Grow Your HVAC Business with Better Estimates

• • Construction methods, HVAC, Installer Tips

Do you want to improve your margins? According to an industry expert, the majority of HVAC professionals can increase profits by changing their approach to estimates. Getting the best value in equipment and vents is only the start of costing out a job. You also need to assign labor and overhead costs appropriately, know when […]

Top Trends for HVAC Industry in 2017

• • Construction methods, Cooling, HVAC, News

As the world’s attention turns to energy efficiency, HVAC installers who know their stuff will be in high demand. If you know what’s trending in equipment, you can help your customers score well with popular certification programs. This means you’ll be busy all year! Make sure you know what to look for in fittings to […]

HVAC Rates High in Green Building Standards

• • Construction methods, HVAC, technology focus

A green certification program called BREEAM was recently introduced in the U.S. If you’re a HVAC installer in North America, get to know the program, as chances are you’ll encounter a project seeking BREEAM certification. This building endorsement requires careful design of the HVAC system as well as the use of top grade equipment, from […]

How Wind Washing Affects HVAC

• • building envelope, Construction methods, rainscreen

Did you know that wind washing is likely the cause of that cold patch in your customer’s kitchen or that drafty area in their upstairs hall? Homeowners need to count on you – their HVAC professional – to know how to deal with these problems. Wind warnings have blown across North America this fall, prompting […]

How to protect your siding with rainscreen

• • Construction methods, HVAC, rainscreen

When your customers choose siding for their homes, they balance aesthetics, cost and maintenance with energy efficiency and ease of installation. From an HVAC point of view, your primary concern is how their decision impacts the heating and cooling properties of a building. A major factor in the siding impact is whether there is a […]

HVAC for Multiple Dwelling Units

• • Construction methods, Cooling, Heating, HVAC

When you’re consulting on a big project like installing HVAC in multiple dwelling units (MDU), you need to know all of the factors at play. The biggest consideration with MDU is whether to install a central system or to take a compartmentalized approach and install HVAC into individual units. If your customer is looking for […]

Why HVAC is so important to LEED Certification

• • Construction methods, technology focus

The most recent versions of LEED Certification standards have placed even more emphasis on energy efficiency. HVAC is integral to LEED certification as it affects several of the scoring categories. These scoring categories basically decide how “green” a building is. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a set of standards that […]

Why Vents Come First When Building a Modular Home

• • Construction methods, technology focus

Modular home building is a fast growing segment of the offsite construction industry. Sometimes known as factory-built, system-built, prefabricated or prefab, don’t confuse this type of building with mobile homes. A mobile home or manufactured home, as they are sometimes called, can be moved to a different location. Modular homes are placed on a permanent […]

Why Passive House is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world

• • building envelope, Construction methods, technology focus

In earlier blog posts about net-zero homes and super-insulated wall construction we touched on the Passivhaus concept. With the upcoming 20th International Passive House Conference, in Darmstadt, Germany, from April 22-23, 2016, it’s an ideal time to take a closer look at this housing standard. As you may have guessed, Passivhaus is German for passive […]

How to build a super insulated airtight home

• • Construction methods, technology focus

Most new homes are much more insulated than in the past. Much of the improvement has been achieved by specifying thicker walls that can accommodate more insulation. However, there’s still the issue of thermal bridging where heat passes through studs and other framing and is lost to the outdoors. Also, there’s the degree of airtightness […]

How Ventilation Removes Radon from the Home

• • Construction methods, health focus, safety

November has been declared Radon Action Month in Canada. What is Radon? In case you didn’t know, it’s one of the most dangerous carcinogens we can get exposed to. Where does Radon come from? It’s a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is formed during the radioactive decay process of uranium and thorium. These are the […]

The Rise of Multi Storey Wood Buildings

• • Construction methods, technology focus

For years, wooden buildings have been limited in height by building codes but that’s changing. Recently, Ontario approved a change to their building code that would allow the construction of mid-rise six storey wood buildings. Previously they were limited to four. Ontario now joins British Columbia who made the change more than five years ago […]

What is a Net Zero Home?

• • building envelope, Construction methods, Cooling, Heating

There’s been a lot of talk lately about net-zero energy (NZE) homes but what exactly are they? The idea is they generate enough energy to offset the amount they use. But most homes are unable to produce that much, so most of the equation is based on energy conservation. This means the house must be […]

Tips for Running Ductwork Through the Attic

• • Construction methods, vents

Ideally, in a passively vented system the attic is completely sealed from the living space by gypsum board and caulking along all ceiling joints creating an airtight seal. Venting an attic is essential for a number of reasons including: – It prevents moisture buildup that can cause mildew and rot in the attic framing and […]

wall-cap-roof-vent-soffit

How to choose between a roof, soffit or wall vent

• • Construction methods, vents

Arguably the most important part of a building is the roof. It must protect the residential or commercial structure from precipitation and temperature extremes. This makes most installers a little nervous – if not reluctant – to mess with the integrity of a building’s top surface by adding vents. Not only does every new hole […]

plastic-soffit-vent-primex

Choosing the right vent cap for a soffit

• • Construction methods, HVAC, product focus

When choosing a spot to place an HVAC intake or exhaust vent, soffits can provide a convenient solution. The eaves of a roof can be used to help hide vent caps, and also play a vital role in proper attic ventilation. Still, it’s important for builders to carefully consider the purpose of a vent before […]

primex heat registers grilles vents

Which plastic is right for vent covers?

