Air Source Heat Pumps

What properties are air source heat pumps suitable for?

What properties are air source heat pumps suitable for?

A common misconception about air source heat pumps is that they are only suitable for installation in new build properties. While heat pumps are an ideal heating system for modern new builds, they are also capable of fulfilling the heating requirements for lots of other properties. Here we will explore how heat pumps are a sustainable way to heat many types of homes, both new and old.

Air source heat pumps are an efficient and sustainable way to heat our homes. They are becoming increasingly popular with the number of heat pump installations increasing year on year and this, combined with Government funding to support air source heat pump installations, is encouraging more homeowners to ask whether their home is suitable for a heat pump. As discussed in another blog, a well-insulated home is important for a heat pump installation which means that not all homes will be perfectly suited for heat pumps straightaway. In this blog, we will look at how air source heat pumps work in older properties, the importance of insulation and how outdoor space can impact a property’s eligibility for a heat pump.

How does an air source heat pump work?

In summary, an air-to-water air source heat pump extracts the heat energy that is in air and converts this into useable energy that can heat the water in a heating system, feeding into radiators or underfloor heating systems to warm up your rooms as well heating up water in a cylinder to provide hot water to your taps. Using renewable energy, heat pumps are a more environmentally friendly and sustainable solution for heating homes combining excellent efficiencies with user-friendly operation for consumers and their installers. If you are interested in finding out more about how air source heat pumps work, please visit our blog ‘What is an air source heat pump?

Is a heat pump suitable for my home?

 There are several factors which will determine the answer to this question but, for many homes, a heat pump will be a suitable heating system. Provided your home has sufficient insulation and your system is correctly designed, specified and installed – incorporating suitably sized heat emitters and selecting the right size heat pump for your property – an air source heat pump will be able to fulfil your space heating requirements and hot water demand. However, if you install a heat pump in your home without fulfilling some of the checks we have outlined below, your heat pump system may not be able to perform at its best. 

Insulation is key

If a home is poorly insulated, with lots of heat energy escaping through its walls, windows, doors or roof, it is likely that improvements to the home’s insulation will be needed before a heat pump is installed. Air source heat pumps are low temperature systems which means the system water, travelling through your underfloor heating or radiators, will be cooler than that in a high temperature system, such as with a traditional gas boiler. A heat pump will still fulfil your desired room temperatures as long as your heat emitters have been correctly sized (to provide the larger surface area through which the heat is emitted from the system into your rooms) and provided your home has adequate insulation.

It is crucial to mimimise the amount of heat that can escape from your home. Whatever type of heating system you have, increasing the level of insulation in your roof, walls or windows will improve your home’s overall energy efficiency. A well-insulated home will help a heat pump to operate efficiently and this is why new build properties, which are built to the latest regulations with high standards of insulation, are perfectly matched to suit an air source heat pump. Learn more about home insulation and heat pumps in our blog here ‘Getting your home heat pump ready’ .

Outdoor space

If you are considering a heat pump for your home, it is worth thinking about your outdoor space because air source heat pumps need to be located outside. With most installations, a heat pump will be fitted on a level base towards the rear or side of a property but some heat pump models can be wall mounted if ground space is limited or unavailable. Air source heat pumps also need sufficient clearances so that their airflow is unrestricted and to allow heating engineers easy access to the unit for servicing and maintenance. It is therefore important that you discuss the best position to situate your heat pump to allow it to work correctly and to minimise any potential nuisances.

Property size and heating demand

The size of your home, the number of occupants it has, your personal preferences for room temperatures and your demand for hot water are all factors which will contribute to the size of heat pump your home will need. The higher your demand for space heating and hot water, the larger the size of heat pump output you will need. It is important that your installing engineer carries out a thorough room by room heat loss calculation of your home in order to confirm the size of heat pump that is going to effectively and efficiently fulfil your requirements, whether that be a small 6kW heat pump or larger 17kW heat pumps that are available in the Grant Aerona³ range.

Take a look at our blog – ‘10 Questions to ask before buying a heat pump’ – to read more about the common questions to research about air source heat pumps.

Are air source heat pumps suitable for old houses?

One of the common myths about heat pumps is that they can only be installed in new build homes but heat pumps can be used in older properties. Most homes built since the late 1990s will be suitable to have a heat pump installed but it is always worth discussing your home’s own suitability with your local heat pump installer. Old houses may need their insulation levels improved and some properties may require larger heat emitters installed to effectively support the efficient operation of a heat pump. For homes where energy efficiency measures cannot be implemented, hybrid heating technologies may be an alternative solution to help them reduce their carbon emissions.

Read one of our case studies to discover more about how a Grant heat pump was installed at older property in Oxford.

How to choose the right heat pump?

The addition of an air source heat pump to your home will not only lower your dependency on fossil fuels but your carbon emissions will also significantly reduce. To ensure you and your home enjoy all the benefits that a heat pump can deliver, it is important your new heating system is thoroughly planned, accurately designed and correctly installed by a professional installer. Your installer will carry out a site survey, assess your property’s size, build type and heat losses, and will be able to discuss the differences of living with a heat pump compared to a traditional fossil fuel boiler.

Learn more about how to choose the right heat pump here.

Grant, providing a range of air source heat pumps

Grant’s award-winning Aerona³ R32 heat pumps have been installed in a range of properties, from new builds, farmhouses, barn conversions, hard to heat homes and older properties, demonstrating that air source heat pumps really are suitable for installation in different types of homes. If you are ready to take the next steps towards installing a heat pump at your home, visit our Find an Installer search to look-up local G1 Installers of Grant heat pumps. You can also speak to a member of the Grant Team via our Contact Form here.

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