Air Source Heat Pump Systems
What is an air source heat pump?
Air source heat pump is a kind of renewable energy technology. It obtains heat from the outside air (even when it freezes) and uses it to heat the home. You can use other heat pumps to use heat from the ground and water to do the same thing, but air source heat pumps are suitable for a wider range of properties. Since the air (or ground or water) is heated by the sun, the energy produced by the heat pump is still classified as "renewable". Even if the pump itself is driven by electricity, the electricity may or may not have renewable energy.
How does the heat pump work?
Air source heat pumps use the same type of technology to keep your refrigerator cool, but the opposite. Liquid refrigerant with a very low boiling point is pumped into the circuit between the two heat exchangers. This refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside ambient air temperature and becomes a gas when it rises. This gas is then compressed back into the liquid, thereby further increasing its temperature. The warm refrigerant then passes through the heat exchanger, transferring the heat to a separate body of water for circulation in the central heating system. In the final stage, the liquid refrigerant passes through the expansion valve to reduce the pressure and temperature, and then the cycle repeats.
The coefficient of performance or COP is why heat pumps are a useful technology: if you put 1 kWh of energy into the system, you will get more than 1 kWh of heat energy. Generally, the maximum COP of a heat pump is 2 or 3, which means that for 1 kWh of electricity, you will get 2 or 3 kWh of heat. The actual ratio of "electricity input" to "heat output" will change throughout the year.
Use air source heat pump at home
Air source heat pumps can be used to heat your house and water. Here are some things to consider.
1. Use air source heat pump for heating
The heat pump works best when the difference between the internal and external temperature is small. Just like your refrigerator must work harder in hot weather.
This makes them very suitable for floor heating systems. Floors cover a much larger area than radiators, so they do not need to be heated to provide the same amount of heat.
The output of air source heat pumps is also lower than that of gas or oil-fired boilers. This means that they cannot provide heat quickly. Instead, they are best used to slowly heat up your house over a longer period of time.
2. Air source heat pump and radiator
If you have a radiator in your home and you are switching from a gas heating system to an air source heat pump, you may need to buy some larger radiators to keep your house warm.
3. Use air source heat pump for hot water
Heat pumps can also be an important source of hot water-but water will be colder than boiler water. In practice, this means that if you are taking a bath, you will need more hot water and less from the cold tap. Therefore, you may also need a larger hot water tank to meet your needs.
Advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pump
Air source heat pump advantages
1. Efficient heat source and hot water source
2. If used with renewable tariffs, zero carbon
3. It can closely match the operating cost of other home heating systems
4. Installation costs are offset by renewable thermal incentive payments
5. Low maintenance cost and long service life
6. Some systems can provide cooling in summer
Disadvantages of air source heat pump
1. The output temperature is lower than that of a traditional boiler-you may need to update the insulation material and invest in a larger radiator
2. As part of a hybrid system with a traditional boiler, it may work best in an old house
3. Outdoor space is required, which may be very noisy
4. The installation cost is high, and the effect of using with the water tank is the best
5. Work efficiency is not high in extremely cold weather
Are there different types of air source heat pumps?
Yes! There are two main types of air source heat pumps, "air to air" and "air to water". Most air source heat pump installations are of the so-called "air to water" type.
"Air to water" air source heat pump
Most air source heat pump installations are of the so-called "air to water" type. In these systems, heat is transferred to traditional "wet" heating systems. This setup provides you with hot water and central heating.
"Air-to-air" source heat pump
A few air source heat pumps are "air to air". And, as the name suggests, they transfer heat into the air and distribute it around the house. But they do not provide hot water.
There is also a mixed air source heat pump, which can usually be combined with existing central heating systems and boilers. In these mixed air source heat pump systems, the heat pump provides the "base load" for daily heating and hot water. The boiler only burns to provide hotter water. Or heat up quickly in particularly cold weather.
Things to consider before installing ASHP
When considering the installation of an air source heat pump, two main factors must be considered:
1. Cost: The cost of installing an air source heat pump is usually between £8,000-18,000. Additional costs may be incurred, depending on the type of system selected (whether you need to combine cooling and heating), the size of your property, and your specific requirements. Compared with the price of ground source heat pump, these costs are much lower, the price of ground source heat pump is between 20,000 and 45,000 pounds.
2. Insulation: To get a high return on savings, it is important to have a well-insulated house, especially the attic. This ensures that the heat generated in the home will not be lost, thus keeping the home warm in winter.
3. Installer: Finding the right installer is very important to ensure that the heat pump is installed correctly. You should conduct due diligence, such as checking whether the installer has the necessary certifications, a good track record, and whether the price you get is reasonable.