Generate Air Source heat pumps
Air source heat pumps are another clean and energy efficient way of heating your home.
Heat Pumps work just the same as fridges and air conditioning units. Heat will always flow from a warmer source to a colder source so heat pumps take advantage of this by using a special fluid that constantly evaporates and condenses in a closed circuit that is controlled by valves and a compressor, to reverse this natural process. Just like a fridge, heat pumps always need electricity to run but for every kw of electricity they consume, they normally generate 2-4kw.
They are ideally suited to use with an underfloor heating system as this requires a lower running temperature but they also can be used with radiators, warm air convectors and even to heat the hot water in your home
Air source heat pumps are normally sited on a sunny, sheltered outside wall so they can extract as much warm air as possible but they can still operate even when the outside air temperature is as low as -15° C.
Because air source heat pumps require electricity to run a pump they still make some impact on the environment but they usually use less electrical energy than the heat they produce, so are still a cheaper and greener option that standard electric heating, LPG or solid fuel.
Air Source heat pumps Advantages
- Air source heat pumps could lower your fuel bills, especially if you are replacing a conventional electric, LPG or solid fuel system.
- Air source heat pumps do not require a boiler or a fuel tank like gas or oil heating.
- Air source heat pumps do not require chimneys, flues or ventilation.
- Air source heat pumps only require servicing every three to five years unlike gas and oil boilers which require a annual service.
- Air Source heat pumps systems have a long life expectancy.
- Air source heat pumps do not require any combustible components or explosive gases unlike gas or oil heating systems.
- Air source heat pumps do not require fuel deliveries.
Air Source heat pumps Disadvantages
- You'll need enough space in your garden for an external condenser unit which looks like and is comparable in size, to a standard air-conditioning unit.
- The condenser units can be noisy and can also blow out cold air to the area which they are sited in.
- Air source heat pump systems require a large capital investment compared to measures such a roof installation.
- You will still need to use electricity to drive the pump, so an air source heat pump is not classed as completely zero-carbon unless the electricity that powers the pump is provided by a renewable source, such as wind or solar.
- Air source heat pump installations In Wales and Northern Ireland require planning permission. In England and Scotland they may be considered Permitted Development but always check with your local planning office before installation.
You can get grants for Air Source heat pumps, below are the schemes this is available with.
* According to data sourced from the Energy Saving Trust website.