Make Up Air

Make Up Air

A Powerful Fan To Supply Every Corridor With Fresh Air.


With its high volume fan and large heating coils, a Make Up Air unit (MUA) provides reliable introduction of air into the building to replace what’s been pulled out by the kitchen and bathroom exhaust equipment. Without it your building gets back drafting, poor temperature control, odours, and door slamming in hallways.

Blackrock HVAC Ltd provides service and maintenance technicians who admit to being raised with their grandfathers’ tools and fathers’ cordless drills. Now – licensed to work on gas fired equipment in Ontario – they hold a brand promise to focus efforts on providing quality repairs with the shortest amount of downtime.

Both indoor and outdoor MUA Units require monthly scheduled maintenance and HVAC service team to keep them running. This can include monthly filter changes, seasonal belt replacement, and recording amperage readings. Reducing your down time with a reliable HVAC service company will decrease the number of resident complaints for hallway odours and door slamming.

Engineered Air and E.H Price brand Make Up Air units are commonly found on buildings in Ontario. They’re both well built and use complex controls to operate the burners safely. Blackrock HVAC technicians and others must be familiar with these controls to provide fast repairs and less down time.

Cooling Off In Rishikesh.

Cooling Off In Rishikesh.

An Unplanned Trip to Rishikesh, India.

It’s July in India and another hot sunny day sitting inside a general class carriage. The train was on its way to Agra, and I was going to see one of the five wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. I’ve been traveling Asia for fourteen months now and have developed strong awareness to my own thoughts and feelings. I had a funny feeling this time and knew exactly what it meant: the urge to do something spontaneous, random or adventurous. Knowing that the train ends its journey in Northern India near a popular town called Rishikesh, I decided to stay on the train for another 18 hours. This suddenly became my plan to get away from the scorching summer heat.

Rishikesh has a population of 100,000 and it’s where people come to meditate and practice yoga. It’s also where Cafe’s are to be explored and people from all parts of India come to visit the holy Ganges River. Streets were covered with people wearing orange clothes, some shouting in Hindi, and others honking their motorcycles. Sewan is Lord Shiva’s month long celebration and people from all parts of India were going to the Ganges river to get their blessings. It’s believed that during Sewan, Lord Shiva fulfills the wishes of all his followers, blesses them with prestige and good life partners for women.

Traveling full time can be exhausting. Sometimes you need to get away from all the noise, relax, and spend time with yourself. I found the best way to do this is to search for a local cafe that meets my demands. “Honey Hut Cafe” has pulled me in as soon as I opened the front door. I was quickly relieved from the heat outside thanks to their Indian made “Gold Star” ductless split air conditioners. After speaking with their Chef Umang Sharma, and cafe manager Akash Pondel, I’ve noticed that this cafe has three AC Gold Star units in one space. Akash said they would turn more units on during the high tourist season in order to satisfy the demand for higher loads.

Taking a closer look at these 10 year old AC units, I noticed that they all have inverter compressors. I was caught by surprise seeing inverters on such old units. Its not often that I see inverter units in Canada and yet this is not my first time seeing them in Asia. Canada has been running behind when it comes to technology. From cellphones to air conditioners, we are a few years behind Europe and Asia. You just don’t get the same variety. The great thing about inverter units is they save you lots of money when it comes to paying the energy bill. These units are quiet, constantly holding the room temperature, and can save up to fifty percent on your energy bill. This leads me to my next question, why don’t we see more of them in Canada?

Rishikesh is where yoga was born. Foreigners from all over the world come here to learn yoga and meditation. Classes ranging from 7 to 300 hours are available almost anywhere in town. Being the explorer that I am I’ve decided to try a few classes myself. While you’re on the road it’s difficult to keep your mind and body in shape and this was the perfect place to catch up. Now I can hit the road again with calmness and joy.

Vlad Koma is a licensed 313A Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic from the province of Ontario.

Shopping in Miami

Shopping in Miami

When you work with passion and commitment the days can get long and exhausting. Creating a great future for your business doesn’t only require a new pair of designer sunglasses, but also a South Florida tan. 

