The heating of the home is constantly going through phases of innovation. Every year boilers become smarter and more efficient in the push towards living sustainably and in an eco-friendlier way. However, if you limit your home heating options to conventional boilers you could be missing out on an important option: air source heat pumps (ASHPs).
Potentially better for the environment, ASHPs are semi-renewable systems that require little maintenance and can reduce the costs of your energy bills. But these modern solutions won’t be the right choice for every home. To understand whether they would make a good fit for yours, we first need to understand what an ASHP is.
What is an air source heat pump?
A relatively modern invention, ASHPs are a way to heat your home: they can function as a replacement for, or in conjunction with a regular boiler. With little in the way of maintenance required and offering a long-term source of semi-renewable energy, they have grown quickly in popularity.
They take energy from the air outside your home and use it to heat the property – and they can do this even when it is very cold.
How do they work?
In essence, ASHPs work like a refrigerator, except in reverse. They use the air around the property as their source of energy.
The pump takes heat from the air and uses it to warm up a liquid refrigerant, turning it into a gas. The pump then compresses the gas which has the effect of heating it up. This heat is then used in your home to fuel radiators, underfloor heating and other heating solutions.
The heat then transfers from a gas back into a liquid. Once this is complete, the cycle begins once again.
Pros and cons of air source heat pumps
There are many benefits to having an ASHP installed in your property. Some of them might be apparent simply from the nature of the system, but others are a little more unexpected. Some of the key pros of ASHPs include:
- They typically produce fewer carbon emissions than standard boilers
- They can lower the cost of heating the property
- They are highly efficient
- They typically last for around 20 years – this is longer than the average boiler
Of course, there are some less desirable traits with ASHPs too and it can be about weighing them up against the pros. Some of the cons include:
- The pump produces lower levels of heat than a traditional boiler – this means other factors such as home insulation become extremely important
- They work best with systems that have larger radiators and underfloor heating
- You must have an outdoor space to be able to have an ASHP
Is an air source heat pump right for your home?
It’s clear that there are many reasons why an ASHP could be a great choice for your property – but there are a few things that you need to consider first.
ASHPs produce relatively low levels of heat compared to a traditional boiler – this means that homes need to be protected against losing heat. Therefore, before you have an ASHP installed you should make sure that your home is well insulated, especially in areas like your loft which can cause significant heat loss. You may also need to look into additional ideas such as getting double glazed windows and draught excluders.
Don’t forget that you will also need to have a suitable space for your ASHP outside your home; this means it is only suitable for properties with a private outdoor space.
ASHPs are generally considered ideal when building a new property or when you are making major renovations, as you may need to have significant work carried out to ensure that you can make the most of your heat pump. However, it is also true that ASHPs can work with standard properties.
If you would like to learn more about whether ASHPs are right for your property, the team at Geo Green Power has years of knowledge and expertise. Get in contact today for more details.