Author: Andy

How HVAC Protects Seniors in Long-Term Care Homes

Seniors in a Long Term Care Facility - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold here in Canada, a spotlight has been shone on seniors long-term care facilities and the extra precautions taken to protect the older adults who reside in one.

That’s because the coronavirus has proven to be very dangerous to seniors, with the risk of infection increasing with age. Also, since the virus is known to be transmitted through surface contamination, physical touching, and airborne particles, facility owners are taking steps to manage this and future pandemics so that they protect the health of their residents, as well as facility staff and visitors.

Some of the common steps to controlling the spread of the virus include restricting access to the facility, limiting contact between residents, and deep cleaning throughout common areas. However, added protections can also be implemented into existing and new HVAC systems to help purify the inside air everyone in the building breathes.

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Changes In The Use Of Refrigerants To Build a Healthy Environment

A Lightbulb in a Grass Field Showing Environmentally Friendly - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

The HVACR industry uses refrigerants in various appliances such as dehumidifiers, process cooling, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers, in order to cool our office/homes or refrigerate products.

However, many refrigerants contribute to global warming and ozone layer depletion, which has a negative effect on the environment as a whole. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions from some refrigerants absorb infrared radiation and hold it in the atmosphere, causing what’s known as the greenhouse effect.

The good news is that the scientific community has been working hard for the last 20 years to develop solutions that will not only slow down the environmental impact of these substances, but also try to reverse them. Along with cooperation from the global community, ongoing research is promising.


What Effect Do The Different Types Of Refrigerants Have On The Environment?


There are generally three types of refrigerants used in HVAC and refrigerator/freezer applications, all of which have been known to have a negative effect on the environment:

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC): CFCs have an excellent reputation as a cost-effective cooling agent with low toxicity and flammability risks. However, they also contain fluorine, which contributes to CFC’s negative impact on the ozone layer, which has resulted in it being phased out in recent years.
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC): This refrigerant was used as a replacement for CFCs to slow the depletion of the ozone layer, although it too is not completely ozone-friendly. It’s also a greenhouse gas that’s much more potent than carbon dioxide, and has contributed to chlorine buildup in the atmosphere.
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC): HFCs have become a preferred choice for refrigeration manufacturers as they don’t deplete the ozone layer as much as CFCs or HCFCs. However, they do significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, potentially adding to global warming.

Due to growing public awareness and concern over ozone layer depletion and global warming, worldwide initiatives have been introduced, ratified, and implemented to reduce the use of these refrigerants, with the unified goal of helping to reverse the effects they’ve had on our planet.


Fighting Ozone Depletion From Refrigerants


In 1987, The Montreal Protocol was ratified to repair the damaged ozone layer. As the very first agreement signed by every nation in the world, this truly global effort aimed to phase out the production and consumption of numerous ozone-depleting substances such as CFCs, as well as reducing reactive chlorine and bromine in the stratosphere. The Protocol spurred the HVAC industry into changing the types of refrigerant they use in commercial air conditioning and refrigeration from CFC to HCFC, which has less of an impact on the ozone layer.


Addressing Contributions To Global Warming From HFCs


The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol came into effect in January 2019. This amendment required all signatories to limit the use of HCFCs in refrigerators and air conditioners by more than 80 percent. With the gradual phasing out of HCFCs, along with CFCs before them, HFC refrigerants began to become the favoured refrigerant in cooling systems and appliances as they have a lesser impact on the ozone layer. However, HFC’s potential to add to the global warming situation has caused concern that we’re solving one problem but making another worse.


Seeking Alternatives To Chemical Refrigerants


This has created a demand for chemicals that can be used as refrigerants without causing damage to the ozone layer or adding to global warming. Several have already been removed from consideration due to the harm they may cause the environment.

There has been significant research into natural refrigerants, which are not man-made and have a negligible impact in the environment. One example of a natural refrigerant that is making its way into the market is propane, however this type of hydrocarbon, although environmentally friendly, is much more hazardous for installers and service personnel to work with.

Other natural refrigerants, such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, and water are also being used for larger HVAC and refrigeration applications.

Read More: 4 Signs Of a Possible HVAC Refrigerant Leak


Looking Forward To A Cleaner Future


We continue to see the benefits of the Montreal Protocol in the gradual recovery of the ozone layer, which is expected to be returned to pre-1980s condition by the middle of this century. The slow healing process is due to ozone-depleting agents remaining in the atmosphere and causing damage for many years, as well as temperature shifts and dynamics due to other man-made causes.

