The know how: Air Source Heat Pumps
Scientists and inventors are constantly trying to come up with greener ways to heat our homes. Your typical boilers are getting more energy efficient almost every year – but they’re no longer necessarily the best way to run a central heating system.
Air Source Heat Pumps have moved the goalposts; they’re super low carbon and low maintenance, and they could cut your home heating costs. But are they right for your home? Let’s have a look first at what an Air Source Heat Pump is…
Air Source Heat Pumps are a way to heat your home that could give you a greener alternative to the conventional boiler heating systems. They’re low maintenance – and they might just cut your heating costs. It’s a win-win.
Air Source Heat Pumps use air as their main source of energy. They take energy from the air outside, even when it’s super cold, and convert it into heat for your home. Basically, they work in the same way that fridges and air-conditioning units do, just in reverse.
How do Air Source Heat Pumps work?
Get your engineering hat on and let’s look at the process in more simplified steps; the unit absorbs heat from the air into a liquid refrigerant. This fluid is turned into gas in the process. Using electricity, the pump compresses this gas, heating it up. This heat is transferred into your home’s heating system – your radiators, underfloor heating, or warm air convectors and hot water. Lastly, as the heat transfers, the gas condenses back into a liquid and the cycle begins again.
Pros of Air Source Heat Pumps
They’re low maintenance and are generally more environmentally friendly than the systems they replace. The main component used to create heat is air – a natural, renewable resource. But they’re not suitable for all types of home, and it’s good to be aware of the pros and cons:
They could lower the costs of heating your home – if you’re switching from an electric, oil, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), or coal-fuelled system
They produce fewer carbon emissions than most boiler systems
Using air, a renewable resource means they’ll help lower your carbon footprint – by how much depends on the fuel source they replace
They’re very efficient – they run well without wasting much energy
They typically last longer than a boiler – about 20 years
There are two types…
Air-to-water systems distribute heat by pumping liquid through pipes and radiators, or through underfloor heating pipes. Right now, this is the most common type, as it can be used for heating and hot water.
Air-to-air systems produce warm air, which is circulated around your home by a network of fans.
What makes them super low-carbon?
Air is the main thing that these pumps use to create heat. And that’s a renewable resource if there ever was one.
But, the unit does use some electricity to run, so it isn’t completely carbon neutral. It uses electricity more efficiently than regular electric heating units and is generally more environmentally friendly than most heating systems.
The costs of Air Source Heat Pumps
Fitting a typical air source heat pump could cost between £9,000 and £11,000, according to the Energy Saving Trust. The exact cost depends on the size of your home and your insulation. Always make sure you get several quotes and go with a trusted installer.
The running costs will depend on:
The size of the home – the bigger the space, the more power needed to heat it
How well insulated it is – better insulation means less heat loss
How warm you want it to be
Whether you have underfloor heating or radiators
Air source heat pump savings
Any savings you make will depend on what kind of fuel you’re replacing. If it’s gas, your gas use will go down and your electricity will go up. It could take many years to recoup the costs of installing one. However, it could work out cheaper than an electric, oil, LPG or coal system – particularly an old, inefficient one.
Air source heat pumps could be the best option if you’re building a new home. They’re comparatively simple to install and you can include underfloor heating at the same time. You could also add solar panels to provide hot water in the summer, which would make it easier for the pump to heat up your home.
Get in touch with the Vital team now to start your renewables journey…
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