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Take a look at our Heat Pump Checklist Buyers Guide to give you an idea of what things you need to think about as well as questions to ask when buying a heat pump. It also covers key considerations and things to look for.

Featuring everything you need to know about choosing the right heat pump for your home or business, our guide covers key considerations such as energy efficiency ratings, reliability, and operating costs.

It also includes helpful tips on how to find the best deal on your new heat pump, as well as questions to ask when comparing different models or brands.

Space Needed For an Air Source Heat Pump

The majority of air source heaters will be placed on the outside of your house (typically at the rear). You’ll need at least four to five inches of space between the wall and the unit, as well as 20 inches of clearance above it.

Automatic Heat Pump Settings

Most heat pumps will have automatic settings, which will adjust the output of the heat pump to the heating required. This can be beneficial as it can help save energy and money.

The best heat pump setting is determined by your personal comfort level. Set the fan to AUTO and set the desired temperature to 68 degrees in the winter on Heat mode or 78 degrees in Cooling mode for maximum efficiency.

Home Insulation

You may need to install more insulation in your home. When you have a visit from your local heat pump installer, they can assess your property and home insulation levels, as well as recommend solutions.

Smart Home Compatibility

If you would like to connect your heat pump to the internet using smart home technology, then make sure that the model you are purchasing has this option available.

This will allow you to control or monitor the unit from a distance via an app on your phone. This may include setting timers and programmable heating schedules, checking temperature settings, or adjusting the fan speed.

Cost of Heat Pump

A key factor when choosing a heat pump is its cost efficiency in relation to how much energy it uses for each unit of heat produced.

In addition, check what type of warranty is included with your purchase so that if there are any issues with your heat pump, you are covered.

Heating Capacity

When choosing a heat pump, you need to consider the heating capacity of the unit in relation to the size of your home or business. A general rule of thumb is that you will need one kilowatt (kW) of heating for every 10 square meters of floor space.

For example, if you have a 100 square meter office, you will need a 10 kW heat pump.

As a rough guide, a 3-bedroom house would need a heat pump with a capacity of around 6kW.

Heat Pump Location

The location of your heat pump is important as it needs to be situated in an area where it can receive enough airflow. Again, your pump installer will be able to recommend the best place for your heat pump to be located.

Heat Pump Designs

There are 4 types of heat pump designs available on the market and your pump installer will be able to guide you on which is the best type for your purposes:

1. Single-stage: A single-stage heat pump has one compressor that is either on or off. This type of heat pump is less expensive but less energy efficient than a modulating heat pump.

2. Modulating: A modulating heat pump has a variable-speed compressor that can adjust its output to the heating required. This makes it more energy-efficient than a single-stage heat pump as it only uses the amount of energy needed to maintain the desired temperature.

3. Hybrid: A hybrid heat pump combines an air source heat pump with a gas furnace. This type of heat pump is more expensive than a single-stage or modulating heat pump but can be more energy efficient as it will switch to the gas furnace when the outside temperature is very cold.

4. Geothermal: A geothermal heat pump uses the ground or water to heat and cool your home. This type of heat pump is more expensive than an air source heat pump but can be more energy efficient as the ground or water temperature is more stable than the air temperature.

Related: What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?

Heat and Cool

The vast majority of air source heat pumps are designed to both heat and cool your home or business. However, some may only be fitted for heating or cooling, so check the specifications before making a purchase decision.

Related: Heat Pump Pros And Cons

Maintenance Checklist

When you purchase a good quality air or ground source heat pump they won’t need that much maintenance.

You should however check the following on a regular basis:

Air Source Heat Pump Maintenance Checklist

  • Air source heat pumps – check and clean the air filter monthly, check for ice build-up on the outdoor coils, and clear if necessary.
  • Clean and or swap out filters.
  • Clean coils and fans (if necessary)
  • Clean the supply and return registers inside the property.
  • Power off the unit and check / clean fan blades.
  • Inspect the outdoor unit of your heat pump annually and remove any debris or foliage that has gathered around it.
  • If you have an issue with your heat pump, always consult the manufacturer’s manual first before attempting any repairs yourself. If you’re still unsure, then call a qualified technician to carry out repairs.

Before the winter comes, always have your heat pump serviced by a professional who will be able to identify any potential problems and take corrective action as necessary.

By doing this, you will be helping your heat pump to perform at its best throughout the cold winter months, keeping you warm and comfortable indoors.​

Related: Air Source Heat Pump Running Costs

They will check:

  • The ducts to ensure they are not leaking, and seal them if necessary
  • The coils and fans for signs of wear and tear, or dirt build-up
  • The supply and return registers inside the property to ensure they are not blocked
  • Any potential issues with the power supply or electrical components in your heat pump system. This is especially important if you live in a region prone to extreme temperatures, as this can increase the risk of damage from freezing weather conditions.
  • The condensate drain lines to ensure there are no blockages that could cause water damage to your property.
  • Overall performance of your heat pump system, including temperature accuracy, efficiency levels, and air quality.
  • To see whether the airflow is correct and that the system is functioning as it should be
  • To check the settings on the thermostat to ensure they are still accurate
  • Check the refrigerant levels and recharge if necessary
  • Any moving parts and lubricate as necessary.

Ground Source Heat Pump Maintenance Checklist

  • Ground source heat pumps – once a year have the ground loop system checked for leaks by a qualified technician.
  • Check the operation of your heat pump regularly, especially if you notice any changes in performance.
  • Check the compressor, motor, and other internal components for signs of wear and tear.
  • Make sure that your ground loop is still buried deeply enough to prevent damage from freezing weather conditions or excavation work near the property.
  • Schedule a professional maintenance check annually, to ensure your heat pump is running at optimal performance levels.
  • Make sure that all electrical connections are in good condition, including those inside the house. Ensure there is no risk of electrocution by turning off the power supply before carrying out any repairs or cleaning of electrical components yourself.
  • Check whether it needs a top-up of anti-freeze and if so, add the correct amount.
  • Clean the heat exchanger coils if necessary, using a cleaning solution designed specifically for this purpose.
  • Check the radiators and bleed the system if necessary, to remove any air and maintain correct airflow.

To get the most out of your ground source heat pump system, have it serviced regularly by a qualified technician.

They can help you identify any issues with performance or efficiency levels, and take corrective measures as required before they become more expensive or difficult to fix.

By doing this, you can help ensure that your heat pump works efficiently throughout the winter months.

Related: The Cost Of Ground Source Heat Pump