We are receiving more enquiries about Air Source Heat Pumps, with questions about the pros and cons of this type of heating. So we have put together a blog in FAQ form-please read on.
1. What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is basically a refrigerator in reverse. A heat pump extracts heat energy from the outside air and transfers that heat in to your house. The heat pump can provide all of the hot water and heating that a house needs. You have already been using a heat pump for decades without realising it.
2. What is an air source heat pump?
An air source heat pump, is essentially a ‘box’ that sits outside your home. It uses electricity but will create much more energy than it uses. It uses a fan to draw air through the piping, where the heat energy is gathered and upgraded.
3. How much will a ASHP cost to install?
The typical air source heat pump cost ranges from £4,000-8,000, depending on the pump brand and its heat output. Installation will be on top of the cost of the pump.
There are a number of factors affecting the cost of installation such as the age and size of your property, the levels of insulation and thermal efficiency, the number of rooms and radiators, etc, so it is difficult to give even an average idea of cost.
However, installations are eligible for 7 years of payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive, which significantly reduces the payback period. You should also make savings on your monthly energy bill so will notice a difference almost immediately.
4. How much will I save on running costs?
This depends on what system of heating you currently use but even with a gas boiler, you are likely to make significant savings. For oil, LPG or direct electric heating the savings could be even greater.
5. Will I have to Replace My Existing Radiators?
This is very much on a house by house basis – all depending on insulation values as to how much heat loss there is in a property. If it’s a “leaky” house then you may require more heat energy and subsequently bigger radiators to keep warm. However if your house is thermally efficient then you may get away without changing them.
6. What about when it’s freezing outside?
The system will continue working to maximum efficiency down to -10C and will carry on working to -20C or more, so you can rely on a warm and cosy home even when there is snow on the ground.
7. Are they noisy?
The outdoor part of the system does have a fan which draws the air across the internal components and this will make a whirring noise in operation. The amount of noise depends on the quality of the product. Today’s modern pumps are very quiet.
8. Do I need planning permission?
Under Permitted Development regulations, an air source heat pump noise level must not exceed a certain level 1m away from a neighbour’s nearest room.
The latest models offer superb style, market-leading energy efficiency and sound levels and are 3 times quieter than previous models virtually eliminating planning restrictions.
Should you have a large property that requires more than one heat pump, planning will be required.
9. What about linking them to smart controls?
Many pumps already come with sophisticated smart controls that allow you to monitor and control your heating from anywhere.
In addition to this, you are able to see how much energy you are using, allowing you to spot trends and vary your heating to match your needs with maximum efficiency and minimum cost.