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Air Source Heat Pump Installation Explained

Getting a heat pump installed in your home can make a world of difference to the levels of comfort you experience there. 

Heat pumps are basically devices that transfer heat from one area to another by extracting heat from either the air, water or deep underground and transferring it into your home. The best part is their energy efficiency and low running costs ‒ heat pumps can deliver more heat energy than they consume. 

Unlike air conditioners (ACs) and heaters, heat pumps are much gentler in how they work, steadily warming or cooling a room down by simply filtering the air and replacing it. 

No more getting blasted with ice-cold air from the AC or getting burned from the heater. A heat pump is safe and energy efficient as well ‒ many more times efficient than other interior climate management appliances.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you should know when installing a heat pump.

Install The Right Kind

Airsource heat pumps are the most common, usually the least expensive, and are typically used to cool or warm houses. They come in two main forms: air-to-air and air-to-water.

Air-to-air heat pumps work by pumping warm air from outside the house into the house while expelling the cold air, thereby systematically warming the interior. The same process would work in reverse to cool the interior by pumping hot air out and blowing cool air in. 

Air-to-water heat pumps transfer heat from the air to warm up the water. Often, this heated water is used in a central wet heating system to warm up a home. It can also warm up a geyser or swimming pool. While this form of a heat pump provides hot water and central heating, it cannot be reversed to provide cool air in warmer months.

Geothermal heat pumps work the same way as air source heat pumps in principle, except that they transfer heat from deep underground by means of buried ducting rather than from the open air. These are more costly and are usually deployed only when the ambient air temperature is too low to warm the interior. They are extremely effective though since geothermal heat is relatively stable despite weather conditions above ground.

Install The Right Size

Generally speaking, the better the insulation the building has, the smaller the heat pump needs to be. If a building has poor insulation, the heat pump won’t be as effective at maintaining interior temperatures, which means that it will have to work that much harder. However, if the insulation is good, then the heat pump can be smaller because the load will be lighter.

If you’re unsure, then speaking to a heat pump specialist might be the best course of action. A professional will be able to help you assess your current situation and determine which kind and size of heat pump would work best for your needs, as well as advise you on where and how to install it.

Get The Right Installers

It is generally not advised to try doing the installation yourself unless you’re a trained technician. The setup and installation of heat pumps require a significant degree of technical knowledge, such as an in-depth understanding of vapor compression cycle principles, weather compensation controls, and more.

Heat pumps, unfortunately, are sometimes not all that simple to set up, especially if it’s being installed as a central heating and/or cooling system, and must integrate with other systems and multiple rooms in a household.

A good technician will know where the best spots are in the house for an air source heat pump to go, taking into consideration space for both the indoor and outdoor units that make up the heat pump system.

Installing heat pumps might include drilling through walls, installing new or repairing old ducting, and the handling of refrigerants, which can be quite dangerous to not only you but to your heat pump system as well if over or under-done. It might also require some rewiring.

Maximize Efficiency

Heat pumps work best when they’ve been customized for a specific application. Out-of-the-box solutions work well too, but over their lifespan of 10 to 20 years, small 5% to 10% efficiency improvements can seriously add up.

If your system can be customized to maximize its effectiveness and efficiency, it would be worth spending a bit extra to do so upfront. However, if you must install a generic system, then make sure that it is installed properly and professionally to minimize or eliminate any unnecessary efficiency losses that might occur if the system were to be installed by an amateur.

Moreover, an expert will be able to advise you soundly on the correct ways of linking the system up to any existing systems in the building, such as water heating systems and more.

To find out more about the air-source heat pumps and get installation assistance, contact B Wilson Plumbing & Heating today!

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