Are air source heat pumps worth it?

Air source heat pumps are devices that replace your conventional gas or electric heating system. They work on the principle of transferring heat energy instead of generating it. This makes them a lot more efficient and a very environmentally friendly heating solution.

The basics…

  1. Firstly, the air source heat pumps job is to collect heat. This consists of an outdoor condenser unit with a fan and heat exchanger. This fan draws in the air from its surroundings, the heat exchanger then absorbs the heat from the air drawn in. This works even in the colder months.
  2. The absorbed heat is then transferred into a fluid called “freon”. Essentially a refrigeration fluid which circulates in the heat exchanger. As this heat gets absorbed, it then evaporates, turning into a gas.
  3. The gas produced then gets compressed which intern increases the temperature of the gases. This gets raised to a level that is suitable for the heating system at the property.
  4. Within the property there is another unit, this allows the hot air to pass through, called a “buffer”. This unit can then feed the property’s heating system and the fitted hot water tank for your shower etc.
  5. This process gets repeated and sped up when required using the thermostat at the property.

What property is suitable for an air source heat pump?

These units are so compact and reliable, pretty much any property can have a conversion to an air source heat pump. One downside to the overall installation is that they are very complex bits of kit which require professional installation. This can affect the pricing quite a bit. They are more popular in new builds now. When building a new house, it makes sense to fit one due to the workload not being much more than the conventional gas-powered heating systems with a boiler. They also work extremely well with underfloor heating system properties as it’s more energy efficient. 

To spend the money upgrading your heating system, you have to have your home the most efficient it can be. To read more about our tips to improve your homes efficiency, please read our blog here.

The costs:

Air source heat pump systems really vary with their price so it’s almost impossible to put a definitive figure on it. However, they range between £5,000-£20,000, depending on the system and property you have. For example, some larger properties may need two pumps. The average overall cost in the UK for a new system is £13,000.

There is, however, some great news! With the governments new Boiler Upgrade Scheme, it see’s a £5000 grant for anyone that decided to upgrade their existing system with a new air source heat pump. This scheme is running from October 2022-2025, offering the grant for:

So how would an air source heat pump benefit you?

  • Firstly, the government grants are a huge bonus to upgrading your household heating system. This takes the blow out of the costs involved.
  • Minimal maintenance required to keep the air source heat pump and associated hardware running efficiently. 
  • No fossil fuels are used. (With inflating gas prices, this can be a massive saving).
  • The carbon emissions are extremely low, especially compared to conventional systems.

Please note that during winter periods, these heat pumps will be required to be running all the times due to the fact they push warm water/air through the system at a much lower temperature than a conventional heating system. For example, gas boilers fill radiators up at 70+ degrees Celsius whereas Heat pumps require around 50 degrees. This means it does take longer to heat up so having a constant feed at a lower temperature will work better for you.

Should you take the plunge?

In an age of higher energy prices, we’d all like to reduce our spending, which the air source heat pumps certainly do. The initial costs are substantially higher than the conventional systems that we all know of, however, with a government grant scheme in place, it is certainly the time to consider the upgrade. An install time of only 3 days also puts it on par with other heating systems on offer. If you are debating a heating system upgrade, an air source heat pump certainly has to be in consideration.

error: Content is protected !!