Air source heat pumps are an efficient and cost-effective solution to heating your property. Whether installed in commercial or domestic buildings, air source heat pumps use the biggest resource we have – the air around us.
How do air source heating systems work?
Air source heat pumps work by drawing heat from outside, in order to warm a property's interior. The technology is derived from the same principles used in refrigerators, where heat is extracted from the air inside the unit. They are suitable for almost any climate, as it is possible to generate heat from the air at temperatures as low as -15ºC.
There are two types of air source heating systems. Air-to-air heating involves circulating warm air around the building, while air-to-water provides heat to the property through a series of radiators, pipes and under-floor systems.
Air source heating systems have three main parts: an evaporator coil, which absorbs heat from the air; a compressor, which controls the refrigerant; and a heat exchanger, which transfers heat from the refrigerant to air or water.
What are the benefits of air source heating pumps?
There are a number of clear advantages to using this type of heating, over traditional oil or gas central heating systems. One major selling point is energy efficiency. Air source heat pumps are powered by electricity – however, this is minimal, as the energy source is not being used to heat the air or water itself. As the heat is extracted from the outside environment, it is constantly being renewed. When compared with other conventional heating systems, the energy used is far less, meaning lower fuel bills.
Similarly, as the units run on electricity, there is no need to store external fuel, such as gas canisters or solid fuel, or to maintain a gas connection.
Air source heat pumps are very similar to ground source heat pumps in the way they work, but they offer a number of advantages as well. They require less space to install, making them far more suitable for domestic purposes in urban homes.
Furthermore, by choosing air source heat pumps over ground source options, you are not losing out in terms of efficiency. The coefficient of performance for air source systems is comparable to ground source alternatives, standing at between 3 and 4. This means that for every unit of electricity used to power the pump, 3 to 4 units of heat are produced.
What should I consider when choosing an air source heating system?
The water produced in air-to-water heating systems is around 35-45ºC – this is lower than standard boiler systems, making under floor heating the most effective choice. If you do not have the facilities for under floor heating and it is not convenient to install it, an air-to-air system, which uses fans to circulate warm air, may be more suitable.
If your home is not well insulated, the performance of any air source heating system you choose will be greatly affected. It is essential that you ensure your home is insulated and draught-proofed in order to reap the benefits.
Also, while air source heating systems are far more compact than ground source alternatives, you will need some outdoor space to fit the unit, with room for air to circulate around it.
Call My Climate today for more information or to request a quote.
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