For example, although the Antarctic ozone hole is at its smallest since the recording of its size began in 1982, it’s not expected to recover to pre-1980s condition until sometime in the 2060s. However, it’s been noted that by removing 98% of substances that deplete the ozone layer, an estimated two million people have been saved from contracting skin cancer every year.

In the meantime, the Montreal Protocol continues to see nations of the world working together to help heal the environment. Here at home, the team at Springbank Mechanical Systems is ready to adopt new technology that works efficiently for our clients while creating a better world for future generations.


Gregg Little, Paul De Thomasis, and Hugo Lopes are co-owners of Springbank Mechanical Systems. They can be reached at 905-569-8990, or via email at or or

How Technology is Transforming Commercial HVAC Systems

Technology Trends - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

Technology has been changing the way we live, work, and play for years. In the HVAC industry, tech is also revolutionizing how we help commercial property managers heat and cool their buildings.

Thanks to mobile connectivity, system automation, software platforms, and equipment upgrades, technology continues to innovate in ways that help companies cut down on energy costs while making HVAC system management easier and more efficient.

Here are 4 different ways that technology is transforming commercial HVAC systems:


Technology Enables HVAC Systems To Become More Eco-Friendly


With public demand for sustainable, green technology at an all-time high, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional means of heating and cooling are becoming more commonplace in the market.

For example, geothermal heating and cooling systems are slowly eliminating the need for petroleum-based systems. Geothermal heat pumps use ground and water sources to generate the energy needed for HVAC systems to heat and cool buildings. Alternatively, solar power can be used in combination with gas so property managers can easily switch between the two to better control energy use.

Adopting sustainable solutions not only cuts your energy costs, but also increases the value of your property while future-proofing your HVAC system and attracting more long-term tenants.


Cost-Effective Installations, Upgrades, And Repairs With Ductless Systems


Southern Ontario is currently hot with new commercial building construction. However, there are still many older buildings currently in use that were built at a time when controlled HVAC systems were more the exception than the rule. Many of these buildings rely on boilers and radiators to heat their spaces in the winter, and electric fans and open windows for cooling in the summer.

Updating these buildings with an HVAC system is next to impossible, especially if there’s no space to install ductwork. Even if there is space, the cost to install the system might be out of range for building owners.

Fortunately, VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) HVAC systems offer the perfect solution for older buildings, or anywhere HVAC upgrades are needed but space is at a premium. They also provide a cost-effective alternative for modern buildings with air leaks from holes or cracks in their ducts that result in significant repair costs.


Software Platforms That Offer Automated Temperature Control


Manually setting thermostats to control your building’s climate is a thing of the past – or at least it can be with innovative smart HVAC system technology that automates the entire process for you.

Building automation systems (BAS) allow you to control your entire building’s facilities, including HVAC, lighting, and power, from one central dashboard. These systems are completely customizable to your building size, occupancy levels, and energy requirements, and allow you to monitor and adjust system performance when your needs change.

Read More: Stay In Control With Building Automation Systems

Properties can also be fitted with occupancy sensors that customize the level of ventilation by monitoring the number of people in an area or zone, and adjusting fan speed and air movement accordingly. They can also track outdoor conditions such as sunlight, humidity, and temperature and use this information to properly heat or cool the area. For example, if a space doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight, the system will turn down the cool air in the summer and provide more heat in the winter to that particular area.

Zone control systems offer another way to control energy use by setting temperatures to an individual space’s requirements. For example, an occupied office has different climate needs than an unoccupied office or a file room that’s only used occasionally. Zone control systems enable you to distribute the appropriate airflow to exactly where and when it’s needed.

Read More: The Benefits of Commercial HVAC Zone Control Systems

All of these automated solutions allow for better overall control of your HVAC system, leading to long-term energy savings thanks to advanced technology.


Convenient HVAC Controls Through Wi-Fi Connectivity Technology


There isn’t a lot that you can do on your laptop that you can’t on your mobile device. That goes for HVAC controls too.

Thanks to wireless technology innovations, you can control and monitor the temperature, airflow, and humidity levels of your building from anywhere through robust Wi-Fi connected software on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

This also enables your HVAC maintenance team to monitor your system and make preventative maintenance recommendations from anywhere by collecting data and generating reports that identify system status, usage trends, and past performance. If repair is necessary, your maintenance team will already have the information necessary to spend less time diagnosing the problem and more time working on repairs.


Here at Springbank Mechanical Systems, we use technology in our day-to-day operations as well. Our software tools and platforms are designed specifically for the HVAC industry, and work to give our customers the best experience possible. We employ technology that streamlines task management, allocates resources efficiently, enhances our communications, and provides timely technical support whenever you need it.

