HPAC Magazine

Articles

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 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

Article HydronicsPlumbing

Step-by-step prep: Preparing condensing boilers for winter

December 12, 2018 Rob Waters

Every year the impending winter season prompts Canadians to prepare for winter. Safely storing summer gear, closing the pool or cottage, putting snow tires on our vehicles are things we know we have do before old man winter arrives with

Article HVAC Systems

Protecting indoor air: Maintenance essential during wildfire season

December 11, 2018 Jillian Morgan

British Columbia is cooling off in the wake of its most devastating wildfire season to date. Scorching more than 13,000 square kilometres of the province, the wildfires prompted a nearly month-long State of Emergency in the summer of 2018. Smoke

Article Refrigeration

What to do about that pesky R-22 chiller: Part II

December 7, 2018 Dave Demma

In Part I, which appeared in HPAC October 2018, the various considerations prior to undertaking a chiller conversion were discussed. What follows is a simple (or maybe not so simple) step-by-step procedure for actually converting a R-22 chiller.  Systems not

Article Green TechnologyHVAC Systems

Retrofitting Robson Central

November 16, 2018 by Jillian Morgan

A Vancouver heritage building is overhauled with efficient heating and cooling systems and new technology

Article ControlsHydronics

The keys to optimal radiant system performance

November 9, 2018 Mike Miller

Controls play an integral role in ensuring today’s hydronic radiant systems operate as energy efficiently as possible while still providing ultimate comfort to the consumer. Every system should, at the very least, be employed using outdoor weather compensating controllers or

Article Human ResourcesManagement

Cannabis legalization presents challenges new and old for employers

November 8, 2018 Diane Laranja

Effective October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis became legal in Canada. It is not surprising many employers fear the cognitive and psychomotor effects its use will present in the workplace. Cannabis is a generally impairing substance. Its effects can include diminished

Article Refrigeration

What to do about that pesky R-22 chiller: Part I

November 7, 2018 Dave Demma

While there have not been any widespread shortages of R-22 to date, the price has certainly been reflective of a reduced supply. With a complete ban on new R-22 (either imported or manufactured) beginning January 2020, the supply will continue

Article ControlsHPAC General

What you need to know about electrical resistance

November 6, 2018 Curtis Bennett

There are some facts about thermistors and resistance that cause confusion. Luckily that lines up with our topics on electricity. How you wonder? Once again it is all physics. V = I R, where the R is resistance. A story

Article HVAC Systems

Radon, Canadianized

November 6, 2018 Jillian Morgan

As uranium begins its cyclical decay chain in Canadian soil, homes on the surface act like a suction cup and draw in its deadly by-product: radon. Odourless, colourless and tasteless, radon gas is just one domino in a radioactive cascade

Article Hydronics

When to use a three-pipe buffer tank configuration

November 5, 2018 John Siegenthaler

When it comes to thermal storage tanks, there are many shapes, sizes and pressure ratings available, ranging from tanks that resemble (or are) domestic water heaters to larger ASME-certified pressure vessels. In most hydronic thermal storage applications, it is desirable

Article ControlsHydronicsPlumbing

Make the right choice: An overview of new plumbing and hydronic valves

October 26, 2018 Kevin Freidt and Mark Olson

Several manufacturers have introduced new balancing valve technologies into the market. Familiarity with these new valves, as well as traditional balancing valves, will assist you in selecting the correct one for specific hydronic and plumbing system applications. MANUAL BALANCING VALVES