What is an air source heat pump?
An air source heat pump (ASHP) is a low-carbon and convenient alternative to a traditional oil boiler or solid fuel heating system. It is usually placed outdoors at the side or back of a property. It takes heat from the air and boosts it to a higher temperature using a heat pump. The pump needs electricity to run, but it should use less electrical energy than the heat it produces.
Many air source heat pumps are eligible for payment through the Renewable Heat Incentive, a government scheme that provides payments to homeowners who generate their own heat.
Advantages of an air source heat pump
- Lower fuel bills, especially if you are replacing conventional electric heating
- Potential income through the UK government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
- Lower home carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing
- No fuel deliveries needed
- Can heat your home as well as your water
- Minimal maintenance required
- Can be easier to install than a ground source heat pump
Disadvantages of an air source heat pump
- It cannot take advantage from the fact that higher temperatures are available from the ground in winter than from ambient air, making it less efficient in the winter
- It needs to spend energy (and generates noise) on a fan system to blow air across its heat exchangers.
- It also needs to incorporate a defrost cycle to prevent ice forming on its heat exchangers in cold conditions (when heat is most needed).