Air Source Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air and are usually used to heat radiators, under floor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home.

How do air source heat pumps work?

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 extract heat from the air even when the outside temperature is as low as -15° C.

Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need a small amount of electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the ground, air, or water is constantly being renewed naturally.

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 under floor 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.

The Benefits

  • Air source heat pumps can lower fuel bills, especially if you are using conventional electric heating.
  • They can lower your home’s carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing, and can provide space heating and hot water.
  • They are usually easier to install than a ground source heat pump, but efficiencies can be lower.
  • They require very little maintenance.

Is an air source heat pump suitable for my home?

To tell if an air source heat pump is right for you, there are a few key questions to consider:

  • Do you have somewhere to put it? You'll need a place outside your house 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? Since air source heat pumps work best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, 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 are not recommended for homes on the gas network.
  • What type of heating system will you use? Air source heat pumps can perform better with under floor heating systems or warm air heating than 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.