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Air source heat pump


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  • 3 weeks later...

An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C.


Since air source heat pumps work best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, it's essential that your home is insulated and draught-proofed well for the heating system to be effective.


Running costs will vary depending on a number of factors - including the size of your home, and how well insulated it is, and what room temperatures you are aiming to achieve.


You may be able to receive payments for the heat you generate using a heat pump through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This scheme should be launched in Summer 2013.




Heat pump systems typically come with a 10 year warranty. You can expect them to operate for 20 years or more, however they do require regular scheduled maintenance. A yearly check by you and a more detailed check by a professional installer every 3-5 years should be sufficient. The installer should leave written details of any maintenance checks you should undertake to ensure everything is working properly. Consult with your supplier for exact maintenance requirements before you commit to installing a heat pump.


One of the yearly checks that you are likely to be advised to carry out is to check that the air inlet grill and evaporator are free of leaves or other debris. Any plants that have started to grow near the heat pump unit will also need to be removed. You may also be advised by your installer to check the central heating pressure gauge in your house from time to time. If so, you should be shown how to do this.


To prevent the heat pump from freezing in cold winter weather anti-freeze is used. Levels of anti-freeze and its concentration is one of the things that a professional installer will check when he comes to service your heat pump.


If your heat pump has external refrigeration pipes (very unusual for a domestic system) these will need to be serviced annually by a refrigeration engineer.

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  • 4 years later...
  • 4 months later...

> heard ground source is better, but I believe more costly.

Yes I have heard that too.


It would be interesting to hear some example prices mentioned if anyone has any.


I remember a neighbour getting an air source one installed the other day, in the process power to not just their house was cut off !

Lucky I was around to wander over and ask if they could turn the power to my house back on when they had a moment. :-)

Also be handy to hear of any running costs examples of folk up here.


I hear one of the issues with air source is they stop working if it gets really cold, is that so ?

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Edited by Nigel Bridgman-Elliot
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It (air to air) cost about £4500 to install. 4 years ago. I kept a careful record for a year. It was on average £80 a month cheaper than storage heating. It has never had a problem with the cold. It is said to work down to minus25 and is apparently used widely in Norway. Now and again , maybe one or twice a dayit will shut down and de-ice itself for ten minutes if the temperature is set high in the house. We have it timed from 0630 to 0930 and 1630 to 2230. However I am home during the day half the time so I have it on all day in winter then. The indoor units are converters so don’t get hot themselves but draw in air from the room and pump it out hot.

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Is yours set to use off peak electricity ?


If so, what are the prices per unit ?

Ours is:

Day energy unit rate            20.50p per kWh

Night energy unit rate          10.99p per kWh

Off-peak energy unit rate    10.11p per kWh

How many units of electricity did it use in each month of the year ?

What kind of home construction do you have, wood, stone, concrete ?

And flooring type, suspended wood, stone, concrete ?

Is your outside unit in an exposed location, or a sheltered spot ?

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I got an energy performance assessment (EPC) carried out by Shetland Heatwise. You need one anyway, less than 2 years old, for RHI payments... for qualifying new systems. EPC can give you recommendations for types of heating and whether backup heating might be needed, depending on the performance of your house. It might tell you what the most appropriate improvements to your heating system should be.

I found a heat pump approximately halved the bills. On 24/7. No backup needed.

I can't recommend anyone in particular. I would just shop around for quotes when you know what system you want installed.

Edited by Space
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> IRESA day rate 11.25 pence per unit.

Do you happen to have the Night enengy unit rate, and the
Off-peak energy unit rates ?

> I found a heat pump approximately halved the bills. On 24/7.

What was the bills beforehand ?

Other than twice the amount. :-)

I'd be most interested in the cold months levels to get a better idea of costings.

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