Author: kier-bushmarketing

Enhancing HVAC Customer Service with Technology

Technician using advanced technology to view a mechanical drawing - Toronto HVAC Company Springbank Mechanical

Modern technology has changed the world around us for the better. We get things faster, communicate easier, and can learn about the world in the blink of an eye.

New and amazing technical innovations have come to the HVAC industry as well. Technology has not only greatly enhanced HVAC products and services with energy-efficient, money-saving solutions, but also in the way contractors communicate with their customers through the entire lifecycle of the project, as well as beyond.

Since our inception in 1990, Springbank Mechanical Systems has always kept an eye on the future by ensuring our technology in both the office and the field is capable of expanding quickly. With this strategy, we’ve been able to stay ahead of our competitors by adopting new innovations that take the customer experience to a whole new level.

HVAC Service Call Innovations

We operate our business on a fully integrated electronic software program that allows the technician to easily investigate and diagnose equipment issues, while enabling the customer to be alerted on project completion in real time, as well as plan ahead for the lifecycle of their equipment.

The process starts when a customer places a service call. Our customer service team uses DATABASICS, one of the most efficient data entry systems available, to enter their information into our system where it becomes part of the customer’s site history.

The call is then assigned to a technician, who is alerted on their Samsung tablet using a program called TechAnywhere, which will allow them access to the client’s file. Once on site, the technician can investigate the problem, and use the information on his tablet to view any previous calls or past history in order to determine any patterns or repetitive issues for the equipment in question.

They also have access to hundreds of technical documents through our company portal, which the technician can use to troubleshoot or diagnose the problem. If further assistance is needed, they can use their tablet to gain access to the manufacturers tech support groups, or contact their group supervisor, field supervisor, or service manager for advice. By using all of this information and data, the technician can make recommendations for repair or replacement.

Read More: Commercial HVAC Services

HVAC Customer Care Technology

Once the technician has completed the job, the customer is required to sign the work order on the tablet. The work order is then date stamped, entered into our system, and emailed directly to the customer, giving them an accurate, real-time record of when the project was completed.

Because we keep track of the customer’s past repair history, including equipment service and repair expenses, we can accurately predict when the equipment will need service or replacement in the future. Having this information at our fingertips reduces the need for follow-up or repeat service calls, saving the customer both time and money. The customer can also use this information to determine the expected lifecycle of their equipment, giving them the ability to budget long into the future.

Technology is always evolving, and we plan to evolve with it to ensure our customers continue to have a great experience with our company.

Read More: Why Choose Springbank?

I’m always happy to talk about how Springbank Mechanical Systems uses modern technology to better serve our customers. If you’d like to learn more, call or email me anytime.

Gregg Little is Co-owner of Springbank Mechanical Systems. He can be reached at 905-569-8990 or

What Does “Qualified” Contractor Really Mean?

Confident HVAC Contractors standing against a truck - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

“Qualified” is a word that can be used loosely to describe one’s level of skill. In the contracting business, the difference between claiming to be qualified contractors and actually being qualified is a lot of hard work, meeting government-regulated standards, and requires a lot more accreditation and training than most people realize.

It takes a lot to become a fully qualified HVAC contractor, and for good reason. We have a standard of practice, ethics, and professionalism to maintain.

Our area of business is governed by multiple provincial agencies, including:

  • The College of Trades
  • Ministry of the Environment
  • Ministry of Labour
  • Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA – which regulates fuel safety and boiler & pressure vessels)

Because so many bodies regulate our industry, we’re continuously required to update our qualifications for both the company and our technicians.

But as important as licensing and meeting the requirements of governing bodies are, there’s much more to the equation when shopping for a reputable HVAC company.


Shopping for Contractors: What to Ask For

There will be lots of contractors vying to install, service, and maintain the HVAC system in your office tower, shopping mall, or retail store. When selecting one, be sure to ask for documentation to protect your investment both now and in the long run:

Liability Insurance:
At a minimum, your contractor needs to have $10 million in liability insurance. Anything less could leave you unprotected if there’s an accident.

