Government Mandated Cooling for Buildings & Cooling Protection Plans
The devastating impact of the heatwave
After the recent June 2021 heatwave, glaring deficiencies became apparent in building construction cooling codes. With many Canadians trapped indoors from the sweltering heat, lives were inevitably lost. We give our deepest condolences to the families impacted. During future heatwaves, we can be ready by pushing our MLA’s and MP’s to make amendments to both provincial and national building codes for permit certified new-construction and even renovation projects. An example of this would be adding in cooling equipment to all new commercial and residential structures.
Inevitably, there will be growing pains in the process to prepare for the devastating impacts climate change and pandemic has brought upon us. See our recent entry on improving building ventilation to prevent airborne virus transmission to learn solutions to reducing virus transmission. In regards to unpredictable weather events, massive temperature fluctuations and even toxic wildfire smoke, much more can be done today. Even if existing commercial and residential buildings are not equipped with cooling systems, more buildings can be designated or retrofitted to be cooling centres for those most at risk. Almost in a similar way that extreme-cold warming centres are in winter months. JDC Mechanical is a full-service heating and cooling company. We are a commercial mechanical and residential HVAC provider to thousands of Calgarians.
Finding solutions to a lack of cooling facilities
A solution to the lack of safe areas from extreme heat may also come in the form of mobile cooling facilities that are air conditioned and have adequate medical staff along with a means of hydration to save lives when ambulances cannot reach all at risk of heat stroke/exhaustion. These mobile units, parked throughout a geographic area could also contain adequate air filtration media to be deployed during wildfire evacuations to temporarily assist any evacuees. Wildfire smoke poses many of the same risks as extreme heat and they often come hand in hand, perhaps this could be incentive for government to take a hard look at spending in areas much in need, like these.
While building retrofit and renovation is not a short-term solution to the problem it does serve as a way to add more cooling equipment to existing buildings, particularly residential. There are multiple ways to add cooling equipment whether it be a central air conditioning system or zoned cooling, room by room. Zoned cooling presents a way to add a ductless mini split unit to a bedroom such that the occupant could remain there in times of extreme heat. Adding a ductless unit to a single room is cost effective and can be installed rapidly, in some cases only small modifications (additional ductwork may not even be required) need to be made. Please contact us to learn of air conditioning options.
Building code mandated cooling is as much of a concern for Canadians as heating in extreme winter conditions is today. It’s a basic human need and right. Our team of journeyman technicians is ready for the large-scale endeavour that a mandate like this brings. Private enterprise would have to work together and in coordination with governments before any significant improvement is seen. Co-operation with a greater goal in mind is a way to save lives.
What about a mandated cooling protection plan for existing equipment to ensure reliable operation?
Cooling protection plans are becoming popular in Canada. Many HVAC companies are now providing these as part of their services. They do offer added protection but often through high plan costs, the price of a replacement central air conditioning unit can easily be exceeded in ten years or less. The plan may also retain any equipment in the property and add fees and penalties if the owner wishes to purchase said equipment, outright.
Does a cooling protection plan prevent delay for repair or replacement?
In times of a climate crisis, wait times grow. Even with a protection plan, there is no promise of a timeline for a technician to visit your property. You may be prioritized but so are all the other plan holders. Our recommendation is to select a local HVAC company with a journeyman, red-seal trained crew, readily available certifications for all their technicians and a satisfied customer base. One can easily see the online dissatisfaction with large, national franchise HVAC companies. Don’t be fooled by expensive advertising campaigns that just bring unqualified workers to your property. Trust JDC Mechanical’s 25+ years of experience and vast qualifications to have your project completed faster and much more economically.