The Dr HVAC team participated in a team-building event by visiting the Y.U Ranch, a proud advocate for sustainable agriculture. The ranch produces 100% grass-fed Longhorn beef under a sustainable environment. The team was given a tour of the whole ranch and was treated to food as well. All and all, it was great time with the Dr HVAC team!
Above: The Dr. HVAC team poses with our winner, John Waterous.
This fall, we had our first Winter Warm Up Furnace Giveaway to provide a local family with a free furnace.
“We had many entrants, and I wish we could have given them all a furnace,” says Dr. HVAC’s president Brendon Aldridge. “But when I read this man’s entry, I knew that he was the one who needed us the most.”
On January 29, we knocked on their door, hoping to make a big difference in their lives.
No One Should Have to Give Up Being Warm and Safe In Their Own Home
Staying warm in the winter shouldn’t have to be a luxury, but that’s exactly what it was for John Waterous and his family.
Unable to Work Due to Health Problems, He Made the Difficult Choice to Turn Off the Heat 2 Years Ago
After suffering from kidney problems that had him in and out of the hospital, John was unable to work. Bills began to pile up, and his family had to make a difficult choice: to turn off the gas and rely on alternative ways to keep warm.
“They spent 2 years saving up to turn the gas back on, but after so long, the furnace was in such disrepair it wouldn’t work,” explains Brendon. “We wanted to make sure that after all that saving, John and his family had a furnace that worked.”
Telling Him Was an Overwhelming Moment for All of Us
“When we told him, he just… he was in shock,” Erich, one of our installation technicians, remembers. “Then he just lit up. In fact, we all lit up. Our reactions were almost as good as his!”
“It’s an overwhelming feeling, being part of something that for most people isn’t a big deal, but for this man and his family was a life-changer,” Brendon remarks. “I know myself and the entire installation team felt what our winner was feeling – joy, relief, excitement.”
The Incredible Moment When We Turned the Heat On for His Family
We didn’t waste any time making the installation appointment. “It’s easily the most fun I’ve had on an installation,” Erich says. “We made sure it was nice and clean and running perfectly when he came down for his big first impression.”
John’s face said it all when he saw the shiny new furnace. “He couldn’t believe how quiet it was compared to his old furnace,” Erich says. “But what he was really excited about was sharing this with his wife and daughter: that they would walk into a nice, warm house.”
And when they did? “It was one of the happiest, most incredible things I’ve ever been involved in,” Erich says. “Knowing they would have a happy, warm winter after 2 years of sacrifice… there are no words.”
“Thank you very much,” John said to the installation team. “You guys did such a great job installing it and it works fantastically: it’s warm in here!”
“If We Could Make A Warm Home a Reality for Even One Person, We Wanted to Do It”
“Winters in Ontario can be harsh, and there are so many families in need in the Peel region. If we could make a warm home a reality for even once person, we wanted to do it. And for this family, we did,” Brendon shares. “It’s moments like this that make me feel blessed that Dr. HVAC is in a position to make a difference in our community.”
“I believe in giving back to the community which has given us so much,” Erich agrees. “I love that Dr. HVAC has the same philosophy, and is such a big part of it.”
As Long As We’re Here, We’ll Be a Part of the Community
For Brendon, Dr. HVAC has a responsibility to do what we can for the people and organizations who continue to support us. “I was born and raised here: I know how loving and giving this community is. As long as we’re here, we’re going to give as much of that love back as possible. Our community comes first.”
Above: the Dr. makes a house call at the Peel Memorial Hospital.
The Peel Memorial Hospital is one of the most important facilities in the Brampton area. For decades the original building had been a place of healing, but it reached the point where an expansion was needed to help more families get access to care.
But before it could be reborn, the old building needed to be demolished. For Dr. HVAC owner, Brendon Aldridge, it was a bittersweet time.
“Not only was I born at that hospital, but I lived down the street for most of my childhood, and you can see my old elementary school from there. I’ve lived here in Brampton almost my entire life, and saw a lot of that building over the years.”
Brendon adds, “While I was sad to see the old building go, I was proud to safely remove the refrigerant from all the old air conditioning units and ensure it gets recycled. I’m also involved with the Rotary Club, which helped to fund the new hospital.”
Our part of the project was to work with the demolition team to make sure that all the refrigerant was removed and the units properly disposed of before the building was torn down. For a building of this size, it required several weeks of work.
What is Refrigerant?
“Refrigerant is the gas inside the air conditioners that transfers the heat,” Brendon explains. “It absorbs the heat in the air as it passes through the cooling unit.”
In the old Peel Memorial Hospital, there were a lot of air conditioners, refrigeration units, and even cooling units for computer servers! All of them used refrigerant that had to be collected safely.
How Do You Collect It?
Collecting refrigerant has to follow a very specific process, and adhere to multiple codes. “You use a special machine, and it sucks the refrigerant out into a cylinder that looks kind of like a propane tank,” Brendon explains.
