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A Guide to Air Source Heat Pumps


With seemingly ever spiralling energy costs air source heat pumps could well be worth serious consideration as a replacement for your current heating arrangements.

Air source heat pumps (ASHP) are a low maintenance solution to your personal energy crisis. They can produce sufficient heat to heat existing radiators and underfloor systems. ASHP can also generate enough heat to ensure a constant supply of hot water.

The air pump system is not 100% eco-friendly as the pumps do requirean electricity source; although it’s fair to conclude that the system is by no means ‘unfriendly’.

Are ASHPs effectivein times of cold weather?

Surprisingly, yes. The system can extract heat from air that’s subject to quite extreme minus temperatures. The effectiveness of the system will depend upon the particular make or model that you purchase.

Also, some ASHP systems will actually reverse their purpose and, during those long hot summer days can be switched to ‘cool’ the property. Check all specifications before purchase.

More things to consider:

Efficiency

Is your current heating system efficient? Don’t forget you’re still going to use it but with air pump supplied energy. If it’s inefficient now it may not preform to its maximum efficiency after the introduction of an air source pump system. However it will, nevertheless, perform much better.

This of course begs the question, ‘Is your house properly insulated? Walls, roof, door and windows?

As a first step in saving on your energy bill, ensure your building has adequate insulation. Get this right, re-check your running costs and then make an informed decision as to whether installation of an air pump remains viable.

Viability

Now, we are down to the nitty gritty, how do you calculate the viability of installing an air pump system?

This is a tricky calculation, you’ll need to look at all the figures. Leave no stone unturned, check out exactly what your current supply costs are per annum. Alsobear in mind the age of your existing equipment and take into account that some repairs or replacements may be required in the near future.

You’ll need to consider the efficiency output of the air system, especially if you have large rooms and large radiators.

Underfloor heating requires less heat and, probably less energy. However, whatever your circumstances, it’ll pay to approach a bone fide, experienced company that has a range of options and some very sound advice. A survey of your property may well be the most revealing, and helpful, course of action.

There is one other expense that needs to be taken into account, that’s the ASHP equipment and installation costs. Most air source pump installations tend to cost in the region of £9K – £10K; get a quote.

How much space do I need for the pump system?

You won’t need too much space; the system requires;

  1. An outdoor heat exchange coil that grabs the air and converts it to heat
  2. An indoor coil that transfers the heat into your radiators, underfloor system or ‘emersion’

Once again, consult your supplier, see examples and seek advice.

In conclusion

It really is a case of horses for courses; work out your figures and find a well-established, experienced advisor, supplier and installer.

You could well save on your fuel bills and be that little more eco-friendly.

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