Heat pump schematic (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Heat Pump Installation in a building interior

  • HEAT PUMP STRATEGY - Indoors? - CONTENTS: Can I install a heat pump in the building's interior space?Guide for installing a heat pump inside of a solar-gain sunspace. Use of heat pump water heaters in conditioned building space. Solar Age Magazine Articles on Renewable Energy, Energy Savings, Construction Practices
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about installing & using a heat pump
InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Heat pump installation:

This article discusses the location of heat pump equipment in building interior spaces, considering heated living spaces and solar gains in buildings. Accompanying text reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.

Heat Pump Equipment Location Strategy

AC Compressor (C) D FriedmanThe question-and-answer article below paraphrases, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.

Can heat pumps be installed inside a building?


Can heat pumps be installed inside of a building? I plan to duct intake air through a buffered interior space to warm it before use. Your Solar Age July Issue speaks of a new Swedish technology that does this. -- Wilbur Rhodes, Kittery ME


In a northern climate, you should not install a heat pump in a building interior space unless it is isolated from the heated living space and has solar gains - such as in an isolated sunspace, for example.

This is because in the heating mode the heat pump will be cooling the space where the compressor unit is installed.

A sunspace installation for a heat pump can make sense, but it is tricky. On cloudy days and cold nights, outside air needs to be allowed into the sunspace to supply the unit or it should be shut down. On sunny winter days the space could get too hot for the heat pump unit to operate safely.

In cooling mode, the heat pump system will have difficulty dumping heat into the sunspace unless that area is sufficiently shaded and vented.

In short, well-planned heat pump controls are going to be needed. Also you will have to live with a noisy heat pump compressor in your sunspace.

Tips for Scavenging Heat in a Sunspace with a Heat Pump

A more promising way to scavenge heat in a sunspace would be through the use of a heat pump water heater. Heat pump driven water heaters (for making domestic hot water for washing and bathing) are designed to be located in a conditioned (interior) building space.

Since a heat pump water heater is smaller in capacity than a conventional heat pump (intended for building heating and cooling), they will not overcool the room where the compressor is located.

The Swedish systems you mentioned are heat-pump water heaters with the exhaust side ducted to the outdoors. In 1984 there were no U.S. heat pump units designed to operate in that fashion.

The question-and-answer article about location of heat pumps and heat pump water heaters, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.

Current references on ground and ground water source heat pumps:

Watch out, the geothermal and groundwater source heat pump articles just below are ridiculously expensive documents also available at

The link to the original Q&A article in PDF form immediately below has been preceded by an expanded/updated online version of this article.


Continue reading at DIAGNOSTIC GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS - HVAC inspection, installation, diagnosis & repair procedures provided free

Or see HEAT PUMPS - home

Suggested citation for this web page

HEAT PUMP STRATEGY - Indoors? at or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click to Show or Hide FAQs

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References

Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman