Chilliwack

Abbotsford

Greater Vancouver

What is this “Zuba” thing and how is it different than a regular heat pump?

Compared to other means of heating, heat pumps are very efficient, but only as long as the outside temperatures stay above 0ºC. From this point and below, a supplemental heating system has to be used. Our Zuba-Central system is equipped with Mitsubishi Electric’s exclusive Hyper-Heat Inverter (H2i) technology, which gives you the same performance benefits all the way down to -30°C and below without having to resort to a back-up heating source! Zuba-Central provides unmatched cooling and heating capabilities, keeping your entire home cool and consistent in the blaze of summer, and toasty and comfortable during the coldest of winter days. The Zuba-Central heat pump system is superior to other traditional heating and cooling systems, and it outperforms competing heat pump systems as well. For example, with Zuba-Central’s H2i technology, you can count on quick start-up times. Plus, the unique defrost mechanism provides an extended period of continuous heating between the defrost time, and minimizes the defrost time required, proving yet again that Zuba-Central is one of the most efficient systems on the market. More differences.

Where can I find more information on the Energy Savings with heat pumps?

What about the federal grants for upgrading my home?

For older homes undergoing multiple renovations, it may be worthwhile to check out the ecoENERGY retrofit grants available from the federal government. The Government of Canada provides grants to property owners who complete energy efficiency retrofits based on energy advisors’ recommendations. The grant amount is based on carrying out energy efficiency retrofits such as increasing your attic insulation or replacing your gas furnace with a qualified ENERGY STAR® model. Only homes that have undergone a residential energy efficiency assessment by an NRCan-licensed advisor will be eligible for grants. The application for the grant is be made by an NRCan authorized Energy Advisor on behalf of the owner. For more information on the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, check the  Energy Savings Plan (BC) website, or contact one of the local Energy Advisors.

I don’t have a furnace or ductwork. Can I still get air conditioning?

Yes! Check out our HVAC products page for Mitsubishi Electric’s “Mr. Slim” line of ductless split systems. These extremely quiet units mount to an outside wall (not a window) preferably linked to a centrally located room where there is good air-flow to surrounding areas, and provide cooling and also heating to that entire level of your home. This is definitely NOT your father’s noisy old window shaker!

How do I maintain my system to work most efficiently?

Your system’s HVAC components each carry a corresponding manufacturer’s limited warranty, however just as with automobiles and other large purchases, regular maintenance of the system is the responsibility of the homeowner, and is not covered by warranty. Manufacturers recommend having a professional contractor perform a pre-season check-up. Chill-Air offers pre-season system checks from $99.95 (up to 1 hr., Chilliwack area) to have your system inspected and tuned, which can save you money on costs and prevent premature breakdown. The cost is well worth it when you consider the cost of decreased efficiency, larger monthly utility bills and potential non-warranty repairs. Here are some of the services our technician will perform during a system check:


  • Inspect blower wheels, unit wiring and unit disconnect.
  • Check refrigerant charge, compressor electrical data and operation.
  • Clean condenser coils and condensate drain and clean or replace air filters.
  • Lubricate motors and bearings.
  • As well, there are some basic homeowner responsibilities that will help keep your system running properly and maintain warranty eligibility:
    • Change furnace filters and check drain hoses before each heating and cooling season, and check them once a month during the operative seasons. A clogged furnace filter or drain hose will adversely affect your air conditioner or heat pump’s performance and may result in un-necessary service calls and charges which will not be covered by manufacturer’s warranty.
    • Keep air-supply outlets and return inlets clear of obstructions.
    • Clear leaves, brush, and dirt as they accumulate on the outside unit. If there’s a pipe for draining condensate water, check it for blockage.

My air conditioner or heat pump does not seem to be keeping cool enough. Why?

