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How Long Does it Take to Install a Heat Pump?

A typical heat pump installation can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to complete. In some instances, this can take longer. In this video, we’ll go over the entire process of installing a heat pump and from start to finish.

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May 31st, 2022

A typical heat pump installation can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to complete. In some instances, this can take longer. In this video, we’ll go over the entire process of installing a heat pump and from start to finish.

Hi, my name’s Billie and I’m the Install Supervisor at Fire & Ice. Over the years we have helped thousands of Columbus and Central Ohio homeowners find the best solution for their heating and cooling needs. A question we often get asked by our customers is how long will it take to install a heat pump? At Fire & Ice we want to be as transparent as possible and for our customers to be as informed as possible. By the end of this video, I hope you'll have a better idea of what to expect from a heat pump installation.

Heat Pump Installation: The In-Home Estimate

Did you know that all installations start with the in-home estimate? Why? Because it’s the best time to determine the exact size heat pump for your home. To do this, a manual j load calculation should be performed at every estimate. A load calculation is used to find how much heat your home naturally absorbs during the summer and releases during winter. With a manual j load calculation, you can determine the exact size heat pump that will meet your home’s individual needs.

Additionally, your sales professional will take note of any additional work that will be needed, such as the placement of the system, line set configuration, ductwork modifications, and more. 

Heat Pump Installation: On the Day of Installation

A typical heat pump installation takes between 4 and 8 hours to complete. However, these times can fluctuate depending on the size of the existing system, weather, and accessibility. 

Heat pumps are made up of two components, the indoor evaporator coil and an outdoor condenser. On the day of installation, the installers will need access to both units. Before they begin, the installers will take a few minutes to lay drop cloths to protect your flooring and assess the current system for the best way to remove it.

With the plan in place and power cut off to the heat pump, the installers will begin by capturing the refrigerant inside the heat pump. Refrigerants are considered hazardous to the environment by the EPA and licensed HVAC contractors should take this step. 

While the refrigerant is being captured the disconnect is dismantled and removed as well as all the wiring to the heat pump. Once the refrigerant is captured, it's time to remove both the outdoor and indoor unit as well as the old line set.

Next, the new heat pump is brought out and the area where the heat pump will be located is prepped with a bed of gravel. The pad the heat pump sits on is then leveled. Afterwards, the heat pump is slid onto the pad and raised on snow legs.

Next, we run the new line set from the indoor unit to the indoor unit and braze them together. At Fire & Ice we replace all line sets and wiring when we’re able too. The line set is connected by brazing it with nitrogen to create an airtight seal free of contaminants.

The next step is connecting all the wiring. First, is to install a new disconnect for power. Second, is all the wiring needed for the heat pump to communicate with the rest of the HVAC system. 

After all the wiring is connected, it’s time to release the refrigerant and pressurize the system. Depending on the size of your system this can take between one or two hours to get within manufacturer specifications. During this time, we add line set protection to each heat pump we install. Line set protections adds a layer of protection from the elements and helps maintain your system's efficiency.

Once the system is charged it's time to turn everything on and commission the system. Commissioning new HVAC equipment is critical and is often ignored by HVAC contractors. It's done to ensure everything is operating as it should. Failing to commission a heat pump can result in lackluster performance, wasted energy, and potential breakdowns. Afterwards, the installer will clean the area where they were working and review the system with you.

Best Practices to Protect Your Heat Pump

Now that the installation is complete there are a couple things you can do to help get the most from your system. First, is to change your filter on a regular basis. A dirty filter can put a lot of strain on your heat pump. It will work harder than it needs to, costing you in energy and could lead to premature breakdowns.

Next is to schedule maintenance on your heat pump. In order for manufacturers to honor their warranties yearly maintenance is expected. Neglecting to have your HVAC system serviced could result in 30-50% higher utility bills. Signing up for a maintenance agreement is one of the easiest ways to ensure your heat pump gets the service it requires.

What are the next steps?

I hope by now you have a better understanding of what goes on during a typical heat pump installation and a better idea of how long it can take. If you are looking to invest in a new heat pump or full HVAC system for your home and live in Central Ohio, feel free to schedule a free estimate on our website. We’d love to discuss your options. Thank you for watching and we look forward to making your day better.

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