What is an air source heat pump and how do they work?
Why Choose An Air Source Heat Pump
Air Source Heat Pumps
What Is An Air Source Heat Pump
A heat pump or (ASHPs) absorb heat from the air outside and transfer this heat your home and hot water system. Air Source Heat Pumps can still extract heat when air temperatures are as low as -18°C outside, although this does effect the heat pumps efficiency. Heat pumps are powered by electricity, but because they are extracting renewable heat from the environment, the heat output is greater than the electricity input. This makes them an energy efficient method of heating your home. This is often referred to as the COP or co-efficiency of performance.
A well-designed Air Source Heat Pump system transfers around three to four times more energy into a property as heat then it uses to extract it. As a result, heat pumps are very efficient and also have the potential to lower fuel bills, particularly in properties who are fuelled by oil, LPG or solid fuel.
ASHP Installation & Commissioning
Installing a heat pump
It is important that you seek professional advice from a MSC accredited installer when designing / installing any sort of renewable energy system. To see if your property is suitable for an air source heat pump installation, please feel free to take our ‘ASHP Reality Check’.
Pros of Heat Pumps
The Benefits of An Air Source Heat Pump
If you are looking to install a low-carbon heating system and want to do your bit to reduce your carbon footprint then an Air Source Heat pump is a good solution for you
In some cases, you may be able to save money on your energy. In particular, if you lice 'off-grid' and rely on oil, LPG or storage heaters to heat your property, an ASHP will be a good alternative source of energy generation.
You may be eligible to receive grant funding through The Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which opens in April 2022. This scheme replaces the current RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) with a £5000 grant to cover some of the costs of a new Air Source Heat Pump installation.
Air Source Heat Pump can still work in low temperatures and will continue producing heat throughout the year. However, it is worth noting that the efficiency of the Heat Pump will vary depending on how hard the pump has to work and the outside environment. Typically, a Heat Pump can work at a COP of 1KW to 4WP. For more information on this, see the below information
Air Source Heat Pumps are relatively low maintenance and once installed, should cost around £250 a year to service. A well designed and installed ASHP should have a long life-span and require an annual service.
ASHPs run off electricity. If the capital funds are available to you, we would strongly recommend considering the installation of both an ASHP and Solar PV with battery storage. This will mean you will generate the electricity needed to power your Heat Pump via the solar collectors. For more information about dual low-carbon measures, please click here.
Cons of Heat Pumps
Disadvantages of Air Source Heat Pumps
An Air Source Heat Pump is not always the right solution for your property. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration including the property type, current EPC rating and current heating methods. If you are unsure on whether an ASHP is right for you, please check out our 'Reality Checklist'.
If you have an existing heating system and pipework, you may need to resize both your current wet system piping as well as your radiators. This is because because for the Heat Pump to work at an efficient rate, it requires a constant higher flow rate than traditional heating systems. This means you need slightly bigger pipes and larger radiators.
Air Source Heating
How Do Air Source Heat Pumps Work?
Air Source Heat Pumps work by using the principle of vapour compression, transfers the hot air from a place to another exactly in the same way as the system of a refrigerator does. Heat pumps work much like a fridge operating in reverse to heat your home. Outside air is blown over a network of tubes filled with a refrigerant. This warms up the refrigerant, and it turns from a liquid into a gas.
What Is The Cost of An Air Source Heat Pump Installation?
The cost of installing an ASHP really does depend on a number of factors including the size of your property, type of system and additional work required (underfloor heating ect)
A good quality installation will costs from £5000. This would typically include:
- A bespoke design, tailored to the property
- Installation schematics
- Lifetime technical support
- MCS support to successfully apply for the RHI (if applicable)
- The ASHP, domestic hot water cylinder, buffer tank, circulation pumps and all of the connecting brassware for the components
ASHP Running Costs
How Much Do Air Source Heat Pumps Cost To Run?
|ENERGY SOURCE||INPUT COST||EFFICIENCY||RUNNING COST|
|Mains Gas||4.3p/kWh||89% efficient||4.8p/kWh|
|Wood Pellet||5.5p/kWh||90% efficient||6.1p/kWh|
A Reality Check For ASHP
Is An Air Source Heat Pump Right For My Property?
Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP’s) have had a bad press recently, largely stoked up by a lack of understanding of the technology and some unfortunate homeowner experiences. Two key factors are vital to ensuring they work effectively. Firstly, homeowners need to maximise the amount of insulation in their lofts and cavity walls before investing in heat pump technology. Secondly, the property should ideally have an EPC rating of D or above. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a good way of prioritising your investments to optimise your home’s energy efficiency and there are grants available that can support householders and business. You can search for your property’s EPC here
To see if your property is suitable for an ASHP installation, please take our ‘ASHP Reality Check’ on the left hand-side of the page. Please answer the questions as accurately as possible.
We are currently making some small tweaks to this form. Please check back later
Air Source Heat Pump Grants
From April 2022, homeowners who want to install low-carbon heating measures in their properties in England and Wales could receive a £5000 grant from the Government to help fund some of the costs
So what does this mean for homeowners – When The Clean Heat Grant (Boiler Upgrade Scheme) is launched in April 2022, customers will need to contact an MCS (Micro Generation Certification) accredited organisation to carry out the installation. If you are interested in finding out more information about renewable energy technologies or how Renuvo can support you to ‘go green’, please follow the links.
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about Air Source Heat Pumps?
If you have radiators in your home, and you’re switching from a gas-fired heating system to an air source heat pump, you’ll probably need to buy some bigger radiators to keep your house warm
It looks a bit like an air conditioning unit, but sits on the floor outside your house. So you’ll need to have some outdoor space preferably in a sunny area – for it to be located. You will also need to consider space for a water tank inside your home. If you don’t have room for a water tank then a hybrid heat pump might be the way to go
Yes, quite possibly. Please bear in mind that for the best energy efficiency you may need to consider upgrading your home’s insulation. Our retrofit co-ordinator would be able to advise you on the best solutions for your property.
Yes, the two main types are:
- Air to air heat pumps
- Ait to water heat pumps