The amps go up.. But the KWatt hours are what count. BTU per hour uses how many KW hours, those numbers are what I'm looking at..Stuff like the EER, HSPF and COP are the numbers to look for when buying.. And nope, I don't use grid-tied gear. I own one GTI, because I wanted to experiment with using it off-grid.. IIRC, that thing is toast now..
Yvonne Colbert, CBC News
Posted: Mar 05, 2018 5:00 AM AT Last Updated:
Mar 05, 2018 5:00 AM AT
Homeowners who clean heat
pumps regularly may still miss nasty surprises inside the machines. (Robert
As more and more homeowners turn to heat pumps
to save money on heating and cooling their homes, many seem unaware of the
potential for mould buildup and the need for regular deep cleaning.
"I had no idea," said Lorna Newcombe of North
Bedeque, P.E.I. Newcombe has a
five-year-old heat pump, which she loves. Last fall, both she and her
four-year-old started having cold symptoms including runny noses, constant
coughs and sore and aching muscles. "Myself
and my son were both put on antibiotics and puffers," she said, adding they'd
feel better for a while but when they stopped the antibiotics and puffers they
would feel worse again. In December, her
husband took a week's vacation, spending more time than usual in their home.
When he, too, developed similar symptoms, they decided to investigate whether
something in their house was responsible.
They decided to have the filters in their heat
pump changed but when Newcombe called the owner of the company that installed
it, he recommended a deep cleaning. "I was
skeptical because I've been cleaning it monthly on a regular basis," she said.
But he assured her it was worth it and she'd
be happy with the result, so she agreed.
"As soon as soon as he started [to open it up],
I was like, 'This is definitely not how I clean it. It's much more in depth and
gets to the parts where you can't physically get as the owner of one of these
machines,"' she said.
P.E.I. resident Lorna
Newcombe loves her heat pump but is convinced mould in it caused her sickness.
She said there was black mould inside.
"When he started spraying it at first it was
kind of grey and then as he started going farther I was floored that anything in
my house was that dirty," she said.
Newcombe said within two days of the
professional cleaning, the whole family felt better. They went back to the
doctor and told her about the heat pump. "She put us on the proper antibiotics and we have been,
knock on wood, feeling great since," she said. While the debris from her heat pump was never tested and
the presence of mould was never confirmed, Newcombe is convinced it was
responsible for her family's illness.
Stories like that are not uncommon, according to
those who clean heat pumps. "We've had very
happy customers that called us and said "I'm off my puffer, our kids are no
longer going to the doctor and their cold symptoms are gone,"' said Michelle
Brewer, owner of Breathe Clean Mini Split Heat Pump Cleaning in Halifax.
She says over time, heat pumps are "like a
"You have the moisture, you have the heat, the
warmth, and you have the darkness so it doesn't matter — if you have that
anywhere, you're going to get mould. And what we discovered if you have them
cleaned on a regular basis, it cuts down on the mould," Brewer said.
Billy Pashkoski found mould
inside his heat pump. (Robert Short/CBC)
CBC was there when her company cleaned Billy
Pashkoski's heat pump at his home in Middle Sackville, N.S. He called the
company when he noticed mould inside the unit and said he couldn't believe
the black water that resulted from the cleaning. "It's satisfying to see it gone, but it's quite scary to
think it's been in there and we've been breathing it. It's shocking," he
Most heat pump warranties require interior
cleaning and maintenance, but few mention the potential for mould.
Brewer said a deep clean serves other
purposes, as well. She said a dirty
heat pump can reduce efficiency by 20 to 25 per cent, which defeats the purpose
of installing it. She pointed out that a dirty heat pump must work harder and
that can reduce its lifespan.
Both Newcombe and Brewer said they don't want to
scare people away from heat pumps. They simply want owners to know that, like
your furnace or car, heat pumps require professional maintenance, which Brewer
recommends be done once a year.
Billy Pashkoski looks
inside his heat pump at his Middle Sackville home. (Robert