Air source heat pump advantages and disadvantages – what YOU need to know

Switching to renewable and more environmentally friendly energy sources not only future-proofs your home, it can also lower the costs of heating and electricity for your property. Choosing the right alternative energy source for your home is the first step in reducing costs and keeping CO2 emissions to a minimum. Air source heat pumps use existing thermal energy instead of generating it, making them a very low-carbon source of energy. But how good are they?

Switching from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy sources is a big investment, both financially and for your property.

Choosing the right type of energy to replace your gas boiler should be based on several factors including the size of your home, the amount of heat / electricity you need, and the location of your property.

Is an air source heat pump right for my home?

Air source heat pumps work by bringing existing heat energy into your home from outside.

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This efficient process takes the existing heat from the climate around your property and continues to heat it to keep your home cozy while providing more thermal energy than that used in electrical energy – making it a sustainable and low-emission source power.

Air source heat pumps are similar to traditional air conditioners – you need a sunny outdoor space to place your heat pump so it can extract heat from the air.

UK utility EDF Energy advises that you need to consider space for a water tank in your home as well. If there is no space for a water tank, it is advisable to use a hybrid heat pump.

The cost of running an air source heat pump is generally lower than a traditional fossil fuel heating system, but its efficiency in your home depends largely on the temperature difference between your property and the surrounding atmosphere.

Since the device heats the air at a lower temperature than conventional energy systems, it works best when it is well insulated with sufficient draft airtightness.

Heat pump mechanisms work best when operated at lower temperatures – while heating your home it can be a slower and slower heating process than traditional gas heating sources.

Air-to-water heat pumps are best for underfloor heating or large radiators with a larger surface area.

If you want to move to a more sustainable source of energy in your home, you should be aware of both the pros and cons of renewable air source heat pumps to ensure that you are moving to more environmentally friendly energy.

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Switching to an air source heat pump could mean you are eligible for government financial incentives to promote the use of renewable heat.

With the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI), you could be bringing in quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, renewable heat your facility produces, but you will have to make the transition soon as funding applications expire in March 2022 .

Disadvantages of an air / water heat pump

Knowing when this heat source is not working so well will help you avoid unnecessary costs and help you choose the right green energy for your home.

Air source heat pumps require existing heat in the air and can therefore work less efficiently in colder climates or in colder weather.

The compression of hot gases through the heat exchanger that supplies the energy for your home can be a noisy process.

The upfront cost can be daunting, costing around £ 6,000 to £ 8,000 to install an air source heat pump – but the longer term benefits often outweigh the upfront cost over time.

Air source heat pumps have a lower outlet temperature than traditional boilers – you may need to upgrade your insulation and invest in larger radiators throughout the house to get the most out of your heat pump.

In older homes, you may need to couple an air source heat pump to a conventional boiler – which somewhat negates the low-emission appeal of these hot air heaters.

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