Current Licensing:
Contractors are required to be licensed to perform work in most cities, so make sure to ask your contractor for copies of their licensing.

Health and Safety:
Because Health & Safety requirements are changing all the time, be sure to ask your contractor for a copy of their Health & Safety program.

For example, our company has an independent 3rd-party administer our Health & Safety program to ensure an objective viewpoint of this very important area of our industry. Our Health & Safety record is excellent, our team is always up-to-date in their training, and we have accreditation by both ContractorCheck and ComplyWorks Toronto. We can present the documentation to view at any time, and so should any professional contractor.

Read More: About Springbank

Product Line:
To ensure that you get the best HVAC equipment for your needs, your HVAC contractor should have well-established relationships with popular manufacturers such as Lennox, Carrier, York, and Trane. If they only sell a few product lines from lesser-known companies, they might not have the buying power you need to ensure you get the right equipment for your particular requirements.

System Processes:
Ask them to demonstrate their back-office systems, client portals, and workflow processes to see if they meet your needs. You’ll also get a sense of how the contractor grasps technology, both in their office and in their HVAC installations. These days, you want an HVAC contractor who has a sound understanding of modern digital innovation, since so many of today’s HVAC systems rely on it to run their backend.

Read More: Enhancing HVAC Customer Service With Technology

Energy-efficient Options:
When replacing their HVAC equipment, more companies are looking towards ENERGY STAR ® products to increase energy efficiency and lower costs. Your HVAC contractor should be able to consult on energy-efficient technology to be able to meet today’s standards.

Credit References:
A simple letter from major vendors and suppliers can tell you if a contractor’s account is in good standing. If the contractor can’t produce credit references, they may be in poor financial health and a risk to deal with.


Shopping for Contractors: What to Research

Thanks to the Internet, we have access to more information than ever. This makes researching prospective contractors easier, as well as reinforcing or refuting any claims they make about their company.

Here are some things to check when researching a contractor online:

Company Website:
The website doesn’t have to be fancy, but the contractor should have a web presence that clearly highlights their products and services, outlines their business philosophy, and provides details about the training and experience of their key personnel.

Online Reputation:
Does the contractor have good ratings and reviews online? Corporate reviews often contain the name and company of the poster, so it’s easy to contact them to get a first-hand sense of the experience they had with the contractor.

Is the contractor affiliated with any trade industry bodies and associations? If so, you can see if their work has been recognized, whether they have won any awards, or have any peer reviews.

Just like when you shop around for any service, word of mouth is always the best advertising. By asking some of your colleagues which HVAC service provider they used, what their experience was like, and if they would use them again, you’ll make vetting prospective contractors that much easier, and get a clearer overall picture of the contractor in question.

At Springbank Mechanical Systems, we have all the qualifications and documentation you need to make an informed buying decision. If you’d like to know more about working with us, contact me anytime.

Gregg Little is Co-owner of Springbank Mechanical Systems. He can be reached at 905-569-8990 or

Stay in Control with Building Automation Systems

Climate Control Automation System - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

If you work in an office tower, climate control is something you hardly need to think about. Somehow, the air in the office is always clean and set at a suitable temperature for the time of year, and all without an office manager fiddling with a thermostat.

Rest assured, however, building management thinks a lot about climate control, and how to make it easier, cheaper, and smarter to manage. An ideal solution would be to integrate the control of all building facilities, such as HVAC, water, lighting, plumbing, and power under one central control, which automatically monitors, manages, and adjusts settings to the building manager’s specifications.

This is possible by installing a Building Automation System (BAS) to run your facilities for you.


What Do Building Automation Systems Do?

BAS offers office towers, shopping centers, and other commercial buildings the opportunity to run their facilities through a centralized network system of hardware and software monitors. These monitors provide seamless control of all of your building’s facilities.

