Taking heat from the air and heating your house
Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) literally heat your house from the air outside. It may sound counter intuitive but just as a fridge extracts heat from the inside, so ASHPs extract the heat from the outside, working to temperatures as low as -15°C (outside).
Using a reverse refrigeration cycle heat is generated and used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, warm air convectors as well as domestic hot water (DHW) tanks.
Heat pumps do use electricity but by using the heat that they extract from the ground, air, or water (that is constantly being renewed naturally) they can achieve relatively high COP’s (Coefficient of Performance) which means that, correctly designed, they are very efficient to run.
The environmental impact can be further mitigated by choosing your energy supplier with care.
Depending on system configuration an ASHP can offer a full central heating solution and provide domestic hot water. Most heat pumps can also operate in a cooling mode where the cold refrigerant is moved through the indoor coils to cool the room air.
This renewable heating technology tends to best suit relatively well insulated homes.
Air Source Heat Pump at new barn conversion
Property Type and Location
Lyndsey and James converted this barn to the highest efficiency standards they could afford and required the last piece in the puzzle to ensure their heating system was a simple to use as possible.
The barn has underfloor heating which makes it ideal for a heat pump. The couple had thought about ground source, pellet heaters and log boilers. Having something that was fully automated pushed them in the direction of a heat pump.
In the climate of damp west Wales it's essential to have a good source of heating...
Prior to the ASHP installation the house had largely been heated by the two wood burners in the property alongside the occasional use of an electric oil radiator. This was both expensive, dusty and time consuming. Also the couple were uncomfortable burning wood, knowing that it’s not the most efficient way to heat such a well thought out building and should only be there as a way to heat hot water and light on particularly cold nights – for the comfort factor. Whilst the house had never been particularly cold it was proving hard to heat with constant attention required for the fires in the depths of winter, whilst they work from home it still was an extra task to chop wood and keep the fire going all day long.
After much deliberation an Air Source Heat pump was the best option. With an underfloor heating system in a very efficient house the property suddenly became very easy to heat. To the amazement of Lyndsey and James the electricty bills have barely gone up whilst their wood bills have dropped through the floor.
“We only light the fire to heat the water for our showers now, which is brilliant – and feels a little lazy. The other fantastic thing is we know where our electricity comes from, it’s all renewable and so our heating just got greener.”
New Renewable Heating System Benefits
- RHI payments
- Clean and easy to manage
- Efficient and cost effective
- Perfect for the tired parents of a lively young child
Air source heat pumps can be an incredibly easy way to heat a house in the right circumstances. Not every home is suited to this kind of system, radiators can be hard to heat if that is all there is and, because it works on a low heat, if the house is not well insulated then it can struggle. It’s a question of the right tools for the right job.
In this situation the house was well insulated, underfloor heating downstairs has been installed throughout, two radiators and a towel rail are also supplied. As a consequence the house is so warm that even during the snowy weather the homeowners have not lit the fires very often and only to heat up water for showers or to cook a big dinner.
The other surprise to them is that the cost of their electric has not gone up. Lyndsey and James are very energy conscious and have a smart metre installed, this has meant they have been monitoring their energy useage before and after installation, without the electric oil radiator in play there seems to be no difference in their electric useage, whilst what they spend on wood has gone down significantly.
Air Source Heat Pump the best solution for this Holiday Let
Property Type and Location
Andy and his family always wanted to use the two storey barn conversion next to their family home, a traditional Welsh farmhouse in Llansadwrn, West Wales. Up to now, the barn had only been used as storage and had no heating system.
Part of the planning permission requirements was the installation of a renewable heating solution.
There was no pre-existing system for this property as it was newly converted
Having chosen biomass for their farmhouse, the family considered a wood pellet boiler first, but didn’t want their guests having to top up pellets.
The Air Source Heat Pump seemed a better solution. It relies on electricity and therefor is easier to control and maintain, allowing guests to enjoy their stay with clean heat.
The conversion was done following the latest building regulations with a higher insulation achieved than their farm house. The Under Floor Heating system also favoured the installation of an ASHP.