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Air source heat pumps

Air Source Heat Pump Cost & Savings Advice

Today we’ll take an up-close look at air source heat pump cost, how they shape up in benefits and disadvantages, how they work, how to save on installation costs, and more, compiled from different sources right here in this article.

air source heat pump cost

As homeowners  are showing an increased interest in renewable energy resources, air source heat pumps are rising in popularity in the UK. This guide is aimed at providing useful information on air source heat pump prices and the benefits and savings in fuel bills that come from installing them. 

An air source heat pump (ASHP) is a low carbon pumping system which transfers heat from the outside air to inside a building, or the other way around. Operating under the scientific principles of vapour compression refrigeration, an ASHP uses a refrigerant system comprising of a compressor and a condenser to absorb heat at one place and release it at another. Basically, an air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a refrigerator extracts heat from its inside. They can be used as a heater or a cooler.

In domestic situations, the extracted heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in the home.The pump can often do the reverse in summer, cooling the inside of the house. When designed, placed and installed correctly, an ASHP can offer full central heating and domestic hot water up to 80°C.

It can get heat from the outside even when the temperature is as low as -15° C. Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need a fair amount of electricity to run, but then the heat they extract from the ground, air (as is the case here), or water is constantly being renewed in a wholly natural manner.

There are three different types of heat pumps based on the way they work:

  • Ground source heat pumps: these will absorb heat from the ground through looped pipes. Water circulating through these pipes absorb heat from the ground which is then concentrated in the pump.
  • Air source heat pumps: they are similar to ground source heat pumps but the heat is absorbed from the outside air. This will even work at air temperatures below 0°C.
  • Water source heat pumps: these heat pumps will require a river or a lake near your house from which the heat can be absorbed.

Why install an air source heat pump?

Savings on fuel bills – Based on the Energy-saving Trust (EST), an average atmosphere source heat pump for a detached house where it supplies most of the heating and 50% of the hot water could save £700 annually by replacing electric heating, £50 for gasoline and £460 for solid fuel heating.

Reduce carbon footprint – an air source heat pump could save 5 tonnes of CO2 annually if replacing electric heating and 4.6 tonnes for solid-fuel heating.

Easy to set up –  Atmosphere source heat pumps are the simplest sort of renewable to set up. The machine is fitted just to the rear part of your house.

No maintenance needed – The EASTERN Standard Time explain that air source heat pumps are quite low maintenance and ought to last 20-plus years.

Ideal for hot and cold weather – Homeowners are extremely interested in atmosphere source heat pumps for cooling at this time. Air con versions like the Daikin Altherma enable you to really make use of the air source heat pump in winter in addition to summer.

air source heat pump prices

How do they work?

An air source heat pump will absorb heat from the environment, for example from the ground, air or from water, which can be used to heat your home or to supply you with hot water. Even though electricity is needed to keep the pump running, heat pumps are considered to be a green technology because much less electricity is needed to keep a pump running than traditional heating systems use. A heat pump can also be used in reverse to keep your home cool in summer; the same technology that can bring heat from outside to your home can also be used to absorb heat from your home and to channel that heat off to the outside.

How is ASHP efficiency measured?

The efficiency of an air source heat pumps is measured with a coefficient of performance (CoP), which lets you know how much heat the pump creates compared to how much electricity is utilized to operate it. “Atmosphere supply pumps create 2 and a half-times the electricity they take to perform (2.5 Policeman). This implies you’ll spend less money on powering the heat pump electrically; solar PV could be even used by you to power the pump, rendering it completely carbon neutral.

The Pros and Cons of an Air Source Heat Pump

Pros of air source heat pumps

  • Easy installation
  • Lower running cost, which means saving money on bills.
  • Potential income or returns through the government, depending on where you live.
  • Lower home carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing.
  • No need for fuel deliveries.
  • Can provide both heat and hot water at the same time.
  • Require minimum of maintenance.
  • Easier to install than a ground source heat pump.

