BENEFITS OF AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS EXPLAINED
Find out how air source heat pumps work, how much they cost, and how they could save you money on your energy bills. Air source pumps serve as an alternative way to heat your home, and could be the ideal solution if you want to generate your own heat and potentially save money on your energy bills. There are other options available if you want to generate your own heat, however, such as wood burning stoves and solar panels. Heat pumps can save you more on your heating bills if you're replacing an electric, oil, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or coal system, rather than gas. But remember, a well-insulated home is essential – otherwise the heat the pump is generating escapes more easily.
HOW DOES AN AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMP WORK?
An air source heat pump is usually placed outdoors at the side or back of a property. It takes heat from the air and boosts it to a higher temperature using a heat pump. The pump needs electricity to run, but it should use less electrical energy than the heat it produces. There are two main types of air source heat pumps (ASHPs): air-to-water and air-to-heat. An ASHP works a bit like a refrigerator in reverse. The process consists of an evaporator, a compressor and a condenser.
The ASHP absorbs heat from the outside air into a liquid at a low temperature, then the heat pump compressor increases the temperature of that heat. In the condenser, the hot liquid's heat is transferred to your heating and hot-water circuits. So you can use it to warm up your home. Air-to-water heat pumps These take heat from the outside air and feed it into your wet central heating system. As the heat produced is cooler than that from a conventional boiler, you may need to install larger radiators or underfloor heating in your home to make the most of it.
Air-to-water heat pumps may be best suited to new-build properties. It could cost less if the heat pump is included as part of the building specification, rather than having to retrofit underfloor heating later on. Air-to-air heat pumps These pumps take heat from the outside air and feed it into your home through fans. This type of system cannot produce hot water.
Read on to find out more about the pros and cons of air source heat pumps, so you can decide whether getting one is the right decision for you.
PRO'S AND CONS OF HEAT PUMPS
Air source heat pumps require little maintenance and can provide heating and hot water, but they aren't flawless systems. Air source heat pumps can generate less CO2 than conventional heating systems. Lots of space needed – you'll need enough space in your garden for the external condenser unit (comparable in size to an air-conditioning unit). Easy to install – they are easier to install then ground source heat pumps, particularly for retrofit. RHI approved. Electricity – you still need to use electricity to drive the pump, so an air source heat pump can't be considered completely zero-carbon unless this is provided by a renewable source, such as solar power or a wind turbine.
Alternatively, consider solar photovoltaic panels or a wind turbine (if you are in a suitable area) for a greener source of electricity. Are air source heat pumps efficient? An air source heat pump system can help to lower your carbon footprint as it uses a renewable, natural source of heat – air. The amount of CO2 you'll save depends on the fuel you are replacing. For example, the figure will be higher if you are replacing electric heating rather than natural gas. A heat pump also requires a supplementary source of power, usually electricity, to power the heat pump, so there will still be some resulting CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, ground source heat pumps draw heat from the ground via a network of water pipes buried underground, usually in your garden.
Hopefully these benefits will highlight the potential of an ASHP, and show why it is a great choice for households looking to efficiently manage their energy usage and enjoy a better standard of overall comfort. Get in touch if you need advice about what you should do take the next step and adopt renewable energy for your home or business.