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A complete guide to Air Source Heat Pumps

What is an Air Source Heat Pump?

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) are a renewable energy solution designed to extract heat from the air outside to inside a building, via radiators, under floor heating and/or hot water. A heat pump installation is a greener alternative to gas, oil. LPG and electric systems, offering up to four times more efficiency than a traditional boiler.  These systems are a reliable heating technology even when temperatures are as low as -20°C. Ultimately, you could save up to £850 on energy bills annually whilst reducing your carbon footprint.

How do Air Source Heat Pumps work?

An Air Source heat pump works like a refrigerator, but in reverse. The pump absorbs heat from the outside air and coverts this into a liquid at a low temperature, then the heat pump compressor increases the temperature of this. The heat generated is transferred via a condenser into the property’s heating or hot water system. The refrigerant continues to circulate within the system and passes through an expansion valve to cool the temperature down to start the cycle again.

Benefits of an Air Source Heat Pump?

Heat Pumps are a great alternative to conventional heating systems and can be used to heat radiators, and source underfloor heating, fan convectors and provide hot water in your home. Owning an air source heat pump will reduce your carbon footprint and lower your fuel bills, particularly if you’re replacing conventional electric or oil fuelled heating.

The Benefits of an ASHP:

  • Heat pumps generate less co2 than conventional heating systems
  • Homeowners can apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme which is a Government Grant offering £7,500 to help with installation costs (Subject to a criteria).
  • Heat pumps have a long lifespan, with proper maintenance they can be operational for up to 20 years.
  • No fuel storage is needed
  • Potentially lower utility bills compared to conventional heating systems like electric and oil.
  • Properly designed and installed heat pumps regularly attain more than 300% efficiency in your home.

Questions to ask yourself before you install a Heat Pump:

Is an Air Source Heat Pump right for me?

Air source heat pumps are the most common type of domestic heat pump in the UK and are suitable for many types of home. However, for a heat pump to work effectively your home may need to be insulated and achieve a good EPC level.

Do you have somewhere to put a Heat Pump?

Air source heat pump units are usually situated outside the property adjacent to a side or back wall but can be placed up to 50 meters away if using a split system.

How loud is a Heat Pump?

It is a myth that heat pumps make a noise they are no louder than a domestic fridge.

How will I heat the rooms in my home?

Heat pumps provide heat in your home through radiators and or underfloor heating. 

What type of Heat Pumps do we offer:

We offer a wide range of Air to Air brands and work with all the leading manufacturers which gives us extensive knowledge and experience with heat pump design & installations.

Monobloc Heat Pumps – when the requirement is for a simple system solution relying on the external ASHP unit being sited adjacent to an external wall. The mechanics/refrigeration cycle are combined in one outdoor unit with a flow & return pipe running indoors to transport the hot water to the hot water & heating system. Installation is quick and easy!

Split Heat Pumps – when the requirement is for the external ASHP unit to be sited away from the building to be heated (up to 50 meters.) With a split system, the mechanics/refrigeration cycle are contained within an internal unit called a Hydrobox. In this case, refrigeration pipework is run from the external to indoor unit. Split systems also offer a high temperature version which can deliver flow temperatures of up to 65°C.

How much does a Heat Pump cost?

For a three-bedroom detached house it would typically cost between £10,000 – £20,000 to install an air source heat pump, but could eventually pay for itself through fuel savings, which makes this a good alternative to conventional heating systems.  You could typically reduce heating bills by 40% over traditional electric and oil heating systems. Start your heat pump journey here and price up your air source heat pump using our heat pump calculator.

To help with installation costs homeowners can apply for the  Boiler Upgrade Scheme which is a Government voucher scheme offering up to £7,500 to help reduce the cost of a heat pump installation. 

Read our news article on Heat Pumps costs here >.

Air Source Heat Pump maintenance

Heat Pump installation systems typically come with a warranty of two to three years, although each manufacturer differs. Many manufacturers also offer optional extensions of warranty for a fee.

Servicing is required annually to ensure maximum efficiency and maximum manufacturer warrantee periods.  Servicing of heat pumps can be organised through our third party please contact us on 01303 248648, for more information. 

Do I need planning permission for an Air Source Heat Pump?

ASHP’s are generally allowed as permitted developments, depending on certain factors. Please check with your local authority to find out if planning permission is required.

Our Heat Pump case studies in Kent

Take a look at some of our heat pump case studies in Kent and South East.  We are at the forefront of renewable heat pump installation in Kent & heat pump installation in the South East, including London and have over 20 years of renewable heating & plumbing experience.  We are approved MCS heat pump installers which give greater consumer protection and allows our heat pump installations to be eligible for government grants.  Case Studies.

Heat Pumps Q&A’s

What Government Grants are available?

Government Grants under the Boiler Upgrade Scheme are currently available for £7,500 towards the installation of an air source heat pump and a ground source heat pump.  Please see details on the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)

Advantages vs Disadvantages of a Heat Pump?

Advantages of a Heat PumpDisadvantages of a Heat Pump
Heat Pumps have a longer lifespan than traditional boilers.Your house needs to be well insulated to achieve maximum heat efficiency.
Heat pumps don’t give off any carbon emissions.
Heat pumps are safer than oil or gas boilers.
You can get financial help and grants are available to help with HP installation costs.
With the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme ASHP are more cost effective than conventional heating methods.

What to consider before buying a Heat Pump.

When thinking about buying a heat pump, it is important to also consider how much you will save on your energy bills.  As part of our service, we will give you an indication of the savings you will make on your fuel bill so that you can factor this into your budget.

Air Source Heat Pumps for Underfloor Heating.

It’s a common myth that heat pumps only work with underfloor heating. The truth is that they work well on any emitter system, although you may have to increase the size of your radiators to keep your home feeling warm and cosy.  Underfloor heating is often recommended as it can effectively heat a room at the lower end of the flow temperature band (around 35°C), which is when the heat pump performs most efficiently.

How much does an Air Source Heat Pump Cost?

An air source heat pump costs between £10,000 and £20,000. Again, this depends on size and area. There are different types to consider such as air to air heat pumps and air to water heat pumps. However you can now apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme which grants you £7,500 towards installation costs.

Will a Heat Pump keep my house warm in winter?

Air source heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to heat your home all year round.  Even in temperatures as low as -25°C an air source heat pump can continue to heat a property using the air from outside.  Warmth is actually present in all air that has a higher temperature than absolute zero (-273.15 °C).

Can I heat my house with an Air Source Heat Pump?

Simply yes, air to air heat pumps work more efficiently than conventional heating systems such as gas, electric or oil

Do you need a backup heat source with a Heat Pump?

No, correctly designed and installed a heat pump will provide all the heating and hot water you require.

Do I need a hot water cylinder with a Heat Pump?

Yes a water cylinder is an essential part of heat pump systems (and other sustainable technologies, like solar thermal) that will ensure hot water remains on tap, and the system operates at maximum efficiency.

It might be that you have a suitable cylinder already installed, but if not, we will recommend a ‘heat pump ready’ hot water cylinder.

For an indicative quote and more information on Heat Pumps please contact our team on 01303 248648 or email

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