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Ducted Heat Pumps

A ducted heat pump system uses a traditional heat pump as depicted below. Compared to a mini-split heat pump, this style of unit is designed to heat or cool an entire home and be controlled by a single thermostat. A backup heating element is always installed with this type of system and a quality duct system is constructed to distribute the heated or cooled air throughout the home to all locations. A proper configuration will give even heat or cooling in all areas and be balanced for the home. It is possible to adjust the amount of airflow to increase or decrease the effectiveness for certain rooms. 

The key to a quality heat pump install is the ductwork. A few key things must be done to ensure a quality installation:

  • Dampers must be added to each branch duct stemming off the main trunk line. This allows adjustment to get just the right amount of airflow to each room. Mechanically controlled dampers are available for future adjustment
  • Round, rigid ducting provides the least amount of turbulence and maximum airflow. Each branch should be installed with round ducting, the trunk line (main duct) should be a rectangular metal duct to minimize wasted space
  • All connections and joints in the ductwork should be sealed with aluminum air sealing tape or brush-on duct sealant
  • Air return ducts must gather a significant amount of air and should do so from at least 2 areas of the home for optimum air circulation. The return air duct systems (cold air side) should be larger in size than the outlet air side since the outlet side is pressurized. HRV systems can be connected to this system but should not supply the only air source
  • After the ductwork is completed, a full balancing must be done. In order to accomplish this the installer must use an anemometer to measure airflow from each duct register and adjust them for the proper amount of airflow based on room size. This is the key to getting an evenly heated or cooled home.                         

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