. Currently Larry is the Phoenix Restoration Industry Manager and International Sales Manager. Larry has been a member of RIA since 1994 and the IICRC since 1998. He participated in the creation of the Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD) certification. He served on the IICRC S-500 4th Edition Consensus Body and is currently  on the CB creating the 5th edition of the S-500 Standard.

Z- Man’s Blog:

The Present & Future of IAQ and Restoration

with Todd DeMonte and Larry Carlson

Madison Industries is one of the largest and most successful privately held companies in the world. The name Madison Industries is rooted on Madison Avenue. The firm’s mission is to “create a company that improves safety, health & productivity, which will outlast all of us.” Madison Industries is vertically integrated. Todd DeMonte is Chief Innovation Officer at Madison Indoor Air Quality. Larry Carlson is Phoenix Restoration Industry Manager and International Sales Manager.

Therma-Stor LLC, located in Madison, Wisconsin, was established in 1977 to apply advanced heat transfer technologies to residential and commercial markets. Beginning with heat recovery water heaters, Therma-Stor now also manufactures a line of residential dehumidifiers, which includes the Santa-Fe series of free-standing dehumidifiers and the Ultra-Aire  series of whole house ventilating dehumidifiers. Therma-Stor also offers Quest Hi-E Dry commercial dehumidifiers and the Phoenix line of restoration equipment for dehumidification, air scrubbing, water extraction, and evaporative drying.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

Todd DeMonte- Therma-Stor has outgrown its digs and rents R&D chambers and space from University of Wisconsin.

Larry Carlson- Started at Therma-Stor in 1992 when the company had a product LGR dehumidifiers without a market.

Todd DeMonte- growth and innovation finding new markets new markets and new technologies. Infrared heaters, moisture control indoor agriculture, etc.

Todd DeMonte- Dealing with outdoor air is now independent of heating or cooling. “A dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) is a type of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system that consists of two parallel systems: a dedicated system for delivering outdoor air ventilation that handles both the latent and sensible loads of conditioning the ventilation air, and a parallel system to handle the (mostly sensible heat) loads generated by indoor/process sources and those that pass through the building enclosure.” Wiki

Larry Carlson- Traits of a successful restoration company include: restoration is a mission not a job, dedication toward doing a job rite and restoration isn’t a 9-5 job its 24/7.

Larry Carlson- In-place drying has brought regimentation into the industry. Repeatable workplans are commonly used in commercial projects. Residential projects with wood subfloors and carpet cushion are more prone to problems. Drying contractors need to know the end points and develop suitable drying strategies.

Todd DeMonte- Meters, monitors and sensors are exciting and flashy. This technology quickly changes, its difficult to obtain an advantage, it’s hard to protect a competitive advantage. Considers current VOC, CO2 and RH sensor to be inconsistent and at “hobbyist level”.

Larry Carlson- Concrete is not prone to mold contamination. Concrete is often a challenge due to ongoing moisture exposure beneath and the choice of flooring installed atop flooring.

Todd DeMonte- Advantages of Made in America. American made can provide rapid response to market needs, can adjust production up or down as needed, quick change options and models, faster connectivity between R&D brains and manufacturing floor. Plays in markets where the above are advantageous.

Larry Carlson- the tech challenges have already occurred. Growth in the transfer of information from equipment to mutually interested parties. Insurance companies want more information and documentation from contractors. There has been a loss of trust and transparency.  Apps directly report info without need for human touch. There is more standardization of work processes. Bluetooth enabled equipment prepares and create reports & PDFs.

Todd DeMonte- IP piracy is a huge problem. They developed a product to disinfest bedbugs from first responders. The Patent Office considers a “Bedbug Bazooka” to be a propane powered hair dryer.

Todd DeMonte- Therma-Stor supports building science, listens and creates new products and/or improves existing products. Therma-Stor is not engaged in influencing or shifting ASHRAE.

Larry Carlson- Tighter building have consequences- Ken Gehring, Therma-Stor President emeritus was responsive to emerging issues in tighter buildings: dust mites, allergens, mold, and moisture reduction in basements.

Todd DeMonte- Opines that interest in IoT often wanes very quickly.

The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Larry Carlson- Prior to designing and building air filtration devices with HEPA and charcoal filters, Therma-Stor’s initial interest in filtration was to protect their equipment.

Todd DeMonte- California requires that fresh air be filtered to MERV 13.

Closing Comments-

Z-Man- two words dust and hemp.

Larry Carlson- Remote reading technology is rapidly improving. TPAs fill a niche and are here to stay. Microwaves were being researched for structural material drying in Germany. Microwaves posed a risk to occupants and pets in adjacent units and people with pacemakers.

Todd DeMonte- Greater awareness of the health effects of PM 2.5. More lower energy homes. More conditioned spaces. Growth in solar power. Growth in filtration.

RadioJoe- Growing awareness of EMFs.

Z-Man signing off


Name the two coinventors of the gas absorption dehumidifier?

Answer: Carl Munters and Baltzar von Platen

Answered by: Doug KohnenERAtechEnvironmental  Dayton, Ohio