Installation of Air Source Heat Pumps
To be able to install an air source heat pump you will need outside space on a wall to mount the Air Handling Unit. An MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) accredited installer will be able to ensure that you qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP.
Air source heat pumps do make a noise, so consider this when siting your unit. It is wise to check the decibel rating of your unit or find a model with a cover.
Installation is generally much more simple than other types of heat pump, however it is worth considering how the system will integrate with your existing heating system.
There are other types of heat pump which draw heat from different sources and which may also be suitable for your home:
- Ground Source Heat Pumps: They draw heat from the ground and are capable of producing more heat but you must have outside space for the ground loop.
- Water source heat pumps: This is very similar to a ground source system except that the ground loop is immersed in water, such as a lake or river.
- MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery): Often called MVHR (mechanical ventilation and heat recovery) these recover the heat from air leaving your home via vents. This is most effective in more air-tight homes.
You will need to consider the following:
- Locating your Air Source Heat Pump: You will need an outside space to put the unit, which has a good airflow and is ideally sunny. It can be wall mounted or placed on the ground.
- Home Insulation: Air pumps produce heat at a lower temperature than normal systems and are therefore not as efficient if your house loses heat quickly. They work best when your home is well insulated.
- Replacement System: If you are replacing an oil or solid fuel heating system the heat pump will make a significant saving, but they are not much more efficient than a gas system. This means that heat pumps are not recommended for homes on the gas network.
- Heat Distribution system: As they operate at lower temperatures they are most effective when the heat is distributed into your home through under floor heating or large radiators.
- Building Projects: If you are considering an extension or other building project, it will be much cheaper to add your heat pump at the same time.
This will be very variable and dependent on the size of the system. It is a good idea to combine it with other building work, and as such it will be dependent on this also.
Always use an MCS accredited installer: We will only put you in touch with installers that are MCS accredited. Only MCS accredited installers are able to sign off installations that will comply with the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP scheme.
- Where in my house should an air source heat pump be installed?
- The bulkiest component of an air source heat pump is the air handling unit, which must be fitted outside. The unit can be fitted on an outside wall, but some designs allow this to be fitted some way away from the home, as far as 20-30 meters. The heat pump needs to be in or on the house and typically this is where the essential components are housed.
- 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.
- 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 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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