In more specific terms, BAS technology is designed to:

  1. Control the building’s environment
  2. Operate facility systems per building occupancy and energy requirements
  3. Monitor and correct system performance
  4. Alert building management when something goes wrong

This results in a better-maintained working environment for your tenants, more reliable and predictable facility systems, and increased energy efficiency, which translates to a reduction in energy expenses. The workplace aesthetic also becomes more pleasant without climate control devices on the walls.
BAS technology makes operating an entire building’s facilities easier, more efficient, and completely automatic. They also give buildings upgrades in terms of adopting sustainable practices and property valuation.

Read More: Why Adopt an Energy Efficient HVAC System?


Make Your Building “Smarter”

BAS technology allows the operator to control the building’s systems through a sophisticated user interface. You’ll no longer have to worry about forgetting to adjust individual thermostats – everything is programmed and controlled from one central location.

But BAS goes one step further by actually making your building “smarter”.

Read More: Enhancing HVAC Customer Service With Technology

This is accomplished by the system’s ability to actually understand how the building tenants operate. BAS can tell who enters a room and at what time, and adjusts the system to the tenants’ needs. By monitoring the various facilities it controls and collecting the aggregate data, BAS can optimize your entire building’s systems for maximum efficiency on an individual level, using energy when it’s needed and conserving it when it’s not.

For example, a tenant on one floor might have a lot of overseas clients and enter the office at 4:00 AM. Another tenant on the same floor comes into the office at the more traditional time of 8:00 AM. Still another tenant on a completely separate floor will enter their office around noon. BAS technology can adjust temperature settings to ensure that each individual tenant has their needs fulfilled, and conserve energy when it knows no one will be in a particular unit.

With BAS technology, you can program your HVAC to coordinate and work together with other systems, such as lighting, on a schedule that fulfills your tenants’ needs.

BAS can also optimize the flow of incoming outside air to regulate freshness, temperature, and comfort inside the building, as well as alert you via email or text message when something appears irregular, allowing you to take swift action to correct the problem and keep energy efficiency at a consistent level.

BAS not only makes office towers and retail spaces better, they also make them more intelligent.

Perhaps most importantly, BAS technology allows building management to focus on their business, and takes away the worry of keeping their building comfortable.


Benefits and Features of BAS Climate Control Technology

Installing BAS technology to systems in commercial or retail buildings carries multiple benefits to not only the business owner, but to the tenants and the community as a whole:

  • The building owner/operator has the ability to monitor all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the workplace
  • The climate control system is controlled through a sophisticated, easy-to-use user interface
  • Environmental conditions, such as air and water quality, can be easily measured and action be taken when value thresholds are crossed
  • Ventilation can be increased when CO2 levels increase above a level considered safe
  • Workplaces are safer and healthier for tenants
  • Technology is more sustainable, and easier to maintain, repair, and upgrade
  • Increased energy efficiency which results in lower energy costs
  • Demonstrates a commitment to new technology and being a good corporate citizen

Although using BAS technology is relatively user-friendly, there is still a need to have highly trained personnel to complete the installation and perform ongoing upgrades. Springbank Mechanical Systems specializes in building automation systems, so be sure to call us if you have any questions or want to learn more.

Gregg Little is Co-owner of Springbank Mechanical Systems. He can be reached at 905-569-8990 or

Why Adopt an Energy-efficient HVAC System?

Industrial pipes used in an HVAC water heating station - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

Your HVAC system accounts for a large part of your commercial building’s total energy consumption. After all, it operates on a 24-hour, 365-day basis to keep the climate at an appropriate setting around the clock. HVAC systems also have many working industrial-grade parts, including cooling towers, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems, and much more, depending on the user’s line of business.