Recently, Blackrock Travel took me to Miami where a personal development course couldn’t be missed. Jeez it was so damn cold in that conference room I had to pack a sweater for the following days. Back at the gorgeous AirBnb – looking out the window at a mango tree – I couldn’t help but notice the amount of cold air the house was pumping out the ceiling vents. WOW, was the thermostat stuck in cooling? Impressed, how was it so cold?

Here I am trying to take time off in Florida but HVAC keeps invading my mind. It started with asking the host what sort of Air Conditioning system they have, then checking to see what size ductwork was ran, and creeping around the backyard to see how big the condenser was! Those Americans, we can learn a few things from them…eh?

Once in a while somebody will write me a comment asking if I ever do any work. Let me explain, finding great tasting wines for our a-List clientele and their wives is hard work. Achieving a serious tan is no easy job either so end it with these comments.

Deadlines had to be met on the final day so I called in for back up to friends Ashley and Kyle. Through teamwork we came up with a strategy. Kyle took me to Abaco Wine Boutique in the Fashion District where owner Ben helped pick the perfect cabernet sauvignon. He’s so knowledgeable and passionate about wines it was a pleasure meeting such a professional gentleman.

Ashley pulled through in the afternoon by taking us to the Soho Beach House in South Beach for an ocean swim and tan.  Followed by a pizza, gnocchi, a few sangrias and Moscow mules for lunch.

Before we knew it was time for me to catch an Uber and fly back to Mississauga. Checking off the last goal of the day inside my daily planner, I finally got to sit down and take it easy for three hours before landing safely home. Thank you Miami for being hospitable, beautiful, and providing so many Aston Martins to stir up my motivation. Happy travels everyone.

*In Construction* Special Ops Project Gonell.

*In Construction* Special Ops Project Gonell.

Updated by Senior Technician Agent C and Double 0.

Operation Gonell is now in Mechanical Operation. Our team is camped on the North-West corner of Bloor St W & Royal York Rd, Etobicoke. You might have seen our black and white Ford Transit vans parked outside. You might have seen us sippin’ on espressos or checking out your english bulldog.

Operation Gonell is the most exciting current renovation to happen in this neighborhood, straight up. The local, ambitious, and talented builder/remodeler Will Gonell, makes his centre stage debut back into the Kingsway area. Spending four years away in other Toronto neighborhoods – building highly detailed custom homes – he comes back with a National Award under his belt and a fresh insight into how your home can be built.

HVAC & Mechanical Scope

Update 1: October 30th, 2017.

Today we’ve started to “rough-in” a future radiant floor warming system. The process begins once your gravel base is raked level and waterproofing is done. It consists of installing special insulation atop the gravel, and then piping on top of the insulation. We call the insulation “PEX Panels” because they come in 2×4′ sheets and have round “pucks” where your PEX piping gets pressed between. They click together to form a solid layer or “insulation system” before you pour the concrete. We will then install a system of tubing that will carry hot water for heating.

Amvic PEX panel

The height of these PEX panels is greater than the standard styrofoam sheet your uncle layed in his basement and you had to help him on that one Saturday. You really didn’t want to do it because you had a party in Brock the night before, but cutting off the tips of 800 zip ties made it all worth it. The reasons to go with a 3.75″ tall panel are simple: 1. When radiant heating is your primary source of heat, the basement slab must have a minimum R10 insulation rating. 2. After switching to this method of pressing the PEX inside the “pucks” and not zip-tying on top, it greatly reduced the amount of punctures we had during the concrete pouring process.

blackrock hvac

Blackrock HVAC

Your basement gravel base will never be perfectly clear of all pipes from drains, radon systems, or weeping tile. We carry rakes, shovels, and a meticulous eye for dangers. Most of these can be worked around, then any small gaps and cracks are filled with foam.

Blackrock HVAC Ltd


October 31st, 2017 Update – Happy Haloween!

Today was a victorious day because of the innovative materials and pro technique that were meistered by both senior technicians on site. Damn Son! Let me explain…

blackrock hvac heating

If we want you to stay on this blog then you need to know how a hydronic radiant heating loop works. The embedded tubing will be the highway in which water will flow underneath the entire concrete slab. When using 1/2″ tubing (standard) you’re only allowed a certain length before pressure will be lost and won’t return back. Stagnant water like your son’s stinky socks he leaves behind is no good here ok??

floor heating loops

What to do when you reached your maximum limit but still have more basement to cover? You end up with loops. A total of six loops in this basement connect to a manifold/collector, or distribution centre. You now understand that water needs to supply and return from loops going into something called a manifold. Brilliant! You’re a Grade A genius now, *in a Jeremy Clarkson voice* Quick, go tell your mom before you forget. Then come back and keep reading.


