An extensive guide to the heat pump installation process. Discover how the installation process has a significant impact on the lifespan and performance of your heat pump.
The installation is a crucial step in making sure your heat pump works as well as it can and is positioned for maximum effectiveness. The installer will take into account factors like the location of the windows and how your family uses the space that is being air-conditioned because each system has specific requirements for the amount of airflow it needs.
If you’re interested in a heat pump, you may be curious about how they are installed. What you should think about is as follows.
- How Much Does a Heat Pump System Cost?
- Is a Heat Pump System Worth It? Pros and Cons
- How Do Heat Pump Systems Work?
Before the Heat Pump is Installed
Before you purchase a heat pump there are a few things that you should consider:
- House efficiency: Before installing a heat pump, it is a good idea to upgrade your insulation and seal up air leaks. You will be able to use your heat pump instead of your furnace for a longer period of time in the winter the more energy-efficient your home’s envelope is.
- Heat pump size: Make sure you have chosen a heat pump that is appropriately sized for your home after consulting with a qualified HVAC professional to guarantee it operates as efficiently as possible. Depending on how much air your current duct system can move efficiently, the size of the heat pump will be restricted.
- Type of heat pump: The two main types of heat pump to take into account are the ground source and air source. When it’s warm outside, air source heat pumps use your house’s exterior air as a heat source and destination. Installing them is easier. Geothermal heat pumps, also known as ground source heat pumps, require buried piping. If there are plenty of open spaces, these ground loops can be installed in either vertical or horizontal loops. Due to the relatively constant ground temperature, ground source heat pumps have the major benefit of being extremely efficient all year long. A geothermal system is unquestionably worth considering if you’re looking for the most effective heating system available.
How to Install a Heat Pump System?
This overview of a typical Heat Pump installation will help you be ready for the arrival of the technicians on installation day. Read More: Air Source Heat Pump Installation: a Beginner’s Guide
Disconnecting the Old Heat Pump
Before a new heat pump can be installed, a refrigerant from your old one must be removed. It is prohibited to directly vent this refrigerant into the atmosphere in accordance with EPA regulations. Removing the refrigerant from the existing heat pump safely and legally requires the use of a recovery machine and a recovery tank.
Once the refrigerant is recovered, electrical wiring is disconnected from the existing unit. A “whip” (flexible electric conduit) carries the power to the heat pump from the disconnect box. To ensure system safety when replacing a heat pump, reputable HVAC companies replace the disconnect and the whip.
Preparing the Area
The heat pump’s current location will typically need some preparation before the replacement can be installed. The pad that the new heat pump will rest on needs to be replaced as part of this preparation.
The ground needs to be leveled before the new pad can be installed. The area where the new heat pump will be installed should be leveled or elevated using a gravel base, according to reputable HVAC companies. A composite pad is recommended. The composite pad is made to withstand the elements and last for the entire life of the new heat pump.
The heat pump must be elevated above ground level, unlike an AC, to prevent coils from becoming covered in snow and ice and to allow for proper drainage. In Ohio, we raise the heat pump to a height of about 9 inches above the pad. That accounts for the 6 to 8 inches of anticipated snowfall.
The snow would have to be 10″ or more for it to affect the heat pump. Only one inch has been inserted into the coil even then. Raising the heat pump prevents snow from piling up against the outdoor coil, freezing it, or obstructing it.
Removing the Existing Indoor Evaporator Coil
Your heat pump system’s second component is the indoor evaporator coil. Though occasionally it may be found below the furnace, it usually occupies the space above it. This is where the refrigerant lines’ other end is attached.
There are two types of indoor evaporator coils. One is cased, while the other is not. In either case, the new coil cannot be installed until the sheet metal plenum has been disconnected. When the coil is inaccessible, this process can become challenging.
The current refrigerant line set can then be taken out. This is a pair of copper lines that allow the refrigerant to move from the outdoor condenser back into the indoor evaporator coil.
