Packaged Heat Pump Install Questions

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eflyersteve
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:16 am

Fri May 03, 2013 8:23 am

We are remodeling our single wide and will be removing the old coleman central air/heat blower. Plans are to install a self contained heat pump with electric heat. Where the old central air blower was installed, we will seal the duct and cover with new flooring. I plan to self-install the heat pump, but have a couple of questions for anyone withe experience:

1) Any suggestions on where to install the return air line? I hope to install the filter in the unit's cabinet (see below) so the return duct could be a non-traditional shape correct? Thoughts are to install the return in the toe kick of a new kitchen cabinet if possible. Another option would be a floor return under a new kitchen island we are planning to install. However, that island will cover the spot that the old central air blower occupied so will have supply ducting under it.

2) The units that I am looking at suggest that a filter box can be installed inside the unit's cabinet (in the return air duct). Has anyone ever seen this done and if so, how difficult is it to accomplish? Perhaps it is a manufacturer option that I can purchase?

Thoughts?


DaleM
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:07 am

Sun May 05, 2013 9:05 am

Is your single set up with return ducting? Been doing this many years and have yet to see return ductwork in any single wide home. There was a system called Whisper Air in old Park Estate homes but that was nothing more than perimeter vents allowing air to flow through the subfloor cavity of the home. Down side was unless the bottomboard was perfect and everything sealed the furnace pulled air from the underside of the home.

eflyersteve
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:16 am

Sun May 05, 2013 10:31 am

No return ducting - that was question #1 - I will have to install a return duct and thoughts were to install it in the kitchen base cabinet toe kick. I did a quick internet search and find that toe kick return grates are available so I'll likely go that route with the addition of a filter rack in the outside unit. I just haven't been able to find reports of anybody doing something similar so was a bit cautious about it.

DaleM
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:07 am

Sun May 05, 2013 1:45 pm

A quick FYI, I don't think you will have enough grate surface area for an effective return if you locate it in a kickboard. All returns that I install for package air conditioners must be located in the middle of the home someplace and have a 14"x20" box connected to either a 12" or 14" return duct. We typically try to locate that box in a corner in a living room or kitchen depending on the floorplan of the home. That return duct is kept as short as possible to achieve the best turnover rate of cubic feet of air in the home. Your air supply and return specs won't be any different with your heat pump. You will still need a similar amount of cfm for efficient heating and cooling of the living space.

eflyersteve
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:16 am

Mon May 06, 2013 8:38 am

Thanks for the reply Dale. Perhaps 2-3 14x3" toe kick grates might do the trick? Placing them in the kitchen toe kick are would make the return path the shortest due to the location of the heat pump.

Another option would be a floor grate under the new island (island on feet). We could then install about as large a grate as needed.

I'll take a longer look at the area and see if there is any other options available.

Thanks!

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