When you’re considering a new heat pump for your Metro-East home, taking a few steps beforehand will ensure that you maximize the benefits of your purchase. These four steps will help you get the most out of installing this energy-efficient heating and cooling appliance.
- Make your home as energy efficient as you can. Installing more insulation in the attic will make a difference year-round and may allow you to choose a smaller heat pump, which will save money. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a minimum of 16 inches of insulation in the attic. Both cellulose and fiberglass insulation are easy to install, last for decades and are relatively inexpensive. Sealing air leaks around window and exterior door frames, as well as the exterior envelope of your home, also will reduce your heating and cooling load.
- Clear a space in your yard for the outdoor compressor/condenser. The best location is on the north side of your home or in a shaded location. Be sure that the space doesn’t have any obstructions or landscaping within two feet of where the outside unit will sit. It needs plenty of space to exhaust the waste heat from your home. Removing plants or shrubs that shed a lot of debris will make maintenance easier.
- Have the HVAC contractor perform an analysis of your home to determine the proper size for the new heat pump. Contractors use a tool called Manual J that takes into account the energy efficiency of your home, its size and characteristics. Going by the size of your existing equipment is often misleading and could result in higher energy bills and less indoor comfort.
- Verify that the HVAC contractor has analyzed your ductwork by using the results of Manual J as input for ductwork sizing using Manual D. The next step is testing the ducts for leakage, since leaky ducts reduce HVAC efficiency considerably. If your ducts run through unconditioned areas, they should be insulated before you consider the installation process complete.
For more information about readying your home for a new heat pump, contact Ernst Heating & Cooling. We provide top-notch HVAC services for the Metro-East area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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