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Air source heat pumps

air source heat pump

Air source heat pumps utilise heat contained within the outside air. The heat from the air can then be used instead of other energy sources to heat water for your homes radiators or under floor heating systems.

Air-source heat pumps have similarities in the way that they operate with ground-source heat pumps, the difference being that heat is extracted from the external air instead of the ground.

The main advantage of an air-source heat pump in comparison to a ground-source heat pump is the reduced installation cost. A ground source heat pump needs a series of underground coils that are required to extract heat from the ground. Whereas air-source heat pumps as their name so accurately describe extract their heat directly from the outside air.
So, you can heat your home from heat already in the air, saving energy. Clever stuff, tell me more.

  • This is how air source heat pumps work?
  • What are the advantages of air source heat pumps?
  • How could I use an air source heat pump?
  • Could I use an air source heat pump in my house
  • Costs and savings
  • Where can I get one?

This is how air source heat pumps work?

For those technical minded amongst us; outside air is used by the air source heat pump to gather heat from, this is known as the heat source or heat sink. Can you believe it, but the air source heat pump can even create useable heat in the air when temperatures are as low as -15° C, yes minus 15° C.

An air source heat pump needs a system which includes a compressor, condenser and refrigerant so it can absorb heat at one place and release it in another. The system works similar to the reverse of a household fridge. Aaaahhh I see.

Air source heat pumps achieve heating and cooling by moving a refrigerant through the heat pump's various indoor and outdoor coils and components. These stages form the basis of being able to produce usable heat via the air source heat pump.

How could I use an air source heat pump?

You can buy air source heat pumps which carry out different functions:
  • Air-to-air heat pump system - they generate warm air which is circulated around your property to provide your heat.
  • An air-to-water heat pump system - They use the heat generated to provide your hot water (HW). Heat pumps generally heat hot water to a lower temperature than a traditional standard type boiler system.  Many believe they are more suitable for under floor heating systems than radiator systems.

What are the advantages of air source heat pumps?

  • You will reduce your fuel bills. Air source heat pumps run on electricity and if you have an existing electric based system you are likely to cut down on wasted electricity. For example an air source heat pump is much more efficient than using electric radiators or storage heaters.
  • Can be used to heat air or water.
  • The same system could be used for air conditioning in summer, as well as a heating system in winter.
  • You will save space with an air source heat pump system and requires no storage space for fuel as do solid/multi fuel or oil based heating systems as it powered from electricity
  • Reduction in your carbon footprint with less Co2 emissions if your main heating fuel at present is electricity or sold/multi fuel.
  • A high efficiency heat pump can provide four times the heat of an electric heater.

Could I use an air source heat pump in my house?

Ask yourself a few of our handy ready reckoning questions or ask one of our listed expert air source heat pump installers:

  • At what stage will the air source heat pump system be installed? - Combining the installation with other building work can reduce the cost of installing the system.
  • What heating system are you looking for? Air source heat pumps are considered to be much better at servicing underfloor heating systems or warm air heating than radiator-based systems.
  • What fuel are you currently using? The air source heat pump system will generally return your investment much more quickly if it's replacing an electric, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) or solid/multi fuel heating system. This is because these fuel types are less generally less efficient gas or oil.
  • Where would I put it? You will need plenty of room so the air can easily flow around the air source pump. Most people fit it to a wall or put on the ground outside
  • How well is your property insulated? Unfortunately, air source heat pumps produce less heat than more traditional heating systems. Therefore, it is necessary that your house is well insulated and draught proofed so that the limited heating that can be produced is not lost.

Air Source Heat Pumps Costs

An air source heat pump system suitable for a typical detached house is likely to cost from £5,000 to £9,000 including installation. For more accurate and up to date costs and possible fuel savings we recommend that you contact an air source heat pump supplier.

Grants and funding for Air Source Heat Pumps

You may be able to apply for a grant to pay for you air source heat pump system.We may not have to pay a 100% of the cost, wow, that's great news.

Find out more about grants for air source heat pumps here.

For specific technology questions, visit the Heat Pump Association

Funding

Find a grant to help with the costs of installing renewable and low carbon technologies - visit the DECC funded Low Carbon Buildings Programme.

To be eligible for a grant you will need to use a certified installer and products.

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