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.

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The Basics

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.

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FAQs

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.
How much noise do air source heat pumps generate?
Most modern air source heat pumps are fairly quiet. The noisy part is the air handling unit, which makes a similar level of noise as an air-conditioning unit. The heat pump itself, which is often installed inside, makes a noise too, but this is typically no more than the noise of a fridge.
How much space do I need for my air source heat pump?
This will depend on the make and model of the heat pump. The air handling unit component of the pump will need to be fitted in a location where air can circulate freely, so typically on an outside wall. Typically the air handling unit will be similar in size to a kitchen appliance, such as a washing machine or dishwasher. You will also need space inside your house for the heat pump itself.
Can I heat my swimming Pool with an air source heat pump?
Air source heat pumps are ideal for pools. Note that for existing swimming pools the current heat exchanger would need to be changed.
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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