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Thread: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

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    Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    I am in the throes of deciding how to heat my pool during the cooler months of May and October. Obviously looking at heat pumps, but wondered if any one could shed some light on whether I can put a heat pump inside under cover. I have a barn in which the main pool machinery is and wondered if I can install the heat pump next to it. The barn is approx 50ft by 15ft wide. The reason I ask is to avoid having to put it outside next to the barn where it would be both unsightly and noisy. The downside might actually be that the barn interior is cooler than outside on those sunny days (in May and October when this pump would be most used) - so assume that it would therefore require to work harder/more electricity.

    Second technical question - does the heat pump take air via an intake hose? If it does I could pipe this to the outside.
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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    The heat pump will have a problem being indoors. It generates a lot of condensation and needs exposure to a lot of fresh air.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    I'm just wondering whether with a volume like the barn (15x45x15=10,000 cubic feet) and plenty of fresh air getting in whether this is an issue? can it be vented to the outside like a boiler?
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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    I cannot be vented.

    If it's inside and there isn't enough fresh air replenishment, the room will cool. With cooler temps comes lower efficiency.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    that makes sense, thanks Scott. Just trying to see if I can install a heat pump without the accompanying noise pollution.
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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    Air source heat pumps use a fan to move air. The heat pump would need a constant supply of fresh air to work efficiently. You might be able to duct the fan exhaust to the outside as long as fresh air could get into the barn, or you could put a separate ventilation fan in the barn to supply the required air. Your HVAC contractor should be able to advise to better about your options.

    Another option would be to use a ground source heat pump, which uses heat from the ground.

    You might be better off with a natural gas or propane heater.

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    James - The pump will only be used for a couple of months of the year (May and October) as the summer months produce high day time temperatures and are enough to keep a pool warm. This is for a rental house, so would extend our swimming season. We cannot do gas as we have no supply and the ground heat exchange would be too costly and take too much time to amortise methinks.

    The reason I am looking to place the heat pump in the barn is to keep the noise down, as this rental is about the quiet/middle of the country feel, so our clients would not be very happy to have this taken over by the sound of a heat pump.
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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    I don't see any reason that the exhaust couldn't be vented to the outside. I think that an HVAC contractor should be able to do this.

    Using an electric heater is also an option, it's quiet and reliable. However, it will be expensive to operate depending on your electric rates.

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    It's no louder than an air conditioning unit. Some shrubbery a few feet away would dampen the sound of the fan. Don't use a solid fence unless it's more than 6' away. It blocks air, reducing it's efficiency.

    To vent it would likely add $1000 or so to its cost. The plenum would need to be custom made to fit the HP. It would also be likely to void it's warranty.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    I agree that venting would probably be expensive to design a workable solution. Besides the ductwork, you might need to upgrade the fan or provide a supplemental fan. You might also need a fan to push air into the barn.

    Using a ventilation fan to provide air exchange to the barn would also work, but would probably require a fairly large fan to provide the proper air turnover. The ventilation fan might end up making as much noise as the Heat Pump.

    Then you would also need a controller to turn the extra fans on and off as needed.

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    no-mas's Avatar
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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    Under "Installation Consideration" in my heat pump manual:

    Situate the pool heat pump carefully to minimize installation costs while providing maximum
    efficiency of operation, and to allow adequate service access, as follows:
    • For unrestricted air intake and service access, position each side of the unit at least 1 ft from
    walls, pipes and other obstructions.
    • The unit is designed for outdoor installation; do NOT install it in an enclosed area such as a
    shed or garage, unless ventilation is provided to ensure adequate air exchange for proper
    operation. Recirculation of cold discharge air back into the evaporator coil will greatly
    reduce the unit’s heating capacity and efficiency.
    • This unit feature an ‘up-flow’ discharge for quiet operation. Air is pulled up through the
    evaporator coil and discharged through the top grill. Allow at least 8 ft clearance above the
    unit for unrestricted air discharge. Do NOT install the unit under a porch or deck.
    • To minimize water piping, locate the unit as close as possible to the existing pool pump and
    filter.
    • When installed in areas where freezing temperatures can be encountered, drain the water
    circuit to prevent possible freeze-up damage. See Section VII, Freeze Protection.
    18k gal inground, everbrite finish, 505 sq ft; 1.5 hp two speed whisperflow; rheem 5100ti 100k btu heat pump; 3 sheer descent falls; DE filter; swg (cell out and using trichlor for now)

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    thanks guys....makes sense...I need to install it outside and just plant some shrubbery nearby to hide it! Also seems to me that the "up" fanned ones are the quieter form, rather than the horizontal fan.
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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    Richard,
    how cold will it get in the months of May and October? Keep in mind that most heat pumps will shut down when temps fall below 50 degrees, unless it's designed to defrost the icey buildup on the evaporator coil. Something like the AquaCal IceBreaker will continue producing heat into the 30's, and are the quietest heat pumps on the market (55 db). It really is much quieter than you think.
    PoolGuyNJ Scott, do you recall hearing our heat pump at the Atlantic City show? You can have a normal conversation standing right next to it, while it is running.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    May and October can be as hot as July and August, but nights are much cooler.

    Day temp anywhere between 65F (18C) to 85f (30C), Night time might go down to 8-10C/45-50F, but it's certainly never freezing. So perhaps if it were working at night on cheaper electricity then it would be borderline.

    Also if the temp is 50F how much warmer can the the heater warm the water?
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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    Not much. Heat pumps create condensation. They are reverse cycle air conditioners, when you think about it. In their quest for heat, the coolant (generic term is freon) can get to below 32 degrees when the the air is in the low 50s. The condensate can cause icing.

    Some HPs can de-ice. Some can't. All lose efficiency. Add that to the lack of heat calories in the air and you wind up spinning your wheels, getting nowhere and using a lot of electric to get there.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    so best to run the heat pump during the day for efficiency, but also more expensive if the electrical per unit cost is higher. Going to have to do some complicated maths to find out which is more worthwhile; longer running time at night on cheap electricity or shorter during the day for the Kj of heat energy produced. From the sounds of it and guessing here; during the cooler night time temps of May & October running the heat pump during the day is going to be the more sensible.
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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    Is your pool indoor or outdoor? I have several indoor pools along Puget Sound, WA, and with 50 degrees air temps, they had 82 degrees water temperatures. An outdoor pool will be harder to keep up with 80's temp water.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean
    Is your pool indoor or outdoor? I have several indoor pools along Puget Sound, WA, and with 50 degrees air temps, they had 82 degrees water temperatures. An outdoor pool will be harder to keep up with 80's temp water.
    With a 47 degree average air temperature, we can maintain low 80's with 2 sq175's on a 20X60 outdoor pool.
    20X40 30,000 gallon gunite pool

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    As for the noise, go and take a look around some resorts and golf courses. They all have AC units, most have some really big air handlers, and they are architect-ed to be hidden and not heard. Look at how they place them behind shrubs, or have sound abatement walls, or build berms, or whatever, and see how you can apply some of the same concepts to your placement and concealment.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Heat Pump and space required - can it be inside a barn?

    Yes, it's an outdoor pool in a very quiet countryside environment - hence the worry about the heat exchange making too much noise. Part of the appeal for rental is the quiet...

    I think that if I build stone walls on 2 sides of the unit, back it up to exterior barn wall and put a hedge in front (using a vertically fanned heat exchange) then this should go some way to reducing any sound.
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