Author: Renee Andrus

R22 Phase Out: What you need to know

What is R22?

R22, commonly known as “Freon”, is the refrigerant that was widely used in residential and commercial air conditioning systems that are more than 10 years old.  R22 has been classified by the EPA as a Class 2 controlled substance.  Class 2 substances are all hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are transitional substitutes for many Class 1 substances.  R22 is the most common HCFC in use today.

When will I be affected?

The phaseout of Ozone-depleting substances, such as R22, began decades ago.  As a result, the pricing of R22 has slowly risen as the availability of R22 declines.

What are my options?

  1. Budget, budget, and budget:

If your units are currently utilizing R22, know that not if, but when, your unit needs additional R22 refrigerant that the costs associated with obtaining reclaimed R22 refrigerant will only increase.

  1. Retrofit current equipment:

In some cases, you can retrofit your older HVAC equipment to use some of the newer refrigerant which could save you downtime and money.  If you need assistance in determining if your system can be retrofitted, contact your current HVAC Service provider or Hardy Services to assist.

  1. New Equipment:

Whoa!  I know, new equipment can be costly, especially upfront.  However, this may be the most cost-efficient approach.  There are some tax breaks and incentives available for HVAC equipment and installation that may be available to you.  Talk to your current HVAC Service provider, or give Hardy Services a call, to help you assess which units need to be replaced.

Hardy Services is here to provide support as need on all of your HVAC, Plumbing, and Controls needs.


Plumbing Tips For Maintaining Healthy Work Environment

As we gradually move back to our work environments, Hardy Services would like to offer a few plumbing tips to help maintain a safe and sanitized environment for you, your employees, and guests.


A backflow is a device that is required on all in-ground irrigation systems. A properly operating backflow device prevents hazardous substances from contaminating the clean water supply. Hardy Services is an approved vendor for Backflow testing by the Birmingham Water Works Board.


When was the last time you checked for leaks? Leaks are not only a wasteful nuisance, but they can lead to costly expenses, as well as an unhealthy environment.


The less we touch in public restrooms, the less likely germs and bacteria are passed around. Installing a hands-free faucet and/or toilet is a simple change that will have an immediate impact on the health of employees. An additional benefit of “Hands Free” faucets, urinals, and toilet flushers are the potential savings on water consumption.


If your system has become overloaded, blocked, or clogged; waste can be pushed back into your facility. This can lead to unpleasant odors, damage, and/or illness to those within your facility. If you have encountered any of these Drain/Sewer issues, Hardy Services can assist with a diagnosis by utilizing a camera system to identify the issue(s), and provide you with an action plan to resolve/repair the issue.


Pump Up the Grind!

Do you have issues with your septic tank or sewage line backing up? If so, you may want to consider a Grinder Pump for your system.

What is a grinder pump?

A grinder pump station contains the pump, the tank, and an alarm panel. A cutting mechanism macerates waste and grinds any items that might get flushed down the toilet. Included in the pump housing or as an external device are level sensors to alert the pump when to activate. If the sensors or pump malfunction, there should be an alarm buzzer and an indicator light to alert the property owner of the problem.

The tank is generally made from fiberglass, high-density polyethylene, or fiberglass-reinforced polyester. It has an inlet opening and a discharge opening. Pipes from the building are connected to the inlet; the pipe that leads to the sewer main is connected to the discharge. Often more than one building or restroom can be connected to a grinder station. In this case, more than one inlet can be installed. It is always good to consult the manufacturer first. There is a lid on the tank that is made from heavy-duty plastic or metal and is bolted or padlocked shut to prevent unauthorized entry.

What type of Preventative Maintenance is needed for a Grinder Pump?

Generally, grinder pumps do not require preventive maintenance. However, if the tank utilizes a float switch, grease build-up on the float may cause it not to make contact, therefore, not turning the pump on. For this reason, grinder pumps may need to be hosed down occasionally.

What can I grind?

Property owners are generally not limited by what they can or cannot pour down their drains because they have a grinder pump. However, certain things should never be flushed or poured down any drain, whether it has a grinder pump connected or not. Some of the items include diapers, feminine hygiene products, kitty litter, paint, or any kind of oil.
Disposable wipes used for personal use or cleaning, etc., are causing problems in areas all around the United States. They cause problems with clogs, as well as with grinder pumps, lift stations, and sewage treatment plants. Some wipes say they are safe for sewers, some say to flush one at a time, or sometimes they say not for pump systems. Consumer Reports recommend that all wipes should be put in a garbage can.

My Grinder Pump isn’t working! Who do I call?

If you are having any type of sewage or septic tank issues, please trust a professional commercial plumber.

Hardy Services is here to help with all of your Plumbing and HVAC needs. Let Hardy Services “Pump UP the Grind” and solve your plumbing issues. We promise not to dance!.. at least while someone is looking.