Cons of air source heat pumps

  • High installation cost.
  • Difficult to set up.
  • Some of the fluids used for heat transfer are of questionable sustainability and they raise environmental concerns.
  • Several heat pumps experience trouble in cold areas which can damage the system.
  • Electricity is required to run the heat pumps which means that they will never be fully carbon neutral.
  • Can form ice at low temperatures when condensed air produces water.
  • The outdoor fan can be noisy sometimes.
  • The performance of the heat pump is negatively affected, when it is not the right size or strength.

Is an air source heat pump suitable for my home?

To gauge effectively whether such a unit would be appropriate for your specific situation, there are a few practical issues to consider, such as:

  • Do you have somewhere to put it?

You’ll need a place outside the house where a unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground. Plenty of open space to get a good air flow going will be needed.

  • Is your home well insulated?

Since air source heat pumps work best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, it’s essential that your home is insulated for it to be effective.

  • What fuel will you be replacing?

The system will pay for itself much more quickly if it’s replacing an electricity or coal heating system, as stated above. If you use gas at your home, an ASHP might not be the best choice for you.

  • What type of heating system will you use?

Air source heat pumps perform better with underfloor heating or warm air heating than with radiator-based systems.

  • Is the system intended for a new property?

Combining the installation with new building work can reduce the cost of installing the unit.

Air Source Heat Pump Cost of Installation

When investing in a heating system, it is important to take into consideration the cost of its installation as well as the costs involved in making major changes to your home. The cost of purchasing an air source heat pump depends largely on the size of your space, the temperature you intend to achieve and the extent to which your home is insulated. However, air source heat pumps are very efficient and hence cost more than condensing boilers; but their cost is nearly half of the cost of ground source heating systems.

Obtaining an estimate of the cost of installation of air source heating systems is quite difficult because it is influenced by different factors and vary from one system type to another. But the total cost of installing one might fall between the ranges of £7,000 to £11,000. Whatever the installation costs may be, the basic price of an air source heat pump is always cheaper than that of ground source systems.

Factors that influence the cost of installation of air source heating systems include:

  •   Its brand,
  •   Its size and efficiency,
  •   The size of the space you intend to heat up, and
  •   The extent to which that space (your home) is insulated.

Air Source Heat Pump Prices

To help give you an idea of residential air source heat pump cost, we sourced a variety of different air source heat pump prices from reputable web sites and manufacturers. Most of these heat pump costs are based on air-sourced heat pumps for two-storey properties with three or more bedrooms.

Theecoexperts.co.uk – £6,000 – 10,000

Homebuilding.co.uk – £8,000 – 14,000

Earth.org.uk – £9,000 – 14,000

Superhomes.org.uk – £9,000 – 16,000

Which.co.uk – £9,000 – 17,000

Although these figures give you a basic overview of air source heat pump costs, you should ask for quotes from a variety of different contractors to get an idea of how much installation on your property might really set you back. Potential employers might be willing to offer free preliminary surveys if you show an interest in their work, and once you have their attention they can also provide more detailed information about specific heat pump products, such as the cost of geo-thermal source heat pumps compared to ordinary ground or air source models!

How Much Can I Save?

In addition to saving a whole lot of energy, installing an air source heat pump also come with an economic advantage. Despite being costly (as is typical of any heating system installation), installing an air source heat pump to keep the cold fingers of winter away from your home can very much save you a yearly cost of about £350 if you’ve been using a gas heating system or even a whooping yearly sum of £700 if you’ve been heating up your home with electricity prior to the installation. The cost you save from installing an air source heat pump nonetheless depends largely on your current system.

Being environmentally friendly, this type of heating system goes a long way in striking some figures off the normal heating bills of homeowners. And if it is able to meet up to required standard, owners get to benefit from the United Kingdom’s Renewable Heat Incentives and save extra cost in the process.

How much you can save will depend on what system you use now, as well as what you are replacing it with. In short, savings will be impacted upon by:

  • Your heat distribution system.
    • If you have the opportunity, underfloor heating can be more efficient than radiators as previously stated. If not possible, get the largest radiators you can. Your installer should be able to advise you on this.
  • Your fuel costs.
    • You will still have to pay fuel bills with a heat pump because it is powered by electricity, but eventually you will save on the fuel you’re no longer using since getting the unit.
  • Your old heating system.
    • If your old heating system was inefficient, you are more likely to see lower running costs.