True Story: On Orest’s day first day back from his 2017 Euro Tour Pt.2, he invited Agent C to The Yellow Cup Cafe in Etobicoke. Whilst eating their delicious sandwiches and having secret conversations, a German home renovation magazine finds itself onto the table. Orest goes on about how a reverse return loop layout should be the only way to go when installing floor heating. I kid you not. They both agreed – and the rule became from now on – to install reverse return heating loops every time!

Here is the page from the article. Notice where the arrow is pointing. Normally you would run your loops up and down the room until you’re done. FALSCH! You could do better.

germanmagA reverse return layout method distributes the heat evenly across the slab. It achieves more comfort, and it looks hot like your ____? All the European heating instagramers do it this way and girls seem to like my style. This is one step towards building better Mechanical Rooms and gaining higher performance. So lets go buy some PEX, plan some loops, get layed, and have a party!

Orest Oh

reverse return loop

To Be Continued


Company Vehicles ::: BRHVAC :::

Company Vehicles ::: BRHVAC :::

We Love Our Vans


The ability to carry tools and parts inside of our vehicles increases the confidence of our team and improves the chances of getting sh*t done. Speaking for many trades: electrician, painter, carpenter, builder, etc, they maintain a lifestyle of self-reliance and express it through working tools including vans. We’ve left this article to have open commentary so leave your opinion with a reply. This article begins with a short story, followed by pictures of our Transit XLT and ends with a video filmed somewhere in Ontario.

Blackrock Transit Connect

Blackrock HVAC

Shelving, partition wall, roof rack, winter tires, and a back-up camera will make you safe on the road but won’t fix the situation you’ve been sent out to diagnose. “The days of seeing a plumber with his ass crack showing are over”, says Will Gonell of Gonell Homes. Meaning, if you want to be involved with modern construction you need to be up to date and carry everything you could need that day. Clients have expected professionalism since forever, lets deliver on this.  

Blackrock HVAC

Blackrock HVAC Ltd

At Blackrock HVAC we accept this reality so we work on improving the comfort, fun, and functionality of our vans. Our company culture has lots to do with automobiles and engines. If your van or truck is a tool for business then taking care of it is money well spent. Don’t be that guy who drives that creepy van around town scaring all the children, we’re trades professionals after all. 

Blackrock Transit

Blackrock Transit Connect

The End





Natural Gas Piping

Natural Gas Piping

A Project In Collaboration With Gonell Homes. 

This is a cinema example of our professional gas installation abilities. All outdoor gas lines are tailored to your residence. 

Relax with a cigar, scotch, or hopefully both to enjoy your Toronto penthouse view. We are working with UK based modern fire pit company Paloform and they are very well built. With the stones inside they weigh approximately 500 lbs each! A natural gas line was branched off an existing outdoor supply, then split into two smaller hose connections that enter the pits from underneath. They give off nice heat and don’t make any noise. This was a high-end gas install exercise for our technicians and a beautiful appliance for the homeowners. More picture to come but for now please enjoy the cinema and consider contacting Blackrock HVAC or Gonell Homes for your lifestyle renovations.


Basement Floor Heating.

Basement Floor Heating.

Radiant heating using a combination tank water heater for domestic hot water, and heating of a 500sq.ft basement floor. A forced air duct system provides heating and cooling for this semi-detached in the Bloor & Ossington area.

Underpinning Your Basement In Toronto?

This blog is designed to show you the process of building a modern radiant floor heating system in Toronto. We’ve make it simple so anybody can follow along. This is not a DIY but rather a helpful tool to organize and plan your renovation. Feel free to contact us at any time with your specific questions 🙂

Part 1: Rough In.

Part 2: Radiant Wall Assembly.

Part 3: Forced Air System (coming soon).

Part 4: Video Feature  (coming soon).


