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How Does An Air Source Heat Pump Work?

Air source heat pumps are a safe and sustainable way to heat your home and are a greener alternative to traditional boilers that burn fossil fuels such as gas, oil, or LPG. Depending on your electricity tariff, a heat pump makes it possible for you to run your home using 100% renewable energy.


Switching from a fossil fuel boiler to a heat pump could also reduce your energy bills by £260 and will protect you from rising energy prices.




This guide will tell you everything you need to know about how air source heat pumps work and why they’re a great option if you’re looking for a greener and cheaper way to heat your home.


How Does An Air Source Heat Pump Work


Air source heat pumps take heat from the air outside and use this to warm up your radiators and hot water. They work in a similar way to a refrigerator but provide heat rather than cooling. Below is a step-by-step guide to how an air source heat pump works:




  1. The heat pump contains both a heat exchanger and a refrigerant liquid. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air (Heat Source). This heat warms the refrigerant which causes it to boil and turn into gas.

  2. The heat pump compresses this refrigerant gas which increases its temperature.

  3. The heat from the refrigerant is transferred into your property through the heat exchanger (Heat Distribution) and circulation pump. It then enters the central heating system where it heats your radiators and hot water tank

  4. The refrigerant is then decompressed as it passes through the expansion valve which allows the gas to convert back to a liquid and the cycle starts again.


Do Air Source Heat Pumps Work In Winter?


An air-source heat pump will be able to heat your home all year round. They work down to temperatures of -20°C and are popular in countries such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland which experience much colder winters than the UK.


Your heat pump will use more power when it’s cold outside as it will need to work harder to absorb heat from the air. However, you’ll still be able to enjoy a warm and cosy home during the coldest months of the year.

Air Source vs Ground Source Heat Pumps


Air source heat pumps take heat from the outside air, whereas ground source heat pumps take heat from the ground. Ground source heat pumps require underground pipes to be fitted outside your property, which could disturb your garden and won’t be suitable for properties with only a small amount of outside space.


Air source heat pumps are cheaper than ground source ones, and are quicker and easier to install. They only require enough space to store the unit itself and there won’t be any need to dig up your garden.


Benefits Of Air Source Heat Pumps


Air source heat pumps are very energy efficient, with 1 kilowatt of electricity-generating up to 4 kilowatts of heat. They will save you money on your energy bills and provide safe and reliable heating and hot water. You’ll also reduce your carbon footprint as you won’t be burning fossil fuels to warm your home.


Another benefit is that some models of air source heat pumps can be reversed to cool your home during the summer. This works in a similar way to an air conditioning unit and means you can stay comfortable all year round.


How Much Does An Air Source Heat Pump Cost?


The exact cost of an air source heat pump will depend on the size of your home and how well insulated it is. Heat pumps typically cost between £4,000 - £8,000 to purchase, and another £5,000 - £10,000 to install. However, the UK government is offering all households a grant of £5,000 to put towards replacing their existing fossil fuel boiler with a heat pump. Alternatively, you could minimise these upfront costs further by joining our Heat as a Service scheme.


Heat as a Service (HaaS)


Heat as a Service (HaaS) makes the benefits of low carbon heating accessible to more. Rather than paying for a heat pump and the associated installation costs upfront, you can rent the heat pump and make affordable monthly payments that cover the amount of heat you use. This works in a similar way to a phone contract or a hire purchase agreement for a car.


Join the Heatio Energy Challenge Group to find out more about this service and learn how you can get your home “Heat Pump Ready”. You’ll also get plenty of tips on how to reduce your energy bills and prepare your home for a low-carbon future.


What’s The Best Air Source Heat Pump?


The best air source heat pump will depend on your requirements and the space you have available. You’ll need enough outdoor space to be able to store the unit in a location where any noise won’t bother either you or your neighbours.


It’s important to choose a heat pump that’s powerful enough to provide your property with the amount of heat it needs, but that doesn’t generate an excessive amount that will end up going to waste. A calculation will be carried out to assess the size that is required based on your property and how well-insulated it is.


Speak To A Heatio Heat Pump Expert


Air source heat pumps reduce your carbon footprint and help you to save money on your energy bills. To discuss your energy saving goals and the possibility of a heat pump installation book a call with one of our Heat Pump Experts Today.




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