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An air source heat pump (ASHP) works by transferring heat absorbed from the outside air to an indoor space, such as a home or an office via the wet central heating systems to heat radiators and provide domestic hot water. Heat pumps work similarly to a refrigerator: they absorb heat and transfer it to another medium. Certain air source heat pumps can also work as a cooling system in the summer months. Most commonly they are placed outside a building where there is adequate space.
The International Energy Agency, in their latest special report, stresses that no new gas boilers should be sold after 2025 if Net Zero targets need to be achieved by 2050. Heat pumps are expected to be a better, low-carbon alternative to heating homes in the foreseeable future.
Daikin now have a high temperature heat pump which can achieve 70 degrees flow line temperatures which removes the requirement to upgrade radiators as the low temperature heat pumps require more surface area. Both high & low temperature heat pumps can provide cooling via a reversible indoor unit (Hydro-box) which can be used to direct cooled water to heat pump convectors.
The total cost of installing an air source heat pump ranges from £8,000 to £18,000.
These costs depend on many factors, including:
There are several benefits to heat pumps. Domestic air source heat pumps are one of the most affordable and are therefore becoming increasingly popular among UK households. In fact, of all heat pumps sold in the UK, air source heat pumps account for 87%. Going forward, air source heat pumps will play a key role in the UK's goal of reaching Net Zero by 2050.
Air source heat pumps have been a form of low carbon heating, as they use the outside air to heat or cool your home. If you are switching from a coal- or electricity-based heating system, you can significantly reduce your carbon emissions.
Save Money with ASHPs by switching to air source heat pumps, you can reduce your energy bills as you’ll be using the outside air for your heating and cooling needs. Your savings will be more significant if you are going from an electric or coal-based system. The running costs of heat pumps depends on a few factors, from the efficiency to the amount of heat needed, and the temperature of the heat source.
Air source heat pumps can be powered by wind or solar energy (using solar panels) instead of electricity from the grid. Most heat pumps are considered semi-renewable, as electricity is still required to run the system. However, if you combine heat pumps and solar panels, you can make your home even more sustainable.
Air source heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling purposes. Depending on the model, they can provide cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. In addition, air source heat pumps work very well with underfloor heating — so if you want to get the most out of your system, you should strongly consider installing underfloor heating.
Depending on the air source heat pump, you can also use it to heat your water. This depends on the temperature of the water in the heating system (also known as 'flow temperature'). To be able to heat water, the flow temperature needs to be approximately 55°C. If your system is only designed for space heating, the flow temperature will be 35°. If you are looking for both space heating and water heating, then opting for an ASHP that has a flow temperature of 55°C is needed.
Effective in Low Temperatures, an air source heat pump can extract heat from the ambient air even at a lower temperature, down to -20°C. What is more, heat pumps are known to work efficiently in severely cold countries such as Canada. Success stories reveal an air-to-air heat pump can generate 40°C heat when outside temperatures are as low as -30°C.
Air source heat pumps are efficient both in the winter and summer, thanks to an outstanding SCOP (seasonal coefficient of performance). The COP of a heat pump is a way to measure its efficiency by comparing the power input needed to produce heat to the amount of heat output.
A 'seasonal COP' figure is adjusted to seasonality. For example, a typical air source heat pump runs at a COP 3.2 when the outside temperature is above 7°C. This means that the heat pump is 320% efficient: for each kWh of electricity used by the fans and the compressor, 3.2 kWh of heat is generated. The higher the COP, the better. Therefore, when considering an air source heat pump's COP vs outside temperature, then you will find that despite some slight fluctuations, they can run efficiently year-round.
To be able to compare heat pumps based on how much they are affected by these efficiency changes, the seasonal COP is used.
No fuel storage is needed with air source heat pumps because the fuel used is the outside air. With oil-fired boilers, for example, you need to store the oil somewhere, which would take up extra space on your property. Not relying on fuel, such as oil or wood pellets, also means you won’t have to pay additional fees for fuel deliveries.
Servicing and maintenance should be done by a technician once a year. There are a few things that you can do to ensure optimal performance of your heat pump, from cleaning filters, to checking for system leaks, checking refrigerant levels, clearing leaves and dust from your heat pump, and so on. Any more technical tasks should only be done by a certified installer.
Air source heat pumps have a long lifespan, and with proper maintenance, they can be operational for up to 20 years. What’s more, is that most air source heat pumps have 5-year warranties.