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Heat Pump Compressor Belongs Outside

We had a customer ask if their heat pump compressor unit could be installed in their garage or attic as a way to improve its operating efficiency? The thinking is that since the temperature may not be as hot in summer or as cold in winter, the system will operate more efficiently.

The answer to this question is no. In fact, make that an emphatic no!  Here’s why:

Why Heat Pump Compressors Should Be Outside

Why anyone would install a heat pump compressor in an attic is a mystery.An air-source heat pump (ASHPs) works by extracting heat from ambient air and therefore needs an ample supply to work effectively. Installing an ASHP in your garage or attic would suck out all of the warmth from the air captured there, effectively turning that space into a freezer, colder and colder until it would be impossible for the heat pump to extract heat effectively. Installing an ASHP inside a garage or attic can void your manufacturer’s warranty and may cause permanent damage to the unit.

What do you think happens to the efficiency and capacity of a heat pump when it has to dump its heat into hotter air? It drops. What happens when the air gets too hot? The condenser may not be able to do its job – condensing the refrigerant so that it all becomes a liquid again. The refrigerant goes to the evaporator coil hotter and wetter and at higher pressure. That’s a recipe for failure.

While you want to avoid installing the ASHP in an enclosed space, installing one to replace an existing inefficient heating system, such as a furnace or boiler, can be a very good investment. Many people are finding it harder to afford to heat their homes, especially with electricity, oil, or propane.

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Keep in mind that installing any heat pump is not a typical do-it-yourself project. Some manufacturers do not honor any warranty on equipment installed by homeowners or purchased on the Internet—so even though the online price may look great, you may end up paying a lot more to repair or replace equipment if it’s not properly sized and installed professionally.

If you’re thinking about replacing an outdated heating system or air conditioner with an energy efficient heat pump, call us for a free estimate. Brown and Reaves Services specializes in new heat pump installations. Call us at 843-497-9867. Or complete our online form to contact us now. Don’t forget to grab our 20% off discount coupon on your next service call.

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*Photo courtesy of Energy Vanguard

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