Part 1 – Rough In

When anybody at Blackrock HVAC talks about roughing in radiant heating, the following materials are being installed: R6 or R10 insulation, 1/2″ Radiant PEX, heating manifold, and slab sensor. In this basement we used 1.5″ R6 insulation with steel wire mesh, but have since moved on to a modern “Puck Style” R10 insulation. R10 is required by code when floor heating is your “Primary Heating Source”. Since most of your home’s heat loss comes from the basement slab it’s a no brainer that bigger is better.



There are two things to consider when choosing which insulation panel to go with, price and height. Going traditional with wire mesh may seem cost effective at first, but taking into account the insulation, tuck taping it together, mesh, and then zip tying everything together…it equates to the same amount. It’s wiser to go with “Puck Style” because it has a higher R-Value and installs much faster for the same price. It’s IMPERATIVE that you have a discussion with your underpinning crew about going with “Puck Style” because they always have a larger height! Your crew will have to go deeper to accommodate these extra couple inches (no pun intended). The concrete slab must be 3″ thick above the insulation for it not to crack.


Here you see the radiant rough-in complete and concrete cured. Since this is a Blackrock Bespoke Project we went ahead and painted the floor to mark the mechanical room territory, and per tradition hung solid oak to be our radiant wall and focal point (optional). Our next step is to put the combo water tank and furnace in place to visualize their connections to piping and duct work. DSC_0391


Step 2: Radiant Wall Assembly.

Don’t let the following pictures of unknown parts intimidate you! So lets break it down. Your floor heating system needs a few key components to make it work… we need a heat source, a circulator to move the heat in the piping, and a distribution system like a manifold that distributes heat through your PEX loops. Along the way we’ve installed a pressure/temperature gauge to monitor the performance, and a water back-flow preventer so your heating water never touches the domestic water. All these components can be mounted in a functional yet aesthetic way.







Modern Mechanical Room.

Please be patient for the photography updates, our sexy secretary is in Mexico escaping a Southern Ontario winter.

In the meantime enjoy our final product photo and try to separate the Forced Air, Natural Gas, Hot Water & Hydronics in the room 🙂 Once identified please call Orest @ (647) 388-5744 to book an a appointment.

In The Meantime…Instagram-Logo-1

The Mechanical Room European Tour!

The Mechanical Room European Tour!

We packed our bags and flew to Europe for Viennese coffee and German beer.

Along the way our BRHVAC team made friends with some cool cats who know what’s good. Long story short, The Mechanical Room Vlog had an opportunity to shoot 4 episodes and we’re sharing them with you on this page.

No vodka was consumed during the filming of these episodes, only cognac.

Episode 1: Praha – Combination Boiler Heating (Live)

Episode 2: Carpathian Mountains – Wood Burning Boiler. (Live)

Episode 3: L’viv – Radiant Heating In A 3,500 sq.ft Home. (Live)

Episode 4: Visit To A Plumbing & Heating Supplier in Ukraine. (Coming Soon)








HVAC On Japan.

HVAC On Japan.

Written by オレスト

Waiting for trains in Japan is easy because they are quick and always come on time. Who doesn’t like speed and a reliable cummer?

The shuttle back to Narita airport will arrive any minute now, and I cannot wait to get back home to eat some real food. Japan lacks fruits and protein to fuel an Eastern European like myself -don’t get me wrong, I love Asian food – but loosing fifteen pounds in two weeks is called hunger. Mom, feed me potatoes, please!
Continue reading

Oil Boiler Replacement.

Oil Boiler Replacement.

Written by Senior Technician.

October 2016.

Mission: To build a reliable and stylish modern mechanical room.

First you”ll need to know how a hydronic hot water heating system works using radiators.

Next we’ll have to explain how a “gravity system” works.

Then we’ll summarize what the owner had to do in order to upgrade his Etobicoke home’s heating system to a modern type.

Blackrock HVAC took on the job of removing the old and replacing with new. It wasn’t easy, but it was a lot of fun. If you are looking for HVAC contractors in Ontario to take care of your project from A to Z please keep reading.



Welcome to the Aviation Themed Mechanical Room!





The First Encounter. 

Meet this 1950’s gravity boiler.

