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.
- How do air source heat pumps work?
- A box on the outside of your house called the air handling unit takes in outside air and then transfers the heat energy from the air to a fluid through large heat exchangers . The fluid is then compressed in a heat pump to raise the temperature to a level that means it can be used in your home as heating and hot water.
- 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.
- Will I need a new boiler to install an air source heat pump?
- An air source heat pump can provide all your hot water and heating requirements without the need for top-up from a boiler. However, a boiler can be used alongside the pump system as a top up to meet demand in colder weather. This will depend on your current heating system's design.
- 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.
- How much do they cost and how much will I save?
- Complete our free home Energy Assessment to find out how much a typical air source heat pump would cost for your house, how much it would save you and how long the payback will be.
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