Air Source Heat Pumps for Homes
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps take the heat from the air and, using a fluid, deliver the heat to the hot water or heating system in the house. Whilst an air source heat pump does require electricity to work, they typically produce two to three times the amount of energy they consume. The coefficient performance of a heat pump tells you how much more energy it produces than it consumes. For example, a coefficient of three indicates a machine that produces three times what it needs to run in optimum conditions.
Heat pumps can be fitted to most homes and can be integrated into most types of heating systems including solar panel systems. Air source heat pumps are either fitted to the wall or roof of a house and the warmer the air is, the more effective they will be. Air source heat pumps will generally not produce enough heating in the winter months, so they need to run in conjunction with another system.
Costs of Installing an Air Source Heat Pump
Installing an air source system can vary hugely in price, starting from around six thousand pounds and reaching up to ten thousand pounds. The annual running costs are estimated to be between six hundred and fifty pounds and seven hundred and fifty pounds for a three bedroom house. These figures will depend on your electricity tariff and the levels of installation within the house.
If purchasers are looking to reduce their bills, the running costs means that savings will be small compared to a gas system, but much greater if the pump is replacing a coal of electric system.
The Renewable Heat Incentive is a scheme that has been introduced by the government to encourage homeowners to invest in these renewable technologies. Under the incentive, payments will be made annually based on the amount of heat their system has generated. Full details of this scheme can be found from the Energy Savings Trust who give independent advice about all renewable heating forms.
Installing an Air Source Heat Pump
As heat pumps are most effective in homes that are well insulated, this is the first step before installing a system. They are also better suited for under floor heating systems than a heating system based on water filled radiators. As heat pumps require quite a lot of electricity to run you should also make sure your domestic supply can service these demands. It's also important to make sure the installer fits the right size pump for your home to make sure that it operates at maximum efficiency.
Most pumps will be installed with a ten year guarantee, although their operational lifespan can be over twenty years. The pump will need an annual check by the owner and a service by professional installers every three to five years. It is important to get quotes from several suppliers to ensure you get the best price for your air pump. It is also a good idea to ask for references from previous customers.