Below, you can see how much you could potentially save by replacing your existing boiler with an air source heat pump:

OLD G-RATED GAS BOILER
£400 to  465
OLD G-RATED OIL BOILER
£460 to 545
OLD G-RATED LPG BOILER
£1,145 – £1,350

Annual Heat Demand and Running Costs Breakdown

Household Size1 Bedroom2-3 Bedrooms4+ Bedrooms
Estimated Annual Heat Demand*8,000 kWh12,000 kWh17,000 kWh
Gas£304£456£646
>Electricity£1,150£1,724£2,443
Oil£277£415£588
LPG£481£721£1,022
Coal£320£480£680

* The annual heat demand is in accordance with the Typical Domestic Consumption Values

Installation & maintenance of heat pumps 

Once you have an air source heat pump installed at your home it will require very little maintenance but the installation itself can be rather extensive. For a ground source heat pump you will require some space outside your house with ground suitable for burying the pipes.

An air source heat pump will need at least some space where the outside collecting unit can be fitted. As heat pumps generate slightly less heat than conventional systems such as gas or oil heating, it is important that the house is well insulated. You will also need to consider how you want the individual rooms to be heated, even though a heat pump can be used with radiators as well as with hot air, it will usually perform best with hot air heating or underfloor heating.

Heat Pump Outdoor Maintenance

Tasks such as replacing the filters and lubricating as well as cleaning the parts of the heat pump are important. Moreover, the outdoor unit containing compressor, fan, coil etc. must not have dirt or leaves either for proper functioning.

Before trying to do any kind of cleaning, you should disconnect the pump from main power. Dirt, leaves, and pine needles are to be cleaned by detaching the grille. For cleaning the bottom and sides of the unit, vacuum hose can be inserted at times between two fan blades.

When heating season begins, setting carpenter’s level across the metal cabinet top, and checking the level from back to front, and side to side can help a lot. If you find that the unit is not level on the pad, be sure to lift the pad in order to level it by prying it up by using a 2-by-4 piece, or pry bar.

Build the underneath ground with crushed rocks or stones. Moreover, detect if there is any deterioration in the insulation of the piping, and replace the same if required.

Tackling Power Interruptions

In case blown fuse, utility power failure, or tripped circuit break occurs, and the pump gets off for longer than one hour, it is best to not operate the heat pump for the next six or eight hours, particularly if the ongoing temperature is below 50 degrees.

The lubricant inside the oil reservoir of the pump may be really cool, and not circulate in a proper way, which can result in valve damages. Hence, setting the heat pump on emergency heat and turning it off to prevent running it is a good idea. The pump should be kept like this for about seven or eight hours, and then switching it to the normal settings should work. If the generation of heat is too low after this episode, be sure to call a technician for proper repair.

Dealing with Installers

The air source heat pump installer should leave you written details of any checks you should undertake to ensure everything is working properly. Be sure to confer with your particular provider for exact requirements before you commit to installing an ASHP.

In your best interest, it’s vital you check beforehand what suppliers and/or installers are operating in your vicinity and what kinds of deals they offer. Compare reputations, prices, and manufacturers they work with, to gauge which one would be best for your particular needs.

Air Source Heat Pumps Quotes

If you’ve been thinking of installing an air source heat pump, or you just got interested in doing so but have no clue on how to go about it, we are happy to assist and guide you towards choosing one that suits your home and budget at the same time. We can provide you with accurate information on pump prices and their dealers free of charge and with no condition attached. Simply fill in a simple form you’d be shown and we’d provide more than three competent installers from which you can choose based on their offers.

Resources

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/ground-and-air-source-heat-pumps/article/air-source-heat-pumps-explained

https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/2016/02/pros-and-cons-of-air-source-heat-pumps

https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/heat-pump-systems/air-source-heat-pumps

https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/air-source-heat-pumps.html

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/content/air-source-heat-pumps

http://www.uswitch.com/energy-saving/guides/air-heat-pump/

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/domestic-rhi

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