Air Source Heat Pumps

Heat your home with energy absorbed from the air around you.

An air source heat pump (ASHP) heat from the air is absorbed at low temperature into a fluid. This fluid then passes through a compressor where its temperature is increased and transferred  to the heating and hot water circuits of the house.

An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C

There are two main types of air source heat pump system:

  • An air-to-water system distributes heat via your wet central heating system. Heat pumps work much more efficiently at a lower temperature than a standard boiler system so they are more suitable for underfloor heating systems or larger radiators, which give out heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time.
  • An air-to-air system produces warm air which is circulated by fans to heat your home. They are unlikely to provide you with hot water as well.
Air Source Heat Pump Example
Air Source Heat Pump Example

Benefits  

  • Lower your fuel bills, especially if you are replacing conventional electric heating
  • Can provide you with an income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • Lower your home’s carbon emissions
  • Can heat your home and provide and hot water
  • Low maintenance ‘fit and forget’ technology

Unlike gas and oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods. During the winter they may need to be on constantly to heat your home efficiently. 

Hear about the benefits of renewable heating in the words of the people using it on a day-to-day basis.

Savings

Potential annual savings in an average three-bedroom semi-detached home with a typical air source heat pump installation:

Existing System Savings Air source heat pump performing at 220% Air source heat pump performing at 300%
Gas £/year
Carbon Dioxide/year
-£130
-30kg
£110
850kg
Electric £/year
Carbon Dioxide/year
£400
4,410kg
£650
5,230kg
Oil £/year
Carbon Dioxide/year
£50
830kg
£290
1,660kg
Solid £/year
Carbon Dioxide/year
£50
4,610kg
£290
5,430kg

A negative number means it could cost you more to run the heat pump than the system you are replacing. We’ve assumed average boiler efficiency for each fuel type; heat pumps produce more energy (as heat) than they use (as electricity), so their efficiency is more than 100%.

You will learn to control the system so you can get the most out of it. You will probably need to set the heating to come on for longer hours, but may be able to set the thermostat lower and still feel comfortable.

Earnings

You may be able to receive payments for the heat you generate using a heat pump through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

You may be able to get help with the installation costs of a new air source heat pump through the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme.

Maintenance

Air Source Heat pump systems typically come with a 10 year warranty. With regular maintenance - an annual check from you and a more detailed check by us every 3-5 years, you can expect them to operate for 20 years or more. 

If your heat pump has external refrigeration pipes (very unusual for a domestic system) these will need to be serviced annually by a refrigeration engineer.

Planning permission

In England and Scotland Air source heat pump installations may be considered a ‘Permitted Development’ and not require need planning permission. We can advise you.

Is an air source heat pump suitable for me?

  • Do you have somewhere to put it?
    You’ll need a place outside your home where a unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground. It will need plenty of space around it to get a good flow of air. A sunny wall is ideal.
  • Is your home well insulated?
    An air source heat pump works best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, so it’s essential that your home is insulated and draught-proofed well for the heating system to be effective.
  • What fuel will you be replacing?
    The system will pay for itself much more quickly if it’s replacing an electricity or coal heating system. Heat pumps may not be the best option for homes using mains gas.
  • What type of heating system will you use?
    An air source heat pump can perform better with underfloor heating systems or warm air heating than with radiator-based systems because of the lower water temperatures required.
  • Is the system intended for a new development?
    Combining the installation with other building work can reduce the cost of installing the system.