Air source heat pumps are used to absorb the heat from outside to heat the inside of buildings. There are two types air source heat pump systems available. Air-to-water systems heat water to provide heating through an underfloor system or through radiators. Air-to-air systems take the air from outside to provide warm air to circulate through a building.
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Air Source Heat Pumps Benefits
Air source heat pumps have many benefits which are similar to ground-source heat pumps. Neither system requires external fuel to use or store and they run on electricity which eliminates any need for gas, oil or solid fuel. The main advantage of air source heat pumps is that they need less space to install compared to ground source heat pumps. Air source heat pumps are more suited to urban homes as they can be fitted using less space.
How Air Source Heat Pumps Work
Air source heat pumps work in a similar way to fridges that use refrigerant to take heat from the inside to keep food cool except they extract the heat from outside and use it to heat your hot water and home. Air source heat pumps have three main parts:
The heat generated using an air-to-water system is used to heat water to circulate through radiators or underfloor heating or water in a storage tank. Heat pumps produce water that is lower in temperature compared to standard boilers making underfloor heating a very effective option. With an air-to-air system heat is used to create warm air which is then circulated around a building by fans.
Air source system efficiency is measured by a coefficient of performance (CoP). CoPs for these systems normally range between 3 and 4 units making them equal to ground-source heat pumps. For each unit of electricity that is used to power the pump, only 3-4 units of heat will be produced which makes it a very effective way of providing heat for a building.
It is even possible for air source heat pumps to extract heat from the air at temperatures as low as -15°C.
Is It Suitable For My Home?
The following issues will need to be considered if you are wanting to install an air source heat pump.
Costs and Savings
A normal 6kW system, suitable for a properly insulated property costs about £7,000 to £10,000 installed.
An air source heat pump could save almost 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and around £760 a year on heating bills when properly installed in an electrically heated home. Savings will vary depending on the fuel that is replaced.
|Fuel Displaced||£ Saving Per Year||CO2 Saving Per Year|
All savings are approximate and are based on an air source heat pump providing 100% of space heating in a detached property.