• • Construction methods, Heating, HVAC, product focus

Plastic is one of the most versatile materials on earth. Think about all of the things we use every day that contain plastic: phones, cars, computers, televisions all contain some, but it’s used even more in our homes. We rely on it for everything from insulating the wires in our walls, water pipes, window frames, […]

RV28 plastic roof vent

Heavy Duty Plastic roof vents ideal for harsh weather

• • Construction methods, Cooling, HVAC

A customer focus on energy efficiency is placing a premium on short, straight ductwork. Builders often find roof venting provides the most efficient path for exhaust from a home. Some builders are reluctant to cut holes in one of the most vital parts of the building envelope.  The incorrect vent, improperly installed will always be […]

dryer-venting

How to keep dryer exhaust vents safe

• • Construction methods, health focus, safety

Clothes dryer exhaust vents are likely one of the riskiest construction elements contained in a home.  In the United States, they are responsible for more than 12,000 fires every year. The combination of lint and high temperatures can spell disaster, often with few obvious warning signs. Proper airflow through an exhaust vent is key to […]

house ductwork

How to design efficient ductwork

• • Construction methods, Cooling, HVAC

Ductwork is a key component of any modern home.  Hidden in our floors and ceilings, nearly every house today is criss-crossed by a network of passages designed to move air from one spot to another.  Even homes without forced air heating or cooling will likely have a dryer vent and bathroom, kitchen, or even radon […]

Building-envelope-wood-frame-mid-rises

Building envelope key to protecting wood frame mid-rises

• • building envelope, Construction methods, rainscreen

As Ontario builders prepare for the opportunity to create wood-frame six-storey mid-rises, building envelopes should be carefully considered and protected.Starting next year, the province will join B.C. by allowing taller wood structures in its building code.  Wood has proven to be a safe and reliable material in these applications, but protecting that wood framing will prove vital […]

rainscreen-roof-primex

Advice from rainscreen experts on new installs

• • building envelope, Construction methods, product focus

For many North American construction companies, rainscreens still represent a bit of a mystery. Finding experts in the field can be a challenge, but they do exist.  In places like coastal Oregon and British Columbia, thousands of sealed building envelopes have been created with a breathable, capillary gap beneath the siding to allow water to drain […]

wood frame mdu construction

Mid-rise wood frame construction makes sense for Ontario

• • Construction methods, News, safety

Expected changes to Ontario’s building code could spike wood frame construction.  Builders will be allowed to create mid-rise six-storey structures from wood.  Currently, they are limited to four storeys.  It’s a change that was implemented in British Columbia five years ago, and could soon deliver some major construction advantages in Canada’s most populated province. The big benefit […]

rainscreen-HVAC-primex

What you need to know about rainscreen codes

• • building envelope, Construction methods, rainscreen

Coastal areas of British Columbia and Oregon remain among the few places in North America where building codes require the installation of rainscreens.  Their designs are often left up to the engineers or construction professionals installing them.  Still, it’s important to keep in mind the lessons learned in jurisdictions like B.C. over the past 15 to […]

radon gas leak testing

What every homebuilder needs to know about radon

• • Construction methods, health focus, safety

Did you know radon is a threat all homebuilders should be aware of?  It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, and is present at dangerous levels in thousands of homes across North America.  Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally as part of the decay process of minerals found in the ground. […]

Wall Cap Series HVAC venting

Don’t let a wall cap destroy your rainscreen

• • Construction methods, product focus

Rainscreens are a great way to protect homes from the elements, but even the best engineered systems can be compromised when you start cutting holes in walls.  Things like windows and vent caps create spots where water can seep behind the membrane inside a rainscreened wall. Careful installation is vital to keeping moisture on the […]

Rainscreen_layers

History proves the power of a rainscreen

• • Construction methods

On British Columbia’s west coast, rainscreened buildings have become the norm over the past 20 years.  Builders have installed thousands of them, after they became mandatory in the building code in the late 1990s.  In other parts of North America, this type of sealed building envelope may still seem new and unproven, but if you […]

Building_envelope_repair-rainscreen

How rainscreens solved B.C.’s leaky condo crisis

• • Construction methods

The 1980’s and 90’s were a dark era for B.C. homebuilders. Business was strong as condos were popping up all over the south coast.  It should have been nothing but good news for the construction industry. Unfortunately, changes in the province’s building code allowed condos to be built using designs better suited to the desert […]