In this interview with CleanAlert's President, Luis Fernandez, we get a chance to understand his background and why he joined the CleanAlert cause to help educate homeowners, HVAC pros and managers of facilities to better monitor their air filters and reduce unnecessary energy bills.
Q: Tell us a bit about your background and your career up to joining CleanAlert.
A: Well, I can tell you that it had absolutely nothing to do with air conditioning systems. I was a college professor. I taught economics at Oberlin College until I retired about six years ago. Mainly I was teaching game theory and econometrics, which is essentially statistics applied to working with economic data and testing economic theories.
Q: Who would play you, Luis, in a movie about your life?
A: Oh, clearly Brad Pitt.
Q: You're the President of CleanAlert. Tell me about when you first heard about CleanAlert and FILTERSCAN, and why the team invented FILTERSCAN?
A: Well, I found out about it because the founder was another colleague at the college. He also taught economics at Oberlin. He retired a couple years before I did, and there's a whole story about how did he get into this. The company was created to commercialize an invention by actually a fairly well-known engineer, lives in California. His name is Jacob Fraden. He invented the infrared ear thermometer.
The story I've been told is that his air conditioning system was in the attic and he lives in Southern California where it can get pretty hot in the attic just about any time of the year. He was huffing and puffing up there one day trying to get the air filter out and see whether it needed to be changed. He thought to himself, "Gosh, why isn't there a way of knowing when I need to come up here to do this? Why do I have to come here, pull it out, look at it, try to figure out whether it's clogged, whether I should replace it?"
He then spent some time thinking about it, and he's an expert on sensors. He came up with an idea for a new type of sensor that could be used to tell when an air filter was clogged. The company was created to turn it into a finished product.
I was teaching college at the time when all this was happening. The founder, Bob Piron, was deeply involved in it, and I sort of heard about it through him. It was formed before I came onboard and I'm pleased to now be a part of it.
Listen to the full interview with CleanAlert President, Luis Fernandez.