Because they consume so much energy, they’re also responsible for a significant portion of your energy costs. It’s little wonder that building operators have become enticed by the idea of installing energy-efficient equipment that both saves money and reduces their property’s environmental footprint

Benefits of Using Energy-efficient HVAC Systems

There’s a reason why most new office buildings are built using energy-efficient HVAC technology – modern developers understand the immediate cost savings involved by starting out with energy-efficient equipment.

Property owners with older HVAC systems who want or need to upgrade them will find many benefits to converting their equipment to this less expensive technology:

Faster Cost Recovery
Many energy-efficient HVAC systems are comparable in cost to traditional energy systems that use more expensive industrial parts. The energy savings and reduced repair costs that come with a new energy-efficient system will help you recover installation costs faster.

These HVAC systems are designed to save you two things: energy and money. Your energy savings could be as high as 50%, and that will reflect favourably on your electricity bill.

Higher Occupancy Rates
Prospective tenants know the energy savings that this technology can bring, and will put your building high on the list of rental options. With more tenants coming in, the chances of empty units diminish.

Improved Workplace Productivity
People feel good when they do things for the environment. Your tenants understand this and can use your healthy, productive, energy-efficient environment as a tool to recruit an ethical, responsible workforce.

Increased Property Value
Higher occupancy, easier maintenance, and lower energy costs will have a positive effect on your property value. Sophisticated buyers who recognize the long-term value of energy-efficient technology will look to bid on your building first.

You’ll be Future Ready
Many new public developments are being designed and built using energy-efficient technology, such as the Google Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto. You’ll become part of the future and adapt easily when new technology becomes available.

Great Public Optics
Do you know who loves buildings that are energy efficient? Everyone – including environmental advocates, the media, and the government. And in the last case, their support for your initiative could go beyond admiration and straight into your company’s bank account.


Government Incentives for Energy Efficiency

One of the best parts of living in an environmentally progressive society is that if you want to upgrade your existing systems to one that’s more energy efficient, the government is willing to help you pay for it.

With so many programs in place, building owners have an added incentive to take a serious look at these upgrades and benefit from the additional financial assistance:   

  • Natural Resources Canada has many funding, grant, and incentive programs that encourage the research, development, and integration of energy-efficient technology for Canadian businesses. You can search for rebate and incentive programs that apply to your business here.
  • The Government of Ontario has also invested $25 million in the SMART Green program. This program is designed to help Ontario businesses invest in equipment and process upgrades that will make them more energy efficient.
  • Toronto businesses can also apply for financial incentive programs for businesses considering a switch to energy-efficient equipment.


Get Started with Energy Efficiency for HVAC Systems

There is an abundance of energy-efficient products on the market today. Building owners not only need to know which parts to get, but also how all the parts integrate with one another.

This is when the guidance of your HVAC maintenance team comes in handy. At Springbank Mechanical Systems, we perform a careful analysis of your needs and get to know your current system inside out. From there, we’ll recommend proven products from reputable manufacturers that will both reduce your energy costs and provide a better environment for your tenants.

We’ll also help you determine which incentive programs and rebates you qualify for, and help you apply for them. These programs are designed to help you now and over time to bring your HVAC system into the future of energy-efficient technology. Contact me anytime to learn more.

Read More: Why Choose Springbank?

Gregg Little is Co-owner of Springbank Mechanical Systems. He can be reached at 905-569-8990 or

How to Maintain Optimal Indoor Air Quality

Healthy Indoor Air Quality - Springbank Mechanical Toronto Commercial HVAC Company

Maintaining optimal indoor air quality (IAQ) is a hot topic among commercial property owners. With better education in place for building occupants and their employees, people are more aware than ever about the benefits of good IAQ, and just as aware of the risks associated when air quality is less than desired.

IAQ plays a significant role in creating a comfortable workplace, as well as maintaining productivity and reducing employee absences due to illness. If IAQ issues go unaddressed or corrected, the result can be devastating for not only employee morale, but also for the company’s bottom line.


