Frequently Asked Questions

Below we've listed many of the questions we hear frequently from our clients.

We service Owen Sound, Grey and Bruce Counties in Ontario as well as Halifax, Dartmouth, and surrounding areas in Nova Scotia, Canada.

HEAT PUMPS, Lots of Good but lots to learn

How they work.

A heat pump is an air conditioner going the opposite way. Not by accident, But on purpose.

An air conditioner, like the refrigerator, takes the heat from inside the space and sends it outside. The old refrigerators had the “warm or hot” coil on the back, now they are on the bottom underneath. Your air conditioner has the visible outside “Box”, and in the summer, it is warm air blowing out of (usually) the top of it.

A heat pump transfers the heat in the opposite direction. It takes the heat from the outside ambient air, even at -30 degrees C, concentrates it, and brings it inside.

It has an inside portion sometimes called a Head, and an outside portion, where the big fan is

There are two broad categories of heat pumps, Standard, and low ambient models often with a Patented name like Hyper Heat, (Mitsubishi), Aurora (Daikin).

The difference between them is their performance at low outside ambient temperatures., and a wee bit of efficiency results.

The standard heat pump is designed for shoulder season heating only. That is spring, fall, and to take the chill from cooler summer nights. It essentially starts losing its cost savings below 0C though it may continue to work down to -15C outside. I don’t recommend it as a 4 season heating option at all in this area.

The low ambient, cold climate hyper models will work effectively to much lower temperatures, still being very effective below -10C.

When I say effective, I mean still putting out 100% or close to its rated heat capacity, at a decent hydro cost. The performance still drops as the outside temperature, the source of heat, falls.


That bring me to performance comparisons between manufacturer’.

In my opinion the performance across manufacturer’s models lines up pretty well with the cost.

If I were to quote a Mitsubishi, Daikin, Trane, LG, Fujitsu, Panasonic, the price performance comparison is very similar, with some variation to length of warranty.

This means that if I price one brand slightly above another, it means that the performance, with all factors considered, is slightly ahead of the other.

But, there are also reviews, and opinions out there, so I try to offer more than one option, with model numbers for your research.

Operation quirks to be aware of.

They work incredible, but they can take getting used to.

  1. The fan works almost all the time, less so in a ducted unit, but still they run a lot.

 This is something to get used to and is GOOD.

With a full system, ducted or ductless, the fans involved are amazingly efficient, or inexpensive to operate. They are part of the overall efficiency rating, which is very high. (The higher the efficiency, the higher the price, the higher the efficiency, the lower the energy bills)

In the better units, the fans are ECM which I’ll explain another time.

The almost continuous fan operation is so the indoor unit can sense the air temperature. Is it at or below set point.

In the case of a ductless system, the indoor fan will also stop or almost stop when the outdoor unit goes into defrost. (much more on that later)

  1. The system works almost all the time as well. Their purpose, where they excel over traditional heating systems, is  MAINTAINing the temperature. A well sized heat pump replaces the heat loss from the house.

Heat loss is from poor insulation, cracks around windows and doors, floors, ceilings, the roof open windows and doors.

Traditional heating systems furnaces like furnaces, have ALWAYS been oversized, AND the heat loss of houses have been decreasing on average every year as people improve insulation, seal cracks around doors and windows (and receptacles on outside walls), insulate basements, reinsulate the attic, close or improve windows and doors. SHUT THE DANG DOOR. WERE YOU BORN IN A BARN?

The problems with oversized equipment, leaving efficiency out of the discussion, is temperature cycling.

Temperature cycling is analogous to driving in the city, going as fast as possible, stop light to stop light. The gas consumption is large, and the comfort level of the passenger with an open coffee mug is poor.

A well sized and designed heat pump system runs almost all the time on cruise, and takes the bad stuff away. It gives steady temperatures, and great gas mileage.

But the KEY, is DON’T mess with the temperature. Set it to a comfortable temperature and vary it no more than a degree or two. As all of the cost savings is lost when it tries to bring the temperature up.

The explanation for this goes into thermodynamics, somebody’s law (Boyle maybe?) Which I can expand on if you want, but not now.

Remember the Cost vs Performance discussion above. The performance of these units is not all the same. Be aware that a “Price sensitive” heat pump may be VERY expensive to operate at colder outside temperatures. Even the high end ones will work very hard to extract the heat from very cold temperatures, leading to unpleasant hydro bills.

BUT, remember that whatever used to heat you is not working or costing you money now.

I get several calls a year at the end of February from heat pump customers screaming at the $500 hydro bill. Until I point out that the cylinder of propane or tank of oil they used to burn in the same time period is worth $900-$2000.

