Everything You Need To Know About Air Source Heat Pumps

Currently there’s an ever growing interest in sustainable and efficient heating solutions, and air source heat pumps have emerged as a promising technology in this regard. These innovative devices offer a more environmentally friendly way to heat homes while also providing various benefits.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of air source heat pumps, covering everything from how they work to the associated costs and considerations.

heat pump installation lincoln

How Air Source Heat Pumps Work

Air source heat pumps operate on a principle that might seem counterintuitive at first – extracting heat from the air, even in colder weather. Unlike traditional boilers that generate heat by burning fuel, heat pumps utilize the heat present in the air to provide warmth. They work efficiently even when outdoor temperatures drop to freezing levels.

It’s important to note that air source heat pumps work at lower temperatures compared to boilers. To achieve optimal efficiency, these pumps need to operate at around 35 degrees Celsius. This lower temperature requirement contributes to their energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact.

How air source heat pumps work

What are the main benefits of an air source heat pump?

Energy Efficiency: Air source heat pumps are known for their impressive energy efficiency. They can provide up to three units of heat for every unit of electricity they consume, resulting in significant cost savings on energy bills, however, heat pumps operate on electricity, not gas, therefore the running costs do depend on the current price of electricity, which is of course subject to fluctuations. Solar panels work incredibly well in conduction with an air source heat pump for this reason.

It’s also worth noting that heat pumps need to be designed and installed correctly with careful attention paid to the entire heating system in order for them to operate at maximum efficiency. 

Environmental Friendliness: By harnessing heat from the air, these heat pumps produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional heating systems, making them a more sustainable choice.

Lower Operating Costs: Due to their efficiency and reduced energy consumption, air source heat pumps can lead to lower long-term operating costs.

Versatility: Air source heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling, making them a versatile solution for year-round comfort.

What happens if a heat pump is installed incorrectly?

Installing an air source heat pump incorrectly can lead to a range of issues, affecting both performance and efficiency. One crucial consideration is noise – improper installation might result in noisy operation. Additionally, efficiency can be compromised if the system is not set up optimally.

To ensure a successful installation, it’s vital to work with professionals who are MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified. This certification guarantees that the installation adheres to industry standards, minimizing the risk of issues.

Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Changes Needed for Installation

Installing an air source heat pump may require certain modifications to your home. This can include pipework upgrades and the replacement of radiators. Air source heat pumps work best with larger radiators that have a larger surface area, allowing for more efficient heat distribution.

An air source heat pump system typically requires a hot water cylinder and expansion vessels. These components are essential for storing and distributing the heated water produced by the pump.

Additionally, incorporating a secondary hot water pump can be beneficial, especially for larger properties. This pump helps prevent legionnaires disease by ensuring consistent water circulation and minimizing the risk of bacterial growth.

Larger radiators work great with heat pumps

Other Considerations

Several other factors contribute to the successful operation of an air source heat pump:

Water Softener: Installing a water softener can help prevent limescale buildup in the system, enhancing its efficiency and longevity.

Volumizer for Flow: A volumizer, which provides flow control, can help prevent short cycling of the heat pump. This allows the pump to operate more efficiently and reduces wear and tear on the system.

Additionally, incorporating a secondary hot water pump can be beneficial, especially for larger properties. This pump helps prevent legionnaires disease by ensuring consistent water circulation and minimizing the risk of bacterial growth.

Electrical Changes and Costs

When installing an air source heat pump, electrical changes are necessary to accommodate the increased power demand. This includes routing cables back to the consumer unit and potentially upgrading the electrical meter’s capacity. Connecting to the national grid requires submitting an application and completing necessary paperwork.

An application needs submitted to the national grid.

How much does an air source heat pump cost?

In terms of costs, air source heat pump installations typically range between £10,000 to £15,000. It’s important to understand that this cost encompasses not only the heat pump itself but also the necessary system adjustments and considerations for long-term efficiency and performance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, air source heat pumps offer a compelling alternative to traditional heating systems, providing efficiency, environmental benefits, and year-round comfort.

However, a successful installation requires careful planning, adherence to industry standards, and consideration of various components and modifications. By understanding the key elements of air source heat pump technology, homeowners can make informed decisions about adopting this sustainable heating solution.

Are you interested in having an air source heat pump installed? We can offer you a home visit with one of our surveyors who will provide a thorough assessment of your property, to find out if a heat pump would be suitable, answer any questions you may have about heat pumps and give you a quotation.

Please see our air source heat pump page for more information. If you’d like to speak to a member of our team, you can contact us directly, we’ll be happy to help.

Further information

Check out our Youtube video with director Jack McGovern.

Jack provides a visual overview of the points made in this blog – great if you’re still interested and want to find out a little more.

You can find more videos like this on our Youtube channel here.