Expert-led guide to sustainable and cost-effective heating solution – Air Source Heat Pumps

Expert-led guide to sustainable and cost-effective heating solution - Air Source Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) are becoming an increasingly popular option for homeowners in the UK who are looking for a sustainable and cost-effective way to heat their homes. 

Unlike traditional fossil fuel-based heating systems, ASHPs use heat from the air outside to heat the home or building, making them a great investment as a renewable energy source. 

Another benefit of ASHPs is their high efficiency, measured by the Coefficient of Performance (COP), which is the ratio of heat output to energy input. 

Modern ASHPs have a COP of 4, meaning that for every unit of electricity used, the system produces 4 units of heat, making them significantly more efficient than traditional heating systems which can have a COP as low as 0.8. 

In addition to the environmental and efficiency benefits, ASHPs can also save homeowners money on their energy bills in the long run. While the initial installation costs can be high, the long-term savings on energy costs and less frequent maintenance make this more cost efficient than traditional heating systems.

When considering investing in an Air Source Heat Pump, it is important to consult a professional to determine if the system is a good fit for your home or building.

Factors to consider include: 

  • The size of the space to be heated, 
  • The local climate, 
  • And, the energy efficiency of the existing heating system. 

Make sure that the installer is also properly qualified and that the system is installed to the highest standards. 

There are three main types of Air Source Heat Pumps: 

  • Monobloc system, 
  • Split system
  • And, hybrid system.

The monobloc system has all the components housed in one unit, usually installed outside of the home. Its benefits include:

  • Being more compact and easier to install than split systems, 
  • Lower installation costs as there is no need for FGAS-approved refrigerant engineers, 
  • And improved performance in colder climates due to the fact that all components are located in one place.

The split system has an outdoor unit that houses the compressor and heat exchanger, and an indoor unit that circulates the heat around the home. The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor unit through pipes and electrical cables. 

Benefits of this system include: 

  • It’s easy to install as it doesn’t require extensive ductwork, 
  • It’s more versatile as it can be installed in a variety of locations around the home
  • And, easy maintenance as both the indoor and outdoor units can be serviced separately. 

Finally, the hybrid system combines a conventional boiler system with an air source heat pump. The benefits of this system include:

  •  Increased efficiency as the system can switch between the heat pump and boiler to meet heating demands, 
  • Increased reliability as the system has a backup heating source in case of pump failure. 
  • It also offers a backup solution of retaining your boiler for properties that may not be as well insulated and would like to switch between their air source heat pump and boiler. 

by David Johnson, Technical and Category Manager at The Underfloor Heating Store

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BDC 303 Apr 2023