Home Heat Pump Replacement is Easier Than You Think
When the time comes for heat pump replacement, you may find yourself wondering if you can do it yourself. The short answer is yes, BUT…
The long answer is that it’s a complicated process that requires an abundance of research to do the repair correctly and avoid costly mistakes. Installing a heat pump is a very delicate procedure and should only be attempted by experienced DIYers. If you find yourself feeling apprehensive about any of these replacement steps, be sure to contact a professional.
How Heat Pumps Work
Heat is naturally drawn to cooler temperatures; in the most basic sense, a heat pump keeps warm air in the warm room and cool air in the cool room. Heat pumps can either increase or decrease temperatures by using electricity to move heat from a cool area to a warm one. This makes a warm space warmer and a cool space cooler. Heat pumps are ideal for a more neutral climate and will not work as well in a place that experiences a large change in temperature from season to season. Heat pumps are energy-efficient and could be a great solution for people with high utility bills.
Before installing or replacing a heat pump, it’s important to research the proper size of the pump for your home, as well as whether it’s compatible with your existing furnace.To learn about the correct size and model for your home, call your local heating and A/C repair technicians in St. Louis, Meyer Heating & Air.
Heat Pump Replacement
Before any HVAC project can begin, the system needs to be shut off. Next, locate the service panel and remove it. With the panel removed, it’s a great time to vacuum around the opening and ensure a tidy workspace. Before removing anything from your furnace, it is also helpful to locate and identify the different parts of your furnace.
In order to complete this service, the existing heat pump, coils, pan, and other components must be removed. Be sure that all the right electrical circuits are shut off. Once removed, the new heat pump, coils, pan, and other components can be installed. Make sure everything is rewired correctly, asma mistake in rewiring could result in a full furnace replacement. Finally, check that the refrigerant lines are in good condition, are refilled, and are repressurized to the right levels. A mistake at any step can become very costly, which is why we recommend considering an HVAC pro for home heat pump replacement.
Heat Pump Installation
Once the correct size and model of heat pump and condenser have been obtained, the installation process can begin. Before beginning any HVAC maintenance, be sure to turn your system off and gather the necessary tools, which include:
- A hammer
- A drill
- A hole saw – ½’ minimum
- Cable ties
- A level
- A wire Stripper
Note that the following steps are designed for a mini-split A/C heat pump; other models should require a similar set of steps, but it’s important to always refer to the manufacturer’s suggestions.
Step One: Install the Condenser
The condenser converts heat and air and moves it throughout the home. The condenser is installed outside the home and should be installed at least 4’ away from the house. There should also be at least 20’ of clear air above and in front of the condenser. A small landscaping project may be required before resting the unit on the ground or mounting it to the outside of the home. Once the ideal location has been identified, a ½’ hole will need to be drilled into the wall for refrigerant lines.
Step Two: Mount the Air Handler
The air handler is the device that releases the cold or warm air into the room. The air handler will need to be within 30’ of the condenser, as the cords will need to connect. The air handler should be 2’ from the ceiling and nowhere near a TV. Begin by installing the mounting plate much like mounting a TV. Next, a 3’ hole will need to be drilled in the lower right corner of the mount. This hole will be used to connect all the lines.
Next, all the lines should be securely connected to the air handler. With the cover removed from the air handler, the refrigerant lines, control wire, and condensate hose can be connected. To ensure all lines are secured to the air handler, a cable tie or tape can be used. Finally, cover all lines with a protective sleeve and slide cords into the hole in the wall. Now, the air handler can be attached to the mount.
Step Three: Connect the Air Handler to the Condenser
This step is often the most difficult for the average homeowner and it is important that you call an HVAC professional if you need help. A mistake at this step can be very costly.
After the wires have been snaked through the wall and have reached outside the home, the outdoor unit’s power cable can be attached to a breaker cable. Then the control wire from the outdoor unit can be connected to the air handler. Finally, the refrigerant lines will need to be connected to the condenser. You can add flare nuts to ensure the connection is secure. At this point, a cover can be installed to cover the unsightly control wires and refrigerant lines.
Before replacing the service panel to the outside, a gauge manifold and a vacuum pump will need to be installed to detect any leaks, dry the lines, and ensure the pressure inside the refrigerant lines and unit is safe. Now both the outside cover and the air handler cover can be installed.
Heat Pump Installation Cost
While installing a heat pump in the home can decrease your utility bills, as well as increase the comfort in your home, it does have an expensive up-front cost. To see if a heat pump is the right choice for your home and to avoid costly mistakes, consider having the professionals at Meyer Heating & Air complete the repair for you. The cost of a heat pump installation doesn’t have to include a full furnace replacement if done correctly. Schedule your service appointment online today to save yourself time and money.