Properly Installing a Heat Pump: 5 Tricks of the TradeProperly installing a heat pump for replacement or as a new system requires proper home preparation and installation design planning to enjoy peak performance from your investment. Make sure your HVAC contractor follows these five trade practices.

Home Preparation

Heat pumps are energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, especially for our moderate temperatures in greater Los Angeles area. However, to fully reach peak efficiency and performance, the home should be prepared for heat pump installation by sealing air leaks, and inspecting insulation and replacing or increasing as needed.

Your HVAC pro should follow Energy Star guidelines:

  • Install up to R60 attic insulation.
  • Seal leaks around entry doors and attic hatch with weather-stripping.
  • Seal leaks around windows, piping and cables with caulk and spray foam.
  • Ask your HVAC pro to perform an energy audit for detailed home-efficiency analysis and recommended upgrades.

Installation Design

Steps two through five involve a heat gain/loss assessment of your home, an inspection and sizing of the ductwork system, assessing add-ons and, finally, properly sizing your new heat pump using industry standard practices established by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

  • Heat gain/loss – It’s important to measure your home’s heat gain/loss to ensure the heat pump installed is correctly sized.
  • Ductwork – The air ducts are inspected for leaks and performance, as well as for optimal sizing to the new heat pump.
  • Add-ons – Before determining the correct size system which matches the home’s heating/cooling load, your HVAC pro should discuss optional add-ons that boost comfort, lower the energy bill and lighten the load on the new heat pump. For instance, a zoning system configured with programmable thermostats puts comfort and efficiency in each zone of your home at your fingertips 24/7/365.
  • Sizing – Over-sizing a heat pump or other comfort system used to be standard, but is not recommended with today’s high-efficiency systems and tightly-sealed homes. It is impossible to reach peak efficiency with a heat pump that is too large or small for the home.

For more details about installing a new heat pump in your Los Angeles area home, contact Around the Clock.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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