7 Possible Reasons Why Your Furnace Is Blowing Cool Air

For the most part, typical Alabama Winters are not harsh. Fluctuating temperatures may lead you and others feeling as if they need to adjust the thermostat to get to a comfortable temperature.  When we are hot, we want A/C and when we are cold, we want heat.  But what happens when our furnace is blowing cool air?

Here are 7 reasons why your commercial furnace may be blowing cool air.

  1. Incorrect Thermostat Settings
    As mentioned earlier, our winters can be inconsistent.  As a result, you may have multiple people trying to adjust the thermostat settings to create a environment that is comfortable for them.   To reduce the constant thermostat changes some offices have implemented lock boxes around the thermostat or have a Building Automation System that will regulate the environment.  If you are interested in more information regarding a Building Automation System, contact Hardy Services.
  2. Thermostat Location
    We have all heard; location, location, location.  This also applies to your thermostat location.  If the person in the room where the thermostat sensor is located is running a space heater the sensor will be reading a higher temperature for the space and the result may be a cooler air flow into other rooms.
  3. Empty Oil Tank
    If you have an oil-fired furnace, you may be out of fuel. If so, your blower may keep circulating cool air even after the burner fails to light and produce heat.
  4. Issue with Computerized Controls
    If you have a building automation system, you may need to reset the system by turning the system off, wait a few seconds, and then restart your system. This is similar to rebooting a computer. If the furnace still blows cool air, call a professional. (Check out our Climate Controls blog)
  5. Valve Problem
    If your pilot light won’t light at all, you may have a faulty gas valve. Or, if your system has not been cleaned in a while, a valve could be stuck due to dirt and debris. Have your system cleaned and inspected by a professional. (Check out our Furnace Preventative Maintenance blog)
  6. Clogged Air Filter
    Filters can become clogged with dirt and debris. When the filter is clogged, ignition can be affected, and the result is your furnace blowing cool air. Replacing or cleaning a filter can be a messy job. Leave it to the professionals.
  7. Dirty Oil or Gas Burner
    If the furnace burner itself is neglected, accumulated dust and grime can cause trouble in igniting. Have your system professionally cleaned to take care of this problem.

The reasons listed above could be prevented with a Preventative Maintenance program from Hardy Services.



Creating A Happy Work Environment With Climate Control

Work Climate Control

In virtually every office, “thermostat wars” rage: some like it hot, while some like it cold, and companies find it impossible to please everyone.

In a recent study by the Indoor Environment Group,, some key findings were made:

  1. 50% of respondents say they were dissatisfied several times with the temperature in their office.
  2. 42% of the respondents say they are too warm during the summer, while 56% report they are too cold during the winter.
  3. 60% of the respondents say that having more control over their office’s temperature would increase their productivity.
  4. The median preferred office temperature for women is 72 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for men.
  5. Frequency of dissatisfaction with temperatures increases with age: Employees between the ages of 46 to 55 are 36% more likely to be dissatisfied with their environment than their coworkers between the ages of 18 to 25.

Modern day technology and Building Automation Software could be a great way to show your employees the concern and willingness to create a happy work environment.

Please consider Hardy Services for your Building Automation needs. Let Hardy Services be a part of accomplishing your business goals by helping your employees be more productive.

If you’d like to set up a time to discuss your Building Automation needs, please call us at 591-5678 or visit us at


Warning Signs Your Commercial Property May Have a Leak

Water leaks can be devastating to not only your home, but also to your office or business. Even the smallest leak can lead to extensive damage to your facility. Here are a few signs you can look for and hopefully help prevent further damage to your property due to a potential water leak.


  1. Sudden Increase in Water Bill
    Commercial facilities can use thousands of gallons of water each day. If you notice a rise in your water bill, you could have a water leak.
  2. Inconsistent Water Pressure
    Inconsistent water pressure in your facility could be due to cracks or holes in your piping. As a result, you could be flushing money down the drain.
  3. Damp Locations
    If you notice the ceiling or drywall is discolored or damp, you could have a water leak.
  4. Newly Developed Cracks
    Noticeable cracks should be monitored. This could mean that water is pushing into the concrete in the foundation of your property or water is causing the ground beneath the foundation to move causing the newly developed cracks.
  5. Depressions or Holes
    If you notice any new holes or newly developed depressions around your property, do not ignore them. Any holes in the grass or concrete should be addressed immediately.


All of the issues listed above should be taken seriously as they could result in loss of time or damage to the property, and the costs to repair the property could continue to grow.

If you have any questions or need to build a relationship with a commercial plumber, please consider Hardy Services for all you Plumbing, HVAC and Controls needs.



