The Ultimate Buyers Guide to Air Source Heat Pumps

Warm your home, save money, and reduce your carbon emissions all in one with Air Source Heat Pumps. 

At Surge Renewables, we’re constantly looking at the future of energy consumption and we believe Air Source Heat Pumps are part of the next wave of energy use in the UK and Ireland. 

That being said, we know it’s a new technology for many homeowners so we thought we would create the Ultimate Guide to buying and installing an Air Source Heat Pump within your home, so we can answer all of your major concerns in one place! 

The Ultimate Buyers Guide to Air Source Heat Pumps

  1. What is an Air Source Heat Pump?

An Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) is a renewable energy technology that provides heating and, in some cases, cooling to residential or commercial buildings. It extracts heat from the air outside the building and converts it into usable heat for space heating and domestic hot water. ASHPs are considered an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional heating systems that rely on fossil fuels, as they generate low carbon emissions and reduce the overall carbon footprint of a property.

2. How does an Air Source Heat Pump work?

The basic working principle of an Air Source Heat Pump is as follows:

  • Heat Extraction: The ASHP unit is placed outside the building, where it absorbs heat from the surrounding air, even in cold weather conditions.
  • Heat Conversion: The absorbed heat is then transferred to a refrigerant inside the ASHP, causing it to evaporate and turn into a gas.
  • Heat Compression: The refrigerant gas is compressed, which further raises its temperature.
  • Heat Release: The hot refrigerant gas is passed through a heat exchanger (or coil) within the building, where the heat is transferred to the heating system (e.g., radiators, underfloor heating, or a hot water tank).
  • Refrigerant Condensation: After releasing its heat to the indoor system, the refrigerant reverts to a liquid state and is pumped back outside to repeat the process.

This cycle continues, maintaining a steady flow of heat from the outside air into the building.

3. How much does an Air Source Heat Pump cost?

The cost of an Air Source Heat Pump can vary depending on several factors, including the brand, model, capacity, installation requirements, and any additional accessories or features. 

In Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the average cost of purchasing and installing an ASHP can range from £8,000 (€9,500) to £15,000 (€17,500) or more, but obviously these are approximate figures and every property is different. It’s important to consider the long-term savings on energy bills and potential government incentives or grants that might be available to offset the initial investment.

4. How much electricity does an Air Source Heat Pump use?

The electricity consumption of an Air Source Heat Pump varies based on its efficiency, the size of the property it serves, the desired indoor temperature, and the prevailing weather conditions. Generally, ASHPs are known for their high efficiency, as they can produce more heat energy than the electrical energy they consume.

In moderate climates like those here in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a well-installed and properly sized ASHP can provide around 3 to 4 units of heat for every 1 unit of electricity it consumes. However, it’s crucial to have the system sized correctly by a professional to ensure optimal efficiency and performance.

5. How long does it take to install an Air Source Heat Pump?

The installation time for an Air Source Heat Pump can vary based on several factors, including the complexity of the installation, the property’s existing heating system, and the accessibility of the outdoor and indoor locations. Typically, the installation process takes around 2 to 5 days, but it could be longer if significant modifications or upgrades are required.

Our energy consultants will walk you through all relevant details, including mapping out the installation process and timeframe, from start to finish.

6. How efficient is an Air Source Heat Pump?

Air Source Heat Pumps are known for their high efficiency and ability to provide renewable heating. The efficiency of an ASHP is measured by its Coefficient of Performance (COP), which represents the ratio of heat output to electrical input. In ideal conditions, a well-installed ASHP can have a COP of 3 to 4, meaning it produces 3 to 4 units of heat for every 1 unit of electricity it consumes.

It’s important to note that the efficiency of an ASHP may vary depending on external factors such as outdoor temperature and system maintenance. However, even during colder months, modern ASHPs are designed to deliver efficient heating performance.

7. How does an Air Source Heat Pump work in winter?

Air Source Heat Pumps can still operate effectively in winter, even in colder climates like during the depths of our winters.

The technology allows them to extract heat from the outdoor air, even when temperatures drop below freezing. However, as the outdoor temperature decreases, the efficiency of the ASHP decreases as well.

When the outside air is very cold, the ASHP may need to work harder to extract enough heat to meet the heating demands of the property. Some ASHP models are specifically designed for cold climates and have improved performance at lower temperatures.

To ensure efficient operation in winter, it’s essential to:

  • Choose a model with a good cold-weather performance rating.
  • Insulate the property effectively to reduce heat loss.
  • Consider using the ASHP in combination with other heating systems or as part of a hybrid heating solution for optimal efficiency.

Regular maintenance and proper sizing by a professional installer are also critical to maintaining the ASHP’s performance during the winter months.

Obviously all of this is extremely important to UK and Irish consumers, and we wouldn’t recommend a system that doesn’t work within our existing environments. So you can be sure that it performs as expected, even during colder months.

Air Source Heat Pump Installation in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

If you like the sound of everything above, and would like to take the next step, we would recommend chatting to our team by clicking here or booking a heat loss calculation session. If you’re not sure what the latter is, you can find out more here first.

Join the Air Source Heat Pump revolution and see the benefits it can bring to your home.

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