Combien d'espace un système de thermopompe centrale requiert-il?
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How Much Space Does a Central Heat Pump System Require?

How Much Space Does a Central Heat Pump System Require? – A Comprehensive Guide by AirGreen

As a leading HVAC company based in Montreal, AirGreen is renowned for providing top-quality heating and cooling services, with particular expertise in central heat pump systems. A common question we encounter from our customers planning to install a heat pump is, "How much space does a central heat pump system require?"

In this extensive article, we'll explore in depth the space requirements for a central heat pump system, discussing the components involved, factors influencing these requirements, and how to make the most of your available space.

Understanding Central Heat Pump Systems

Before we delve into the space requirements, let's briefly review what a central heat pump system is. A heat pump is a device that extracts heat from one location and moves it to another using a minimal amount of energy. In a central system, this heating and cooling capability is distributed throughout the entire home or building, providing a uniform and comfortable climate regardless of the external weather conditions.

Key Components of a Central Heat Pump System

Understanding the components of a heat pump system is crucial to figuring out the space requirements. A typical central heat pump system comprises two main parts:

  1. Outdoor Unit: This unit, also known as the heat pump, is placed outside the building. It absorbs heat from the outside air and transfers it indoors during winter, while in summer, it works in reverse, removing heat from inside your home and releasing it outdoors.
  2. Indoor Air Handler: This unit, installed inside your home, distributes the heated or cooled air throughout your space via ductwork.

Space Requirements for a Central Heat Pump System

Now that we've identified the main components of a heat pump system, let's delve into the space requirements.

Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit of a heat pump system requires clear space around it for optimal functioning. A heat pump needs enough space to draw in outside air efficiently and expel the extracted heat (in cooling mode) or the cold air (in heating mode).

Most manufacturers recommend maintaining a clearance of about 24 inches around the sides of the unit and at least 72 inches above it. This means you'll need a flat outdoor space that's large enough to accommodate the heat pump with these clearances.

Indoor Air Handler

The indoor air handler can be installed in various places within your home, such as the basement, attic, or a utility closet. However, the location should be spacious enough to accommodate the air handler and provide adequate clearance for airflow and maintenance.

Other Factors to Consider

  • Ductwork: If your home does not have pre-existing ductwork, installing it will require additional space. Ducts can often be placed in walls, floors, or ceilings, but some areas might need to be modified.
  • Sound: Heat pumps produce some noise when operating. If noise is a concern, you'll want to locate the outdoor unit in an area where it won't disturb you or your neighbors.
  • Access for Maintenance: Both the indoor and outdoor units should be easily accessible for regular maintenance and repairs.

Maximizing Space for Your Central Heat Pump System

Despite the space requirements, there are ways to optimize your available space for a central heat pump system.

  • Creative Installation: At AirGreen, our experienced technicians are adept at installing heat pump systems in a variety of settings, finding creative solutions for homes with limited space.
  • Compact Designs: Many modern heat pumps come in compact designs that require less space, making them suitable for smaller properties.
  • Ductless Systems: If your home doesn't have room for ductwork, a ductless heat pump system could be an alternative. These systems use individual air handlers in each room, eliminating the need for extensive ductwork.


While a central heat pump system does require a certain amount of space for its indoor and outdoor units and potentially for ductwork, with careful planning and expert installation, it's possible to accommodate a system in a variety of home sizes and layouts.

At AirGreen, we are dedicated to providing Montreal residents with high-quality central heat pump systems that fit their homes and their needs, offering expert installation and maintenance to ensure optimum system performance and longevity.