Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air. This is usually used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home.
An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can extract heat from the air even when the outside temperature is as low as minus 15° C.
An air-to-air system produces warm air which is circulated by fans to heat your home.
The efficiency of air source heat pump systems is measured by a coefficient of performance (CoP) - the amount of heat they produce compared to the amount of electricity needed to run them. A typical CoP for an air source heat pump is around 2.5.
•Reduce your fuel bills: air source heat pumps run on electricity, so there's no need to pay for gas, oil or solid fuels to heat your home.
•Cut down on wasted electricity: heating your home with an air source heat pump is much more efficient than using electric radiators.
•Save space: an air source heat pump system is compact, and requires no storage space for fuel.
To tell if an air source heat pump is right for you, there are a few key questions to consider:
• Do you have somewhere to put it? You'll need a place outside your house where a unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground. It will need plenty of space around it to get a good flow of air.
• Is your home well insulated? Since air source heat pumps produce less heat than traditional boilers, it's essential that your home is insulated and draught proofed well for the heating system to be effective.
• What fuel will you be replacing? The system will pay for itself much more quickly if it's replacing an electricity, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) or coal heating system than a gas or oil one.
• What type of heating system do you want? Air source heat pumps are much better at powering underfloor heating systems or warm air heating than radiator-based systems.
• Is the system intended for a new development? Combining the installation with other building work can reduce the cost of installing the system.