Installing Your Heat Pump
Once you decide you’d like to have a heat pump in your home, there are a few considerations you face right away. The biggest decision you’ll have to make here is whether you’re going to go with a ductless or ducted heat pump.
Comparing ducted to ductless heat pumps, the biggest difference is ducted heat pumps are able to distribute air to the whole home, and not just through a single wall unit. That being said, it becomes much more expensive if you need to have ducts installed to service your heat pump. The good news is if you have a forced air furnace already, those ducts may be used for your ducted heat pump system. The bad news is a ducted heat pump system may require an upgrade to your electrical systems in order to accommodate 200 amp service.
100 amp service is adequate for your current oil fired furnace and would likely be able to power a ductless heat pump, but ducted systems generally require an upgrade in the electrical system unless you have an especially efficient heat pump. So, though you may not be spending as much to install a ducted heat pump when you already have ducts, you might pay a bit more to upgrade your electrical systems and even it out. The overall consideration should come down to the size of your house and your heating needs. Many homeowners also find the ducted systems to be much more aesthetically pleasing compared to having a bulky wall unit in a specific room.
Another benefit to using a ducted system is you have a built in backup system. The system is simply the heating coil inside your heat pump, which will heat up air as it passes by and goes through the ductwork. This can be very helpful in more extreme climates that the heat pump can’t properly service, as the heat pump generally isn’t effective in temperatures lower than -15 degrees Celsius.
In the actual process of installing the heat pump, there are some things you should absolutely keep in mind. Your outdoor unit should be protected from the wind, but also be in an open enough space that it doesn’t automatically recirculate the same outdoor air. Also, you must ensure snow doesn’t block the airflow. This is done by placing the heat pump on a stand on a concrete pad so it is both elevated and engaged for proper drainage. Finally, for best operation of your heat pump, it should be placed outside the drip line (where water drips off the roof) of your building.
Overall, the cost should come out to around $6,000 and $7,000 depending on the area you are in. Getting a few quotes before making a decision is the best course of action to take. This will vary with the electrical and duct requirements, as well what you decide between a ducted and ductless system. Either way, a heat pump will add significant value to your house and save you a lot of heating costs in the meantime.