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Owners of the first heat pump cleaning company in North America chat from their home in Nova Scotia

Photo The Breathe Clean crew, Robert Coolen, Michelle Brewer and Tom Jollymore. - Cleve Brewer
Photo The Breathe Clean crew, Robert Coolen, Michelle Brewer and Tom Jollymore. - Cleve Brewer

Do you clean your heat pump?

Michelle and Cleve Brewer describe it as “unimaginable” that in 2016 there were no services in North America cleaning heat pumps.

Yet, based on science and experience, it is clear these services are vital for the health of people living with a heat pump and the longevity of the appliance.

Michelle says it all started when their grandbaby was moving into a new home, furnished with a heat pump. Cleve took a look, saw dirt on the coils and wondered about build up inside the machine.

He didn’t have a heat pump, but common sense told Cleve a few things. One, if there was dirt in the heat pump, the air pushed out would be compromised. Two, when air conditioning, the insides of a heat pump are wet and dark, resulting in only one thing: mould. Three, heat pumps depend on air flow. Any obstruction in the drains, pipes or coils tax the operation, efficiency and longevity of the appliance.

The couple decided a heat pump cleaning would be a great housewarming gift for their son’s family. After a month or so, the Brewers concluded the service simply did not exist in North America and that realization sparked a year-long research process.

By this time, Cleve was retired from a teaching career and Michelle was working from home. The timing could not be better. It took another year of designing and prototype-testing before settling on system that left no dirt in the unit and no mess outside the unit.

In 2016, they were ready and unveiled their system, Breathe Clean, at a local home show.

Michelle says at first, business was the result of “word of mouth.”

“When we started cleaning, and people started talking, business picked up,” she said.

What were they talking about? Michelle says customers are always surprised at the amount of mould and dirt retrieved by the system and how much better their unit performs.

Cleve says at first, it was hard to convince owners that heat pumps required cleaning.

“They did not know; no one told them it had to be cleaned. So, they were skeptical.”

Not anymore. To date the Brewers have cleaned more than 4,000 heat pumps in Nova Scotia, including units installed at nursing homes, daycare centres, offices and restaurants.

Call 902-332-3406 around Halifax Regional Municipality or toll free 1-855-800-4814 for more information.

Did you know?

  • Heat pumps do not bring fresh air in from the outside. They circulate interior air.
  • Heat pumps encourage mould growth when used for air conditioning.
  • Heat pumps lose efficiency and wear out prematurely when dirty.

Visit www.breathe-clean.com for research and more information.

Tips from Breathe Clean:

  • Clean the filters in your heat pump at least monthly.
  • Never touch the coils. They are delicate and any bending will negatively affect airflow and increase costs.
  • Have your heat pump deep cleaned yearly; heat pumps cannot be cleaned with a spray bottle and rag.
  • Yearly cleaning should take a minimum of one to 1.5 hours.

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