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.

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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.

Options

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.

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Requirements

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.

Installation 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.

Installers

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.

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FAQs

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.
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.
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.
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