These cylinders are then taken to a special facility where the refrigerant is reclaimed or recycled (depending on the exact refrigerant used in each unit). Dr. HVAC sent the refrigerant from the old Peel Memorial Hospital to Fielding Environmental in Mississauga.
Refrigerants and the Environment
This may seem like a lot of work for a little gas, but the types of refrigerant used in the older air conditioners are extremely harmful to the environment.
“They have ozone depleting properties, and it was a big problem before they were phased out. R-12 use was halted in 1995, and R22 was in 2011,” Brendon explains.
In modern air conditioners, we use a safe refrigerant called R-410A. But even though it’s much safer and more efficient now, refrigerant still isn’t great for the environment if it isn’t contained inside the AC system. “That’s why it has to be disposed of properly,” says Brendon.
Part of Our Commitment to the Environment
“Every time we remove an air conditioner, we properly collect the refrigerant and pay to have it reclaimed,” Brendon explains. “It’s essential to help care for the ozone layer. Then we take the old air conditioner to a metal recycling facility so that everything that can be reused is reused. It’s no good to anyone if it justs rusts away in a landfill.”
For Brendon, the commitment to the environment is a personal one. “I am always outdoors – hiking, boating, and fishing. In fact, part of the reason I started in heating and cooling was the amount of time you spend outside. Most people don’t know this, but as a technician you’re working in a lot of rooftops and backyards.”
Every year, Brendon and his team participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, sometimes around Brampton’s rivers and marshes, and sometimes along Mississauga’s shorefront. “I’ve spent a lot of time around places like Etobicoke Creek, Hilton Falls, and on our local trails. Every time I see litter it makes me sad and angry. Some people just don’t understand that litter isn’t just ugly, it kills wildlife locally and in our oceans.”
You can learn more about our environmental and community involvement on our About page.
Prevent Refrigerant Leaks: Have Your Air Conditioner Checked by the Experts
Spring is just around the corner (thankfully) and it’s time for your air conditioner to get its yearly tune up. Amongst the many things our technicians check for are refrigerant leaks. These can go unnoticed by homeowners, but are harmful to our environment, and can result in lots of damage to the air conditioner.
Tune ups also ensure air conditioner is working as efficiently as possible, so you save money on your energy bill every month.
Once November rolls around, Christmas events starting popping up all over the place. We’ve created this guide to let you know what events you shouldn’t miss if you’re looking for a little holiday magic.
Brampton Board of Trade Santa Claus Parade
Date: November 18, 2017
Time: 5 PM
Location: Downtown Brampton
Every year, this parade gets bigger and better as participants try to outshine last year’s floats. The audience keeps growing too, and reached an all-time high of 170,000 people in 2014.
Photo credit: InBrampton
“Best in Canada”
According to an interview with the Brampton Board of Trade Santa Claus Parade media spokesman Ahkil Mooken in 2016, there’s a reason they get well over 100,000 spectators each year.
“A few years ago, we were voted the best community parade in Canada by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. That goes to show you the size and quality of our floats,” Mooken explained.
This parade features:
- A Family Fun Zone – you’ll have to attend to find out what’s there!
- Elaborate floats with lights displays, and colourful costumes
- Santa and his sleigh
“The parade is successful because of the commitment from our volunteers as well as the dedication of the residents who support us,” Mooken added. “The smiles we see on the faces of both children and adults makes it worthwhile to us each year.”
This year’s parade will be no exception, filled with many fantastic floats you’ll want front row seats to see. In fact, we recommend finding a spot along the parade route before 5 PM so that you can see it all!
We also recommend dressing for the appropriate weather, because Santa’s sleigh will arrive come rain or shine.
Have more questions about the Brampton Santa Claus Parade? Visit their FAQs page >
What did Santa Have to Say?
According to St. Nick himself, the Brampton Santa Claus Parade is his favourite. “The smiles lighting up the children’s eyes and faces is what makes this so special,” he told The Brampton Guardian in 2016. “It’s for the children, but parents have fun too…”
We’re sure he feels the same way about the 2017 parade, which sounds like it will be better than ever.
Downtown Brampton Christmas Market
Date: Starts November 17, 2017
Time: Starts 6 PM
Location: Garden Square Brampton
What’s Christmas in Brampton without a market to go to? The Downtown Brampton BIA is putting on the 5th annual Christmas Market, and everyone is invited!
If you can think of it, chances are the Christmas Market will have it. Garden Square will be playing host to food vendors, craft booths, and a donation centre for Brampton Food Bank and Peel regional Police Toys for Tots.
This event includes:
- The Annual Tree Lighting
- Letters to Santa – keep an eye out for Brampton Guardian letter carriers to make sure Santa gets your letter!
- Cookie decorating – anything goes, and it all tastes good.
- A Mistletoe patio
- Carriage rides
- A carousel
Perfect Event for Getting into the Holiday Spirit
It isn’t just the hosts of the event that feel the Christmas magic. “The Christmas market is a great place for me to bring my family, I think it’s getting everyone into the holiday spirit,” said Brampton resident Harpreet Singh about last year’s festivities.
