You can find us at:
7600 Highway 27, Unit 11,
Vaughan, Ontario L4L 1A5
Hope to see you soon,
The Climanetics Team
April 17, 2013
Est. 1988 to 2013 = 25 years!
Climanetics Inc. would like to thank each and every customer we've serviced for the last 25 years.
Your patronage and loyalty mean a lot to us.
The Climanetics Team
It is widely suspected in the general public that people can develop allergies, asthma, and other conditions because of their air conditioning systems - but they miss the important information. They don't realize that mold growth in the cooling coil, in the heart of the a/c system, is a major culprit.
Furthermore, mold buildup within a/c systems, including the fan coil units found in condominiums and apartments, is a universal occurrence. It is not limited to hot and humid climates.
Every once in a while, building operators will act proactively. This was the case with the condominium board of Number One York Quay, Toronto. The group found an effective and affordable solution to make sure mold did not become a problem for its 2,000 residents.
When the board decided to retrofit its buildings' 20-year-old a/c systems, the members decided to include germicidal UVC products to stop the growth and spread of mold and mold spores, viruses, and bacteria.
According to board president Ken Wigley, "The UVC Emitters have improved indoor air quality and system cleanliness at a fraction of the cost of alternative strategies." The installation, which included 1,240 fan coils, plus the makeup air units that serve the building, is believed to be the largest of its type.
SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS
The job went beyond replacing the a/c systems. It really focused on mold remediation. The fan coil units in Number One York Quay's two 40-story towers were showing their age. Determined to refurbish the units and eliminate existing mold, the board did extensive research in concert with onsite property manager Brookfield Residential Services Ltd., Toronto.
Naturally, they looked into removing moldy insulation lining the inside of the fan coils and replacing it with new insulation and coils, but the cost would have been prohibitive (about $2.5 million), and the solution would have been temporary. The mold would certainly return in time. They also investigated a number of sprays and coatings, and finally, they discovered UVC-based products.
The board learned that devices using the C wavelength of the UV spectrum (UVC) are able to target the DNA of mold, bacteria, and viruses, killing the cells or making replication impossible. UVC products are installed in a/c systems opposite the coil; studies have shown that they have a dramatic impact on mold proliferation, reducing the formation of mold colonies by more than 99 percent. They learned that UVC attacks mold at its source, the cooling coil, by bathing the coil continuously in germicidal energy.
Thus armed with the information, the board brought in Steril-Aire Inc. The first step was to install the devices in a dozen fan coils to test their effectiveness. The makeup air units serving the two towers were also equipped with UVC at that time, to ensure that the air entering from the rooftop intakes would be as clean as possible.
At the time of the installation, the maintenance department photographed the coils and took mold samples for analysis by an independent lab. Three months later, additional photo documentation and mold testing were performed. Before-and-after petri dish sampling measured 99-plus percent reductions in mold counts on the test units. Photographs provided further visual evidence of the improvement; coils were noticeably cleaner, free of mold and organic buildup that had been present before. Residents also reported reductions in asthma and allergy symptoms.
AUDIT, FINAL PLANNING
"By the conclusion of the test period, we were convinced that UVC lights were an excellent solution, but we also believed that the lights could only perform at their best if the fan coils were in proper working order," says Wigley. "This was to be the first installation of its type in Canada, so we really wanted to do our homework."
The board brought in Climanetics Inc. (Vaughan, Ontario), an HVAC service company specializing in high-rise condominiums, to perform a complete audit of the project. This audit included detailed study and photo documentation of all 1,240 fan coils, as well as an evaluation of what had to be done to restore each unit to good operating condition. The findings of this exhaustive survey filled eight 4-inch-thick binders.
"The audit provided us with a detailed roadmap of the required work and the projected costs," Wigley reports. "Using this information, the board voted to approve the retrofit project for the 2008 financial year. We were able to use monies from the reserve fund to finance the work, an important point since it allowed us to make the necessary improvements without raising maintenance fees."
The company also specializes in high-rise IAQ solutions.
Climanetics began installing the UVC devices in February 2008 and completed the project about eight weeks later. The fan coil kits include UVC Emitters™ in the specified lengths, along with the hardware components needed for these installations. Each unit required one 12- or 16-inch length UVC Emitter to cover the length of the coil.
Sergio Colalillo, vice president of operations for Climanetics, reported, "We retrofitted every suite in the two towers with UVC, except for the units that had already been equipped with the lights during the test program. We coated the drain pans with rust-inhibiting waterproof paint on all units. We replaced drain hoses and insulation on an as-needed basis, and repaired any control valves or thermostats that were not working properly."
Colalillo said that the total scope of work averaged about two man-hours per fan coil and was performed using a production-line strategy. "We had a crew of five, and each person had a specific task to perform over and over as we went through the building, floor by floor," he said. "This approach helped the work to flow much more efficiently."