We firmly believe in the power of HVAC technology to make your HVAC system operate more reliably and with better cost-efficiency over the long term. If you’d like to discover how HVAC technology can help you save money, give us a call anytime.


Gregg Little, Paul De Thomasis, and Hugo Lopes are co-owners of Springbank Mechanical Systems. They can be reached at 905-569-8990, or via email at or or

Springbank in the News: Commercial HVAC Air Filter Upgrades to Fight COVID-19

Pathogens - Springbank Mechanical Toronto Commercial HVAC Company

Gregg Little, President of Springbank Mechanical Systems, was recently featured on CTV News discussing how the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted commercial property owners to upgrade their HVAC systems.

The goal of these upgrades is to provide the cleanest, freshest air possible and help slow the spread of airborne pathogens between workspaces. High-quality air filtration is a key part of these initiatives.

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What is the Difference Between an HRV unit and an ERV unit?

Ventilation System - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

Property owners are always looking for ways to reduce energy bills while maintaining good indoor air quality for their tenants. One way to do this is to optimize your ventilation system by capturing heat from the outgoing air before losing it to the outside, saving energy and bringing down your heating and cooling costs.

Heat recovery ventilator (HRV) and energy recovery ventilator (ERV) technology can help you do that efficiently. Knowing the main differences between the two systems is important in deciding which is best for your commercial property.

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6 Commercial HVAC Trends To Watch For In 2021

Building Blocks That Make The Date 2021 - Sprinbank Mecahnical Toronto Commercial HVAC Company

For many of us, 2020 can’t come to a close fast enough! At Springbank Mechanical Systems, we’re excited for 2021 because of the opportunities for companies to take advantage of HVAC technology to make their energy use more efficient without compromising performance.

We’re already seeing large shifts in the industry for two reasons: a demand for better air quality in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for sustainable solutions that make building operations more efficient and cost-effective. In both cases, HVAC innovators are ready to answer the call, making 2021 a year where there will be positive, impactful changes to the way companies and commercial property managers heat and cool their buildings.
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How Technology Attracts New Talent into the HVAC Space

Lightbulb with Information Technology Behind It - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

With baby boomers retiring, there is a need for the next generation of skilled tradespeople to enter the workforce. However, for years the education system has been placing a heavy emphasis on university-level career paths, leaving the skilled trades with more vacancies than ever before.

HVAC technicians in particular are in high-demand right now, especially in Ontario, where the Canadian Government has given HVAC its highest job prospects rating. This is largely because of the current building boom of office towers, residential buildings, shopping malls, and other large structures. With Ontario’s regularly fluctuating climate, all of these buildings will need HVAC systems installed, maintained, and replaced for decades to come.

The demand for skilled HVAC talent is there, but the question remains as to how to attract young people to the profession. The answer may lie with technology.
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Springbank’s Ongoing Commitment to Preventing COVID-19

Businessman Pointing at Technology App on Phone - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

As the provincial government continues to allow businesses to open up in the wake of decreasing cases of COVID-19, our company remains steadfast in our approach to protecting the health and well-being of our clients, staff, and the public at large.

COVID-19 has proven to be a highly contagious infection that primarily spreads through the air via coughing, sneezing, or talking. It can also be transmitted through touching doorknobs, computer screens, or other surfaces on which respiratory droplets have fallen. In light of these findings, public health officials have recommended physical distancing and mask wearing as two ways to help combat the spread of the infection.

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3 Problems that Will Affect Your Cooling and Refrigeration System Efficiency

An office Worker fanning a paper to cool down - HVAC Refrigeration System Springbank Mechanical Toronto

As the weather heats up and the humidity rises, your building’s occupants are likely grateful to work in a comfortable, climate-controlled environment that includes air conditioning. Likewise, occupants who rely on a refrigeration system to operate their business are happy that their products are kept in an optimum space that protects them from sweltering temperatures.

However, just because the cool air is flowing and the refrigeration systems are doing their job doesn’t mean that these systems are operating as efficiently as they could be. In fact, there are 3 issues you might not be aware of that could become significant problems over time. If left untreated, the results could include system breakdown, expensive repair, and unhappy tenants.

Why HVAC Inspection Should be Part of Your COVID Return to Work Policy

Back To Work Sign - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC System Company

It has been three months since the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic took North America – and much of the world – by surprise. With Canadian and American businesses across the industrial spectrum making preparations to reopen, their leaders are developing return to work policies to minimize the potential further spread of the virus.

Many of these policies are being framed around physical distancing, as well as improved sanitization practices. However, the air we breathe is also an important factor in protecting staff, customers, and tenants against illness due to viruses.

This means that all return to work policies should also contain a plan to clean, inspect, and service the company’s existing HVAC system.

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