Air Source Heat Pumps - FAQ

Air Source Heat Pumps - FAQ Call: UK 028 9099 6697
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Frequently Asked QuestionsAir Source Heat Pumps

What are air source heat pumps?
Air source heat pumps provide heat and hot water, and are a low carbon emitting alternative to a traditional gas or oil boiler. They can help reduce your heating and water heating costs. They work in a similar way to domestic fridges, which transfer heat from one place to another. (The back of your fridge is warm because it is moving heat from the inside of the fridge out into the room.) Air source heat pumps work in reverse, they remove warmth from the air outside (even in temperatures as low as -20°C) and transfer it inside to heat radiators and to provide hot water.
How do air source heat pumps differ from ground source heat pumps?
While air source heat pumps collect thermal energy from the air, which is renewed daily by the sun, their ground source equivalents draw on energy that's been absorbed and stored in the earth.
Is my home suitable for an air source heat pump?
Air source heat pumps are suitable for the majority of existing houses, as well as new build homes as long as they are already, or can be, insulated to a reasonable level. For the highest level of efficiency, you should have cavity wall and loft insulation installed. You'll also need a small amount of outside space for the unit to be fitted. Consider what fuel is being replaced: if it is electricity, oil, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) or coal, the payback will be more favourable than with gas. However, heat pumps are a good option where gas is unavailable.
How can Air Source Heat Pumps alleviate fuel poverty?
Because of the energy conversion efficiencies within an air source heat pump, the running costs against mains gas, oil, LPG and electric heating systems are significantly reduced.
How long do they take to install?
Usually less than two days, subject to site survey.
Can an air source heat pump provide all a home's heat and hot water?
Yes. You just need to make sure that it's the right size to deliver the central heating and hot water that you need in your home.
Is there a difference in warmth levels compared to traditional boilers?
Air source heat pumps provide a gentler, more consistent heat within the home. With traditional boiler systems you can experience pulses of high temperature. Your central heating and radiator controls work in exactly the same way for both systems.
Do air source heat pumps need a lot of maintenance?
Air source heat pumps don't need much long term maintenance, as they come as factory sealed units, similar to your domestic fridge. We suggest that your air source heat pump is inspected and cleaned annually, clearing any build up of leaves or debris from behind the unit and washing the coil.
Do air source heat pumps work at extreme temperatures?
Yes they can continue to work at temperatures as low as -20°C. However, the output from the air source heat pump will gradually start to fall at sub zero temperatures. This is not a problem because, if the system has been correctly designed, this will be taken into account. And as the average UK winter temperature is between 2°C to -7°C they are ideal for our climate.
Are air source heat pumps a renewable technology?
Yes, they're classed as that in the recent Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act and qualify for RHI & Enhanced Capital Allowances.
How do they help reduce carbon emissions?
Air source heat pumps can help reduce carbon emissions as they are on average up to 350% more efficient than the best efficient condensing gas boiler available, which is only 93% efficient. Because of their higher efficiency, air source heat pumps emit far less carbon dioxide.
Are heat pumps safe and what about servicing?
Heat pumps are completely safe and a tried and tested technology. There are no hazardous gas emissions, no flammable oil, LPG or gas pipes, no unsightly fuel storage and no flues or chimneys with heat pump installations there is no need for regular servicing or expensive annual safety checks.
I am building my own home, should I consider an ASHP.
Yes, definitely, it will be cheaper to install the air source heat pump and underfloor heating system at the construction stage rather than when construction is complete.
Will I need a new boiler?
In most cases an air source heat pump can provide all hot water and heating requirements, without the need for top-up from a boiler.
Will it provide enough hot water for baths showers & domestic hot water?
Our advanced heat pump technology can deliver a temperature of over 60°C which will provide abundant, piping hot water. Much too hot to put your hand under without scalding. (you don't have to set it this high.)
What are the design considerations for my home?
As long as there is a free flow of air around the unit there are few restrictions.
How much noise do Air Source Heat Pumps generate?
There is some fan noise, and the other components are about as loud as a large domestic freezer. The case design and fan operations are specifically designed to minimise noise.
Does the Air Source Heat Pump work all year round?
The system performs down to air temperatures of -20°C which means that they are more than suitable for installations within the UK. Hot water and Heating can be provided 365 days a year. In properties with larger heat demand, boilers or multi fuel burners can be successfully integrated.
How green are Air Source Heat Pumps?
A reduction of CO² emissions of up to 60% would be expected. The Energy Efficiency rating assessments of new builds using Air Source Heat Pumps rated as "A" which is the highest level for heating and hot water production. An additional benefit is the residual value to the property in the event of a transfer of ownership. Air Source Heat Pumps have a CoP (Coefficient of Performance) of 4:1. This means for every unit of energy consumed by the Air Source Heat Pump you would get a return of 4 usable units of usable energy, making the property cheaper to run and attractive to purchasers.
Does the Air Source Heat Pump work all year round?
The higher range heat pumps perform down to air temperatures of -20°C which means that they are more than suitable for the UK. Hot water and Heating can be provided 365 days a year. The hot water is produced without the use of an electrical immersion heater and even at 55°C it is more than hot enough for baths and showers.
How much will it cost to install an air source heat pump in my home and what are the running costs?
Costs for installing a typical system suitable for a four bedroom detached house range from £6000 to £10000 including installation. Running costs will vary depending on the size of your home, how well insulated it is and how you use your energy.
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