Below are some important questions you should ask your air-source heat pump installer before they install your system:

System Design

Is the system size based on a heat load calculation?

When setting up an air-source heat pump as your main or sole heating source, a well-designed system is crucial. Calculating the heat load for your specific home is a valuable tool for choosing the correct equipment.

Which indoor units do you suggest, where should they go, and why?  

It’s important to consider where these indoor units will be mounted. Do the locations align with your heating/cooling objectives and the way you use your space?

How will the controls and thermostat be arranged?

When your installer is setting up your system, be sure to ask them to explain the thermostat and controls. This is particularly important if they are installing combined controls for both your heat pump system and backup heating source. Moreover, for wall-mounted ductless units, the thermostat is often located within the heat pump indoor unit. To achieve more precise temperature sensing in your living space, consider having a separate thermostat installed at chest height. 


What is the cost of installation, and are there any incentives available? Who is responsible for applying for these incentives? 

It’s important to clarify who will handle the incentive application process and whether it needs to be done before or after the installation takes place.

In addition to yearly electricity expenses, are there any other recurring costs to consider, like regular maintenance or replacement parts?

MassCEC recommends scheduling inspections and cleanings for your heat pumps every one to two years. You might want to inquire whether your chosen contractor offers routine maintenance or can suggest another professional for this purpose.


How soon can we schedule the installation, and what’s the expected duration of the installation process? 

Please tell your installer if you have any specific time restrictions and ask how far in the future they’re scheduling their work. Keep in mind that summer is the peak period for air-source heat pump installations, and some delays might occur due to high demand during this season.

What steps should I take before the installation? 

Ask your installer if there are any specific tasks you should complete to prepare for them to be on site.  

Quality Assurance

Do you offer warranties for the systems you install? Could you provide details about the various warranty choices available?  

It’s important to have a clear understanding of what is included in the warranty provided by your contractor, such as coverage for equipment, labor, or both. 

Have you taken part in training sessions provided by manufacturers for the systems you install? Additionally, could you offer references from your previous clients? 

Just like any home improvement endeavor, it’s crucial to confirm that your installer possesses the appropriate training and a favorable history with their previous customers. 

(If you’re considering installing a whole-home system) Have you completed other projects involving whole-home air-source heat pumps? 

When considering a home improvement project, it’s essential to confirm the contractor’s relevant experience. Request three references from past customers who’ve had whole-home air-source heat pumps installed. Reach out to these references through email or phone to inquire about their satisfaction with the installer’s work. 

Do you plan to involve subcontractors for specific project tasks? If yes, please explain who they are, their roles and responsibilities, and how long you’ve worked with them.

It’s common for air-source heat pump installers to outsource electrical work. Some installers may offer homeowners the option to choose their preferred electrician.

Could you offer guidance on operating and maintaining the system? For instance, adjusting thermostat settings and cleaning air filters?  

Air-source heat pumps are generally easy to use. Your installer should be a valuable source of information and education on how to set the best temperature for your home. 

To find air-source heat pumps that are certified as cold climate heat pumps, look at NEEP’s Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump List.

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Join the Clean Energy Transformation

Let's work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our homes and build a clean energy future for Massachusetts.