Bigger Than Ever Before
According to the Bramptonist, this year’s market is extending beyond Garden Square to the Daily Times Square in front of the new city hall.
This will serve to make the whole event just that much better. “It’s a magical time of the year to see downtown Brampton all lit up with beautiful decorations and window displays,“ Suzy Godefroy of the Downtown Brampton BIA told the Sheridan Sun in 2016.
So if you’re looking for tons of holiday spirit, downtown Brampton has plenty to go around.
Streetsville Christmas in the Village
Date: November 25 – November 26, 2017
Time: 2PM – 9PM/11AM – 4PM
Location: Streetsville, Mississauga
The Streetsville BIA is ready to dive head first into Christmas if you are! This year will the 2nd annual Christmas in the Village. You’re sure to be dazzled by the sight of Streetsville decked out in its Christmas finest.
A New Holiday Tradition
Christmas in the Village started only last year, and visitors were thrilled with the festive atmosphere.
“My family and I went for the Christmas celebration. The town square was set up beautifully with Santa and vendors all in the town square… it was excellent,” said one reviewer on the popular review site TripAdvisor.
Christmas in the Village will feature:
- A hospitality lounge, complete with mulled wine and live entertainment
- A Children’s Tent to keep your kids creatively active
- Santa’s Village
- Reindeer Ridge, a prime place for holiday photos
- Polar Express Train – you have to see it to believe it!
The Bolton Santa Claus Parade
Date: December 2, 2017
Location: Highway 50
This is a parade that keeps getting bigger every year. As the number of colourful, elaborate floats go up, so does the Christmas fun. You’ll want to nab a front row sidewalk so you won’t miss a minute.
The Whole Community Participates
John Stegeman, active member of the Kinsmen Club, says the Santa Parade is a staple event. “I think in this town everyone knows that on the first Saturday of December, Santa will come to see the community of Bolton,” he told the Caledon Enterprise.
The parade is planned over the course of the year, and floats are submitted by businesses, groups, and individuals alike. Then, on the first Saturday of December, thousands of people of all ages line up on Highway 50 to watch, waiting eagerly to catch a glimpse of Santa.
“We’re a growing town but we have small town values and a Santa Parade brings the community together. The kids love it and mom and dad know that once Santa comes, it’s just about time to put the lights and the tree up.”
Don’t Miss These Other Festive Events
There’s so much to do in the Peel region over the holiday season; we don’t want you to miss something!
Lunch with Santa
Location: Downey’s Farm Market
This one of a kind event lets you sit down with Santa in a unique and festive environment. Reservations are required.
Holiday Open House
Date: November 19 – November 19, 2017
Location: Alton Mill Arts Centre
Looking for local handmade gifts, fine art, and the rarely seen Grinch (who could be persuade to take a photo with you?) Look no further than the Holiday Open House at Alton Mill Arts Centre.
Family Jingle and Mingle
Date: December 9, 2017
Location: International Centre, Mississauga
The quintessential Christmas party, only on a much larger scale. There’s entertainment, great food, and all proceeds are donated to charity.
Light Up the Square
Date: November 25, 2017
Location: Celebration Square, Mississauga
Celebration Square will be lit with festive colours, and we encourage you to grab your skates and join in on the fun.
Explore Peel and All of It’s Christmas Spirit
You don’t have far to go if you’re looking for some Christmas fun in the Peel region. We hope you enjoy the season, and Happy Holidays from the Dr. HVAC family!
We’re proud to announce that the Dr HVAC team helped out with the Tony Robbins Thanksgiving Basket Brigade for the fourth year in a row.
This year, Brendon, Ryan, and Danny got up bright and early on Saturday October 8th to be at the Ontario Food Terminal for 6 AM. There, they loaded up over 5 truck loads of food donations and took them to the Streetsville United Church in Mississauga. They also got to see a fantastic sunrise while they were at it.
Doing Good and Having Fun
At the church, dozens of volunteers sorted the food and portioned them out into Thanksgiving dinner packages, including a frozen turkey, potatoes, veggies, and cranberry sauce. There was also plenty of healthy food for more meals in the days following Thanksgiving.
All told, there was enough to provide a real Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for over 60 needy families!
“It was a real privilege to be able to do our part for the campaign,” said Brendon Aldridge, Dr HVAC owner and chief technician. “I find Tony Robbins personally inspiring, and I was especially moved by his reasons for starting up the campaign.”
The Basket Brigade is now in its 23rd year. Anthony Robbins is now a successful author and motivational speaker, but as a child his family was poor. When he was 11 years old, a donated Thanksgiving basket from a stranger made a huge impression on him. When he was 18, he started doing the basket brigade even though he only had enough money for 2 baskets. Now he now funds dozens of basket brigade campaigns across North America. You can read more about Tony’s story here or watch a video of him telling the full story here.
An Interview With Brampton Basket Brigade Volunteers
Why Not Join The Fun Next Time?
We had a great time this year as always. It’s a really festive atmosphere, with people joking and talking and sharing stories.
If you’re interested in helping out next year, there are lots of ways to contribute: