The explanation for Air Source Heat Pump Installation (2023)

✔ Installing an air source heat pump usually takes one to five days

✔ It can cut your carbon footprint by 44 percent on average

✔ electrical and plumbing expertise are required during the installation

Getting an air source heat pump is the right decision.

It can help you cut your annual carbon footprint by 44 percent, and costs less than a gas boiler over its lifetime.

These machines are effective, reliable, and future-proof – unlike gas boilers, which you will not be able to buy in the near future.

What's an Air Source Heat Pump?

An air source heat pump is a renewable heating system that uses electricity to take warmth from the air outside and uses it to supply you with heat and hot water.

The machine absorbs the heat into a fluid, compresses this fluid to increase its temperature, then sends the resulting hot water to your radiators and underfloor heating system.

When you’re not using your heating system, you can store the excess fluid in a hot water cylinder.

And because the sun has already partly heated the air, an air source heat pump is able to produce more units of heat than the units of electricity it uses, making it an extremely efficient source of green energy.

How is theAir Source Heat Pump work?

The explanation for Air Source Heat Pump Installation (1)

How is the Air Source Heat Pump installed?

The installation process for the air source heat pump is painless if you could hire professional installers who are qualified electricians and plumbers.

Don’t install an air source heat pump by yourself, unless you’re qualified in electrical and plumbing. All savings you make initially will be repaid when the system breaks.

We’ve laid out the destination of a new, functioning air source heat pump, all the steps are below, so you know what your installers are doing.

1. The inspection

The best to start is to ask a company that installs heat pumps to send a heating engineer to assess your home and decide how big the air source heat pump you need.

Some companies will perform this assessment for free, but it usually costs around 150 pounds.

Normally the payment will be removed if you choose the assessingheat pump companiesto carry out the heat pump installation, but either way, it’s incredibly useful to know how to save money on your energy bills.

Over the course of an hour (maximum), the engineer will measure how big is your home, the number of rooms you will need to heat, your insulation levels, and the size of the radiator you need.

They’ll also consider if you have underfloor heating, which is an awesome way to spread warmth through your home when you have an air-source heat pump.

All of these considerations will help them work out how much heat is regularly lost from your home. The more heat that’s lost, the bigger the air source heat pump you might need.

To reduce your heat losses and make your home more suitableair source heat pump manufacturerfor an air source heat pump, the engineers may recommend you get better insulation, bigger radiators, or underfloor heating. They may be able to carry out these improvements for you while installing the heat pump.

Fortunately, many radiators in UK homes are already larger than they need to be for gas heating, which may be perfect for your new heat pump. Only one-third of homes will need a bigger radiator – and your engineer will be able to tell you if you’re among them.

2. The outdoor heat pumps unit

The actual heat pump will then be installed just outside your home, next to one of the external walls.

The heat pump needs easy access to the air, so your installer will choose a spot where nothing blocks it in, then either bolt it to a flat concrete base or use brackets to attach it to the wall.

This ensures that come rain, hail, or snow, your heat pump will remain steadfast in its position.

3. The indoor unit

The installers will then move inside to set up the other main part of this process: your hot water cylinder.

This is the awesome machine that will hold onto all the hot water you don’t need straight away, allowing you to make full use of all the warmth that your heat pump produces.

Your installer will recommend the right size for your home, but you should also know, the average three-bedroom house requires a 200-liter cylinder.

If you only have two bedrooms, you can probably settle for a 150-liter unit, while houses with five bedrooms or more will likely need at least 300 liters.

If you already have a hot water cylinder, it probably won’t be suitable for a heat pump system, as the coil is normally too small to reheat the water as quickly as it should be.

4. The connections

Then it’s the right time to link everything up.

Your installer will connect the external heat pump to the internal hot water cylinder via a control wire, a refrigerant hose, and a condensate drain hose.

They’ll normally have to drill a hole in the wall to feed these through.

The installer will then connect the hot water cylinder to your radiators, and to your underfloor heating if you have it, by installing some pipework as well.

Sometimes during this process, your old heating system will need to be disconnected, but the installer will warn you about this in advance, and let you know how long it will take. It is normally a matter of hours.

This part of the installation especially will make you grateful that you hired installers who know their way around electrical units and plumbing.

Installing an air source heat pump costs around £150 per hour. With an average installation time of three days, this generally works out to £3,000 overall. That means that the total price of buying and installing an air source heat pump is typically around £10,000.

Make sure you get multiple quotations before making decisions about the installer, to avoid paying well over the odds.

But you should also remember: unless you’re a qualified plumber and electrician, don’t do it by yourself. The price of installing a heat pump to an inferior standard is likely to be much, much higher in the long term.

Is there any maintenance required afterward?

Thankfully, air source heat pump maintenance is a relatively simple task. Just make sure to keep the external unit clean and free of debris, so the airflow doesn’t get obstructed.

You can do this by changing the filters every one to three months, wiping down the coils and fan blades, and using a soft-bristled brush to clean the registers.

Refill the antifreeze once a year, de-ice the machine in the winter, and make sure grass and other plants do not encroach on the heat pump’s area.

A professional service is also a good idea, but it does not need to be too regular. One every two to three years should suffice.

With very little upkeep, an air source heat pump can last for at least twenty years – much longer than the gas boiler, which typically needs replacing after 10 to 15 years.

Currently, there are 1,200 heat pump installers in the UK.

This falls well short of the number needed if the government is to meet its target of 600,000 heat pumps installed per year by the year 2028 – especially when compared with the UK’s 130,000 qualified gas boiler installers.

With its 2028 goal in mind, the government now offers free or subsidized training to tradespeople who want to learn how to install heat pumps, under the BEIS Skills Training Competition scheme.

With 18 training providers across the country offering this course, we should see a massive increase in the number of heat pump installers over the next few years.

As it stands, only 54 percent of UK residents are aware of heat pumps. However, once more people start to learn about the benefit of heat pumps, the number of installers will grow rapidly.

You are now fully prepared to save money and energy with your new air source heat pump.

The explanation for Air Source Heat Pump Installation (2)heat pump companies

The next step is to ask for a heat loss assessment of your property, make any necessary improvements, and then buy the bestair source heat pumpfor you.

FAQs

The explanation for Air Source Heat Pump Installation? ›

An air source heat pump, sometimes referred to as an air-to-water source heat pump, transfers heat from the outside air to water, which heats your rooms via radiators or underfloor heating. It can also heat water stored in a hot water cylinder for your hot taps, showers and baths.

What is the explanation of air source heat pump? ›

An air source heat pump, sometimes referred to as an air-to-water source heat pump, transfers heat from the outside air to water, which heats your rooms via radiators or underfloor heating. It can also heat water stored in a hot water cylinder for your hot taps, showers and baths.

How are air source heat pumps installed? ›

The air source heat pump unit will be fitted to the outside of the property, in a position with good airflow ensuring that nothing is blocking the unit. The unit, sized around 1m wide, 1m high and 30cm deep, will be bolted to the ground, or brackets connecting it to the property in order to secure it.

What is the best explanation of a heat pump? ›

A heat pump uses technology similar to that found in a refrigerator or an air conditioner. It extracts heat1 from a source, such as the surrounding air, geothermal energy stored in the ground, or nearby sources of water or waste heat from a factory. It then amplifies and transfers the heat to where it is needed.

What is the main explanation for why heat pumps work? ›

There are many kinds of heat pumps, but they all operate on the same basic principle: heat transfer. This means that rather than burning fuel to create heat, the device moves heat from one place to another.

How does a heat pump work step by step? ›

Heat energy is absorbed in the outdoor unit by cool liquid refrigerant, turning it into cold gas. Pressure is then applied to the cold gas, turning it to hot gas. The hot gas is cooled in the indoor unit by passing air, heating the air and condensing the the gas to warm liquid.

How do air source heat pumps work simple? ›

Air source heat pumps use electricity to operate, and work in a similar way to a fridge, but in reverse. They extract heat from the air outside and use it to warm your home. For every one kilowatt of electricity used they can create up to four kilowatts of heat to warm your radiators and hot water.