Line Sets and Additional Wiring
Next, the existing refrigerant line set can be removed. The refrigerant passes through this pair of copper lines as it makes its way from the outdoor condenser to the indoor evaporator coil.
The larger line is known as the suction line, and the smaller one is known as the liquid line. They arrive rolled in a coil and packaged together. The new indoor evaporator coil will be located on top of the furnace, and the line set will run from the heat pump outside to it.
There will also be a small, low-voltage control wire that runs from the furnace along the line set to the heat pump. When a call for cooling or heating is made or is satisfied, the small existing wire connecting the thermostat to the furnace sends a low-voltage signal to the heat pump to turn on and off.
Heat pumps have a reversing valve that switches back and forth from heating to cooling. The heat pump needs to know when to switch, so an outdoor sensor must be installed unless the thermostat is set to do so.
Installation of the New High- and Low-Voltage Wiring
The wiring for the high- and low-voltage systems must be reconnected for the heat pump system to function. Using the existing power supply from the electrical panel inside the home, the installer will mount a new service disconnect box. Using the proper fasteners for the type of surface it is being mounted to, the disconnect is firmly mounted to the side of the house.
As per the instructions for condenser installation, the low-voltage control wire is directly connected to the heat pump condenser at the appropriate locations. This is the “signal” from the control board in the furnace sent through the wire to the heat pump when the thermostat calls for cooling.
The low-voltage control wire enables the heat pump to cycle in accordance with the preset limits for indoor temperature and humidity. The low-voltage wiring is connected to the control board inside the furnace on designated terminals.
The thermostat will be installed after the installer completes the low-voltage connection outside. They can specify different parameters depending on the system. It is possible to set the heat pump to run until 35 degrees are reached. Then the heat strips in the furnace or air handler will come on.
The heat pump cannot function below a specific temperature. It almost seems to freeze. To enter defrost mode, the heat pump needs to be instructed. It will carry on operating in any other case. The heat strips are activated when the heat pump is in defrost mode.
Commissioning Process for a Heat Pump
The startup and commissioning (testing) process is done after the system is completely installed and ready to operate. A minimum of 15-20 minutes must pass after the system is turned on. By doing this, the system will be able to move the refrigerant.
Commissioning a heat pump will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours plus, which is 15-45 minutes longer than an AC. An HVAC contractor will have to test the heating side. Additionally, there is the cooling side and defrost. along with the emergency heat. The system will work at its best after thorough testing of all of its components. Additionally, it will fulfill the requirements for the unit’s warranty.
Clean-Up and Closing Process
The cleanup process is comparatively simple. All material and old equipment should be loaded up and taken away from the home. The floor protection should be rolled up last so that any installation-related debris stays outside of your home and inside the drop cloth.
Each area should be swept clean of any materials or debris. You should anticipate finding the area in the same state as when it was discovered.
How Long Will An Installation Take?
Our expectation is that a typical installation will take eight hours to complete, beginning in the morning and ending in the late afternoon.
Factors that could make the installation take longer include inclement weather, air duct alterations, unforeseen electrical complications, and any other accessories that may have been added.
Conclusion: Install a Heat Pump System
You must thoroughly evaluate the current energy performance of your home or place of business before you even start thinking about who you will hire to install your heat pump system. The size and effectiveness of the heat pump you choose will be significantly influenced by how well-insulated your home is.
The installer must walk you through how the system works and, more importantly, demonstrate how to operate the remote control. They will work with you to download the necessary Wi-Fi app onto your device and pair it, so it is set up and ready to use, if your Heat Pump has a built-in Wi-Fi feature.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Heat Pump System?
The cost of installing a heat pump ranges from $4,000 to $7,500 with the national average of around $5,500. Your installation costs could range from $2,500 on the low end to $10,000 on the high end.
What is Required for Heat Pump Installation?
An air source heat pump unit is sited outside the house and you need a controller and possibly two cylinders inside. The fan unit, which is typically 1200mm tall, 1000mm wide, and 400mm deep, will be linked to at least one hot water cylinder, which is 600mm wide and 1600mm tall.