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HVAC

Canadians For Properly Built Homes > What We’ve Learned > HVAC


Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)

is the technology of indoor environmental comfort.

HVAC has been the single largest source of new home complaints by their owners since CPBH was formed in 2004. Design, poor quality systems and inadequate installations have all been found to be the problem in different parts of Canada.

Homeowners have found themselves freezing in their new homes, with temperature differences of as much as 15 degrees between floors. Some have put their children to bed with hats and mittens on; some have had their children sleep with the parents for warmth. As well, CPBH has received reports of seniors living in homes described as “dangerous” due to the cold.

In trying to get their builders, warranty providers and dispute resolution providers to help them, some have been successful, but many have hit brick walls. Without resolution, homeowners will not be able to sell the house at a reasonable price, can’t live in it the way it is and face major expenses to fix the problem themselves. Some choose ‘patch and run’ where problems are covered over and the house is sold with problems undisclosed, thereby passing the challenge on to the next owner.

After receiving ongoing complaints from homeowners, CPBH engaged with stakeholders and experts in industry, governments and municipalities.

In 2012, CPBH led a contingent of approximately 30 homeowners from across Ontario to Queen’s Park. These homeowners were raising serious issues about Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) construction defects and the lack of adequate consumer protection. 

CTV’s Omar Sachedina investigates new homes with brand new heating systems that deliver a host of headaches instead of actual heat.

Also in 2012, CTV’s W-Five did an investigation about HVAC issues and concluded that one particular HVAC system causing many homeowners problems had been installed in approximately 50,000 homes in the GTA (Toronto area):

https://www.ctvnews.ca/seeking-answers-for-home-heating-woes-1.776550

Following this W-Five segment, CPBH approached Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (HRAI) Canada to try to find a way to address these sorts of serious issues in newly built homes.  The result was that after a series of meetings, the HVAC industry made clear its commitment to proper HVAC systems in Canada, resulting in the 2013 “Joint Statement by the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Industry in Canada” which read, in part:

“A properly designed and properly installed HVAC system is critical for home comfort and for the safety and health of occupants. Recent reports about the inadequate performance and installation quality of HVAC systems in new residential construction have prompted several concerned industry associations to form a coalition in support of Canadians for Properly Built Homes for the purpose of communicating publicly on how these concerns should be addressed. Representing over 2,000 firms engaged in the HVAC and plumbing industry (as indicated by our signatures below), we want governments, the homebuilding industry and consumers to know that we hold firmly to the following principles”

More: http://www.canadiansforproperlybuilthomes.com/html/HVAC/2013/May302013HVACIndustry-final.pdf

In 2014, the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada, which had signed the Joint Statement, followed up with its “activities and initiatives that HRAI has led or participated in that demonstrate the association’s ongoing support for the principles embodied in the Joint Industry Statement”.

Letter writing campaigns, media coverage, engagement with politicians and more left no doubt that inadequate and or improperly installed systems had been put into newly built homes. Entire communities were found to be suffering from these defects.

In some cases, the systems were repaired. Some owners had to move out because of the house became unlivable, as inadequate HVAC can lead to mould that causes illness. Some lost their homes. Others patched and ran.


CPBH would like to be able to say that this problem has been resolved. It has not: 

Cardinal Creek homeowners locked in battle with builder Mould, cracks, leaks, mice among new homebuyers’ complaints 

By Laura Osman – CBC News · Posted: Aug 22, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: August 22, 2018

Julie and Marcel Bellefeuille stand in the basement of their newly built Tamarack home, where they’ve found mould, leaks and deer mice droppings. (Laura Osman/CBC)

Residents of a suburban housing development in Ottawa’s east end say they’re worried their new homes are unsafe after discovering major construction defects soon after they moved in. More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/home-construction-defects-tamarack-cardinal-creek-1.4789234


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