Home Heating 3 August 2020

What to Expect From a Heat Pump Installation

So you’ve made the decision to have a Heat Pump installed. You’ve had installation companies quote for the work and you’ve signed on the dotted line. But do you really know what’s in store on the day of install?

The installation is a critical step in ensuring your Heat Pump performs to its full potential and is positioned for optimum efficiency. Each system has specific requirements for the amount of airflow it needs, so the installer will consider things such as where the windows are located, what kind of ventilation is available, and how your family lives within the space that’s being air conditioned.

Locating the indoor unit in a corner of a room, across a hallway, or in areas where it will be subject to draughts from other rooms will have adverse effects on performance. However, be aware that the best position in a technical sense may not be the best position from an aesthetic or symmetrical point of view.

The best location for the outdoor unit will be based on placing it where it will have the least exposure to the elements, and to dust and debris. A nearby tree that sheds pods or leaves, or a dusty and overgrown garden area, may make your Heat Pump more susceptible to getting dirty or blocked, leading to poor functionality.

Ideally, your outdoor unit should be mounted where there’s plenty of free space on either side to allow airflow and easy access for maintenance. It should be installed on a firm base – attached to a wall, or on a concrete slab and for maximum efficiency, it should also be located within approximately 15 metres of the indoor air outlet.

The time it takes to install a Heat Pump can be as short as 3 to 4 hours for a very simple back to back installation (e.g. indoor and outdoor units located on either side of the same wall and effectively back to back). It can be up to an entire day for larger, more complicated installations. Ducted systems may take a few days, depending on the number of spaces or ‘zones’ within you home that wanting to air condition.

To prepare you for what to expect when the technicians arrive on installation day, here is an overview of a standard Split System Heat Pump installation.


Step 1: Mount
Like the name suggests, Split System Heat Pumps are made up of two separate components: one indoor unit, and one outdoor unit. The first step in installing a split system is the indoor unit.

Using the information uncovered during the groundwork inspection, your installer will secure the mounting bracket to your interior wall. This is what will hold your Heat Pump in place in the agreed location inside your home.


Step 2: Drill

Once the bracket is in place, the next step is to drill a hole through your wall. Don’t worry, this serves a completely practical purpose as this step is essential to facilitate the connection between your indoor unit and your outdoor condenser.

Specifically, your installer will run:

  • electrical wiring between the inside and outside units
  • drainage lines designed to remove excess moisture
  • tubing that delivers the conditioned air from your outdoor condenser to your inside unit


Step 3: Wire

Now that there’s somewhere for the cables and pipes to go, it’s time to get your Heat Pump wired up.
The installer will run all of the necessary piping and wiring through the freshly drilled hole in the wall, tying them together with electrical tape and sheathing them in a protective tube.


Step 4: Install

Once the mounting is in place and the wiring and piping has been prepared, it’s time to secure your indoor unit in place.

Think of it like connecting two Lego pieces together, except much, much stronger – it takes quite a solid push to lock your indoor unit into its position.

Once your unit is secure, your installer will connect the pipes and wiring from step three to the back of your indoor unit.


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

And that’s where the outdoor condenser comes in.

Without going into too much technical detail, essentially the outdoor unit is responsible for doing all of the hard work. It absorbs warmth from the surrounding air and transfers it into your home using a refrigerant process through the piping system powered by the indoor fan unit.

For ground-level spaces, the installer will secure the outdoor unit to the ground – on mounting feet on existing pavers if available, or onto a newly laid concrete slab.

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

All that is left is for the installer to do here now is to get to work connecting both halves.
Once all of these steps have been completed, the installation technician will run your Heat Pump through a series of tests to establish that the piping and refrigerant charge is correct and the airflow is properly balanced.

The installer should then take you through the systems functions and importantly, show you how to use your remote control. If your Heat Pump has a built-in Wi-Fi feature, they will work with you to download the corresponding Wi-Fi app onto your device and will pair it, so it is all ready to go.
You and your family are now all set to enjoy warm cosy winters and cool comfortable summers with your brand-new Heat Pump.


When the weather turns…. turn to someone you can trust.
Rinnai – Your Experts in Total Home Living.

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