  1. Defrost during the heating mode:

Once you get used to it, it is no problem.

Because the Heat pump draws heat from the outside air, the air through the outdoor unit and coil temperature are several degrees colder than everywhere else. As the temperature drops outside to wards the freezing temperature of water, 0C or 32F, the coil starts freezing the moisture in the air to itself. This is condensate. (like the condensate from indoors during AC season.) It will develop frost and sometimes ICE around it.

THIS IS NORMAL to a point.

Your heat pump system is designed to get rid of most of that periodically or as needed. It will first turn off or drastically reduce the speed of the indoor fan, then the outdoor portion turns into an air conditioner, heating the coil and melting the frost or ice.

In the dead of winter, a lot of ice could build up under the outdoor unit. If it starts to cover the bottom of the outdoor unit, AND you notice a decrease in the heat, call your service provider.

There are a number of reasons for excessive ice. But your heat pump is VERY tough and determined to give you heat.

I have seen giant ice cubes still giving comfortable heat indoors.

  1. Learn your remote

Personally, I use maybe 4 buttons on my remote, Mode, up and down temperature (rarely), and on/off. But there are a lot of buttons. And they can mess with your comfort if you press the wrong ones without knowing.

Mode. This switches the unit from air circulation only, to cooling mode, to heat mode, to dehumidify.

Unfortunately, in my poor sighted opinion, the icon on the screen for Heat and Cool are far too similar. That is something to check with glasses if it gets cool in the house in the middle of winter. It has tricked me in the past.

The air circulation icon is just the fan.

 The tear drops icon is dehumidification. This Mode is pretty awesome as it does exactly what the name implies, Dehumidification.

A dehumidified room at 28 degrees is pretty nice. A humid room at 28 degrees is miserable.

There generally will be a economy button, a fan speed button, a fan louver button, a timer, a turbo button, and other buttons. And just like your TV remote, you will never use most of them.

But it is nice to know what they are for.

Good luck.


If you have multiple inside heads or units with multiple remotes, DO NOT have one in cooling and one is heating. It screws up the brains of the system, and nothing will work. It will through an error code at you.

AGAIN, if the system stops working, check all of the remotes. They all have to be in EITHER in Heating (and OFF), OR COOLING (and OFF). Troubleshooting Tip #1

  1. Maintenance and Cleaning

Air flow is key.

Dirty Air filters reduce air flow causing issues, and eventually EXPENSIVE issues. So clean them regularly.

In a ductless system, find and clean the filter screens. In a ducted system, find and clean the air filter.

There is a condensate drain system from the indoor unit. These, sadly are not so civilian friendly for cleaning. And should be professionally serviced and cleaned periodically.

The condensate is a by product of air conditioning (and dehumidification). It literally is water vapour or humidity in the air, leaving the air. And it should be directed to a drain or outside. It is a AC (or dehumidify) occurrence and is not an issue in heating mode.

On that note, because of the condensate and depending on your area, keep an eye or a nose out for unpleasant odours which could be a mold. This means professional cleaning.

Which Crose Mechanical offers.

The sign of a defective or plugged condensate system is water dripping from the indoor head and down the wall, OR a puddle of water around your furnace on central ducted system.

On the outdoor unit, check the coil for debris, pollen, tree dandruff, spiderwebs whatever. They are designed to get wet (but not submerged so take it easy), so a garden hose washing the coils should be fine. Disconnect the power though first.

That is pretty much it for maintenance.

My Story.

I installed my first of several heat pumps at my house in 2018. I installed in my wood fireplace room which used to heat 2/3rds of my house. My fireplace has barely seen a stick of wood since.

I turn it on in early Oct and it runs at virtually the same temperature until April May.

And very inexpensive to operate except January and February where I can see high hydro bills.

BUT, the first winter after installation, I tracked my expenses, Wood, Propane which heats the rest of my house, and Hydro from October 1st, to March 31st.

There was a slight increase in hydro over the 6 months, over the previous years. The propane usage dropped substantially, and my wood bill was gone.

In the first winter, compared to other prior winters, my expenses in those categories dropped $800. PLUS, now I have air conditioning.

I am a firm believer in Heat Pumps. I proudly sell them and install them.

If expectations are managed and the install is good, they will help control your heating, and cooling expense.

For more about heat pumps. Explore our Heat Pump product gallery.

Mileage driving charge MAY apply for emergency service. 
Overtime rates MAY apply after hours and on holidays, and weekends.

We won't let you off the hook until your problem is solved.

Yes! We have created a Rebate Programs page with the current programs available for our clients.

Also, check out our testimonials section on our website.