Signs of Poor Air Quality in the Workplace

IAQ problems often start when the air is carrying too much dust, unpleasant odors, chemical contaminants, dampness, or mould. Physical characteristics of the air, such as temperature, movement, or humidity level are also related to air quality.

Usually, building occupants and their employees start noticing or complaining about the physical characteristics first: either the air’s too hot or cold, not circulating properly, or is too damp or muggy.  

Read More: How to Maintain Optimal Indoor Air Quality 

If the problem is not corrected, health complaints may follow. Common health issues that could be reported include headaches, sinus problems, congestion, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes, nose or throat. In many cases, people will assume they have a case of the flu or a cold, and may not directly attribute these symptoms to workplace IAQ unless something significant, such as an unusual odour, has also presented itself in the air.

Other complaints might be a result of allergic reaction to such common indoor allergens as dust mites or mould spores, or the installation of new furnishings, uncontrolled air moisture, and poor air circulation. Any of these factors can result in sneezing, swollen airways, or asthma-like attacks.

Although the causes may vary, the effects usually add up to the same things: a drop in morale, an increase in absences, and a general feeling of malaise in the workplace.

All of this can be avoided by professionally installing equipment that will filter contaminants out of the air and keep your building occupants active, motivated, and productive.


Get Better Indoor Air Quality

The fastest way to improve IAQ is to control or remove the source of the contaminants, such as isolating dust that results from construction work or refuse that has piled up.

Modifying or upgrading your ventilation system can also be an effective, long-term solution to air quality issues. This can include installing additional heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment that will allow you to better control access to outdoor air, reducing IAQ complaints and health issues.

For example, you can get better air quality very quickly by installing innovative products such as:

Air sensors: Sensors installed in the space monitor the CO2 level and provide ventilation only when required. CO2 demand ventilation sensors also modulate the volume exchange of fresh or outside air into an enclosed space, and can be automatically set or manually controlled by qualified occupants.

Pleated Filters: Pleated air filters provide a high level of protection against dirt and airborne bacteria, especially when compared to fiberglass filters. Manufactured from a wire backed synthetic media, pleated filters are available in many different efficiency levels, ranging from 20% to 85%.

At first, upgrading your HVAC equipment might sound cost prohibitive, but if run and maintained properly the new system can pay for itself in employee productivity, as well as the reduced operating costs that come with new and efficient technology.  

Read More: Why Adopt an Energy Efficient HVAC System?


Poor Air Quality Prevention

Get ahead of poor air quality and improve occupant comfort by following the below tips that can help prevent poor air quality before it becomes an issue:

  • Keep ventilation systems in top working order at all times, and use in accordance with guidelines set by your local jurisdiction or government body
  • Carry out regular maintenance and cleaning of all mechanical and industrial equipment
  • Move significant emission sources, such as servers, large copy machines, and other equipment away from regularly occupied spaces and air intakes
  • Properly identify and control all sources of possible biological or chemical contamination
  • Protect your occupants from airborne pollutants that result from construction, maintenance, or operations activities
  • Regularly maintain and clean occupied spaces
  • Encourage good housekeeping among tenants and occupants

Also, be sure to invite your tenants or staff to document and report if they are experiencing questionable air quality. Changes that benefit everyone involved can start with a simple conversation.   


If you have concerns about your company’s air quality, we may be able to help. Contact me anytime.

Gregg Little is Co-owner of Springbank Mechanical Systems. He can be reached at 905-569-8990 or

Inspect Your HVAC System Every Quarter

heating engineer doing maintenance on a heating system - Springbank Mechanical Toronto HVAC Company

As the cost of doing business rises, owners are frequently looking at ways to cut back on what they consider unnecessary extras or frills to protect their bottom line.

Cost cutting might also extend to facility managers, who may be directed to examine their current programs and provide recommendations on cost reduction and cost avoidance. If HVAC equipment is operating efficiently, facility managers might be tempted to cut back on preventative maintenance programs from quarterly check-ups to twice yearly, or even just once per year.

