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How do air source heat pumps work?

Posted on by Rudkin & Herbert Team

air source heat pumpsWith so many people looking for alternative ways to lower their energy bills, any small victory is welcomed. There have been some great innovations, and one of the more popular additions in terms of aiding the usage of renewable energy is the air source heat pump, or ASHP.

While the name holds most of the information you’ll need about these devices, we’ve also provided a better overview as to how an air source heat pump works, its benefits, its shortfalls and how they can save you money in the long run.

How it works

When you have an air source heat pump installed you will have a small unit placed outside of your property, usually in your back garden, which looks like a boxed fan. This is the key component of the unit as it draws in heat naturally from the air outside of your home – it can even draw in heat when temperatures outside are as low as -15°C.

Once drawn in, this heat is compressed by a compressor which boosts the temperature (this is the one part of the unit which uses electricity). The heat is then turned into a liquid which can be used to heat different areas of the home. These systems work extremely well with underfloor heating but can also sustain your radiators and store excess water in your tank.

The benefits

Some of the advantages of this system should already be easy to see, but the biggest advantage is that it uses a minimal amount of electricity to provide you with hot water for showers, baths and heating. This helps to lower your bills and can even provide income through the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive).

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The technology requires very little maintenance once installed too, as it is simply connected to your home and can be forgotten about save for the odd clearance in autumn when leaves might accumulate too close to the outside unit.

 

What you need

The first thing you need for an air source heat pump is space outside of your home to have the external unit fitted. As mentioned before, you need to ensure that it doesn’t get crowded out and has a good flow of air to the unit. You also need a well-insulated home to make the most of the heating applications.

Once installed you should work out how the controls work so you consistently get the best out of your unit. If you aren’t confident about using the unit, then the engineer who installs it should be able to help introduce you to the functions so you can use it efficiently.

If you live in Wales or Northern Ireland you will require planning permission to have an air source hear pump installed, but even if you’re based in Scotland and England you should check to ensure there aren’t any complex rules for your areas regarding permission.

At Rudkin & Herbert we provide the installation and maintenance of these units, so whether you need air source heat pumps or air to water pumps then simply contact us today. We can advise you on the benefits of air source heat pumps for your home and how you can save money on your bills.

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