How a Heat Pump is Installed
Heat Pump Installation Walk Through
Before you even consider who you are going to get to install your heat pump system you need to do a full assessment of the current energy performance of your house or office.
How well your property is insulated plays a big part in the size of heat pump you select and how efficient it is going to be. Compared to something like a gas boiler, heat pumps produce heat at a much lower but more constant temperature which means that insulation becomes all the more important. This should include:
- Cavity/wall insulation.
- Loft insulation.
- Double glazing.
You may also want to take a look how well your floors are insulated if you live in a much older house.
Air or Ground Heat Pump?
The next thing you need to look at is whether you are going to go for an air or ground heat pump. As a rule, air heat pumps are easier to install but are slightly less efficient. The one thing you will need to decide is whether you have the external space to accommodate the main pump unit.
A ground heat pump is more efficient but needs a site where the external pipes can be buried and involves a good deal of excavation work. If the workmen cannot access your site with their diggers and heavy machinery, then you may want to look at an air source heat pump instead.
Finding the Right Installer
You can search our database for a list of installers close to your zip code here. We recommend that you get at least three quotes for the work to be done and do your research on the technology beforehand so that you can ask the right questions.
Air Source Heat Pump Installation
Air source heat pumps can be either mounted onto a wall or positioned on the ground.
First of all ,you need to find a suitable place to situate the main unit. This ideally needs to be in a sheltered and safe place where it won’t be subjected to heavy rains and winds or be tampered with by anyone passing by. You also need a reasonable clearance around the unit (about 200mm for some wall mounted units, more for bigger, floor systems).
The installation will involve an outdoor section and an indoor section, so make sure there is enough space inside as well. Once both units are fitted onto their mountings, refrigerant and drain hose pipes are connected and then insulated, both inside and out. The whole system can then be connected to your indoor heating system such as the boiler or radiators.
Ground Source Heat Pump Installation
Installing a ground source heat pump is far more complex than an air source one. You will, first of all, need the space to lay the pipes and you will have to provide access to heavy equipment such as diggers.
Installation of a ground source heat pump should not need planning permission despite the disruption caused by digging up the ground, as it is considered a permitted development. If you live in a listed building or in a conservation area then the rules will be different. Either way, it is always wise to check with your local council first to make sure you installation is possible.
If you have enough garden space, an array of horizontal ground pipes that collect heat over a wide area is probably the better option. If you have a small area, it may be possible to dig down vertically by drilling a bore hole up to 100m deep. This will obviously depend on the nature of the ground under your property and may require a full survey which could add a significant cost to the build.
The pipes from the outside array feed into the heat pump within the building which is then connected to the existing heating supply such as radiators as with an air source heat pump.
Find incentives in your state for the installation of heat pumps.