Air Source Heat Pump Installation - What Is The Process?

Choosing the right air source heat pump for your home is only the first step in your sustainable heating journey. Now it’s time to think about the installation process. Air source heat pump installation can be a laborious task, so make sure you and your home are up for the challenge by reading through our helpful guide, where we break down each step so you know exactly what to expect.

How Are Air Source Heat Pumps Installed?

Since each home is unique, your installation process will be too! However, there are some common steps involved in every air source heat pump installation that you can anticipate, which we will cover in this article.

An air source heat pump is a low-carbon heating system that reduces your carbon footprint by as much as 44% annually. With the Irish government pushing to reach net zero by 2050, there is a large focus on reducing the number of fossil fuel boilers inside homes and replacing them with renewable alternatives.

We recommend hiring a professional company to handle the installation of your air source heat pump, as there is some complex pipework and electric work involved that you most definitely want to get right!

To gain some insight into what your installers will be doing while working on your heat pump, we have outlined the main steps in the process. It is also worth noting that the installation process will look different depending on whether you are installing an air-to-air heat pump or an air-to-water heat pump, although the initial steps remain the same.

Step 1: Home Inspection And Pre-Installation

Many heating engineers will want a good look at your home before installing your unit. They do this for many reasons, including checking your home’s suitability for the system and getting a gauge on what size heat pump you need.

During your inspection, the engineers will measure the size of your home, the number of rooms your heat pump will need to heat, your home’s insulation levels, as well as the number of radiators and their sizes.

These measurements can help your installers understand how much heat is lost from your home, your household’s heating requirements, and what size heat pump you need to fulfill them. All of this will occur within around an hour.

Some additional work may be required if your home loses too much heat to make your heat pump work effectively. This work could include improving your insulation, installing larger radiators, or fitting underfloor heating. These improvements often require additional costs, so make sure your budget allows for them.

After surveying your home and checking its suitability, your installer will begin planning how and where to install your system and give you recommendations on which size heat pump to purchase.

Step 2: Installing The Outdoor Unit

If your home already has the pipework needed for traditional boilers, installing an air-to-water heat pump should be relatively straightforward. If you are installing an air-to-air heat pump, however, you may need to install a ventilation system in your home, which can be more complex.

You will need an outdoor unit for whichever air source heat pump you choose. Installers will usually bolt these units on the floor against an external wall where they can receive plenty of airflow with minimal obstructions.

Your outdoor unit will gather heat from the outdoor air to transfer to your water mains or the air inside your home. Placing it in a spot where it can receive unobstructed airflow will help your heat pump run more efficiently. The installer will use brackets to attach the unit to your wall, ensuring it remains safe and secure in all weather conditions.

Step 3: Installing The Indoor Unit

This step can differ depending on the type of air source heat pump you choose. Both types need an indoor unit to work. However, the type of unit will vary. For example, air-to-air heat pumps will have an indoor unit that is fixed high on your wall, similar to an air conditioning unit. It will blow hot air into your room to heat it.

However, indoor units for air-to-water heat pumps require a hot water cylinder and must be connected to your hot water pipes, radiators, and underfloor heating. The hot water cylinder will store your hot water to use when needed, preventing any wasted heat from your heat pump.

Step 4: Connecting The Units

Once your two units are in place, it’s time to wire and connect them. The installers will typically need to drill a hole through your wall to connect the internal wires and pipework with the outdoor unit.

Once they are connected, the installers will connect the internal unit with your hot water pipes, radiators, and underfloor heating. During this step, your installer will also disconnect your old system to replace it with the new heat pump.

Can You Install An Air Source Heat Pump Yourself?

The complete process of installing an air source heat pump sits outside the realm of normal DIY work. Since complex wiring and pipework are involved, it is best to sit back and let the professionals get to work, unless you are a certified electrician or plumber.

Improper installation of your air source heat pump can drastically decrease the system’s lifespan and cause you several problems down the line. It is best to invest in a licensed installer to run your heat pump with optimal efficiency and get the most out of your system.