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What are some installation "must do's"

Post created: 2013-04-14 Type of Equipment: Heat Pump Views: 105

This question was created on the page: https://www.furnacecompare.com/heat-pumps/index.html.

I'm replacing an old freon split system with a new puron split system, what tests/steps should I be sure/insist the installers perform to insure the best installation and peak operation


On 2013-04-14 JB wrote:

First, well done going with Puron, though not sure of the availability of freon.

The first most important issue is to make sure it is properly sized to your house. Another first step is to be sure you are getting the right heat pump for your area of the country. For example, air source heat pumps work well in southern latitudes where the temperature in the winter generally doesn't go much beyond 40 degrees. Ground source heat pumps work better in northern climates because they pull from the ground, deep enough for ground temperature to be consistent.

The next piece is you want the outside and inside units to be properly located so they are not too far apart to operate inefficiently or placed in areas where they won't have good air flow. The following is from a Trane installation guide and deals with location (you can find the guide here: http://www.butcherdistributors.com/Images/Interior/20i%20installers%20guide.pdf):

The Heat Pump has been designed and manufactured to withstand and operate in severe winter conditions. However, there are precautionary steps which should be taken at the time of installation which will help assure the efficient operation of the unit. It is recommended that these precautions be taken for units being installed in areas where snow accumulation and prolonged below freezing temperatures occur.

1. Units should be elevated three (3) to twelve (12) inches above the pad or rooftop, depending on local weather. This additional height will allow better drainage of snow and ice (melted during defrost cycle) prior to its refreezing. This should prevent a build-up of ice around the unit which occurs when unit is not elevated. Insure that drain holes in unit base pan are not obstructed preventing draining of defrost water.

2. If possible, avoid locations that are likely to accumulate snow drifts. If not possible, a snow drift barrier should be installed around the unit to prevent a build-up of snow on the sides of the unit and should be of sufficient distance from the unit to prevent restriction of airflow to and from the unit. Also allow for proper maintenance space. The barrier should be constructed of materials which will blend in with the building design.

3. Avoid locating the unit where condensation and freezing of defrost vapor may annoy the customer. For instance, installing the unit under a bedroom, kitchen, or picture window may be annoying to the customer since condensate and fog will occur during the defrost cycle.

4. Avoid locating the unit under the eaves or other overhead structures as sizeable icicles may form and the unit may be damaged by these falling icicles.

At the end of the manual it provides a checklist:

After installation has been completed, it is recommended that the entire system be checked against the following list:

1. Refrigerant Line, Leak checked............................................. [ ]

2. Suction Lines and Fittings properly insulated...................... [ ]

3. Have all Refrigerant Lines been secured and

isolated properly?.................................................................... [ ]

4. Have passages through masonry been sealed?

If mortar is used, prevent mortar from coming

into direct contact with copper tubing................................... [ ]

5. Verify tightness of all electrical connects.............................. [ ]

6. Observe outdoor fan during on cycle for clearance

and smooth operation............................................................. [ ]

7. Indoor coil drain line drains freely. Pour water

into drain pan.......................................................................... [ ]

8. Supply registers and return grilles open and

unobstructed........................................................................... [ ]

9. Return air filter installed....................................................... [ ]

10. ComfortLink™ II control is accurate. Check

against a reliable thermometer. Adjust per

instructions with ComfortLink™ II control.......................... [ ]

11. Is correct airflow setting used?

(Indoor blower motor)............................................................. [ ]

12. Operate complete system in each mode to

insure safe operation.............................................................. [ ]

There are also other helpful hints in this manual. However, it is for Trane and not sure what brand you are buying so there will be some differences.

There is another good and brief guide here: http://www.idahopower.com/pdfs/EnergyEfficiency/ductless/InstallationBestPractices.pdf.

And there is a good installation manual for a split system here: http://icpindexing.toddsit.com/documents/086477/42801510100.pdf.

To keep legal happy, let me just say that I am not an HVAC contractor, and you should never even look at your furnace without having a qualified, liability accepting HVAC contractor present.  To keep sales happy, let me just say that you can find an HVAC contractor that's happy to take your money here: http://www.furnacecompare.com/perl/find_contractors.pl.


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