Our heat pump and furnace was installed by another company in April of 2011. In the fall 2011, the heat pump seemed to have stopped working for some reason. The previous company was extremely unhelpful and refused to come on-site to look at the problem.
I found Riroxs on Craigslist and after e-emailing late one evening to see if they could have a look, I received a nice e-mail reply the next morning from Roxana saying that they could definitely help me out and would be glad to assist in any way. She told me their availability for that week. I had a few more questions for them over email and they answered promptly. I had also e-mailed a few other companies that I found on Craigslist, and after mulling them over for a few weeks, I e-mailed Riroxs and booked an appointment.
Ricardo and Roxana came over and the first thing Ricardo did was show me his certification. I was a bit surprised because I had never seen one before (the previous installers never showed me anything like that or mentioned their credentials). They investigated the problem and determined there was a leak in the system. Their basic minimum charge for the call-out and diagnosing the problem in order to provide a more detailed quote was $123.20 including taxes. They gave me a detailed quote for about one day's work to find exactly where the leak was, then to fix it, and refilling the pipes with gas, etc...
They came over either the next day or the day after and worked all day and into the evening trying to find the leak. They found the leak (which was tough to find, it was just near the point where the pipe entered the house so they missed it initially as it was just before the point where he cut the pipe to isolate the in-house section). Throughout the process they explained everything that they were seeing and explained to me what they were doing. After repairing the leak they performed lots of testing on the pipes and heat pump to ensure that there was no more leak both with vacuum and with pressurized air. Then even tested carefully the operation of the system with the thermostat and discovered another problem: the heat pump was going on at the same time as the auxiliary heat (gas furnace). This is a big problem as it caused very high pressure in the pipes, over and above what they are rated for (they measured this high pressure as well). They suspected that this was the root cause for the heat pump pipe leak. They left the heat pump off to protect the pipes, and said they would come and have a look at the thermostat another day to see what the problem was.
They came a couple days later to look at the thermostat wiring. The original installer had wired it incorrectly! Or at the very least, had wired it correctly, but the particular thermostat they used was not capable of only using the heat pump OR the gas furnace at a time in heat mode. My understanding from reading the internet is that our thermostat indeed can't do this, and I need a better thermostat or a "fossil fuel kit" hooked up between the furnace and the thermostat in order for this to work properly and not cause high pressure in the pipes. They fixed the wiring, and basically made it so that my thermostat would only use the heat pump and would only use the gas furnace (ONLY) when in emergency mode.
The last thing they did was help me select a new thermostat when I said that I wasn't happy with having to turn the emergency mode on manually all the time if the heat pump couldn't keep up. I've also had a few more issues with the heat pump and they have provided me with free warranty service to look at the problem. Ricardo is very helpful over e-mail and always responds on the same day.
Their per hour labour rates are reasonable and they gave me a 10% discount on the labour for the big job, charged me for only 9 hours instead of 10 and waived the call-out fee.
I highly recommend Ricardo and Roxana and I'm so glad I found them.