HPAC Magazine

Articles

Article HVAC SystemsHydronics

Radiant heating and cooling: The 3.2 million dollar question

May 29, 2018 Robert Bean

I believe a good chunk of the architectural, building and HVAC industry is unaware that a few years ago California’s Center for the Built Environment (CBE, UC Berkeley) got a big cheque to carry out extensive research on radiant cooling

Article CoolingHeatingHVAC Systems

Canada’s marijuana industry won’t leave HVAC contractors in the smoke

May 28, 2018 by Jillian Morgan

As cultivators and consumers await the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada late summer 2018, opportunities grow for HVAC contractors. In March 2018, there were 97 licensed medical cannabis facilities nationally, more than double the number in March 2017. As

Delta Faucet black stainless steel finish
Article HPAC GeneralPlumbing

Beyond aesthetics: Accessibility at the forefront

May 17, 2018 by Jillian Morgan

Accessible home design fuels an evolution of the kitchen for homeowners and of installation practices for plumbing contractors.

Article CoolingHVAC Systems

Ductless heat pumps: A better split decision?

May 15, 2018 Ian McTeer

After learning about the latest computer technology during a school visit to the Ontario Science Centre in the 1980s my youngest son asked me if we were getting a fax machine. Hardly computer literate myself in those days, I told

Article ControlsHydronics

Common issues and installation errors in control systems – Part III

May 15, 2018 Mike Miller

As noted in Part I and Part II of this series (see HPAC February and March 2018), control systems are often blamed when something is not operating as expected. More often than not, if control systems do not perform as

Article Heat PumpsHVAC Systems

Minimizing sound and vibration in water-source heat pumps

May 14, 2018 Karl Washburn

Dynamic power is used to move air and refrigerant in HVAC/R equipment. One unavoidable result of this dynamic application of power is sound and vibration. In a water-source heat pump (WSHP), both the compressor and supply fan generate sound and

Article HPAC GeneralManagement

Truck report: Demand prompts frequent updates

May 14, 2018 Jil McIntosh

Trucks are the best-selling segment in Canada, and that is a bonus for those who buy them for work. With so much demand, they are being updated far more frequently than they have in the past. That can increase the

Article HVAC SystemsManagement

AHR Expo 2018 draws record crowds

March 8, 2018 by Jillian Morgan

OPTIMISM IS UP Economic outlook among exhibiting HVAC/R manufacturers is on the upswing, according to an annual survey conducted by AHR Expo and ASHRAE. Among survey respondents, 89 per cent forecasted excellent or good growth – up 15 per cent

Article Management

Unharnessed power: Blazed trails and broken barriers mark the journey into the trades industry for women

March 8, 2018 by Jillian Morgan

When Siân Smith presented the top nine most influential moments of her life and career, she was met eye-to-eye with 130 women – cellphones off, side conversations muted and attention to the podium. Smith was invited to be keynote speaker

Blanco IDS
Article HVAC SystemsPlumbing

New products, trends and technology at Interior Design Show Toronto

March 8, 2018 by Jillian Morgan

Interior Design Show (IDS) Toronto celebrated its 20th year with a look to the future. The showcase theme Future Forward focused on elements of design that have contributed to an evolution of the architectural and design industry. In the plumbing

Article HVAC Systems

What’s new with HRVs and ERVs?

March 7, 2018 Ian McTeer

In the fall of 1992, a self-employed colleague of mine rented a single family, two-story, detached house in Scarborough. He had been victimized by the severe recession wrought, in part, by the collapse of the Canadian housing market bubble in

Article Hydronics

A basic pellet boiler retrofit

March 6, 2018 John Siegenthaler

Over the last four years I have been reviewing submittals for proposed heating systems using pellet boilers. They come from heating professionals ranging from contractors to professional engineers. These submittals are required to participate in an incentive program that offers

Article Hydronics

Mechanical room retrofit: Combo unit solution to venting, space issues

March 6, 2018 Steve Goldie

Friends of mine were recently faced with a decision when their combination boiler/DHW heater refused to provide either. Now this should not have come as a complete surprise as the unit frequently needed servicing over the past few years and

Article Health & SafetyPlumbing

Backflow prevention: Protecting our water supply

March 6, 2018 Robert Waters

In today’s modern world, maintaining the supply of safe, clean drinking water can be challenging with so many potential chemical contaminants. In addition, there are many different ways that potable water systems can be cross connected with other systems. Regulated

Article HPAC GeneralRefrigeration

Making the transition to low GWP refrigerants

March 4, 2018 Brian S. Smith

Currently, the HVAC/R industry is undergoing a third paradigm shift in regulating refrigerants–this time the transition is specifically aimed at addressing climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. The earlier two transitions from CFCs to HCFCs, then from HCFCs to HFCs,

Article HVAC SystemsHydronics

Building performance and comfort: Human factors and their influence

March 3, 2018 Robert Bean

Over the course of your career you have probably used a number of strategies to compete for projects. Maybe your choice de jour was to do battle using a lowest price model. Maybe you got tired of dealing with headaches

Article ControlsHealth & SafetyHPAC General

Taking the mystery out of electricity in HVAC

March 2, 2018 Curtis Bennett

How many times have you heard someone say “Who let the smoke out?” in a mechanical room. You see the infamous “black smoke” come out of a piece of electronics and everyone starts pointing fingers. We have all done it.

