advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps

When you plan to make your living in the house more efficient in terms of costs of heating, you may stumble oneself on many information about heat pumps. Let’s figure out what is it.

A heat pump is a mechanism based on a compressor and circulating fluid that takes the heat from outdoors and gets it inside of your dwelling. It “pumps” the heat from outer environment – that is the reason for their name.

To work, they use some electricity but their effectiveness is 2.5-3 times higher than the standard air or combustion heaters based on any type of fuel – electricity, gas, hard fuel. When combustion or electrical heaters are engaged into work, they take, let’s say, 100 calories of fuel and produce around 80-90 calories of heat. It is not the thing with heat pumps: they take 100 calories of fuel (electricity in their case) & produce 300-400 calories of heat. The extra calories are taken from the outside water, air, or ground.

In summer, the systems can be reversed to extract the heat from indoors and throw it outdoors to chill down your house.

The circulating fluid has a high rate of absorption of heat and giving it outside, providing effective circling inside the enclosed system. It has only fluid movement, so it provides the long working time.


What is the profit of installing heat pump?


Well, once we have understood what the systems of the heat pump is, we have to understand more about why to install them at the first place.

They may be profitable for you in two major cases:

  • when you want to cut down the yearly heating bill
  • when you want to install a heating system more friendly and safe than your current one based on combustion and to have lesser time spent on maintenance.


Advantages of heat pumps and disadvantages


Now we are getting to the point: what disadvantages and advantages of air source heat pumps exist – must-know information before getting started equipping your dwelling.

Advantages of a heat pump:


  1. They will significantly lower your carbon footprint – as you will not burn anything anymore to warm up your home.
  2. They will save you up to 1.7 thousand pounds yearly, compared to your current systems of heating: switching from gas will be the less economic, and switching from coal heating – the most. It is the biggest from advantages of air source heat pumps.
  3. They are safer as they aren’t based on combustion.
  4. They will work as an air conditioning system in summer and will do it more energy-effective than your conditioner so you may get rid of it.
  5. They have improbable life span – up to 100 years (though warranty goes for 50, as a rule).
  6. RHI scheme can be used to significantly economize costs of running and installation – you can return up to 60% of money making your investment attractive, after all.
  7. Maintenance is almost not required – thus, you save up hundreds of hours each year.


Disadvantages of a heat pump systems:


  1. A little fortune is required to install a heat pump system – from 9 to 17 thousand pounds. It includes the technical investigation of your house, the environmental investigation (including geological), and the installation itself.
  2. When it is installed, the pipes go through the house’s walls/basement/foundation – so there’ll be some disruption of your house and the arising necessity to fix it after the work is done. The same is applied to your garden – in the case of installation of a ground-based heat pump.
  3. The system may be ineffective during winter – it’ll work only up to some lowest point of temperature. However, there are additional structures for the system that will decrease the lowest temperature to a normally unreachable point.
  4. Electricity is still required to run the work, so the carbon emissions level will still be more than zero.
  5. Pumps’ working module usually is loud and they sometimes have frost icicles on their vane module that needs to take them off time to time.
  6. If you live in Northern Ireland or Wales, you may require some re-planning permission – that is also applied to other territories, so check it with your local authorities.


Now that we know major heat pump advantages and disadvantages , you may decide if to install them in your house.


All figures and numbers are approximate and stated for information only. Figures for your property may vary. Subject to survey.

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What are advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps?