HPAC Magazine

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Article Hydronics

Expansion tank dos and don’ts

May 24, 2019 John Siegenthaler

When water is heated the space required for each molecule increases. Any attempt to prevent this expansion will be met by tremendous forces. If a strong metal container is completely filled with liquid water and sealed from the atmosphere it

Article Hydronics

Multiple condensing boiler plants come of age

May 24, 2019 Rob Waters

Innovative features, along with new design strategies & installation techniques address previous issues. Multiple condensing boiler plants now provide countless buildings with reliable, efficient, integrated and effective hydronic heating systems. It has not always been this way. It has taken

Article HPAC General

Service vehicle report: Heavy-duties get an overhaul

May 23, 2019 Jil McIntosh

Before you buy a service vehicle be sure the model you select does exactly what you need it to do. One of the toughest decisions any business owner has to make is knowing when to save and when to spend.

Article CoolingHVAC Systems

Air conditioning system procedures

May 23, 2019 Ian McTeer

Evaluating the performance of a cooling system requires the use of accurate tools and techniques. Many of you will be familiar with the proverb “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” meaning something can only be a success

Article Plumbing

Faucets and fixtures facilitate flexibility, individuality

March 28, 2019 Jillian Morgan

For homeowners, customization is key. In the residential space, individual flare takes precedence over the latest trends. Whether it’s for the kitchen or the bathroom, brands are increasingly offering products that allow the end-user to create a tailored space. “Combining

Article EngineeringHVAC Systems

Closing the gap in building strategy

March 27, 2019 John Sheff

Powerful trends in today’s marketplace demand new approaches to buildings–including calls for greater energy efficiency, health, comfort, and performance reliability. But the call for new approaches is also controversial, first and foremost because of cost. The marketplace is neither structured

Article HPAC General

Augmented reality, virtual reality: industry game changers

March 26, 2019 Jillian Morgan

Despite being largely relegated to the classroom, augmented reality and virtual reality offer mechanical contractors a number of benefits in the field. Troubleshooting equipment with a smart phone and viewing the layout of a system on a construction site in

Article Controls

Mechanical industry sees rise in wireless technology

March 25, 2019 Mike Miller

Wireless technology has been around in our businesses for at least three decades, or perhaps even longer. The first wireless devices I recall were thermostats that eliminated the wiring between the thermostat location and the mechanical equipment it controlled. Using

Article HVAC SystemsHydronicsPlumbing

Mechanical system stands the test of time

March 24, 2019 Robert Waters

Twenty-two years ago, my wife and I built a house in the north end of Guelph, ON. At the time we had been married for almost five years, had one child with another soon to arrive and we wanted to

Article HVAC Systems

Hybrid mechanical systems: here comes the future

March 23, 2019 Ian McTeer

I had not had much to do with the concept of a hybrid anything before landing in the HVAC industry many decades ago. After a few years of learning about disparate topics stretching from gas heating to residential cooling, it

Article Plumbing

Heat pump water heater potential remains unrealized

March 21, 2019 Steve Goldie

I first wrote about heat pump water heaters (HPWH) almost a decade ago. At the time I was looking to highlight newer, innovative technologies and the HPWH seemed to qualify. After researching and writing that article I was impressed with

Article Refrigeration

Making the case for modular chillers

March 20, 2019 Dave Demma

Modular, in terms of manufacturing, is not a new concept. There is a certain logic to it: manufacturing cataloged production models rather than custom models is certainly more cost effective, and building and/or assembling in a manufacturing plant versus onsite

Article HPAC GeneralHVAC Systems

Mastering the art and science behind ideal environments

March 8, 2019 Robert Bean

This continues to shock many readers but as I have said repeatedly the construction industry does not exist to employing building professionals. The industry exists to create spaces for humans because without shelter for protection we would not be able

Article HPAC GeneralHydronics

“Pay for what you use” heat metering technology gains traction

March 7, 2019 John Siegenthaler

Buildings such as apartments and condominiums are home to families with different comfort preferences or attitudes on energy use. Similarly, many commercial buildings are divided into spaces where tenants have different temperature requirements or usage schedules. In some buildings, the

Article ControlsHVAC Systems

How to solve the top three electrical problems in mechanical systems

March 4, 2019 Curtis Bennett

When I was asked to do an article on three common electrical problems, I thought “What, only three?” Keep in mind that I do come at this from a slightly different angle than an installer might. At my “day job”

Article Refrigeration

Tips for walk-in box maintenance

March 2, 2019 Dave Demma

Walk-in boxes are an essential component of commercial applications such as convenience stores, grocery stores and restaurants. Without them it would be difficult for these businesses to maintain a steady supply of products that require refrigeration, either to maintain their

