How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
What is the best location for a heat pump air handler (indoor unit)?
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
The three factors for finding the best location for your heat pump air handler (indoor unit) are: 1) near center of home, 2) easy to access, and 3) not far from the condenser. Positioning the air handler near the center of the home means shorter duct runs, which makes it easier for the installer to balance the air flow to each room. One of the complaints we often get when inspecting larger homes in our area of Florida is that the master bedroom is warmer in the summer, and colder in the winter, than the rest of the house. This is typically because the air handler is located in the garage at the front of the home at one side, and the master bedroom is at the back of the home on the other side—at the end of a very long duct run.
Putting the air handler in the attic is one way to position it near the center of the home, but an attic location shortens the life of the unit and loses energy efficiency during the hot summer months in Florida when attic temperatures can be 140º F or more. Plus, an air filter in the attic is difficult to access to change, and any condensate leak that overflows the catch pan under the the air handler will quickly ruin the ceilings below. We suggest putting it in a closet at a hallway or, if you must locate it in the garage, build a closet to enclose it there. Keeping the air handler reasonably close to the condenser (outdoor unit) also reduces energy loss.
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To learn more about heat pump air handlers, see these other blog posts:
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