Can an air source heat pump be installed inside? ›

Air source heat pumps are suitable for either outdoor or indoor installation.

Where do heat pumps need to be installed? ›

The pump should also be installed in a place that's easy to access for services and other general maintenance. You don't want it to be in a position that's difficult to get to or that requires scaffolding or ladders in order to reach it. For this reason, it's best located on the ground at the back of a property.

Can I install air source heat pump myself? ›

You can't fully install an air source heat pump yourself. Although you can potentially place the external unit, you'll need a trained professional to connect it up to the internal components and to set up the heating system as a whole.

What is the most important part of a heat pump? ›

The Evaporator

Since this requires a lot of heat, the evaporator gets cold and tends to draw heat from the surroundings. However, due to its role in changing the form of the liquid or gas, it is one of the most important components of a heat pump.

What is the major problem of heat pump? ›

Leaking refrigerant is one of the most common causes of heat pump problems. Your heat pump uses this liquid chemical to cool and heat air. As your heat pump's refrigerant supply slowly dwindles, it will struggle to meet the setting on your thermostat, causing it to run longer.

What is the major disadvantage of a heat pump system? ›

Air source heat pumps can experience issues such as icing in cold temperatures, which can ultimately damage the system. Although modern heat pumps do often have automatic defrosting. Their efficiency will also be lower at very cold temperatures, and use more electricity during those cold days.

What are the four major working parts of a heat pump? ›

Components of an Air Source Heat Pump System

The loop includes four main components: an evaporator, a compressor, a condenser (or heat exchanger), and an expansion valve.

At what temperature is a heat pump useless? ›

Most standard heat pumps will function at 100% efficiency until the outside temperature reaches about 40° F. However, when the temperature dips below this, most heat pumps are not able to maintain efficiency. They become much less effective at temperatures between 20° F to 30° F.

How does a heat pump and furnace work together? ›

During cool weather, the heat pump does the heating, using the furnace as a blower to circulate the warmed air. When it gets very cold, the heat pump shuts off and the furnace takes over, doing all the heating and air movement.

What are the two stages of heat pump? ›

Two-stage operation, or two-stage cooling, means the air conditioner or heat pump has a compressor with two levels of operation: high for hot summer days and low for milder days.

How do air source heat pumps work in winter? ›

Air source heat pumps work by drawing in and filtering outside air through a compressor, which compresses it and then sends it through a coil in your home. The coil heats it up, and then the air is distributed throughout the house for heating.

What cycle does a heat pump use? ›

In short, a heat pump is an HVAC system that uses the refrigerant cycle to provide both heating and cooling functions.

What is the most efficient way to run an air source heat pump? ›

Lowering the set temperatures at the left-hand side will reduce the reaction time of the heating system, so it will take longer to change the house temperature in cold weather, but it will also have a big impact on running costs.

What is the difference between heat pump and air source heat pump? ›

An air-source or air-to-air heat pump can provide both heating and cooling. In the winter, a heat pump extracts heat from outside air and delivers it indoors. On hot summer days, it works in reverse, extracting heat from room air and pumping it outdoors to cool the house.

What is the flow and return temperature of an air source heat pump? ›

For an air-to-water heat pump BS EN 14511 specifies a return and flow temperature of 40oC and 45oC respectively. At temperatures higher than these the COP (and heat output) will fall.

Can you install a heat pump without ductwork? ›

You can still get heat pump technology without any ducts at all. Instead, you can get a ductless mini-split heat pump with a single outdoor compressor unit and one or more indoor air handlers. The only “construction” that must be done is drilling a small hole in the wall to accommodate the refrigerant line.

Do you need a duct system for a heat pump? ›

A central heat pump distributes heat and cooling through ductwork connected to vents in each room. A mini-split heat pump does not rely on ductwork to heat and cool the home.

