A lot of consideration goes into deciding the location of your outdoor heat pump unit.
Installing it in the wrong place could have a big impact on your unit’s performance. It could also lead to frequent maintenance problems.
Aesthetics in this instance need to be treated with care so you don’t restrict your unit’s capacity. Keep in mind that heat pumps function best with plenty of air flow. The outdoor unit needs as much air flow to work with as possible, so disguising the unit with shrubs and plants could lessen its ability to run at peak performance.
We often focus our attention on the indoor unit as it becomes a household item once installed. But just because the outdoor unit is out of sight, doesn’t mean it should be out of mind. Outdoor heat pump units are just as important, if not more important.
Where is the best place to install an outdoor heat pump unit?
To avoid future complications, finding the best spot to install your outdoor unit will benefit you greatly in the long term. What surrounds the unit and what’s underneath the unit are two crucial aspects to consider prior to installation.
The location of your unit should be easily accessible for carrying out maintenance on the compressor, condenser and other devices within the unit. It should also be sheltered by an eve and elevated about 10cm off the ground to allow for drainage.
Although shrubs and plants may provide sheltering, they need to be kept at least one metre from the outdoor unit to allow for shedding of leaves and debris that could end up in the fins and fan casement.
The ground underneath the unit should also be a main point of consideration. This surface should be a flat, rigid concrete base to avoid excessive vibration. We find that pavers and crushed stone provide great drainage for the area surrounding the unit.
If you’re unsure of where to locate your outdoor unit, or need some advice on how to prepare an area, one of our technicians would be happy to help.
Care and consideration for future landscaping
Your outdoor heat pump unit will require future servicing and maintenance, so it’s best not to grow your prized garden anywhere near it.
Although plants will be petite in their structure when you first plant them, their growth in the next five or ten years could pose a problem if they are too close to the outdoor unit. Basically, there shouldn’t be any hindrances that could block the fan air flow to an open space.
It would be wise to keep the exotic plants for another area of the garden.
Also, when taking to the lawn with the mower or weed eater, aim the devices away from the unit to reduce the possibility of blocking the coils with grass clippings and debris.
Of course nature will always have its way, which is why our outdoor heat pump units are designed to be sturdy and to withstand as much of the elements as possible. This is not to say we don’t need to take some responsibility in ensuring their longevity.
Top tips and advice from the professionals
As leaders in heat pump services and installation, we know what criteria to look for when finding the right space for an outdoor heat pump unit.
Here are our top tips to help you select or prepare the area prior to installation:
- Select an open space to have your unit installed where air can flow freely around it
- Don’t stack anything on top of the outdoor heat pump unit as this can restrict airflow and cause excess vibration
- Ensure gutters above the unit are free from leaks. In the winter, water can drop onto the heat pump and freeze, causing blockages and restriction of air flow
- Select a flat, rigid surface to install your outdoor unit, or prepare an area accordingly
- Ensure there is plenty of room for drainage underneath so no water can collect around the unit and corrode parts
- The unit should be easily accessible for future maintenance and servicing
- Anything that could pose a hindrance to air flow now or in the future should be removed
- Try to avoid direct sunlight onto the outdoor unit
Given the amount to consider and the technicalities involved, the installation of your heat pump should be done by a professional technician.
Our highly trained team can offer the best advice on the best place to install your outdoor heat pump unit.
As well as knowing what to look for, we are also able to judge whether there are things near the unit that may cause issues in the future.
Heat pumps and air conditioners are becoming a household must-have.
Have a heat pump installed and be prepared for any kind of temperature.