Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) are becoming an increasingly popular option when it comes to heating homes and water. There are two main types of ASHP: air-to-air and air-to-water. Both types work by absorbing heat from the ambient outside air and transferring it to another place. There are two main types of ASHP: air-to-air and air-to-water.
The way it ASHPs work is similar to the technology used in a refrigerator. A refrigerant is pumped through the heat pump’s coils. The refrigerant is at low temperature and therefore, low pressure and when it passes through the outdoor heat exchanger coils it absorbs the heat energy from the outside air and changes from a liquid to a gas. The heat is retained in the refrigerant as latent heat. Compressing the gas increases the temperature of the gas and it passes into the indoor system. Here, the gas goes through a pressure valve and into heat exchanger coils where the hot refrigerant gas condenses back to a liquid. The stored latent heat is then transferred to the indoor air, water heating or hot water systems. A fan or electric pump then pumps the indoor air or heating water across the heat exchanger and the now cool liquid refrigerant moves back to the outdoor heat exchanger coils and the process starts again.
A: indoor compartment, B: outdoor compartment, I: insulation, 1: condenser, 2: expansion valve, 3: evaporator, 4: compressor
(image credit below)
The major benefit comes to homeowners whose houses rely heavily on gas, electric or oil for their energy production. Regulating indoor temperature is easy and, if connected to a hot water tank, an ASHP will automatically top up the hot water supply as it’s used, so the supply is constant. This is usually a major benefit for households that have been relying on older forms of hot water heating.
As the pump requires an outside source to function, typically this means the household electricity bill will increase. However, this is usually significantly offset by the savings over the cost of the original fuel source. Used in conjunction with a solar panel and battery storage system, savings are further increased and there is the potential for a homeowner to be completely self-sufficient, energy-wise.
Because ASHPs extract heat from the environment, both the EU and the International Energy Agency classify the energy produced as ‘renewable’. As such, they qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a UK-government backed scheme introduced to help the UK meet its target of producing 12% of heat from renewable sources by 2020. For homeowners with an ASHP (or other qualifying renewable energy production source), this means actual cash in your bank, paid quarterly, for up to seven years.
How much could it save you? Well, that depends on what system you currently have, how big your home is and your energy use profile. Based on an average sized, four-bedroom detached home, the Energy Saving Trust shows potential annual savings as follows:
Old (G-rated) gas boiler: £560 – £650
Old (G-rated) oil boiler: £930 – £1,100
Old electric storage heaters: £1,065 – £1,315
Old (G-rated) LPG boiler: £1,365 – £1610
(figures correct as of February 2019)
That’s significant saving! Add in your estimated annual payments from the RHI of anywhere between £875 and £1030 and you can really start to see the benefits!
Why not try out the energy savings calculator and see what you could save!
And, did we mention that in the summer, when it’s hot, with an air-to-air heat pump you can reverse the process. It’s not true air conditioning as it doesn’t provide a dehumidifying function, but it pumps out cold air when you need it!
Since September 2015, regulations require all new heat pumps to have an energy label on them giving information about the energy efficiency of the pump. Since March 2016, to qualify for the RHI, your installer should be registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). The ASHP must have a label and the installer must produce a package label that rates energy efficiency on components within the pump.
ASK Renewables is part of the MCS and a Which? Trusted Trader. We are also approved by the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT), have signed up to the Renewable Energy Consumer Code and are registered with the Trading Standards Institute Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (TSI).
If you’d like to find out more about solar panels and battery storage solutions, and how you can save money on your electricity bills – and possibly even earn money, get in touch with our team today on 01226 715522 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(image credit: By Original source file: User: Ilmari KaronenOriginal uploader was Keno at en.wikipedia.Later version(s) were uploaded by Homer Landskirty at en.wikipedia. – This is a modified version of the image Kühlschrank.svg from the German Wikipedia, with English-language annotations. That image came from File:Heatpump.svg.
- removed some English words
- so that it can be used in other language WPs, 2
- so that it can be used in other articles, 2 (like en:Air source heat pumps#How_air_source_heat_pumps_work)
- added an insulation layer
Transferred from en.wikipedia., GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11804687)