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Installing Air Source Heat Pumps

How do air source heat pumps work?

Air source heat pumps extract the heat from the outside air. Depending on the system, this heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating, heating fans or for certain systems to provide hot water.  They basically work like a fridge but in reverse.

There are two main types of air source heat pump system:

- air to air systems:  these produce warm air which is circulated by fans to heat the home.

- air to water systems: these provide heat via radiator or underfloor heating.

How much energy will an air source heat pump generate?

Air source heat pumps will deliver in excess of 4kW of heat energy (and will typically expend 1 kW of electricity to generate this heat energy).

Are air source heat pumps any good?

- Air source heat pumps can significantly lower your heating bills.  They are relatively easy to install and require little maintenance.

- Most manufacturers now offer air conditioners with heat pumps as standard.  Air to air heat pump systems can provide you with both heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.  They can also purify the air in your home, great for hay fever and other allergy sufferers.

- Remarkably, air source heat pumps work all year round, even when outside temperatures are freezing.

Are there any constraints?

- Air source heat pumps require electricity to operate.  

- Whilst these systems will work all year round, their performance (efficiency) will dip at lower temperatures.

- Air source heat pumps require space around them to allow for the flow of air.

- Cheaper and badly fitted heat pumps will suffer from poor performance.

What consents will I need?

The installation of an air source heat pump is usually considered to be "permitted development", which means that planning permission is not required subject to certain conditions and exclusions.  Check out the Planning Portal Website for further advice.

If you live in a Listed Building or a Conservation Area it is recommended that you speak to your local Council before installing.

Air source heat pumps will have to comply with the Building Regulations.

Are there any grants or other funding support available?

You may qualify for payments from the Government under their Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.


- Air source heat pumps are are relatively cheap and easy to install and maintain.  

- If you are considering installing an air source heat pump don't scrimp on the quality.  The better systems are much more efficient.  

- Air source heat pumps work best as part of a modern, integrated heating system.



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