"Since we could not access the suites without the consent of residents, it was a monumental task to orchestrate approvals for entry," Colalillo continued. "The logistics for all this were handled very ably by Brookfield Residential Services. With the help of their organizational skills, we were able to complete the work on time and on budget."
The total price tag was $600,000-$700,000, about 25 percent of the cost if the board had used the alternative approach that was originally considered.
Going forward, Climanetics will return once a year just prior to cooling season to change the filters, replace the UVC Emitter tubes, and perform a general cleanup. The contractor tailors its maintenance strategies to each customer's needs. An in-house maintenance crew will do a supplementary autumn filter changeout in between the annual service cycles. Colalillo noted that they use a tacky media filter that offers a higher arrestance rate and better dust-removal ability than standard fan coil filters.
He added, "Fan coils, like all mechanical systems, have a limited life span - usually 25-40 years, depending on how well they are maintained. The work we did at Number One York Quay will add many years to the life expectancy of these units and save money over time."
"UVC is a huge contributor to this rejuvenation by keeping the coils in a perpetually clean state. When coils and other components stay clean," he explained, "longevity is not the only benefit. Heat transfer is improved and the units operate more efficiently. As a result, HVAC systems equipped with UVC typically use 10-20 percent less energy. The chillers and boilers serving the complex will also run more efficiently."
"The board has received many positive comments on the air quality, particularly among residents with asthmatic children," said Wigley. "We have heard reports of reduced allergy and asthma symptoms from several sources."
The board recognized that mold abatement is just one benefit. As the fan coils are designed to recycle the air four to six times per hour, the air coming out of the a/c unit is 99 percent free of viruses and bacteria after an hour's operation.
UVC also is proving to be a useful marketing tool for owners who wish to resell or lease their suites. "Lots of places offer fitness clubs and pools, but the use of UVC to enhance air quality is fairly novel and appeals to a certain type of buyer," said Wigley. "It also shows that the board and residents here take a proactive approach. Recognizing this, some of the sellers in the complex are mentioning it in their advertisements."
What advice would Wigley offer to other condominium boards considering UVC technology? "We recommend a full audit as we commissioned at Number One York Quay. We are great believers in UVC technology, but it isn't a cure-all for every single problem in an air conditioning system, especially with older equipment. An independent evaluation of the total system can be very helpful."
He added: "Keeping to a changeout schedule is also vital. Even though a UVC light may still be shining, after a year it loses output and effectiveness. Annual replacement of the bulbs or tubes is necessary to prevent mold and other contaminants from building up in the coils again. Bulb replacement is a necessary expense but, fortunately, the cost is quite modest."
For more information, visit www.steril-aire.com
May 11, 2008
Relax; this is the type of unwanted resident you'd want to get rid of also. The unwanted guest and the hottest topic in the GTA for Property Managers and Condominium Boards is mould. It's strange that this would receive so much attention, since we do not live in an area like Florida, or California. The southern United States deals with mould year round. It is common place. So why are we so concerned? Well, for a certain period of time in our calendar year, our climate is comparable to the hot and humid areas of the southern states. During our, I'll be generous, six months of warm weather and vegetational growth, we have an abundance of mould spores floating in our atmosphere........yes, you are breathing them right now. So why aren't we all keeling over and dying? Well, to a degree, some people are affected. Those are the ones that have 'allergies', or 'immune deficiencies'. Their bodies have a hard time dealing with mould spores, airborne viruses, and bacteria. So for the most part, it doesn't bother the majority of us.
So, why is something that doesn't bother the majority of people such a hot topic? The simple answer is 'fear mongering'! FEAR GENERATES REVENUE.
Is mould, then, something we should be ignoring? The answer to that question is summed up best by Damien Boyd, a scientist with Gelda Scientific, he states, "the concern is not what type of mould is found, but how much". This is an interesting comment because the 'fear mongering approach' is always to focus on the serious types of mould spores, even if they only find one spore in a sample containing millions. It is the concentration level that will affect people. Too much of anything will cause some type of reaction, good or bad.
The reason we should be concerned is that our air conditioning systems, and in particular fancoil systems, will incubate mould spores and cause them to multiply at a significant rate. Once they get into the cooling coil, with the combination of water (humidity) and food (dust), the spores propagate at a rapid pace. Lack of proper maintenance within the unit allows the cycle to compound year after year. During the heating season the spores still exist, but go dormant, because of the lack of water.
Given that information, we turn to the feature of this article.
The Condominium Board of MTCC # 949, Number One York Quay, 77/99 Harbour Square, has done extensive research into the mould problem associated with their fancoil system. Actually, they've spent approximately two years doing research into the matter.
They looked into removing all the contaminated insulation lining the inside of their fancoils, and replacing it with new insulation, but that was a temporary solution. In time, the mould would return and they would be back at square one. They tried removing the insulation all together, but that caused the unit to be loud when operating, and caused exterior condensation on the cabinet. They investigated a number of sprays and coatings, to solve the problem. None offered a practical solution. Needless to say, the Board and Property Manager did their due diligence in finding a solution for their residents.