The irony of this strategy is that cutting costs on HVAC maintenance programs will likely result in diminished energy efficiency that will lead to increased energy costs, as well as increased equipment repair and replacement expenses over time. These additional costs are completely avoidable with quarterly HVAC inspection and maintenance.


What Can Happen if You Cut Back on HVAC Inspections

Think about how often you service your car, even if you only drive it a few hours every day. With all of the oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, and inspections, your car should be operating at peak efficiency all year round.

Unlike your car, your HVAC system operates on a 24-hour, 365-days per year basis. If your car needs regular check-ups, then your HVAC system does as well, especially considering how many more hours it puts in over your vehicle.

Not only will reducing regular maintenance on your HVAC equipment result in clogged filters, dirty coolers, and mineral-encrusted humidifiers, there can be significant collateral costs to the people in your workplace.

Clogged filters and plugged drain pans add humidity and bacteria to the air, which can adversely affect tenants, employees, and customers. There’s a risk that they will experience coughing spells, dry throats, headaches, and irritability, which can lead to an absent workforce, diminished productivity, and reduced customer traffic.

Read More: Stay in Control With Building Automation Systems

Your system can’t wait six months to be checked. You also shouldn’t let your in-house maintenance staff work with your HVAC system unless they are already qualified to do so. You need a professional to handle these systems and troubleshoot issues before they become serious problems.

Read More: What Does “Qualified” Contractor Really Mean?


HVAC Preventative Maintenance Benefits

Keeping on top of HVAC systems on a quarterly basis carries a whole host of both short and long-term benefits, including:

  • Extended equipment life: Most HVAC systems are designed for between 15 and 20 years, and regular maintenance is crucial to helping your system maximize its lifespan
  • Improved cost controls: HVAC systems operating at peak efficiency use less energy, saving you money.
  • Better air quality: Your workforce and customers will enjoy being in a clean air environment, and employees will take fewer sick days and increase productivity
  • Issue correction in advance: Qualified HVAC technicians can spot and solve issues before the problem escalates, saving your business from system failure and emergency shutdown
  • Accurate forecasting: If you know that HVAC components are nearing the end of their lifecycle, you’ll be able to accurately add them to your budget long before your old equipment breaks down
  • Reduced repair costs: The costs to regularly clean and maintain equipment is much lower than they are to purchase and install new equipment, which is an expense that is completely avoidable with a maintenance plan
  • Priority emergency calls: You’ll have priority service from technicians who are already familiar with your system, and ready to help you in an emergency

Perhaps the biggest benefit of HVAC preventative maintenance programs is having the piece of mind that your HVAC system is well looked after and actually saving you money both now and in the future.


What’s in an HVAC Preventative Maintenance Program?

At Springbank Mechanical Systems, we specialize in maintaining, repairing, or replacing all brands and types of HVAC equipment, including water-cooled heat pumps, cooling towers, hot water boilers, circulating pumps, steam humidifiers, make up air units, and much more.  

Our custom maintenance services include:

  • Full annual inspection of hot water or steam boilers, including all relief and make-up water valves
  • Regular cleaning of cooling towers or closed-circuit coolers to prevent mineral build-up, and increase system efficiency
  • Regular cleaning of steam humidifiers to remove mineral deposits, and replacement of the steam-generating cylinders
  • Complete scheduled inspection of water-cooled heat pumps, with replacement, if necessary


We’ll monitor your system closely, especially during peak periods, to ensure that your HVAC system is always operating reliably.

We also specialize in the replacement of boilers, heat pumps, air handlers, rooftop units of all types, makeup air units, and many other mechanical systems. The advantages of replacing this equipment are significant increases in energy savings, minimal repair costs, and reduced downtime. If you’d like to learn more, contact me anytime.

Gregg Little is Co-owner of Springbank Mechanical Systems. He can be reached at 905-569-8990 or