An air source heat pump transfers heat from outside to inside the building and vice versa. The heat pump system uses a refrigerant with a condenser and compressor to absorb heat and release it at the required space. Air source heat pumps are ideal to heat your home or office during winter months and cool it during the summer months. That’s why it’s often called a “reverse-cycle air conditioner.” This article provides information about air source heat pumps.

What Really Is An Air Source Heat Pump?

Air source heat pumps are versatile systems that heat and cool your home efficiently. It’s ideal for your home because it can keep your family comfortable in any climate. It’s a green home solution that converts solar energy into energy to provide heat for domestic purposes. They are becoming increasingly popular amongst homeowners across the United Kingdom because air source heat pumps are affordable compared to other heating systems on the market. The total cost of installing an air source heat pump can range from £7,000 to 11,000 depending on the size of your home, how well insulated your home is, the quality and size of the heat pump, and the performance or efficiency of the pump. Make sure you invest in a quality brand when buying an air source heat pump for your home.

How Does An Air Source Heat Pump Work?

Air source heat pumps depend on a natural source – heat in the air – to produce energy for your home or office. These systems will absorb heat from the outside air and convert this heat into energy. The energy that is produced by an air source heat pump can be used for underfloor heating systems, warm air convectors, radiators, and for heating water. The performance of the system may depend on whether you purchased an air-to-water heat pump or an air-to-air heat pump. The air source heat pump has a dual purpose because it can be used as a heater as well as an air conditioner to provide the necessary comfort for your family.

Air Source Heat Pump DiagramTypes Of Air Source Heat Pump Systems

Air source pumps are more efficient in warmer climates than colder months. But an air source heat pump such as a thermodynamic water heating system can absorb heat from the air even when the outside temperatures have dropped to around -20 degrees Celsius. These systems will have some impact on the environment because they require electricity to operate. But the fact that these systems extract heat from the air – which is naturally being renewed on a constant basis – make them an environmentally friendly and green solution in your home or office. You can drastically reduce the impact on the environment by combining the air source heat pump with a solar panel system in order to generate the required electricity for the heat pump to operate.

There are two types of air source heat pump systems such as:

Air to Air Heat Pumps

This system produces the necessary heat with the use of fans to circulate outside air into your home. This system can perform only space heating. It should be combined with another heating system such as a boiler for other tasks.

Air to Water Heat Pumps

This system distributes the heat through a wet central heating system. It can heat the space while providing hot water for home usage.

The Pros And Cons Of An Air Source Heat Pump

Investing an air source heat pump comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. However, the advantages outshine the disadvantages of the system. That’s why you should consider investing in an air source heat pump. Make sure you choose a reliable brand on the market by doing the necessary research. There are many brands on the market but all of them are not the same. Your research plays a big part in choosing a high-quality yet affordable air source heat pump for your home. Here are some of the advantages of this system:

  • Reasonable upfront costs
  • They are much safer to operate than heating systems based on combustion
  • Air source heat pumps are cheaper to operate compared to gas and oil boilers
  • It’s easy to install both air-to-air and air-to-water heat pumps compared to other heating systems
  • Low carbon emissions and low carbon footprints
  • The system has an average COP of 3.2 – which lets it perform efficiently without wasting energy
  • Less maintenance compared to combustion heating systems
  • It works as an air conditioner during the hot and humid summer months
  • The air source heat pump has a long lifespan of up to 50 years when maintained properly
  • You will be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI) (UK Government) when you purchase an air source heat pump

But there are also some disadvantages to consider when investing in an air source heat pump. Here are some of the disadvantages of the system:

  • Installation is difficult without a professional technician. You should do the necessary research to know the local geology, the movement of heat, and the heating and cooling needs of your household when installing such a system.
  • Some refrigerants used to transfer heat are of questionable sustainability. They may have an impact on the environment around you. That’s why you need to look for an air source heat pump that uses biodegradable fluids.
  • The heat flow can be interrupted due to the risk of ice forming when the condensed air produces water that freezes at low temperatures.
  • The outdoor fan can be quite noisy with some low-quality products. That’s why you need to look for a quality brand when investing in air source heat pumps on the market. The higher the quality of the pump, the lower the noise will be.
  • If the pump isn’t the right size to heat the required space, it’s efficiency can be negatively affected as a result. It’s important to invest in the right heat pump to heat your space.
  • The maximum temperature of the water tends to be a bit lower than the tap water heated using traditional heating systems.
  • You need special planning permission when installing this type of system in Wales and Northern Ireland. If you live in England and Scotland, the installation may depend on your specific location and the size of your property.

Many of the disadvantages of an air source heat pump can be prevented by letting a professional plan and install the system in your home or office. Regular maintenance will enhance the efficiency of the system. A well-maintained air pump can reduce up to 25% of your energy needs. Maintenance is important to keep the system running efficiently over time.

Air Source Heat Pump Prices

The cost of an air source heat pump can range between £7,000 to 11,000. The price of the system may depend on the type of the system – whether air-to-air or air-to-water, size, brand, and the performance of the system. You should look into these factors when investing in an air source heat pump. It might be difficult to predict the installation and running costs of the system because it may depend on the size of your property, how well your property is insulated, what temperature you want to have. An air source heat pump is quite efficient and affordable at the same time. But it’s a little bit expensive compared to boilers and other heating systems. But the upfront cost of an air source heat pump is at least 50% lower than a ground source heat pump.

Does The Government Provide Grants For Air Source Heat Pumps?

When you decide to invest in an air source heat pump, you will be eligible to receive government support in the form of a grant. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the grant applied for this type of system. The system should be an air-to-water heat pump in order for you to become eligible for this grant. This incentive scheme was established on April 9th, 2014 to help the UK Government meet its environmental goals. It encourages domestic consumers to use renewable energy sources.

How Much Can You Save With An Air Source Heat Pump?

You can save both energy and money when you invest in an air source heat pump. The heat pump produces energy more efficiently compared to other heating systems on the market. A homeowner could save up to £1,335 with an air source heat pump installed in his/her house. The efficiency of an air source heat pump is measured by the Coefficient of Performance (COP). It refers to the maximum efficiency that a pump could operate. Most pumps come with a COP between 2 and 4. There are cases when this number can be high as 5. This measurement refers to how many kilowatts of heat one kilowatt of electricity can produce.