Air Source Heat Pumps

The  Basic  Principles  &  Benefits  of  an  Air  Source  Heat  Pump

Air source heat pumps extract energy from the air to produce heating and hot water. They can operate effectively in temperatures as low as -15C, which means that it can provide heating and hot water all year round. 

Air source heat pumps are less efficient (and more expensive to run) than ground source heat pumps. This is because the colder the air temperature is, the harder the heat pump has to work to extract the heat. The majority of the heating is needed when the air temperature is lowest and when the efficiency of the heat pump is lowest. 

However, when developed by a qualified team like us, air source heat pumps are less expensive to install which makes them great for projects that are on a tight budget. 

Below are the key principles and benefits of an air source heat pump, but we’d love to hear from you and set-up a consultation. 

What are the benefits of an air source heat pump?

  1. Reduction of C02 emissions – unlike biomass, oil or LPG, ASHPs produce no carbon emissions on site.
  2. Reduction of energy bills – ASHPs are one of the most efficient forms of energy supply. Running the systems requires a small level of electricity; however, a quality system will deliver an energy output of three to four times the input. This ratio is called Coefficient of Performance (COP).
  3. Income generation – heat pump funding and grants such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) allow a significant return of investment for ground source heat pump installations.
  4. Safety and convenience – the system requires little to no maintenance and has a life in excess of 25 years. It also removes any requirement for purchasing and storing any natural or combustible fuel components.

What is an air source heat pump?

An air source heat pump uses electricity to ‘pull’ the heat out of the ambient air. It might not feel like it but there is there is heat energy in the air even when it is below freezing. However, the colder the air temperature gets, the harder the heat pump has to work to extract the heat. The refrigeration cycle in the heat pump compresses the heat to a higher temperature and this is used to heat the water in your heating system and hot water cylinder.

What are the different types of air source heat pumps?

There are two different types of air source heat pumps: 1) air to water, which distributes heat via a wet central heating system and 2) air to air, which produces warm air which is circulated by fans.

Air is not a particularly efficient medium for distributing heat which means that air to air heat pumps are less efficient than air to water.

Within the air to water category there are two types of air source heat pump; Monobloc systems, and split systems.

Monobloc air source heat pump systems contain the whole refrigeration cycle and heat exchanger within the air source heat pump casing. Monobloc heat pumps produce heated water directly and so they are connected straight in to your heating and hot water system.

Split air source heat pump systems separate the refrigeration cycle from the heat exchanger. The refrigeration unit is located externally and pumps refrigerant into a heat exchanger (which is usually located internally). This heat exchanger dissipates the heat into the heating and/or hot water system.

How does an air to water heat pump installation work?

A fan pulls air through a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is colder than the air which is being pulled through and this creates a warming effect on the heat exchanger. Inside the heat exchanger is refrigerant which absorbs the air’s energy through the heat exchanger.

This refrigerant goes through the refrigeration cycle which compresses the low level heat of the refrigerant into higher, usable temperatures. This usable heat is then circulated to provide heating and usable hot water.

How much does an air source heat pump system cost?

It won’t surprise you to learn that the cost of the design and installation of an air source heat pump system will vary depending on the heating requirements and design. However, as a rule of thumb, an air source heat pump system will cost approximately £700-1000 per kW of heat output.

Considering Installing an Air Source Heat Pump?

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