Air Source Heat Pumps
You can use heat absorbed from the air to heat your home – even in winter!
Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air, like a fridge in reverse, and this heat can be concentrated and used to heat your home or hot water. It is usually used in radiators, under-floor heating systems, or warm air convectors, saving you money in the process.
Heat can be extracted from the air even when the outside temperature is as low as minus 15°C, although heat pumps are more efficient at higher temperatures.
Currently they qualify for the government’s Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme, which gives a voucher for £850 towards the cost of installation, but even without this they can produce valuable energy savings.
In a similar way, heat can be extracted from exhaust air being ventilated from your home and transferred to the incoming air via a heat exchanger. These systems are called MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery).
They do require some electricity to circulate the heat that they extract, but this heat is constantly renewed so they will capture more energy than they expend.
The savings that can be made vary depending on the type of fuel that you are replacing, however the Energy Saving Trust trials suggest that a 3 bedroom semi currently using oil or solid fuel for heating and hot water could save around £300, with homes using electricity saving as much as £610.
- Do air source heat pumps work all year round?
- According to air source heat pump manufacturers they are efficient down to air temperatures of -20°c, which means that they are more than suitable for installations within the UK. Heat pumps can produce water heated at 55C all year round in the UK without the aid of electrical immersions.
- How long do air source heat pumps last?
- Air source heat pumps are typically designed to operate for at least 20 years.
- Do air source heat pumps require any maintenance?
- Typically no annual maintenance is required, but there may some makes and models that do require some checks to be carried out.
- What properties are not suitable for an air source heat pump installation?
- Air source heat pumps are not suitable for use in houses where the levels of insulation are not known and where the age and type of the heating distribution system (radiators and pipes) is unknown. Because they produce hot water at a lower temperature than conventional boilers they are particularly suited to house with under-floor heating.
- How much hot water is produced each day by an air source heat pump?
- This will depend on the make and model of air source heat pump that you're planning to use, but a well chosen pump should be able to meet all of your heating needs. You should aim to get advice from at least one well accredited installer when choosing a model.
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