Article ControlsHydronics

Getting it right – part II: Troubleshooting hydronic controls

March 1, 2018 Mike Miller

As it was noted in Part I of this series (see HPAC February 2018), control systems are often blamed when something is not operating as expected. More often than not, if hydronic controls do not perform as needed, something happened

Article Health & SafetyHPAC General

Virtual reality: A new frontier for HVAC training

February 23, 2018 Robert Waters

When most people think of Virtual Reality (VR), they often think of video games and big, geeky looking goggles covering most of the user’s face. That perception is about to change. The world of VR is exploding with new applications

Article HPAC General

Tax planning tool in CRA’s sights

February 23, 2018 Hank Bulmash

In 1982, a businessman named Melville Neuman had a bright idea. He thought he had figured out a way to split income with his wife using a family holding company (holdco). Neuman had his wife incorporate a company. She took

Modern Hydronics Boilers
Article Hydronics

Boiler modulation – is more better?

February 23, 2018 David Connors

The benefits of boiler modulation are threefold; it reduces cycle losses, it reduces the wear on the components, and it can (but not necessarily as shown later in this article) result in higher thermal efficiencies. But aside from the benefits,

Siegenthaler,hydronic systems
Article Hydronics

Lowering the bar – part I: Modifying high-temp distribution systems

February 23, 2018 John Siegenthaler

What characteristic do solar thermal collectors, hydronic heat pumps and thermal storage tanks supplied by biomass boilers have in common? Answer: They all perform best when coupled to distribution systems that operate at low supply water temperatures. But that is

Article ControlsHydronics

Getting it right – part I: Troubleshooting hydronic control systems

February 23, 2018 Mike Miller

Control systems are often blamed when hydronic systems are not operating properly. While that may sometimes be the case, always look at what else may be influencing performance. While control systems are not flawless, consider that they are developed in

Siegenthaler,hydronic systems
Article Hydronics

Lowering the bar – part II: Using heat emitters

February 23, 2018 John Siegenthaler

In Lowering the bar–part I, we discussed how to size supplemental heat emitters that allow the supply water temperature to an existing distribution system to be reduced. The next step is to pipe those supplemental heat emitters into the existing

Digitial marketing for trades plumbing HVAC
Article HPAC GeneralManagement

Traditional to digital marketing for HVAC, plumbing businesses

February 23, 2018 Jillian Morgan

James Memije and Aaron Bond often pose a simple question to new clients: “How did you find out about us?” Typically, the answer is Google. Memije and Bond are co-owners of Toronto-based AccuServ Heating and Air Conditioning. But other businesses

Heat pumps hybrid heat
Article Heat PumpsHeating

Hybrid heat: One way to reduce costs

February 23, 2018 Ian McTeer

I found this definition of a hybrid heat system, sometimes called a “dual-fuel system” in Wikipedia: “a hybrid heat system reacts to changing temperatures and automatically adjusts to the most efficient energy saving method available to heat or cool a

Article ControlsCoolingEngineeringForced AirGeothermalGreen TechnologyHPAC GeneralHVAC SystemsHydronicsPlumbingRefrigerationSolar

Event to host largest ever education program

December 20, 2017 by Kerry Turner

The 2018 ASHRAE Winter Conference takes place January 20-24 at the Palmer House Chicago with the co-sponsored AHR Expo being held January 22-24 at McCormick Place. The AHR Expo seminar program features over 120 sessions, including over 70 free one-

low-pressure steam,steam heating,Weil-McLain
Article EngineeringHydronics

Steam heating applications on the rise

December 19, 2017 Dave Burggren

Historically, steam has been a powerful resource for space heating in homes and commercial buildings. Steam has proven extremely effective at providing controlled, consistent heat to distribute throughout a building without the need for pumps by simply using a durable

pipe-freezing
Article HeatingHVAC SystemsPlumbing

Consider alternatives when a pipe blockage or leak occurs

December 19, 2017 HPAC Staff

Emergency pipe repair does not have to mean an entire system has to be shut down. This is music to the ears of residential and commercial customers – no more ripping out walls in search of the site of the

Article EngineeringHPAC GeneralHVAC Systems

Let’s Talk Stink

December 19, 2017 Robert Bean

Out of all the senses, the olfactory sense is one of the strongest for creating lasting impressions.i Odour memories also influence the way new smells are perceived. As a survival tool it serves as an early warning signal that something