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A guide to air source heat pumps – your questions answered. 

We’ve put together a guide about how air source heat pumps work, whether they’re suitable for your home and answered many common questions. 

How does an Air Source Heat Pump work? 

Air source heat pumps have improved drastically over the last decade. They are now ultra efficient, quiet and act as an affordable way to heat your home. 

With their ability to provide efficient heating even in colder climates, modern air source heat pumps represent a major leap forward in sustainable home heating technology.

Air Source Heat Pumps – true or false

We address some of the common air source heat pump misconceptions. Check out our FAQs for more. 

They're expensive to heat your home - FALSE

An air source heat pump is cheaper to heat your home than LPG, Oil, Coal and Electric Storage Heaters.

It's not as hot as a normal boiler - TRUE

An air source heat pump usually heats radiators to about 50°C, compared to about 65°C from a standard boiler. This is why new, larger radiators, are included for free as part of the ECO4 scheme to help provide the same room temperature.

They're really noisy - FALSE

Whilst older air source heat pumps may have been a bit noisy, modern ones have improved. Typically a modern air source heat pump makes about the same noise as your fridge – and they’re outside your home. 

How heat pumps work – a 30 second guide!

– It takes heat from the outside air (even on cold days the air contains heat)

– It contains a special fluid that absorbs the heat and is converted into a gas

– This gas travels through a compressor, increasing the pressure and is passed into a heat exchanger and into your home to heat your radiators and your water

– The gas then reverts back to a liquid form and the cycle starts again

An air source heat pump is a clever system that takes a small amount of natural heat from the outside air, increases it’s temperature and heats your home efficiently

Could you be eligible for support with rising energy costs or improving the efficiency of your home? We can help you check in just 60 seconds without providing any personal details.

Air Source Heat Pump FAQs

  • What’s the difference between an air source heat pump and a ground source heat pump?

    A ground source heat pump requires substantial work and expense in order for it to be installed. Installers must drill deep bore holes in the ground and install extensive pipework underneath your garden in order for this to work. Air source heat pumps can be installed with minimal disruption and do not require extensive underground work.

  • How much space does an air source heat pump need?

    A modern air source heat pump is about the same size as a washing machine and can be installed in most properties with a small garden or yard.

  • Does an air source heat pump require a lot of ongoing maintenance?

    A modern air source heat pump only requires an annual service, just like a typical boiler. This is just to make sure that the equipment is performing at optimal levels. All heat pumps come with extended manufacturer warranties.

  • Do air source heat pumps work in really cold conditions?

    Air source heat pumps work in all weather, even in minus temperatures. Whilst they’re less efficient in temperatures below zero, they still work really well. Over 60% of homes in Norway use air source heat pumps, where conditions are much colder than the UK.

  • Do air source heat pumps work with older radiators?

    Most property radiators are large enough for air source heat pumps. However, it may be necessary to increase your radiator sizes in order for your room to retain the same level of warmth as a standard boiler. The ECO4 scheme includes new radiators for free as part of the grant.

  • Can I turn my air source heat pump on and off?

    We wouldn’t recommend turning your air source heat pump on and off. This will reduce the performance and efficiency of your system. An air source heat pump is designed to maintain an ambient temperature for your home. The consistency of heat produced by air source heat pumps helps keep your home warm for longer.

  • Will my heat pump be loud?

    A heat pump typically makes about the same noise as a standard household refrigerator. The heat pumps that we install have a noise output of between 40-60dB.

    Household ApplianceTypical Noise Output
    Refrigerator50dB
    Dishwasher55-70dB
    Tumble Dryer70dB
    Toilet Flushing75-85dB
    Air Source Heat Pump40-60dB

    It is also important to remember that an air source heat pump is located outside your property, not inside. So this noise will be further reduced by doors, windows and walls.

  • Does an air source heat pump use lots of electricity?

    An air source heat pump is powered by electricity. Generally, from 1kw of electricity, an air source heat pump will generate 3.5kw worth of heat. An air source heat pump is cheaper to heat your home than LPG, Oil, Coal and Electric Storage Heaters.

  • How is an air source heat pump cheaper when electricity is expensive?

    An air source heat pump is incredibly efficient, which is why it is one of the most affordable ways to heat your home. Through the pump, on average 1kw of electricity is converted into about 3.5kw worth of heat. This means that your heat pump can run at about 350% “efficiency” whilst an average oil boiler or LPG boiler runs at around 70-80%.