green energy air source heat pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps: Everything You Need to Know

08 September 2020

Did you know? You can get up £5,000 in vouchers, £10,000 for low-income households, with the Green Homes Grant to put towards your heat pump installation. Call us now for all the details, or take a look at the Scheme here


What is an Air Source Heat Pump?

An air-source heat pump works by drawing in air from the outside and converting it to heat using a refrigeration process, which can be used to provide warmth for radiators or domestic hot water.

There are two kinds of air source heat pump:

  • Air to air heat pumps - which absorb heat from the air at temperatures as low as -15°C, and transfer it into a home using fan coils
  • Air to water heat pumps - which absorb heat from the outside air and transfer it through a central heating system to supply hot water cylinders, radiators, and underfloor heating systems.

They’re incredibly energy efficient and offer ‘free’ energy - by delivering more heat energy than the electricity used to work them. This can save a huge amount of money on bills, and cuts energy consumption way down.


The Advantages of an Air Source Heat Pump

Some of the advantages of using an air source heat pump include:

  • Significantly lowering your carbon footprint through energy savings
  • Saving money on your bills
  • They are eligible for the Renewables Heat Incentive and the Green Home Grant
  • Some models can provide heating and cooling
  • They can work in temperatures as low as -15°C
  • The installation process is straight forward
  • They’re low maintenance
  • They have a long lifespan
  • There is no fuel storage needed
  • They can also be supplemented by wind or solar energy
  • High-Temperature models available to retrofit to existing radiators
  • Low-temperature models available which are ideal for underfloor heating or if the radiators are being upgraded or already oversized


The Disadvantages of an Air Source Heat Pump

  • Work more effectively in well-insulated homes
  • Require a new hot water cylinder designed for Heat Pumps
  • Require Immersion heater to top up hot water temperature
  • They work less efficiently below 0°C
  • The outdoor unit contains a fan and a compressor which do create low-level noise
  • They require electricity to run


The Air Source Heat Pump Grant

If you decide to buy an air source heat pump, you’ll be eligible to receive government support payments as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). In order to be eligible for the grant, you have to have an air-to-water heat pump.

Payments are made quarterly, over a 7 year period and are based on the projected energy produced by the Heat Pump up to a pre-capped amount. The amount of RHI payment available would be affected if combined with a Green Homes Grant.

There is also the £2 billion Green Homes Grant Scheme, which was first announced on 8 July 2020 is now available. Homeowners can get vouchers up to £5,000 or £10,000 depending on your circumstances, to meet two-thirds of the upfront cost of your new heat pump or other qualifying measures.

As we are MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified, by using Hales & Coultas you will qualify for both schemes.

Our friendly team are always available if you need help or advice with your applications. Find guidance on the grant at the government website


Is an Air Source Heat Pump Right for You?

A few things to consider when working out whether an air source heat pump is right for you are:

  • What fuel you’ll be replacing it with - air source heat pump systems are more likely to pay for themselves if they’re replacing an expensive system like electric storage heaters, solid fuel, LPG and oil. It’s unlikely to save you much money if you’re switching from mains gas but they are much kinder to the environment
  • Whether you have somewhere to put it - it’ll need a space usually on or near an external wall where a unit can be sited either wall-mounted or placed on the ground, and it will need a clear flow of air.
  • Whether you have the right heating system – Heat pumps require a central heating system provided by radiators or with underfloor heating which works particularly well with low-temperature heat pumps.
  • How well insulated your home is - air source heat pumps work best when they’re producing heat at a lower temperature so to maximise the benefits, the better insulated your home is, the better the results


Air Source Heat Pump Installation

Before installation, a full internal and external survey of the property would be carried out and a suitable location to install the outside unit would be identified. Some systems only require an outside unit (Mono-block) and some systems require an inside and outside unit (Split system) so would also require space inside if the split system is used.

Most new systems will require a new hot water cylinder designed for use with a Heat Pump so this would replace the existing one.

Connecting to the existing heating system is relatively simple and any upgrades required to the system or radiators would be identified at the survey.

New highly efficient user controls and new electrics would complete the installation. All work is installed and commissioned to MCS standards. 3-year parts and labour “workmanship” warranty included.


Latest News

Hales and Coultas partner…
03 February 2021
A successful month
14 December 2020