Air Source Heat Pumps

The truth about heat pumps – dispelling the myths

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The truth about heat pumps – dispelling the myths

More and more homeowners are installing air source heat pump systems, opting to make their central heating system more sustainable with a low carbon heating solution. With air source heat pumps becoming more popular, it is only natural that people have more questions about them - do air source heat pumps work in winter? Are air source heat pumps noisy? There are a selection of ‘heat pump myths’ which can make some prospective heat pump owners question the technology – let us dispel those myths in this article.

Air source heat pumps are becoming a hot topic of conversation thanks to their increased prominence which has been generated by the ongoing discussions surrounding climate change and reducing carbon emissions. A renewable technology (you can read more about how heat pumps work here), air source heat pumps provide homeowners with a reliable, green solution to fulfil their heating and hot water needs. However, there are some myths in circulation that could, at a glance, put households off from incorporating this technology into their homes so let us take a look at some ‘heat pump myths’ and address them.

Myth | Heat pumps are expensive to install

While the average cost of an air source heat pump installation is more than a standard boiler installation, there is financial support available which can help offset the installation costs. Homeowners in Scotland who install renewable heating technologies could be eligible for funding or an interest-free loan and for homeowners throughout England and Wales, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is available. While the initial installation costs can be higher than a boiler replacement, an air source heat pump will reduce a household's dependency on fossil fuels and their fluctuating costs. Furthermore, Aerona³ heat pumps that are installed by a G1 Installer are available with a 7 year guarantee which is longer than the average standard guarantee period supplied with boilers. 

Installers providing a homeowner with heat pump handover support

Myth | Heat pumps are not suitable for older properties

Air source heat pumps are suitable for both new build homes and older properties. With new builds, insulation and other energy-efficient measures are installed during the early stages of the development which makes them heat pump ready immediately. With older properties, it is important that any heat loss from the property is reduced so some homes (not all) may need to consider loft insulation, wall insulation or double glazing to give just a few examples of the ways in which heat loss can be prevented. Once a property is suitably insulated with appropriate measures, a heat pump can be installed. As some of our case studies show, plenty of Grant heat pumps have been successfully fitted retrospectively into existing properties:

Grant heat pump installed at sixteen year old farmhouse

Grant heat pump installed in barn conversion

Hard to heat home installs new Grant heat pump

To learn more about how an existing home can get ready for an air source heat pump, please read one of our other Knowledge Hub articles.

Myth | Heat pumps do not work in the winter

Grant’s Aerona³ air source heat pumps are designed to operate in air temperatures between -20ºC up to 43ºC so they can operate below freezing. The Aerona³ has built-in frost protection which is a clever mechanism that automatically initiates a defrost cycle to prevent ice building up on the unit’s fans and ensuring successful operation even when the temperature drops to below 0ºC. Although the heat pump’s efficiencies will not be as high performing in low outdoor temperatures compared to warmer temperatures, the Aerona³ will continue to work efficiently even during the colder months.

It is worth highlighting that countries such as Sweden and Norway, where winter temperatures are much lower than those experienced here in the UK, have been successfully using heat pumps in their homes for many years with tests undertaken which have proven heat pumps continuing to work effectively in temperatures as low as -16°C (Energy Savings Trust).

Myth | Heating bills increase with a heat pump

Air source heat pumps use electricity so after installing a heat pump, electricity bills can increase slightly but, remember, there will no longer be fuel bills such as gas or oil. Of course, during the winter months when the heating demand is higher, a heat pump unit will be operating more and during this period, electricity usage will also increase. However, this usage will even out when the entire year is taken into account. Between November and February, it is estimated that a heat pump will use 63% of its annual energy usage with minimal energy consumption during the rest of year so it is recommended that homeowners research the most competitive electricity tariffs and evenly spread their electricity payments throughout the year. Also keep in mind that heat pump running costs are greatly affected by the system efficiency, set up and commissioning.

Myth | Air source heat pumps are noisy

A common misconception about air source heat pumps is that they are noisy. While heat pumps do make a small amount of noise when operating, as the fans rotate, the sound created is minimal. Grant's Aerona³ heat pumps are very quiet in operation with both the 13kW and 17kW models achieving the Quiet Mark, an independent global certification programme that tests the sound levels of household products. To listen to an Aerona³ 13kW air source heat pump in action, please watch our video at the bottom of this article. 

Myth | Installing an air source heat pump is easy

Grant heat pumps have been designed with the installer in mind, with installation and maintenance friendly features which make installing and servicing the units straightforward. However, what is important to note is that homeowners select a qualified, trained installer to fit their air source heat pump. Air source heat pump installations require in-depth planning and design to make sure that the right heat pump model is selected and that suitable heat emitters are sized and installed. Corners must not be cut otherwise the heat pump may not be able to operate to its best.

Myth | Air source heat pumps are difficult to control

The Aerona Remote Controller makes controlling a Grant air source heat pump simple and straightforward. During installation, the installer should set the system parameters and provide a handover to the homeowner about how to access the end-user parameters within the controller. Providing this crucial step is correctly completed, controlling a heat pump is simple. Read more about heat pump controls in our blog. There are also handy video tutorials about Grant's Aerona Remote Controller available to view on the Grant UK YouTube channel. 

Grant Aerona Remote Controller

Keep your home warm with an air source heat pump

At Grant, we are proud to offer a range of air source heat pumps with varying outputs. Whether you are looking for a 6kW heat pump or a 17kW heat pump, the Aerona³ range has a solution for you. Installing an air source heat pump is certainly not a DIY job either which is why the Grant Team are on hand to help you find a heat pump installer from Grant UK's approved installer network. If you would like to learn more about heat pumps, please take a look at our other blogs or please get in touch

 

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