Air Source Heat Pump
Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) absorb heat from the outside air to heat your home and hot water. They can still extract heat when air temperatures are as low as -15°C. Air source heat pumps need electricity to run, but because they are extracting renewable heat from the environment, the heat output is greater than the electricity input. This makes them an energy efficient method of heating your home.
Think of an air source heat pump as a 'reverse fridge'.
Heat is absorbed from the outdoor air and is compressed to raise the temperature. This then works to heat your home and hot water.
Before thinking about an ASHP you must consider the following:
Do you have somewhere to put it? You’ll need a place outside your home where a unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground. It will need plenty of space around it to get a good flow of air. A sunny wall is ideal. The external unit is connected to an internal unit containing circulation pumps and hot water, which is usually smaller than the average boiler.
What type of heating system do you have now? Homes without an existing central heating system will require one to be installed for an air source heat pump to work.
What fuel will you be replacing? The system is more likely to pay for itself if it’s replacing an expensive system like electric heating. You’re unlikely to save much on your heating bill if you’re switching from mains gas.
Air source heat pumps can be installed as one of two varieties:
Air-to-Water Heat Pumps:
These are the most common in the UK, transferring the heat into water which can then be used for traditional home heating elements.
Air-to-Air Heat Pumps:
These work with a circulation system to heat the air itself.
The main benefit of an air source heat pump is a more energy efficient method of heating your home, due to it producing around 3.5 kW of heat for every 1kW of energy used.
This efficiency also brings a great saving on your carbon footprint of between 2,150 to 2,250 kg of carbon a year, compared to an A-rated boiler according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Only air to water heat pumps are included in funding schemes. Currently the ECO4 Scheme offer fully funded options, subject to qualifying criteria. To find out what these are follow the link below;
Air source heat pumps offer a great alternative to LPG gas & oil boilers, electric room heaters and electric storage heaters but to work at their best your home needs to be a well insulated home.
If you are looking to spend money on a new heating system but insulation in your home is not up to standard, an air source heat pump would not be a sound investment for the future.
Air source heat pumps work best at producing heat at a lower temperature than boilers so if you have an draught proof home this will increase the efficiency.
It is also worth keeping in mind that while it is possible that if you are changing from a boiler to an Air source heat pump that you could use the existing pipework and radiators, this is not guaranteed and it is very likely that all will need to be replaced.
To check if you are eligible under the ECO4 scheme, please click the button below and complete the online form.