Firstly, you should check to make sure your system has enough air-flow by making sure the furnace filters have been changed and are clean, the drain hose is not clogged, the furnace fan has not been turned or set to “off”, the system switch is set on the appropriate COOL setting, the registers are clear, and the outside unit is clean and clear of debris, and has not frozen up. When the weather is abnormally hot outside, your heat pump or air conditioner may have trouble keeping up with the demand for cooling, due to the fact that systems are sized to operate optimally within the ‘normal‘climate range for our area. Over-sizing a system larger in order to account for infrequent extremely hot weather would be very un-economical and could short-cycle the equipment and shorten its lifespan. In short, if it’s 35°C outside, and your heat pump or air conditioning can only bring your house down to around 26°C or 27°C instead of your “preferred” setting of 21°C or 22°C, you still have air conditioning happening, and your home is still much more comfortable than it would be otherwise. It’s simply not possible to expect it to keep up as well at 35°C outside, as it would at 28°C. Most importantly, do not adjust your thermostat even lower in an effort to increase cooling, as this will likely cause freezing up and potential damage to the system. See tips below for setting your thermostat most efficiently.

My heat pump seems to make a “clunking” noise sometimes. Is this normal?

When your heat pump is going into a defrost mode, as it does regularly, you may notice a “clunking” noise from the outdoor unit. This is a normal part of system operation and is due to the reversing valve reversing the flow. During the defrost the outdoor unit will steam and the condenser fan will not run for about 10 to 20 minutes, and you may notice some slightly colder air in the ductwork. Your heat pump may also seem somewhat noisier in general during colder weather spells. This too is normal, and is due to the fact that colder air is denser than warm air.

What do I do if my system seems to be doing something abnormal?

We have written an HVAC  Welcome Letter outlining some simple principles that every homeowner should understand in order to keep their system operating efficiently for many years to come. As well there are some tips to avoid potential problems and eliminate un-necessary service call charges. HVAC systems are complicated networks of machinery that should be serviced by a certified professional. However, if your HVAC system seems to be malfunctioning, you can try a few of the basic steps listed below which may correct your problem, prior to calling a service professional. If all of the tips check out and your system still seems not to be operating properly, or if you are uncomfortable with performing any of them, feel free to schedule a service call. (All service calls are COD unless the issue is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.)


  • Disconnect and reconnect your indoor and outdoor switches. Double check that nobody has accidentally turned the furnace switch off – it is commonly mistaken for a light switch in the furnace room. You don’t want to have to pay for a technician to come, only to find someone has accidentally flipped the switch!
  • Make sure your circuit breakers are in the ON position.
  • Make sure your filters and drain lines are clean.
  • Open supply and return vents and make sure they are unobstructed.
  • Make sure the system switch is on the appropriate COOL or HEAT setting.
  • Check the settings on your thermostat. If in doubt, bring it in to the shop for help (no charge). Please bear in mind that service calls where the cause is determined to be improper programming will incur applicable service call charges.


If you are in doubt as to how to program your thermostat, you can detach it from the wall and bring it in to our shop for no-charge consultation and help with the settings.

How should I program my thermostat for the most efficient operation?

Air conditioning systems should never be set below 21-22° (71°– 72°F). Settings lower than this will commonly result in the system freezing up, requiring a defrost cycle (see tips in our Welcome Letter) and if frozen long enough, expensive damage to the compressor could result. Heat pumps work best at a constant thermostat setting of between 20°C and 23°C (68° – 74°F) – year round. For heat pumps, the old “furnace mentality” of setting your system down dramatically during the night to save energy, and setting it higher again in the morning, is very ill-advised and actually decreases the efficiency of the system. Heat pumps are designed to be run consistently and constantly to maintain an even temperature. Remember, they are not burning expensive fossil fuels in doing so! Setting your thermostat dramatically lower at night will result in the furnace needing to kick in the next morning in order to bring the temperature back up to the point that the heat pump can maintain, and using expensive gas to do so eliminates some of your energy savings. For best results “Set it and Forget it!” For your reference, below are some links to the thermostat Owner’s Manuals. If you are in doubt as to how to program your thermostat, you can detach it from the wall and bring it in to our shop for no-charge consultation and help with the settings. (Right-click and select “Save As”)


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