Benefits of Air Source Heat Pumps
What is an air source heat pump?
An air source heat pump is a device that extracts heat from the air outside and uses it to heat your home more efficiently than traditional methods. They work in a similar way to a refrigerator, but in reverse; absorbing heat from the outside instead of releasing it. Air source heat pumps can also be used as a cooling system during the summer months and can provide hot water that’s up to 60 degrees Celsius all year round. Due to their versatility and efficiency, air source heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular as a renewable heating and cooling solution. So much so, the government has stated they wish to install 19 million air source heat pumps in new build properties by 2050. However, if you’re still wondering how air source heat pumps work, we recommend reading our in-depth guide!
Top 11 advantages of air source heat pumps
There are many benefits of an air source heat pump. Whether it’s saving your money, reducing your carbon footprint, or simply keeping your home more comfortable, air source heat pumps come with many benefits. Below we’ve listed the top 11 benefits that make this system so attractive in 2023:
1) Save money on energy bills
One major benefit of air source heat pumps is that it can help homes save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills each year. Due to air source heat pumps being much more energy efficient than traditional methods of heating and cooling, such as boilers or air conditioners, homes could potentially save up to £1,500 on bills each year. And with VAT on green energy solutions being 0%, there’s never been a better time to invest! Later on in this post, we’ll look at exactly how much you could save by making the switch to an air source heat pump.
2) Lower carbon footprint
Air source heat pumps are a form of low-carbon heating that produces significantly fewer emissions than traditional heating and cooling systems. As they produce fewer emissions, they can help to reduce your carbon footprint and make your home more sustainable. An air source heat pump actually only uses one unit of electricity for every 3 to 4 units of energy produced, making it a great way for homes to cut down on emissions.
3) Can be used for heating or cooling property
A key benefit of an air source heat pump is that it can be used to both heat and cool a property. This makes them an incredibly versatile system, as you can use the same device to switch between heating and cooling at different parts of the year. Plus, air source heat pumps are capable of providing hot water that’s up to 60 degrees Celsius all year round. These heat pumps are often used to provide underfloor heating, further increasing their efficiency.
4) Efficient all year round
Speaking of efficiency, one of the benefits of air source heat pumps is that they are incredibly efficient all year round thanks to their seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP). Due to their unique design, these systems can provide up to four times as much energy as it requires to run. For context, the average UK home uses just over 12,000 kWh per year for heating. An air source heat pump would be able to create the same amount of energy from just 4,000 kWh of electricity. This makes them a great choice for both heating and cooling your home, no matter what season!
5) Long lifespan
One great benefit of air source heat pumps is that they last for a long time. In fact, air source heat pumps typically have a lifespan of up to 20 years with proper maintenance. They also usually come included with a five-year warranty. This makes them an excellent investment in the long term, as you can enjoy their benefits without having to worry about replacing them too often.
6) Low maintenance
And while we’re on the topic of maintenance, it’s worth stating that air source heat pumps are incredibly low maintenance. Unlike traditional heating and cooling systems, air source heat pumps don’t require any fuel like oil or gas so they can be installed without the need for a tank. Plus, their components rarely need replacing as they have few moving parts and tend to last a long time. As long as a technician services your heat pump once a year, it should have a long, healthy life. Some standard maintenance practices we recommend are:
- Check for system leaks
- Check refrigerant levels
- Clean the pump’s filters
- Clean dust from the heat pump
7) Eligible for Boiler Upgrade Scheme
A major benefit of an air source heat pump is that you could receive up to £5,000 towards installing one through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. The scheme, which will run until April 2025, provides grants to help individuals upgrade their boilers and other heating systems with more efficient options. Typically, biomass boilers and air source heat pumps are the most popular systems chosen through the scheme. These grants can often cover up to two-thirds of the cost, making them a great way to save money on your energy bills in the long run. So if you’re considering an air source heat pump for your home, now is the time to do it.
8) Can be used for hot water and space heating
Adding to their versatility, air source heat pumps can also be used for both hot water and space heating, making them a great all-in-one solution for your home. For instance, you can use an air source heat pump to provide hot water for showers, washing machines and dishwashers as well as providing heat for radiators and underfloor heating systems
9) No fuel storage is needed
Because air source heat pumps use the outside air to create energy, no fuel storage is needed for them to operate. This makes them a great choice for those who don’t have access to fuel storage or don’t feel comfortable storing large quantities of fuel on their property. Plus, air source heat pumps are much quieter than traditional heating systems and produce minimal emissions, making them an environmentally friendly option.
10) Easy installation
Another great benefit of air source heat pumps is that they are incredibly easy to install. In fact, it’s remarkably similar to installing a traditional boiler as all you need is an outside wall or flat roof and some pipework. You can also usually get away with minimal disruption during the installation process, as all the equipment is usually located inside your home. Plus, with a system that’s easy to install and maintain, you can have it up and running in no time!
11) Quieter than traditional boilers and heating systems
The last benefit on our list is that air source heat pumps are incredibly quiet. Unlike traditional boilers and heating systems, they produce very little noise while they are running. This makes them especially great for those who live in densely populated areas or want to keep their home as quiet as possible. In addition, air source heat pumps don’t require any large ventilation shafts like traditional boilers, so they can be installed quickly and easily. That is not to say they are entirely quiet, but the noise is significantly less than that of an older boiler or heating system.
What are the disadvantages of air source heat pumps?
Despite their many benefits, there are some disadvantages to consider when installing an air source heat pump. Let’s take a look at them:
1) Your home must be well-insulated
For an air source heat pump to work most efficiently, your home must be well-insulated. If your insulation is lacking, you will end up wasting more energy as the pump will have to work harder and it may take a while for the heat pump to warm up and reach its optimal temperature. However, there is no need to worry about the cost of upgraded insulation, as you could upgrade your home insulation for free through the ECO4 Schemes. Read our guides to learn more!
2) Initial installation cost can be expensive
Although the benefits of air source heat pumps far outweigh the disadvantages, one potential issue is that the initial installation cost can be expensive. However, as mentioned earlier, this cost can be offset by opting for a fully-funded scheme such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme or ECO scheme. Contact us today to find out more about either scheme.
3) Limited performance at very low temperatures
Although they do work well in all conditions, when the temperature drops below 0°C, the performance of air source heat pumps can start to drop off. However, you can counter this issue by installing an auxiliary heater, which will kick in when the temperature drops below a certain level and take up the slack.
How much could I save with an air source heat pump?
Some may be asking, ‘Is an air source heat pump expensive to run?’ The answer is no. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed to save you money. Using the latest fuel price figures (as of October 2022) provided by the Energy Saving Trust we can estimate how much households could save by installing an air source heat pump.
- Old (G-rated) gas boiler: Savings of £395
- Old (G-rated) oil boiler: Savings of £105
- New electric storage heaters: Savings of £890
- Old electric storage heaters: Savings of £1,500
- Old (G-rated) LPG boiler: Savings of £590
- New (A-rated) gas boiler: Savings of -£80
- New (A-rated) oil boiler: Savings of -£330
The only circumstance where installing an air source heat pump would make your energy bills more expensive would be if you were to install an A-rated boiler, both oil and gas.
How to get a free air source heat pump
Thank you for reading our post on the benefits of air source heat pumps. If you’re looking to install an air source heat pump for free, or at a reduced cost, contact a member of the So Eco team today and we can help you find out if you’re eligible for a government grant. So Eco is an official partner of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and ECO scheme. We can provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about how to heat your home, and help secure any grants that may be available.
Get in touch today to find out if you could qualify for a free air source heat pump!