Air source heat pumps can be a good way to heat your home or property and your water. They absorb heat from the outside air and transfer into your home. Air source heat pumps are able to extract heat from air temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius. 

Air source heat pumps can be very cost-effective and are an eco-friendly heating solution, which it is thought and proposed by the UK government could make a big change to your home. Bear in mind that you will need to attend to things like property insulation and the overall energy efficiency of your property when looking to install a heat pump, as this will help maximise their effects and benefits. Furthermore, air tightness testing for your property can help identify some of the most vulnerable and most leaky parts of the building in question, helping you understand what and where to remedy.

We have everything you need to know about these heat pumps, how they work and what they could do for you and your property.

How Do Air Source Heat Pumps Work?

Heat from the outside air is absorbed into a fluid, which passes through a compressor increasing the temperature. The heat is then transferred from this liquid into the heating and hot water circuits of your household. An air source heating pump does not require any fuel to run, which means if you are looking to replace a traditional heating system, you will likely be cutting down on your property’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

You won’t have to pay for gas to heat your home but you will still need to pay your electricity bill, because air source heat pumps run on electricity alone.

Types Of Air Source Heat Pumps 

There are two main types of air source heat pumps which are air to water heat pumps and air to air heat pumps. Which system you choose will depend on your heating needs as well as which your property can better support.

What Are Air to Water Heat Pumps?

Air to water pumps are the most common model of air source heat pump in the UK. They draw in and heat the outside air and transfer it into water. An air to water system will distribute your heat via a wet central heating system. This type of pump will work much more efficiently at low temperatures than a standard boiler system. This makes them a much more sustainable option for underfloor heating systems and large radiators which operate at low temperatures over a long period of time.

Air-to-Air Heat Pumps

Air-to-air heat pumps will require a warm air circulation system to move warm air around your house. Air-to-air pumps will not provide hot water for your household. This type of pump is not eligible for the UK government’s renewable heat incentive.

How Much Will It Cost to Install an Air Source Heat Pump?

Installing a typical air source heat pump system can cost anywhere from £9,000 to £11,000. How much a system costs to run will depend on a number of factors including how well insulated your home is, what size it is and what temperature you are aiming to achieve.

What Are the Benefits of An Air Source Heat Pump?

There are numerous benefits to installing an air source heat pump min your property. The UK government are making a concerted push to get more homes to install an air source heat pump to improve energy efficiency and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. Homeowners and landlords should be aware that they will need to make other improvements to their properties alongside air source heat pumps, like insulation to maximise the benefits to be enjoyed with a heat pump. An air source heat pump can potentially come with a wide range of benefits for you and your household:

  • It could lower your fuel bills, especially if you’re replacing a conventional electric heating system
  • It could provide you with an income if you choose to use the government’s renewable heat initiative, although this only applies to certain kinds of pumps
  • It could lower your household carbon emissions, making your home an eco-friendlier place
  • It can hear both your water and your home
  • There is minimal maintenance required on an air source heat pump

Are There Any Disadvantages to An Air Source Heat Pump?

Air source heat pumps’ power output temperature is lower than that of existing and conventional gas boilers. You may therefore need to update your property’s insulation and invest in bigger radiators too. When it comes to air source heat pumps, they are not small and thus, you will need outdoor space. Also, the heat pumps themselves can be very noisy, so if it is situated near a bedroom for example, it may not be comfortable with the excess noise.

Other potential drawbacks of air source heat pumps may include:

  • They may work best in older homes as part of a hybrid system with a conventional boiler
  • Expensive to install and works best with a water tank
  • Don’t work as efficiently in extremely cold weather

Can I Get a Government Grant for An Air Source Heat Pump?

Air source heat pumps are included in the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive. The grant means home owners in the UK can be paid for the renewable heat they generate. Renewable Heat Incentive payments last for seven years and for the biggest systems, you could get up to £1,300 per.