✔ 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 the Air Source Heat Pump work?
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 assessing company to 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 suitable for 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.
How much cost to install an Air Source Heat Pump?
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.
How many heat pump installers are in the UK?
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.
The next step
You are now fully prepared to save money and energy with your new air source heat pump.
The next step is to ask for a heat loss assessment of your property, make any necessary improvements, and then buy the best air source heat pump for you.