Ultimately, the solution presented itself in a unique form, invisible, to the naked eye at least. Ultraviolet-C (UVC) energy, one form of electromagnetic energy produced naturally by the sun. The UVC wavelength targets the DNA of mould, bacteria and viruses, and kills cells or makes replication impossible.
The Condominium Board searched for and found the leader in the UVC industry, a company called Steril-Aire, Inc. Founded in the mid 1990s; Steril-Aire pioneered a new and improved technology for harnessing UVC energy to improve indoor air quality in buildings and homes.
"It should be noted that UVC has been around for decades: It was used many years ago to cleanse upper air in hospitals, and is still widely used for water purification," explains Robert Scheir, PhD, president and chairman of Steril-Aire. "The old-style devices, however, lose most of their 'killing power' when ambient temperature plunge − for example, in the cool, moist environs of an air conditioning system. Steril-Aire's new-generation UVC is specially engineered to overcome that problem. Our devices actually deliver peak performance when installed in air handling systems."
Fast-forward about 10 years: By the mid-2000s, Steril-Aire had established a worldwide reputation for its groundbreaking technology and had earned a dozen patents and as many prestigious industry awards. Scientific studies proved that Steril-Aire "UVC for HVAC™" indeed had a dramatic impact on mould proliferation, reducing the formation of mould colonies by well over 99%.
"Mould control is not the only benefit," notes Peter Beale, Steril-Aire's director of international marketing and sales. "UVC also prevents harmful infectious disease microbes (i.e. viruses and bacteria) from recirculating through the air, for a cleaner and safer indoor environment. This is especially important in light of current concerns about pandemic protection. Also, UVC energy is safe to use, it's chemical-free, and it does not produce ozone, a problem associated with some other air purification devices."
Today, the same Steril-Aire UVC technology found in One York Quay is also found in thousands and thousands of buildings and homes worldwide because it provides a green, sustainable approach to many common building woes. It is used by many governments to protect office and meeting facilities (the United Nations headquarters being but one example), by leading hospital companies (Florida Hospital multi-hospital chain, Cedars-Sinai, many others); by medical clinics and laboratories; by major retailers (e.g., IKEA); by schools and universities...the list goes on and on.
At the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, where UVC lights are used to protect sensitive research experiments from airborne contamination, the head of facilities has said: "I would not live or work anyplace that didn't have this technology". Other leading facility managers have echoed that sentiment.
Satisfied that Steril-Aire offered the best credentials and the best technology, the next step was to do a technical audit of the complete fancoil system. Every single fancoil unit needed to be assessed and documented. This responsibility was contracted to Climanetics Inc. Climanetics technicians photographed the interiors of each and every fancoil, left side, right side, drain pan, and access door, in order to determine a starting point for the restoration process. The technicians also measured the amount (area in square centimeters) of mould found in each unit. When complete this data consisted of eight 4" binders that could be readily referenced by Management and resident alike. This would allow the board the opportunity to compare before and after results.
Climanetics Inc. began installing the Steril-Aire UVC Emitters in February of 2008, and is scheduled to complete the project by the end of April 2008.
Climanetics and the Board of MTCC # 949 (One York Quay) will continue to monitor the performance of the Steril-Aire UVC Emitters, and we promise to report our findings to you as they become available.
April 17, 2008
Mimmo DiFranco, President
CLIMANETICS Inc. is celebrating it's 20th year anniversary!
On behalf of our employees, Sergio, and myself, we would like to thank the condominium community for all their support over the years. We'd like to thank the developers, the property managers, the condominium boards, as well as the residents, who over the years appreciated the services we offered, and have been loyal to us.
CLIMANETICS' reputation has been built on providing an honest and respectful approach to the services and products we supply. The manufacturers we represent are an extension of our company, and are equally concerned about their reputations as industry leaders. Our service technician's only goal is to satisfy our customers. Your comments about our company have reinforced our commitment to this approach, and we will continue to provide our services to the high standards you've come to expect from us.
Looking back in time, CLIMANETICS may not have existed if it weren't for a number of key individuals who took a risk, and gave us the opportunity to prove ourselves.
Sergio and I would personally like to thank Peter Dubyk (Andrej's Property Management), who took the biggest chance and gave us our very first contract, Yehudi Hendler (Hendler Property Management) for his support and guidance since day one, and Martin Tovey (Minto Property Management) for his years of continued support. We'd also like to thank Brookfield Property Management, John Oakes and Sandro Zuliani, in particular, for the opportunity to apply our skills and services to their elite portfolio of condominiums.
At this point we'd like to go on record and state that the biggest reason CLIMANETICS has had the reputation and success we've had, is because of our employees. They are the ones who worked the extra hours to make sure someone was comfortable over the weekend, or put the extra effort in to make sure the job was done right. They are the ones who leave our customers smiling.
Thank you all for your continued support.