HPAC Magazine

Articles

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

Article HydronicsPlumbing

Boiler maintenance to-do list

August 30, 2018 Tim Kane

One of the biggest thieves of efficiency in boiler operations is the accumulation of soot and/or scale on heat exchanger surfaces. It does not take long for soot to start causing significant loss of energy efficiency. In a matter of

Article ControlsEngineeringHydronics

Change of vision with differential temperature control

August 29, 2018 David Connors

Over time the hydronic industry has changed the approach to system piping designs and temperature control as equipment efficiency and technology has evolved. In the late 1960s and early 1970s out-door air reset was utilized. This allowed for better temperature

Article HeatingManagement

Growth of 20 per cent by 2025 predicted by propane industry study

August 29, 2018 by Jillian Morgan

Canada’s propane industry is expected to grow by over 20 per cent between 2017 and 2025, according to a study commissioned by the Canadian Propane Association (CPA). Results of the study, conducted by the Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) –

Article ControlsHydronics

How to align expectations of hydronic systems with reality

August 29, 2018 Mike Miller

It is not uncommon for contractors, and sometimes consumers, to call me to complain about the performance of a hydronic system. Many of these times, if it is not system settings related, it is because the consumer is expecting different

Article HydronicsSolar

How effectively are contractors integrating solar into hydronic systems?

August 28, 2018 Rob Waters

There is currently a lot of attention being devoted to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings. One of the primary methods that governments are using to meet their goals is to tighten up building codes to require super-insulated and

Article Hydronics

The diminutive cost of operating a well-designed hydronic distribution system

August 28, 2018 John Siegenthaler

Many hydronic heating professionals like to promote that the modern boilers they install are capable of operating with thermal efficiencies in the range of 95 +/- per cent. Professionals who install geothermal heat pumps often boast that their equipment is

Article Human ResourcesManagement

Contractors in the classroom: Business growth networks offer a venue to hone skills, compete in market

August 27, 2018 by Jillian Morgan

Mechanical contractors remedy complex and critical problems in the field. The skills to run a small- to medium-sized business, however, may not come as easily. A contracting business can become stagnant without the acumen to handle operations tasks, such as

Article CoolingForced AirHeatingHVAC Systems

The challenge of Category IV gas-fired appliance venting

August 24, 2018 Ian McTeer

Which 90 per cent AFUE furnace brand got into Canadian basements first? Perhaps it was Clare Brothers HEG series MegaSave furnace or maybe the Lennox G14 Pulse shared the limelight with Clare for first high efficiency gas furnace on the

Article EngineeringHVAC SystemsHydronics

An abridged review of noise sources and methods to control sound transmission

August 24, 2018 Robert Bean

Sound complaints are the number one indoor environmental quality problem in buildings today, surpassing thermal comfort, indoor air quality (IAQ) and lighting quality in the hierarchy of occupant discomfort. Objections can be anything from chatter in offices, to the neighbour’s

Article Green TechnologyHPAC GeneralSolar

First Zero Carbon building design certification goes to Cora Group

August 23, 2018 by Jillian Morgan

The Cora Group in Waterloo, ON and Mohawk College in Hamilton, ON earned Canada’s first and second Zero Carbon Building Design certifications from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). The Cora Group was presented Canada’s first Zero Carbon Building Design

Article Plumbing

Birds foul up atmospheric hot water tank

August 23, 2018 Steve Goldie

I have the opportunity to visit many different jobsites over the course of my workweek. Sometimes it is to do some on-site training, sometimes it is to inspect and consult on an ongoing installation, and quite often it is to

Article HPAC General

Electrical transformers: More than meets the eye

August 22, 2018 Curtis Bennett

I really hope that the title of this article is not lost on readers. When I say the word transformer two things come to mind. The first is Autobots and Decepticons because I grew up in the 80s and the

Article CoolingHeat PumpsHeatingHydronics

A look at air-to-water heat pump systems

May 31, 2018 John Siegenthaler

Heat pumps are destined to carve out an increasing percentage of future residential and light commercial HVAC market. This trend is based on the convergence of market drivers such as increasing electrical generation by utility scale photovoltaics and wind turbines,

Article ControlsHealth & SafetyHVAC Systems

Sorting through the finer points of AC and DC voltages

May 30, 2018 Curtis Bennett

We all know, young or old, what comes to mind when we see the word Thunderstruck: AC/DC. This serves two purposes here, one is that the band is awesome and two, it is a good segue into the next Electricity

Article HydronicsPlumbing

Thermostatic mixing valves: Applications in plumbing and hydronic heating

May 30, 2018 Robert Waters

Are thermostatic mixing valves for plumbing or hydronic heating? Well it turns out they are for both. The same valve can be found in the domestic hot water supply system, as well as the control valve for a hydronic heating