Birthplace: Etobicoke, Ontario. Canada.

History: Originally a coal fired gravity heating system.

Converted to oil fuel during the 1970’s.

Added a separate loop for basement radiators in the 2000’s.

Does anybody else see the resemblance to a lama in this gravity boiler?



A hazardous waste removal company had to remove the boiler for us.

The tall white tank is not the oil tank, but rather an electric water heater (which also goes bye bye!).
If you have something like this at home you know how much space it takes up…

It took an entire day just to get to what you see here.



Chapter 2: 

Accent Wall.

Give your room character.

The customer who is tackling this project is Steve Thorne, a pilot and aircraft enthusiast. Make sure to visit his YouTube channel here.

A Blackrock portfolio project needs a sick accent wall, so my automotive enthusiast friends gathered and started Googling what an aviation styling looks like… Our research led to something like this:






Building something aircraft like turned out to be harder than expected.

After visiting two local metal supermarkets, the reality was we will need to be creative.

This sheet of perforated aluminium looked pretty awesome so we bought two of them. 

metal5 metal6

Accent Wall Includes:

  • Reinforcing the metal stud wall to support to new equiptment’s weight.
  • Mounting a strong 2X8 for the boiler to hang on.
  • Covering the wall with a solid 3/4″ Canadian plywood.
  • Painting the plywood black for contrast.
  • Mounting perforated aluminum.
  • Hanging NTI TFT110 boiler. 

Strengthening our wall to support equipment weight.

Measuring wall supports for future reference.

3/4″ plywood wall able to support ~600lbs.

Painting the accent wall for contrast.

Maks Marshall.

Accent wall complete.

Two sheets of perforated aluminum, same one found at Billy Bishop Airport.

A naked central heating boiler just hangin’

First phase complete, ready for system piping.



Chapter 3 + Video

Project Inspiration

Have you ever had a project that tickled the right spot and you couldn’t stop working on it? This was one of those cases, and if it was for school this project was to receive an A++ and stun all the students. There was a purpose, but what is it?

It’s been half a year since first meeting Steve Thorne at a mutual friend’s reno party. Our first conversation was about helicopters versus airplanes and how I would rather get my heli license. It turns out that Steve loves to fly planes and is documenting his training through a sweet YouTube channel called “Flight Chops”. My inner engineer became addicted to Flight Chops episode and I was soon watching them with my car guy friends over espressos on Sundays. Lets face it, flight is a marvel. His passion shrunk my interest in helicopters to make room for a more sophisticated form of navigation.

So here we are building a heating system for this super cool person and the last thing we wanted was a boring mechanical room. Tackling such a boiler conversion was already a large effort, but to get an A++ our team had to do some more research…

Without the experience of being in an airplane there would be no way of continuing this build. This information was e-mailed to the big boss and he quickly approved a Project Research & Junior Technician Appreciation Day!





Maks had no idea we were going flying until we were standing in front of an airplane.







Ok we got the point, use gauges, have a checklist, and label everything!



System Piping.

Primary and secondary loop piping is always a popular conversation – especially at social events – but we’re going to skip it today. Instead here are some pictures of the system piping being assembled. This process took ten days to complete.

Supply side and gas manifold piping.
Supply side and gas manifold piping.

Return maneuvered in a way to take up less space but still serviceable.
Return maneuvered in a way to take up less space but still serviceable.

A mechanical system your grandfather would approve.
A mechanical system your grandfather would approve.

Two coats of paint on boiler piping.
Two coats of paint on boiler piping.

Existing electric water heater, but now we have gas.
Existing electric water heater but now we have gas.

Indirect Water Heater by NTI made in Canada.
Indirect Water Heater by NTI made in Canada.

Custom Painted Piping. Benefits: We are able to design the piping in a way that doesn’t take up space and is out of your way. Painting the pipes allows the homeowner and technician to identify and troubleshoot easier.


All piping is bespoke.
All piping is bespoke.

Temperature gauges on in & out from the water heater.
Monitor your water temperature.

Aviation inspired labels on all valves and electronics.
Aviation inspired labels.

Water Mixing Valve
Water Mixing Valve

In The Meantime… Stay in Touch!


Blackrock HVAC Instagram