What is the best location for a heat pump?

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The standard criteria for the location of a heat pump condenser are: 1) out of view from the front of the house, and 2) where condenser noise will not be a problem. That usually means putting it at the side wall of the garage. But there are a couple of other considerations that can improve the energy efficiency of your system. 

    First, because the job of the coils wrapped around the inside of a condenser is to release heat that has been removed from the house during the summer, it's detrimental if it is in a location heated up by direct sunlight. So the north or east sides of the house that receive less sun are preferable. A shade tree that is nearby, but not directly over, the condenser also helps to keep the area cool. And if the tree is deciduous, that’s even better, because the shade disappears during the winter when a warmer location helps the condenser absorb heat when it reverses its function.

    The other thing that will boost efficiency is providing enough clear area around the condenser. The standard recommendation for clearances around a condenser are: minimum one foot at sides, except two feet away from any solid wall, and five feet open above. These are the minimums, and more is always better. A condenser must suck lots of air in through the sides of the unit and exhust it out the top to work efficiently. Anything that obstructs air flow also decreases performance, and that means a higher electric bill. Go to our blog post How much clearance is necessary around a heat pump? for more on this.

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  To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:

How can I find out the SEER of my air conditioner? 

My air conditioner won't turn on. What's wrong? 

How can I find out the size of my air conditioner? 

How can I tell whether the condenser (outdoor unit) is an air conditioner or heat pump? 

Where is the air filter for my central air conditioner and furnace? I can’t find it? 

Does an old air conditioner use more electricity as it ages? 

How did homes stay cool in Florida before air conditioning? 

What is wrong with an air conditioner when the air flow out of the vents is low?

Why has the thermostat screen gone blank? 

Why does it take so long to cool a house when an air conditioner has been off for a while? 

Why is my air conditioner not cooling enough? 

What are the most common problems with wall/window air conditioners?  

Will closing doors reduce my heating and cooling costs? 

   Visit our HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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