If you have decided to install a heat pump system in your home, there are all sorts of questions that are currently going through your mind about the installation and the perfect location for your heat pump system. One of the most common questions is if a heat pump needs to be level.
In this article we’ll explain the importance of a heat pump being level, and what you need to consider when installing a heat pump.
The importance of a heat pump level
Not every outdoor space is the same, and in some cases, your outdoor area that can be used for your heat pump may not be perfectly level, and this leads you to wonder what is the importance of a heat pump level, and whether or not a heat pump needs to be perfectly level.
While it is not mandatory that a heat pump should be level, over the long term there are several factors that should be considered.
A heat pump system is designed to work on level ground, and there are a few reasons for this. To understand how the level of a heat pump can affect its efficiency and long-term durability, we need to understand how a heat pump works.
Why a heat pump requires a flat surface
A heat pump system requires a compressor as oil and refrigerant flow through the tubes so the heat pump can work. Therefore if the heat pump is not level, it will make it difficult for both the oil and refrigerant to flow naturally through the pipes. This not only forces the heat pump to use more energy but can also create long-term problems.
What happens if the heat pump is not level?
If the oil or the refrigerant is not able to flow through the pipe system at all times, this can damage the compressor, and it can be a costly repair. In fact, repairing the compressor on a heat pump can be one of the most expensive repairs the system will ever need, and can cost an average of $3,500.
A heat pump also vibrates when it is operating, and if it is not placed on a flat surface it can slightly move over time. This can force the system to tilt, which can cause all the problems mentioned earlier with the oil and refrigerant.
Due to the way a heat pump operates, an unleveled system may start leaking both oil and refrigerant due to damage in the tubes.
Does a heat pump need to be perfectly level?
While a heat pump does not need to be perfectly level, it is important to be as much as possible. Because it ensures that the system operates as efficiently as possible, while also guaranteeing that it lasts as long as possible. Moreover, a heat pump that is level will also require less maintenance over time.
What is the maximum inclination a heat pump can have?
In some cases, it might be nearly impossible to place your heat pump on level ground, because of the way your outdoor area is. For these types of cases, the heat pump can have a slight inclination of up to 10º, but you need to make sure that the surface it lies on is extremely stable and that it will not move over time as the heat pump vibrates while working.
How to check if your heat pump is level
There are a few steps you need to take to determine whether or not your heat pump is level, and all you need are a few minutes and a single tool – a level.
Start by placing the level near the bottom of the heat pump, and check what is the angle on the level. If you find that there is a slight tilt, under 10º you shouldn’t worry. In fact, it is common for heat pumps as well as air condition systems to be slightly tilted but not more than 10 degrees.
If you find out that your heat pump is tilted by more than 10º do not attempt to level it yourself.
Should you try to level your heat pump yourself?
If by chance you determine that your heat pump is unleveled, you should avoid trying to do it yourself. When it comes to heat pumps due to the high costs involved, and the possible consequences of damaging the system you should always contact a professional with experience on the matter. They will level your heat pump, and guarantee that it is done without damaging the system.
Heat Pump Location FAQ
Does a heat pump compressor need to be level?
It is absolutely crucial for a heat pump and a heat pump compressor to be level. This ensures that the system works as efficiently as possible, and at the same time it guarantees that it will last a longer time, and require less maintenance.
What should a heat pump sit on?
As important as the location, and level of your heat pump, you should also consider what your system will sit on. Ideally, your heat pump should sit on level ground, this ensures that it stays level, and that is able to work as efficiently as possible. Additionally, it will also help you to prevent any problems that might, while extending the lifespan of your heat pump system.
Finally, you need to make sure that your heat pump is located on solid ground, because the system vibrates while it is operating, and over time it may tilt.
How high should a heat pump be off the ground?
A heat pump should always be 10 to 20 cm off the ground, and preferably it should be placed on a concrete slab or another strong and durable surface. The reason is that especially in the winter periods, placing your heat pump close to the floor will put it in direct contact with rain, and snow, which can damage the system and reduce its life span.