Article ConstructionGreen TechnologyHVAC Systems

Students test the limits of sustainable construction with a tiny net-zero energy and water house

February 26, 2019 by Jillian Morgan

The Northern Nomad claims a mere 220 square feet of Carleton University campus in Ottawa, ON. An emblem of sustainable construction, this tiny house is big on efficiency. Built by a group of students to withstand the northern climate, the

Article Hydronics

Establish physically and chemically clean surfaces inside piping

February 25, 2019 John Siegenthaler

Water is the “life-blood” of hydronic systems. Its chemical characteristics can make the difference between a system that lasts for decades, versus one that develops expensive corrosion issues within months of commissioning. We discussed the advantages of establishing and maintaining

Article HeatingHVAC SystemsHydronicsPlumbing

Industry reacts to NRCan proposed equipment efficiency regulations

February 22, 2019 by HPAC Magazine

In October 2018 Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) published new proposed energy efficiency regulations for heating equipment in the Canada Gazette Part 1. These proposed regulations are part of Amendment 15 to the Energy Efficiency Act and introduce new or increased

Article Hydronics

The case for synchronized loops

February 20, 2019 John Sheff

A building’s hydronic HVAC system is rarely just the sum of its parts. The system is comprised of chillers, boilers, pumps, variable frequency drives (VFDs), air handling units (AHUs) and valves that create a loop through which water is circulated

Article HPAC General

Measurement Canada to approve thermal energy meters within the year

February 18, 2019 by Kerry Turner

Thermal energy meters, also known as Btu meters and heat meters, are moving from the realm of simple measurement into use as billing devices, which raises some regulatory questions on the municipal, provincial and federal levels. The issue is analogous

Article Plumbing

Non-residential faucet and fixture market opens the tap on innovation

February 18, 2019 by Jillian Morgan

It has to start somewhere. Pressure to meet evolving regulations and sustainability-focused targets on industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) projects has paved the way for innovative products that address the unique needs of hotels, healthcare facilities, schools and restaurants. ICI

Article CoolingHeat PumpsHydronics

Small scale hydronic cooling

February 15, 2019 John Siegenthaler

Hydronic heating has long been known for providing superior cold weather comfort. Even so, the question that often comes from potential clients who are already convinced about of the benefits of hydronic heating, is: “What do I do about cooling?”

Article CoolingGeothermalHeat PumpsHeating

New heat pump technology remedies past issues

February 15, 2019 Ian McTeer

Certainly all of us have been truly disappointed by something or other at least once in our lives. Perhaps your new service vehicle spends more time in the shop than on the road or you are working for a seemingly

Article HPAC GeneralPlumbing

What to consider when specifying linear drains

December 17, 2018 Elena Doxey and Christie Bacchioni

Linear drains have become top-of-mind, no matter what trade you are in (architecture, design, remodeling, general contracting, or plumbing). With linear drains, it is all about trying to achieve a sleek, open look for a client’s bathroom. Luckily, the process

Article Heating

Convectors may be a solution for buildings with complex heating needs

December 14, 2018 Jim Herring

Offices, hotels, schools, retail stores, sports facilities and other building types typically have rooms that can be efficiently heated by the use of electric heaters, such as convectors, radiant ceiling panels or infrared radiant heaters. For these applications, the “appearance”

Article Hydronics

Keep heat produced by auxiliary boilers out of thermal storage

December 13, 2018 John Siegenthaler

Most hydronic heating systems that have renewable energy heat sources, such as solar thermal collectors, an air-to-water or geothermal heat pump, or a biomass boiler, also have an auxiliary boiler. Many of these systems also have one or more thermal

Article Health & SafetyHVAC Systems

Clearing the air on ozone

December 13, 2018 Aaron Engel

Twenty years ago, consumers knew very little about indoor air quality (IAQ) and its effects on their health in the home. Subsequent media attention and contractor awareness, saw a flurry of manufacturers offering IAQ air treatment equipment for homeowners wishing

Article Health & SafetyHuman ResourcesManagement

Study shows virtual reality motion sickness can be predicted, counteracted

December 13, 2018 Jillian Morgan

Motion sickness is poised to throw a wrench into the seemingly unstoppable rise of virtual reality, including its use among mechanical contractors. A team of researchers at the University of Waterloo have a solution. Cyber sickness, or virtual reality motion

Article CoolingForced AirHeatingHVAC Systems

Whole house ducted HVAC: The end is near?

December 12, 2018 Ian McTeer

Automotive analogies can be useful in explaining otherwise obscure HVAC concepts because many consumers of heating and air conditioning systems also have cars and understand the joys and sorrows associated with four-wheeled ownership. For example, suppose some car enthusiast purchased