Airsource heat pumps – What do they do and how much are they?

Air source heat pumps extract heat directly from the air circulating around your house. It can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating or convectors as well as being used to heat water.

Airsource Heat PumpsAir source heat pumps work in a similar way to fridges which source heat from the inside to leave the interior cold. A type of renewable energy technology, air source heat pumps are capable of working in air temperatures as low as -15°C.

Air source heat pumps fall into two categories: air to air systems and air to water systems.

Heat pumps still have some effect on the environment as they require electricity to run. However the heat they source from the air, as with heat sourced from the ground by ground source heat pumps, is renewable.

Costs involved when installing an air source heat pump

Installing an air source heat pump will cost between £6000 to £9000. As with ground source heat pumps, running costs will vary depending on what heating system you currently use and how well your house is insulated. One of the more well known manufacturers is Dimplex, but other manufacturers include Worcester (a member of the Bosch group), Daikin and BoilerMate. Air source heat pumps do tend to make a bit of noise, but only as much as a standard washing machine and you shouldn’t be able to hear it from within the house if you have adequate double glazing.

Why install an air source heat pump

Installing an air source heat pump has considerable advantages over conventional fuel, including:

  • Lower energy bills – It can help you to lower your fuels since the cost of fossil fuels is likely to continue rising in response to increased difficulty in tapping new oil sources.
  • Renewable Heat Incentive – As with ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps should also become eligible for incentive payments from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive. This is at present only available to commercial enterprises but should be extended to domestic renewable energy sometime this year. To be eligible however your heating Coefficient of Performance (COP) should be at least 2.9.
  • Installation- Air source heat pumps are also relatively easy to install.
  • Need very little maintenance.
  • May not require planning permission.

A buyers guide and a field trials report is available from the Energy Saving Trust for further information.

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