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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    3rd opinion needed - ASHP physical location

    I have narrowed my search to two contractors to install my ASHP in our cold weather climate:

    Option A: Contractor wants to hang the ASHP off the side of our home (basically where our A/C currently is).
    Option B: Contractor wants put ASHP on the ground and on a platform that's 8 inches high (for snow).

    My concern with option A is that when it snows the location of the current A/C has a tendency to have snow melt from the roof which freezes on the A/C after it falls and a risk of snow/ice falling (see photo).

    My concern with option B is that the ASHP is subject to the ground heaving/shifting from our harsh winters.

    What opinions do you have on my options or is there an Option C that should be considered?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Texas
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    don't use ashp in that cold of climate or hang in

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
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    Where are you located with your harsh winters?

    I have no issues with a properly installed ASHP in Central PA.

    Some of the newer high efficiency systems work just fine.

    As far as a 3rd option, I would always prefer to hang it off the wall and then if you have a snow melt issue from the roof, create and awning at least 2 feet above the unit to prevent snow & ice from building up on the blades. Not really any other choices available.

    Sorry, wish I could be more help.
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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  4. #4
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    Jul 2019
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by joemach View Post
    Where are you located with your harsh winters?

    I have no issues with a properly installed ASHP in Central PA.

    Some of the newer high efficiency systems work just fine.

    As far as a 3rd option, I would always prefer to hang it off the wall and then if you have a snow melt issue from the roof, create and awning at least 2 feet above the unit to prevent snow & ice from building up on the blades. Not really any other choices available.

    Sorry, wish I could be more help.
    This is very helpful. Thank you. I'm in Minnesota.

    Install instructions for the ASHP state that there must be four feet of clearance above the unit so I'll start investigating it with my contractors to see if this option would work with our home (it should) and how much it'd add to the job.

    I assume you don't install on ground because of potential shifting of the unit over time? Or is it because hanging it off the house gives you more ground clearance?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by treckmey View Post
    This is very helpful. Thank you. I'm in Minnesota.

    Install instructions for the ASHP state that there must be four feet of clearance above the unit so I'll start investigating it with my contractors to see if this option would work with our home (it should) and how much it'd add to the job.

    I assume you don't install on ground because of potential shifting of the unit over time? Or is it because hanging it off the house gives you more ground clearance?
    If the install instructions say 4 feet. I would go with that.
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    25,663
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    I try and avoid areas like that for obvious reasons but if that's the only choice then the condensing unit will need to be protected!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Beatrice, NE
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    I don't like to hang them on the side of the house for noise and serviceability issues.

    The noise issue can come from vibrations carrying directly into the structure.

    The serviceability issues are several. The distance from the house is limited by the support so often there is only 6" of space which does not allow much room to get t o screws for cabinet removal if necessary or for coil cleaning which it seems the side closest to the house gets dirtiest. The other serviceability issue has to do with height. I have seen many units that you need a ladder to get to the top of the unit which is where the fan motor is at. Standing on a ladder in snow and wind trying to handle a top with a motor attached is not what I consider safe especially if the ground is uneven. I have seen several of these situations where the unit sat waiting for better weather.

    I can't say that I have ever seen a unit on the side of a house where manufacture clearances were maintained.

    If you haven't' guessed by now I am not a fan of racks for outside units. I have never had an issue with one sitting on a pad on supports.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by BNME8EZ View Post
    I don't like to hang them on the side of the house for noise and serviceability issues.

    The noise issue can come from vibrations carrying directly into the structure.

    The serviceability issues are several. The distance from the house is limited by the support so often there is only 6" of space which does not allow much room to get t o screws for cabinet removal if necessary or for coil cleaning which it seems the side closest to the house gets dirtiest. The other serviceability issue has to do with height. I have seen many units that you need a ladder to get to the top of the unit which is where the fan motor is at. Standing on a ladder in snow and wind trying to handle a top with a motor attached is not what I consider safe especially if the ground is uneven. I have seen several of these situations where the unit sat waiting for better weather.

    I can't say that I have ever seen a unit on the side of a house where manufacture clearances were maintained.

    If you haven't' guessed by now I am not a fan of racks for outside units. I have never had an issue with one sitting on a pad on supports.
    You bring up a lot of excellent points on serviceability. Thank you. The good news is that the location will meet the 100% of the manufacturer clearance guidelines (see below pic). The top of the unit will be 4'4" off the ground on the high slope side and 5'0" off the ground on the low slope side. I agree that's a bit dodgy if it needs to be serviced during the winter but I think I will have to take that chance given my concerns over the ground shifting.

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