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What to Expect During Heat Pump Installation

So, you’ve decided to install a heat pump. You’ve obtained quotes from installation companies and signed on the dotted line. But do you really know what will happen on the day of installation?


Installation is a crucial step in ensuring your heat pump performs to its full potential and achieves optimal efficiency. Each system has specific airflow requirements, so installers will consider factors such as window placement, available ventilation types, and your family’s lifestyle within the conditioned space.


Placing the indoor unit in a corner of the room, across from a hallway, or in an area affected by airflow from other rooms can negatively impact performance. However, please note that the technically optimal position might not be the most aesthetically pleasing or symmetrically aligned position.


For the outdoor unit, the best location is where it encounters the least contact with nature, dust, and debris. Trees that drop pods or leaves nearby, or a garden area full of dust and overgrown weeds, could make your heat pump prone to getting dirty or clogged, leading to reduced functionality.


Ideally, your outdoor unit should be installed with sufficient free space on both sides for proper air circulation and easy maintenance. It should be mounted on a sturdy base – affixed to a wall or a concrete slab. To achieve maximum efficiency, it should also be located within around 15 meters of the indoor air outlet.


For very simple back-to-back installations (such as when indoor and outdoor units are positioned on opposite sides of the same wall and effectively back-to-back), the installation process might take as little as 3 to 4 hours. For larger, more complex installations, it could take up to a full day. The piping system might require several days, depending on the number of spaces or “zones” in your home that need conditioning.


heat pump installation

To prepare you and give you an idea of what the technicians will do on the day of installation, here is an overview of a standard split-system heat pump installation:


Step 1: Installation
As the name suggests, a split-system heat pump consists of two separate components: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The first step in installing a split-system is the indoor unit.


Using the information gathered during the assessment, the installers will secure the mounting bracket to the interior wall. This bracket will hold your heat pump in the designated location within your home.


Step 2: Drilling
With the bracket in place, the next step is to drill a hole in the wall. Don’t worry, this serves a practical purpose, as this step is crucial for facilitating the connection between the indoor unit and the outdoor condenser.


Specifically, your installation crew will run:


Electrical wiring between the indoor and outdoor units.
Drainage pipes to remove excess moisture.
Pipes to transport conditioned air from the outdoor condenser to the indoor unit.

Step 3: Wiring
With a pathway in place for cables and pipes, it’s time to connect the heat pump. Installers will thread all necessary pipes and wires through the newly drilled hole in the wall, securing them together with electrical tape and enclosing them in protective conduit.


Step 4: Mounting
With everything in position and ready for wiring and piping connections, the indoor unit can now be mounted in place.


Think of it as snapping two LEGO bricks together, albeit with much more force required to lock the indoor unit in place.


Once your unit is secured, the installation crew will connect the pipes and wiring from step three to the back of the indoor unit.


Step 5: Outdoor Unit
The indoor unit is only half of the equation. While it’s responsible for pumping warm and cool air into your home, the conditioned air has to come from somewhere.


This is where the outdoor condenser comes into play.


Without delving too much into technical details, essentially the outdoor unit does the heavy lifting. It absorbs heat from the surrounding air, processes it with a refrigerant, and transfers it to your home through a piping system powered by the indoor fan unit.


For ground installations, the outdoor unit will be secured on the ground – mounted on existing pavers with installation feet (if available) or on newly laid concrete pads.

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If the outdoor unit is intended for conditioning the air in a second-floor space of a high-rise apartment, it will be connected to a secure mounting bracket (similar to the one used for the indoor unit).


At this point, the installers will begin connecting the two halves. After completing all these steps, the installation team will perform a series of tests on your heat pump to ensure correct piping and refrigerant charge and appropriate airflow balance.


Then, the installation process will guide you through system functionality, crucially showing you how to use the remote control. If your heat pump features built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, they will assist you in downloading the relevant Wi-Fi application onto your device and pairing it so that everything is ready.


You and your family are now ready to enjoy a brand new heat pump, providing warm comfort in winter and cool comfort in summer.

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