An air-to-water heat pump is a device that extracts heat from the outside & brings it inside. People ask all the time, how does an air source heat pump system work ? The principle of its work is based on physics:
- there is a circulating liquid inside the pipes to distribute heat
- when liquid takes heat from the environment, it evaporates & creates pressure inside the pipe
- then it is driven inside the pipes & radiators of your dwelling & releases heat out into the environment
- it circles back to the beginning
- there’s a compressor on its way that compresses the liquid from the state of vapor to be runny & the cycle repeats.
This scheme allows gradually heating your water in pipes of the heating system. It is applicable also to heating the flowing water in your tap – but there is a restraint, as the maximum reachable temperature is around 55 degrees Celsius, it’ll not make it boiling. That is enough to take shower or a bath, though. So now, as we know how air source heat pump works, we can investigate its efficacy.
The air-to-water pump is efficient because it does not generate heat, it collects it from the environment & does not use the energy from non-renewable sources.
Thus, the following advantages of air to water heat pumps are:
- they use renewable energy (of the sun through heated air)
- they significantly lesser pollute the environment (as they still need electricity to operate – but if you will install the solar panel & let electricity run to your pump from it, you will zero your carbon emissions)
- air to water heat pump installation is easy & does not depend on the quality of soil, unlike the ground-to-water or ground-to-air pumps
- they are perfectly combined with your other heating devices (it may be required in the cold climate or days of the year)
- you do not have to renovate the building as it makes the minimal damage during the installation, unlike air-to-air pump.
There are also some cons of the devices, as:
- they operate less effective during cold weather (and can work only down to -20 °C, whilst in this temperature their efficacy decreases at 50% compared to +7 °C) & dry air (the drier it is the lesser heat captivity occurs)
- they are noisy (have 40-60 dB of noise – that is why you have to ponder about the place of installation of the outer module & make it as far away from the living premises as possible)
- they may require you to receive some permissions from your local building oversight commission, if applicable in your area
- depending on the size of your house, you may have the lower efficiency of one pump with a bigger house than with the smaller one
- the price of installation is rather costly: from 9 to 11 thousand pounds (but you are able to compensate this amount partially by participation in the RHI program).
Air to water heat pump cost
As we told already, the cost of installation varies from £9,000 to £11,000. It depends on several factors:
- the size of pump itself to perfectly cover your particular necessity as you know, bigger house requires bigger heating amount
- the location of your house in space, the place of the outer & inner modules (they have to meet certain technical requirements) & the state of the outer shell of the house (how tough will it be to get through it to install communicative pipes).
Air source heat pump prices UK
The cost of running your dwelling after the pump is installed will be around 40%-60% lesser compared to running costs when you heat with fossil fuel or wood. You may combine them if the heat generated by the pump will not be sufficient during winters or other cold days but in order to fit in the RHI program, you must completely abolish any other fuel-burning or electrical heat generators & switch to pump.
The running costs will vary depending on:
- the size of your house
- the average temperature you set as comfortable
- the quality of insulation of your house (walls, ceiling, roof, floors, basement)
- the average outdoor temperature, air humidity.
These personal indicators will impact your annual savings.
Guide to air to water heat pump
There are two major guides to pump:
- It must be only installed by a professional company (preferably the one that sells you the one)
- The seller or installer must teach you how to use it properly with optimal efficiency.
All figures and numbers are approximate and stated for information only. Figures for your property may vary. Subject to survey.