Air source heat pumps can be used to heat up your home and water. Air source heat pumps, sometimes also known as air to water heat pumps, transfer heat from the outside air to water, which in turn heats your rooms via radiators or underfloor heating. It can also heat water stored in a hot water cylinder for your hot taps, showers, and baths etc.
Using an Air Source Heat Pump for Heating
Heat pumps work best when there’s less of a difference between the inside and outside temperatures. In much the same way that your fridge has to work harder in hot weather. This makes them a good match for underfloor heating systems. Floors cover a much bigger area than radiators so they don’t need to get as hot to provide the same amount of heat.
Air source heat pumps also have a lower output than a gas or oil-fired boiler. This means they can’t deliver heat as quickly. Instead, they’re best used to heat your home up slowly over a longer period.
Using an air source heat pump for hot water
Heat pumps can also be a great source of hot water – but the water could be cooler than from a boiler. Practically this means that if you’re running a bath, you’ll need more hot water and less from the cold tap. So you’ll likely need a bigger hot water tank to cover your needs too, (Our technical engineer team will evaluate your needs and advise accordingly in your quote).
What to consider when Upgrading to an Air Source Heat Pump
Most homes will need a few adjustments to work with a heat pump. They are great at keeping your home warm, but you may need to take some steps to prevent that heat from escaping to get the best running costs.
Air source heat pump advantages
- Highly efficient at producing heat and hot water
- Systems are environmentally friendly running with no CO2 emissions at the point of use and with the right renewable energy tariff, they effectively run at zero emissions.
- Can closely match the running costs of other home heating systems
- Installation cost can be offset by the Boiler Upgrade Scheme
- Easier to install than a ground source heat pump which can be land thirsty and more expensive
- Low-maintenance with a long service life
Air source heat pump disadvantages
- Your radiators will feel warm, not hot to touch
- Best at keeping ambient warmth, but not for boosting heat
- Keep the heat in – consider upgrades to your insulation to keep the running costs low
- Installation can take between 3 – 8 days
- You’ll need space – outside for the pump as air needs to circulate, and inside for water storage tank
What is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a UK Government initiative to encourage more people in England and Wales to install low carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps and biomass boilers.
How much money can I get from the Government for upgrading your boiler to a Heat Pump?
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme covers three low carbon heating systems not just heat pumps:
- If you decide to install an Air source heat pump you will receive £5,000 back from the government.
- If you decide to install a Biomass boiler you will receive £5,000 back from the government.*
- If you decide to install a Ground source heat pump you will receive £6,000 back from the government..
*The BUS grant will only cover biomass boilers in rural locations and in properties that are not connected to the gas grid.
It’s open to homeowners, as well as owners of small business properties, in England and Wales only.
To apply, you’ll need to:
- Own your property (this can be a home or a small business property).
- Have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Your EPC must not have any outstanding recommendations for loft or cavity wall insulation (unless you have an insulation exemption).
What is the cost of air source heat pump installation?
An air source heat pump costs more than a new gas or oil-fired central heating system. The typical cost ranges from £5,000-10,000, depending on the pump brand and its heat output. You’ll also need to pay for the installation cost. If you’re fitting new underfloor heating alongside the Heat Pump then it may be better to get the same company to do this. At Radiant Heating Solutions we can give you a FREE Quote to supply & install Underfloor Heating and Heat Pumps together or singularly.
Are there any maintenance costs to air source heat pumps?
Air source heat pumps use well-established technology and may have a working life of 20 years or more. But just like a boiler, you should get your air source heat pump professionally serviced – every two or three years (or annually, if that is the manufacturers recommendations) – to make sure that it’s still working at its best. There are some things you can do yourself:
- Be sure that there’s a plentiful supply of air. This means regularly checking for leaves or rubbish caught in the fan’s grilles. And pruning back any plants growing too close to the unit or its pipes.
- In very cold weather clear snow from the air source heat pump and check that the grilles aren’t blocked by ice.
- Allow the heat pump to run as per the installers recommendations, may take some getting used to – but heat pumps run best if left alone.