Can I Install My Own Heat Pump? Here’s What to Expect
Many homeowners look for ways to save when it comes to home improvement projects, and the DIYers in us may consider skipping the installer and look to install a heat pump system, mini-split or split system, to help improve the comfort of their home, or support their HVAC system to get air conditioning in different locations.
When it comes to a new heat pump, homeowners may save dollars on the heat pump installation if they DIY the install, saving on the heat pump installation costs and keeping the money by saving on the HVAC technician’s time.
There are many aspects of a heat pump installation that are far and above the average DIY home improvement project. Condensate drain lines, refrigerant and refrigerant lines and the specialty tools that HVAC contractors have such as vacuum pumps to work with those, as well as skilled work typically left to electricians such as running power from the circuit breaker to the unit, will all be involved when putting an indoor unit in like a mini split heat pump.
This makes having a professional installer come out to install this new type of air conditioner very appealing. By using a local HVAC company like Climate Control, not only do you have the assurance that your air conditioning will work when you turn it on and match the room to your thermostat setting, but possible additional warranty, safety, and peace of mind are often better than being frustrated at complicated installation instructions
The obvious advantage to a ductless mini-split is that there is no ductwork that needs to be run, using hole saws to go through walls or ceilings or floors, as well as the apparent ease of installation.
Regardless of what type of heat pump you look at, there are a few differences in the way heat pumps operate than typical air conditioning and heating systems.
1. Heating Cycle
When furnaces start up, they’re quite intense. They’re loud, and you can feel the warm air blowing on you when you walk past the air register. For a furnace owner, those things are just a sign that the furnace is working as it should.
With a heat pump, you’ll need to keep in mind that they have more gradual heating cycles. This might make it seem like the heat pump is underperforming or running longer than it should, but do rest assured that it’s all normal.
2. Defrost Cycle
With the weather as low as it is right now, your heat pump’s outdoor unit may be at risk of freezing over. When it does, the heat pump will enter a defrost cycle. That means the warm air may shut off for about 15 minutes as it works to melt away the ice. If you’re not expecting it, it can certainly be alarming the first time it happens.
3. Auxiliary Heating Mode
Your standard heat pump may have trouble running efficiently in excessively cold temperatures. When that happens, it will activate a set of electrical heating strips that work as a supplement along with the normal heating. Since auxiliary heating relies on electrical resistance rather than heat transference, it can raise your heating bill if used consistently.
4. Inverter Technology vs Dual Fuel
If auxiliary heating isn’t enough for your needs, you can solve the issue either with inverter heat pump technology or with a dual fuel system.
Inverter technology is only available in some brands of heat pumps. This can boost the performance of the heat pump so that it can supply heated air in temperatures as low as -13°F before auxiliary heating turns on.
However, others prefer the dual fuel system approach. Essentially, this system is a heat pump with a gas furnace attached. When the weather gets cold enough, the gas furnace-half of the system automatically turns on and gets to work. By trading the work at the appropriate times, you can balance efficiency and comfort.
5. Emergency Heating Mode
If your heat pump is not able to function properly, but you still need heat while you wait for heater repairs in Independence, MO, you can substitute with the emergency heating mode. This is a manual function that switches all of the heat pump’s heating over to the electrical heat strips. Just be careful not to use this function at any time other than an emergency.
Climate Control is one of the most respected local HVAC companies in the Kansas City area, and have been serving our homeowners and business owners for over 30 years. We stay at the forefront of best air conditioning and HVAC system technology and put our years of experience and dedication to customer satisfaction to work for our customers every day.