Home Maintenance

The Best Places to Install a Heat Pump


Having a heat pump installed can be a big decision, one which will impact the way that you live in your house. And while it is definitely a worthwhile investment when it comes to protecting your home from everything the Canterbury climate has to offer, you don’t want to waste your opportunity by installing your heat pump in the wrong place. 

Background Checks

If you are looking to install an air conditioning unit, there are a few things you will need. Having a heat pump installed is a big decision. That’s a new, pretty permanent fixture to take into consideration first. 

The first is the size of the unit. You will need to make sure that the unit is the correct size for the space you have available. The second is the type of unit you need. There are many different types of air conditioning units available on the market today. Luckily, there are plenty of sites out there to help you find the right type of heat pump for you and your family.

The third is the installation process. You will need to make sure that the unit is installed properly to avoid any problems. Make sure that you find a quality heat pump installer in Christchurch who you can trust. Remember to check reviews and what a company offers before deciding on who to hire, to make sure you find the right one.

The Outdoor Unit

Now that you’ve decided on the size and type of heat pump that you want, you’ll need to decide where it is going to go.

Most of the time your heat pump installers will have good ideas and advice about where your unit should be, but it’s always a good idea to do your research and have an idea of where will be a good idea and your installer’s motivations when they give you their opinion.

Heat pumps come in two parts; the outdoor and the indoor unit. Both will need to fit different criteria for where will be the best place for them to go.

To maximise heat transfer and heat pump capacity, it is important to have unobstructed airflow around the coil. The outdoor unit should be placed at least 500 mm from any obstruction on the air inlet and outlet faces, and at least 100 mm from any other face.

When choosing the location for your heat pump’s outdoor unit, consider its primary use. For best performance when heating, locate the outdoor unit in the warmest location possible, such as on a north- or west-facing wall. When cooling, keep the opposite in mind and situate the outdoor unit in the coolest possible spot, such as on an east- or south-facing wall. Heat pumps are most efficient when the temperature differential between the outdoor and indoor temperatures is at its lowest.

Keep the volume in mind too. The outdoor unit will create noise, so if possible, attempt to position the unit in a spot where it will not inconvenience household occupants or neighbours when it is in use. Make sure that your unit is not attached or too close to bedroom walls, install it behind a fence to dampen the noise for your neighbours, and remember to service it often to ensure worn bearings and other parts don’t become noisy.

Highwall heat pump in a living room

The Indoor Unit

The indoor unit heats, cools, dries and circulates the room air and normally contains a coil, fan, air filter, air vanes and condensate pipe. The indoor unit can be:

  • Wall or High Wall – This type of fan is mounted high on the wall and brings air in from above or below. The air is then directed downwards or horizontally into a room.
  • Under Ceiling – This ceiling-mounted fan draws air in from either the wall side or below and circulates it across the room at ceiling level.
  • Ceiling Cassette – This fan is mounted in the ceiling and brings in air from below at its centre. The air is then directed out from each of the four edges at ceiling level.
  • Floor – This floor-mounted, wall-mounted fan brings in air from below or from the floor level and directs it up the wall.

For best results, the reverse cycle heat pump should be located near the ceiling, with no obstructions around the unit. The heating-only heat pump should be at floor level (keep in mind that these two units are not interchangeable. Do not install a heating-only heat pump at the ceiling level. Make sure that your heat pump is being installed where it was designed to be installed). Ducted systems should have the supply and return air ducts located as far apart as possible.

Remember when installing your heat pump that airflow is the goal. If your unit is too close to the ceiling, it may not be able to run a full cycle and shut down prematurely when in use. If your unit is in a closed corner, the airflow and thus the warm or cold air might not effectively reach all areas of the room. Keep outside airflow in mind as well. If your unit is in a draughty area, performance may be impeded, as air will be escaping to other areas.


In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when installing your heat pump. Make sure to research in advance and find an installer who you can trust. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your heat pump will be installed properly and work efficiently for years to come.