Optimal heat pump performance from your new unit is directly related to properly preparing your home for the installation. If you’ve been relying on a traditional forced-air furnace/air conditioning system in the past, you’ll benefit from becoming acquainted with some of the recommended requirements of heat pump technology.
As with all HVAC equipment, the manufacturer’s specifications for heat pump efficiency and performance assume that specific circumstances in the home as well as installation standards are met. In order to ensure that you get all the comfort and energy savings you expect from a new system, here are some steps to take to prepare for the installation of a heat pump.
- Make sure the home is as energy-efficient as possible with simple methods such as using caulking and weatherstripping to seal cracks and gaps that allow outside air to infiltrate. Also, verify that the amount of insulation is up to standards, particularly in the attic. Scheduling a whole home duct and energy audit will highlight any deficiencies that need to be addressed before any other work is scheduled.
- Where possible, have any new ductwork for the heat pump installed inside the conditioned area of the home. Avoid routing ducts through unconditioned zones, such as the attic or crawl space, where they may be exposed to acute temperatures. If this isn’t possible, ductwork in unconditioned zones should be insulated to a level of R8 per code.
- Install the outdoor component of the system on the north side of the home, if feasible. Where this isn't possible, situate the unit in a shaded area with a clear space of 10 feet around vents in the sides and the top of the cabinet.
- Make sure your ducts are sealed when installed. Air leakage in ductwork should not exceed 10 percent of total system airflow. If your leakage is above 10 percent, have the contractor seal the ducts.
- Ask your HVAC contractor about installing a dedicated return duct in every room with a supply duct. This prevents air imbalances in the home and makes household comfort more consistent.
P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling has provided Cleveland area homeowners with HVAC sales and service expertise since 1936. Ask us for more experienced advice about maximizing heat pump performance in your northern Ohio home.Follow @PKwadsworth
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.
photo credit: Urban Woodswalker