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

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.
Will an air source heat pump provide enough hot water for heating and hot water?
If you do not heat your water beyond 55°C and your system has been correctly scaled and fitted for your needs there is no reason why all your domestic hot water requirements shouldn't be provided by the air source heat pump throughout the year. It should be noted that heat pumps produce water at a lower temperature than boiler systems, meaning that you will need larger radiators or an underfloor heating system or the pump to heat your house effectively.
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 many air source heat pumps would I need for a large building?
This depends on the model that you choose, however if you home is well insulated you will need fewer heat pumps to maintain the same temperature level. Your installer will be able to advise you on exactly how many you will need.
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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