Don’t Get Spooked By Noises of a Freaky Furnace

It’s hard to believe that “Old Man Winter” is right around the corner and with cooler temperatures approaching it won’t be long before we are turning on our furnaces. As we start our furnaces for the first time, we may encounter some “spooky” noises. As equipment ages or sits dormant during their off-season some problems can arise during their start-up. Here are just a few reasons you may hear some of those “spooky” noises:


  • Squealing Noises- Can arise from worn belts, worn bearings, or other system
    components that have begun to wear excessively.
  • Rattling- Rattling noises will typically occur when a part or parts have become
    loose and rattle due to vibration in the system or air-flow.
  • Loud Whistling- Can occur when there is an obstruction or mechanical issue that
    is causing a break in the air-flow. The whistling comes from air escaping
    through gaps, holes, or other areas not designed for air to flow through.
  • Grinding or Metal-On-Metal- Grinding sounds are very scary! These noises typically occur when components in the system are broken or very loose. Grinding sounds could cause a total system failure and should be addressed immediately.

You could help avoided these problems with a preventative maintenance program from a licensed Commercial HVAC provider.
Don’t be stressed by the spooky sounds of your furnace. Please consider Hardy Services for All your Furnace, HVAC and Building Automation needs.


Is Your Toilet “Laboring” or Constantly Running?

Here are a few of the main reasons your toilet is “Laboring” or constantly running:


Yes, your toilet has a flapper! It is located inside the base of the tank. The sole job of the flapper is to regulate the water flow from the tank to the toilet bowl. Before you flush the toilet, the flapper forms a tight seal and does not allow any water out of the tank. When you flush the toilet, the flapper is pulled up by a chain to an open position and allows all the water out of the tank, so the toilet will flush properly. Once the water is evacuated the flapper should fall back down into the closed position and allow the tank to refill.

If the flapper does not seal at the base of the tank perfectly, water will slowly drain into the bowl. The “running” sound will occur when water has drained from the tank into the toilet causing the fill valve ball to fall below the “full” point and the tank will begin to refill until the fill valve ball is back to “full”.

Flappers fail due to age, warping, cracking, debris or build up around the seal.


The chain connects the flush valve to the flapper. If the chain is too short it can keep the flapper from sealing to the bottom of the tank. Or if the chain is too long, it may begin to catch on other elements inside the tank or get caught underneath the flapper and not allowing the flapper to seal. Thus causing your toilet to be constantly “running”.


The fill valve regulates the amount of water inside the tank. Once the toilet is flushed the fill valve drops below the suggested water level, the water is introduced into the tank, and once the fill valve reaches the “full” level the water should shut off and the tank should be full.
If the fill valve becomes faulty the result could be a “running” toilet as it will not reach the “full” level and the water will constantly run.

If the above issue occur and you need to call a certified commercial plumber. Please consider Hardy Services for your commercial plumbing needs.


Benefits of Building Automation Systems

Today’s Building Automation Systems serve as the central nervous system for Commercial HVAC Systems.  These systems monitor and regulate the performance of the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning year-round.  Here are just a few examples of how a Building Automation System can be beneficial to you and your commercial HVAC system.

Building Automation Systems allows you the control over the buildings environment.  Whether you are in the office or out and about you can control the set points for the system, monitor the effectiveness of the system, and ensure comfort throughout the building.

Consistency and Comfort
Building Automation Systems can help maintain a more even temperature throughout the spaces you specify.

Lower Utility Bills
According to a report published by in Sept. 2017, on average, installing a Building Automation System can decrease your utility costs up to 29%.  This savings could help offset the cost for a Building Automation System.  Then combined with a Preventive Maintenance Program (PMP), could lead to even more of a savings on your utility costs.

Less Time on Complaints
Facilities that have temperature fluctuations tend to receive significantly more complaints in the maintenance or facilities department.  These complaints can be time consuming to address as well as taking time away from other facility needs.

Less Downtime
Downtime in a production environment is costly.  It’s not only costly in terms of revenue but also expensive on the immediate repairs.  Building Automation Systems can significantly reduce downtime by extending the life of your HVAC equipment and by providing warnings on potential system issues before they arise.




Whether you own HVAC equipment or are in the business of repairing it, you will experience firsthand the many noises your equipment may make.  As with any equipment malfunctions tend to occur creating a variety of noises. This blog covers some of these noises and their possible causes.



A rattling noise could be a result of a loose belt, panel, fan, or something as simple as a few loose screws.  Rattling could also be a result of a failing motor, a bent fan blade, or many other items that could be a result of having aged equipment.


Growling noises could be a result of a failing compressor. If you hear a roaring/growling noise turn the system off and contact your HVAC service provider.


Chirping noises may be a sign of dry bearings, the fan rubbing against the coils or blower cage, or a worn belt.  Make sure the chirping is consistent before “hitting the panic button”.


Equipment that starts making a clanking noise could be a result of loose parts, such as the blower motor fan, blades, or loose pipes rubbing together.  If not addressed these can cause costly damage to your system.  If you hear a clanking noise, turn your system off and contact your HVAC service provider.

Remember, it is important to have a relationship with a reliable and dependable HVAC service provider.  The most important part of any equipment is keeping it maintained on a consistent basis.