How far should an air source heat pump be from the house? ›

If placed parallel to a wall, the minimum distance to the wall is 150 mm. A minimum clear distance of 1 meter in front of the heat pump is required. If you consider sitting the heat pump close to an adjacent property, the noise impact has to be assessed.

Why are heat pumps difficult to install? ›

A ground source heat pump is more difficult to install because the pipework needs to be laid in the ground and you may need a certain amount of space to be able to do it. This is why you must have the ground around your home surveyed to ensure that the installation can go ahead.

Can you install a heat pump anywhere? ›

Heat pumps can be installed in almost any home, however there are some considerations that may need to be addressed, particularly regarding insulation. In order for a heat pump to work at its most efficient, your home needs to be well insulated to prevent as much heat from escaping as possible.

How much space do you need around an air source heat pump? ›

For optimal efficiency, it's best to allow a minimum of 30cm around the sides and rear of the heat pump and 1.5m of unobstructed space in front.

Do air source heat pumps have to be on the ground? ›

Air source heat pumps are easier and quicker to install than ground source heat pumps as they do not require any land to be dug up for installation.

Can a heat pump be connected to existing ductwork? ›

Can heat pumps use existing ducts as well? Yes! If you already have a central forced air system in your home, a heat pump system still works! In this situation, you'd have the same outdoor condenser unit, but the indoor air handler would connect directly to your ductwork.

What are the 3 common sources of heat for heat pumps? ›

There are three main types of heat pumps connected by ducts: air-to-air, water source, and geothermal. They collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside.

What are the 3 main parts of a heat pump circuit? ›

There are three basic parts of a heat pump – the condenser, compressor and evaporator. This type of system is referred to as an air-to-air transfer system or closed-circuit heat pump. There are other parts of a heat pump, but these three components are the most fundamental and easiest to understand.

What is the lifespan of a heat pump? ›

Heat pumps normally last an average of 15 years, though some can wear out after a decade. Some of the newer units being manufactured today can last a bit longer. The factor most important in determining the lifespan of your heat pump is maintenance.

Why do people not like heat pumps? ›

Heat pumps loose their effectiveness (not to be confused with their efficiency) the colder it gets outside forcing you to either use the electric heat or stay cold. Systems that are designed poorly so the ductwork is too small resulting in a lot of air noise and drafts that is not as warm.

Do heat pumps break down a lot? ›

It's true that, on average, a heat pump won't last as long as a furnace. That's mainly because this type of system is exposed to the elements every day of the year. Air conditioners are shut down for six to eight months and in some cases are covered to protect them from the elements when not in use.

What is more efficient than a heat pump? ›

Under ideal conditions, a heat pump can transfer 300 percent more energy than it consumes. In contrast, a high-efficiency gas furnace is about 95 percent efficient. Heat pumps are powered by electricity, so you can save substantially on fuel consumption.

Do heat pumps run longer than furnace? ›

While other HVAC equipment provides comfort by essentially blasting your home with temperature-controlled air, a heat pump instead aims to consistently maintain comfortable temperatures more steadily. This means that they run for longer periods, especially in winter.

Do heat pumps use a lot of electricity? ›

One of the most popular questions we hear is, “do heat pumps use a lot of electricity?” We are delighted to answer that they do not. Compared to more traditional methods of heating, ductless heat pumps are much more energy-efficient, which means they have less impact on your utility bills.

What pressure should my heat pump be at? ›

An air conditioner or heat pump using R-410A refrigerant may operate at pressures exceeding 600 psi. A typical Carrier HVACR unit incorporates a high-pressure safety switch that operates at 610 psi and a low pressure (loss of refrigerant detection safety device) that operates at about 20 psi.

What type of HVAC is a heat pump? ›

Technically, a heat pump is a mechanical-compression cycle refrigeration system that can be reversed to either heat or cool a controlled space. Think of a heat pump as a heat transporter constantly moving warm air from one place to another, to where it's needed or not needed, depending on the season.

How many wires does a heat pump have? ›

In heat pump system, there are at least 8 wires that need to be connected to the thermostat for proper operation.

How cold is too cold for a heat pump? ›

As long as your house is properly air-sealed and insulated, an air-source heat pump can perform well beyond temperatures of -13 degrees Fahrenheit! Some newer models can handle temps as low as -22 degrees.

Can a heat pump keep up with 100 degree weather? ›

If outdoor temperatures reach extreme highs of 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit, then the heat pump's efficiency will be affected, and it will be less able to provide comfortable cooling abilities.

Will a heat pump work in 0 degree weather? ›

Yes, modern cold-climate heat pumps can heat a home efficiently even when the temperature drops below -10 degrees. At this temperature the best cold climate heat pumps are still more energy efficient than furnaces and boilers.

How does a heat pump work for dummies? ›

A heat pump uses technology similar to that found in a refrigerator or an air conditioner. It extracts heat1 from a source, such as the surrounding air, geothermal energy stored in the ground, or nearby sources of water or waste heat from a factory. It then amplifies and transfers the heat to where it is needed.

Do I need both a furnace and a heat pump? ›

Do you need a furnace with a heat pump? It isn't required to have a heat pump and furnace together but there can be some advantages. In areas with very cold winters, it's often more energy efficient to heat the home with a furnace and use the heat pump for cooling.

Can I have a heat pump and a furnace at the same time? ›

A dual fuel system may come in the form of a packaged unit or a split system with two energy sources: the electric heat pump and a gas furnace. Dual fuel technology combines the cooling and heating performance that you get from a heat pump with the consistent heating capacity of a gas furnace.

What is the downside to a heat pump? ›

Air source heat pumps can experience issues such as icing in cold temperatures, which can ultimately damage the system. Although modern heat pumps do often have automatic defrosting. Their efficiency will also be lower at very cold temperatures, and use more electricity during those cold days.

Are air source heat pumps a good idea? ›

An air source heat pump is a more sustainable option than oil or gas heating and it uses the electricity more efficiently than other heating systems. So overall, it's a more energy efficient solution to heating your home.

How long do air source heat pumps last? ›

Long Lifespan: Air source heat pumps have a long lifespan, with proper maintenance, they can operate for up to 20 years and most have 5-year warranties. Some models are even capable of working efficiently for close to 25 years.

Why not to install a heat pump? ›

They don't work well in poorly insulated homes

Homes need to be well insulated for heat pumps to be effective because the devices work at lower temperatures and so will struggle to get the house warm and keep it to temperature. They work better with lower-temperature heating systems, such as underfloor heating.

At what temperature does a home heat pump become ineffective? ›

Heat pumps do not operate as efficiently when temperatures drop to between 25 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit for most systems. A heat pump works best when the temperature is above 40. Once outdoor temperatures drop to 40 degrees, heat pumps start losing efficiency, and they consume more energy to do their jobs.

Which is better HVAC or heat pump? ›

Overall, heat pumps are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than conventional furnace and AC systems. They simply use a smaller amount of electricity to perform the transfer of heat from one area to another, making them less expensive to operate.

Do air source heat pumps work in winter? ›

Contrary to popular belief, air-source heat pumps work amazingly well in winter—even in very cold climates. In fact, heat pumps are now the best heating option just about everywhere on the planet.

Can a heat pump use existing ductwork? ›

Can heat pumps use existing ducts as well? Yes! If you already have a central forced air system in your home, a heat pump system still works! In this situation, you'd have the same outdoor condenser unit, but the indoor air handler would connect directly to your ductwork.

Where is the best place to site an air source heat pump? ›

Ideally, an air source appliance should be situated in a place that isn't too hemmed in. For instance, one side of your house may have a narrow alleyway but the other side may be mostly garden. It would be more beneficial to place it on the garden side and not in the narrow alleyway.

Do you need a water tank with an air source heat pump? ›

An air source heat pump system will always need a hot water cylinder for storing the home's hot water.

How far from house can air source heat pump be? ›

If placed parallel to a wall, the minimum distance to the wall is 150 mm. A minimum clear distance of 1 meter in front of the heat pump is required. If you consider sitting the heat pump close to an adjacent property, the noise impact has to be assessed.

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