There are a number of factors to consider whether an air source heat pump is right for your property or business.
Here are a few key questions to consider:
How well insulated is your home? Air source heat pumps work best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, so it's important that your home is well insulated and draught-proofed to minimise heat-loss.
What type of heating system do you use? Air source heat pumps perform particularly well with underfloor heating systems or warm air heating because they operate at low temperatures. Homes without an existing central heating system will require one to be installed for an air source heat pump to work.
What fuel will you be replacing? The system is more likely to pay for itself if it's replacing an expensive system like electric heating.You’re less likely to save as much on your heating bill if you’re switching from mains gas.
Heat pumps are generally more efficient when they do not have to raise the temperature of the heat they extract too much. This means they are more efficient when they can run the home's heating at a lower temperature. If your home is well-insulated, then it needs less heat to keep it warm.
Where possible, it is recommended that you have a minimum level of insulation in your home, such as loft and cavity wall insulation, before you consider installing a heat pump. You can then run your radiators or underfloor heating at a lower temperature and still keep your home at the temperature you want.
Hybrid systems which combine an air source heat pump and fossil fuel boiler may be suitable for a wide range of homes, although you will need to consider whether your home is insulated enough for the heat pump to run efficiently. This is so that the system can run mostly on low carbon heat, keeping your home warm without much input from the boiler.
As the government develops its net-zero policy to phase out fossil fuel heating, people using a hybrid system may later need to make changes to their boiler or their home’s insulation, to make sure their next heating system can be fully low carbon. You will need to consider whether this would suit your needs, or whether you would prefer to install insulation and/or a low carbon technology such as an air source heat pump (without a boiler) straight away.
How do I know what air source heat pump I will need ?
Although it’s entirely possible to get away with just one small air source heat pump for an average 3 bedroom house, sizing an air source heat pump is a job that only a professional renewable energy specialist can do.
A heat loss report is an important part of the process of learning about how big you need to go, or even if one air source heat pump is enough. In really large houses, it could be that you need the combined efforts of two heat pumps working in cohesion.
Other factors include the type of hot water cylinder you have and the number of radiators. Air source heat pump efficiency is also governed by the type of insulation and how much of it you have.
Air Source Heat Pump Installation Process
About the air source heat pump integration process
Whilst what is required when it comes to a boiler replacement is more well known, there is currently much less understanding of what’s needed for a heat pump and what will happen when a heat pump is integrated into your property. The process of installing an air source heat pump can differ slightly depending on whether it’s a retrofit or a new build, however there 3 essential steps involved in the air source heat pump installation process:
Pre Installation - onsite survey and assessing the suitability
Installation - installation indoor and outdoor units, and connecting them
Post Installation - finishing and maintenance
The diagram below illustrates the integration points the air source heating system. The process is the same regardless of whether you have an air-to-air heat pump or an air-to-water heat pump installed. The air source heat pump system consists of a standard outdoor unit, which is installed outside of the property and used to draw air in. The indoor units vary depending on the type of air source heat pump and can either be connected to radiators, underfloor heating and/or an air conditioning unit.
Pre-installation : site survey and preparation
Once you have had a full meeting and quotation with one of Blueflame's engineering managers, then decide to proceed, Blueflame will conduct an onsite inspection to check the suitability of your property in order to install the chosen heat pump. As a heating specialist Blueflame are qualified and experienced to work with and decommision any heating system component, such as a gas boiler.
Heat loss calculations will be calculated to determine the correct size of air source heat pump that needs to be installed. This is an important stage in planning and ensuring that the air source heating integration can be undertaken correctly. Once done, Blueflame will prepare a report to demonstrate how efficient they would expect an installation to be. Depending on the size of the property, heating needs and how well your home is insulated, Blueflame will further specify an appropriate type and size of air source heat pump too.
Installation : Indoor and outdoor components
An air source heat pump installation is an uncomplicated process as the renewable heating pump controls and pipework are similar to traditional boilers, but comprises of both indoor and outdoor units that need to be installed.
The outdoor unit is the large fan unit that you typically see. This unit sources air from outside and compresses it into warm air. The indoor units are then installed and connected to the heating plumbing be it radiators, underfloor heating or hot water pipes. Depending on air source heat pump type - it may also be connected to a air conditioning unit. Given the distance between the indoor and outside units, wiring will need to be made by usually drilling a hole in a wall. Blueflame will then connect them through refrigerant lines and electrical wires. Blueflame will select an area for the outside unit that has ample airflow and minimal obstruction. This will then be secured so that it does not move.
Once the main system installation has been completed, there are some technical configuration processes to be run to ensure the efficient working of the renewable heat pump system. For example, air source heat pumps include sensors, which need to be installed so that the heat pump can send temperature signals to your thermostat.
Once the installation has been completed, the Blueflame engineer will walk you through the system and answer any questions. You will be provided with a support network should it be needed, plus any air source heat pump maintenance and servicing points will be covered. maintenance requirements. Whilst air source heat pumps have low maintenance requirements, it is advised to check the filters and clean fans occasionally - which can be done by Blueflame, who will also monitor the heat pump efficiency and make any adjustmenst should they be needed at the same time too. You should expect a good working lifespan of at least around 20 years from your air source heat pump.
Gasway Services is an Appointed Representative of Koze Group Ltd (reference no. 830489). Gasway Services acts on behalf of Koze Group Ltd as a credit broker (not as a lender) and offers credit products through a panel of lenders.