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Home Maintenance Advice

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Though average temperatures hover around -25C this season, it is – believe it or not – time to think about your air conditioning.  Here, we chat with Bryan Rankin from Valiant Mechanical about thinking “hot” while it’s still so damned cold.

Bryan, it took my car 10 minutes to warm up this morning.  Why do I need to even think about air conditioning?
Ever try to buy flowers at 7:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day?  What about snow tires during the first snowfall?

How’d that turn out for you?

Air conditioning works the same way.  When temperatures peak, not only are contractors flat out with service and installation calls, many vendors have a hard time sourcing units. Luckily, Valiant has a reliable supply through Lennox. The point is: preparation is key, plus you want to be proactive.

Because air conditioners have become more efficient and energy friendly, they’ve never been a better investment.  Think your window unit is doing the trick?  It’s not.  In fact, those window units are actually bringing down the value of your home, and forcing unfiltered air into your home.  Think you should just open a window? That has pros and cons.  Fresh air – good.  Dust and allergens – bad. Aside from increasing the value of your home, and making it more attractive to prospective buyers, central air units circulate cleaner and healthier air.

So when should we start planning this?

Early spring.  By the summertime, we can only guarantee appointments that have been pre-booked.  You want to take care of everything before those humid nights set in.  When it comes to sleep, you want immediate comfort.  After a twelve hour shift, plus commute, you need to get a good and solid sleep. 

Besides that, booking your maintenance before there’s a problem with your unit will save you money.  A regular maintenance call might only cost a few hundred dollars, but an emergency call at 3:00 a.m.?  That could set you back $1,000. 

Just like your car – or even your health – air conditioners require regular maintenance.  It’s too late to think about salad when you’re in the midst of a heart attack, right? 

Tell us about Valiant Mechanical

Valiant was founded in 2010 by Dale Unruh Jr., myself, and Remy Leahy after realising the lack of  “true service” in our area.  We’re a young but innovative company that brings much experience to the table.  We’re trying to couple that “old” experience with new technology by implementing tablet software that will allow our employees to track and manage appointments efficiently.  The software will help us to identify patterns when diagnosing and preventing future issues with your unit.  By recording the technical information of your unit, we can make sure that we arrive at your home with exactly the right parts.

We’re also proud to be an official Lennox dealer and Navien Service Specialist company.  As such, we carry a large inventory of parts for both new and old units, and in the event we don’t have it, even the most uncommon parts are only 24 hours away.

Surely you didn’t dream of becoming a heating and cooling guy when you were a little boy.

I originally wanted to be a heavy duty mechanic, like my dad.  I used to love going into his shop as a kid. When I got my first car – an 81 Volkswagen that didn’t run – I dove headfirst into mechanics. However, my dad said “you’re a big guy. If you find it hard to get your arms and hands into the small spaces of that car, then you’re going to have a hell of a time getting your whole body into places on a piece of heavy equipment.”  So I pursued plumbing instead.

Tell us about your crew.

  • Adam Dooley is my main man. Adam is a journeyman plumber/gasfitter B and brings with him an extensive knowledge of residential and commercial construction. Adam’s dedication to customer service is something you haven’t seen before. He is very proficient in his trade and is an effective communicator.
  • Robin Weber plays a crucial part in Valiant’s success. As a journeyman refrigeration mechanic, Robin brings with him years of installation and service experience and a keen eye for quality. Robin’s pleasant, easy going demeanour is only overcome by his passion for a job done well and efficiently. 
  • Mike Donovan is another important part of our team. Mike is from the U.K. and has brought with him decades of plumbing and heating knowledge. As our resident electrical expert, Mike’s broad mechanical knowledge makes him one of our most versatile technicians.
  • John Byrer is our newest addition to the team has a strong construction management background and is an asset to any company doing commercial installations.  John is a well-rounded person with lots of character, serving his community tirelessly both as a volunteer and spiritual leader.
  • Chris Stevens is one of our youngest journeymen. Most of his experience comes from the fast paced commercial construction industry – a pace he’s kept up. Chris has been described by his customers and “excellent” and “extremely polite.”
  • Donal O’Connor and Dylan Nash are two of our most prominent apprentices. Donal brings a vast array of HVAC experience and his dedication to quality is right in line with ours. At 17, Dylan Nash sets the pace for kids his age. Dylan’s hard working demeanour and passion for learning are unmatched.

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