Air Source Heat Pump Installation
Renewable Energy

Are you considering an eco-friendly heating solution for your home? Air-source heat pumps are an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking energy-efficient heating and hot water. We’ll walk you through every aspect of air source heat pump installation, helping you make an informed decision and enjoy the benefits of this green technology.


    Understanding Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) – Renewable Heating System

    An air source heat pump is a device that extracts heat from the outside environment and transfers heat to the interior of a building as part of a heat pump system. These systems operate by using electricity to extract heat from the air, which can then be distributed throughout your home through an underfloor heating system or radiators. Air source heat pumps are highly efficient, producing more units of heat than the units of electricity they consume, making them an excellent source of green energy. In simple words, for every £1 you put into the heat pump operation, the heat pump will produce £3-£4 worth of energy.

    The advantages of air-source heat pumps include their minimal space requirements, low flow temperatures and lower installation costs compared to ground-source heat pumps. They’re also an alternative to traditional gas or oil-fired boilers, providing energy-efficient heating and hot water without the need for a high-temperature heat source or a ground source heat pump.

    So, if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and save on energy bills, an air source heat pump could be the perfect solution for you.


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    Air Source Heat Pump Installation Explained

    The process of installing an air source heat pump begins with a thorough inspection of your property to assess its suitability for this type of heating system. This inspection is carried out by a certified heating engineer or gas engineer, who will evaluate factors such as your home’s insulation, windows type, the location of the outdoor unit, and the compatibility of your existing heating.

    Once the property has been deemed suitable, the installation process will commence. The outdoor unit of an air source heat pump is typically installed just outside the home, adjacent to one of the external walls. The unit must be situated on a stable concrete base with adequate airflow to ensure efficient operation. The indoor unit, usually a hot water cylinder, will be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and the specific needs of your property.

    Our installer will place both indoor and outdoor units. Then, they will connect them using the refrigerant line and electric wires. This connection ensures that the heat absorbed by the outdoor unit can be transferred to your home’s heating, providing you with efficient warmth and hot water.

    Overall, the air source heat pump installation process typically takes 2-7 days, depending on the complexity of the project. Our installation process involves a skilled team consisting of registered gas engineers and electricians working seamlessly together.


    What size air source heat pump do I need?

    To determine the right size air source heat pump for your home, you’ll need to consider factors such as the size of your property, the level of insulation, your heat distribution system, and your hot water needs.

    New build properties and those constructed within the last 10 years are likely to be suitable for an air source heat pump, whereas older properties may require insulation upgrades.

    Ensuring your home has adequate insulation is crucial, as it prevents heat loss and allows the heat pump to operate efficiently at lower flow temperatures.

    Do I need planning permission to install an air source heat pump?

    Residential and commercial

    In most cases, planning permission is not required for air source heat pump installation. However, there may be exceptions for listed buildings and conservation areas, where planning permission could be necessary. It’s always best to consult your local authority before commencing installation to ensure that you’re complying with any relevant regulations.

    MML Plumbing is certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), and the heat pump must remain at least one metre away from your property boundary and be used solely for heating purposes.

    No permission is required if we install a retrofittable hybrid air source heat pump for your property. For more details, you can ask our registered engineers.


    What funding options are available in the UK?

    Installing heat pumps is becoming more affordable thanks to grants and incentives that encourage the use of low-carbon technologies.

    One option is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which allows you to receive money through annual payments for seven years. The upcoming Clean Heat Grant, set to be released in April 2022, will replace the RHI.

    In the UK, heat pumps are considered the most efficient alternative to traditional fossil fuels, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and helping to go forward to green energy.

    The Heat and Buildings Strategy will outline plans to encourage homes to switch to low-carbon heating, both in new constructions and retrofitting existing homes.

    How does the government grant work when you want to install a heat pump?

    Getting the grant for air source heat pump installation involves a few steps:

    1 Find a qualified installer who can install a heat pump in your home.
    2 The installer will assess your home and recommend the right heat pump for you.
    3 The installer will apply for the government grant on your behalf.
    4 If your application is approved, you will receive a voucher worth up to £5,000 for an air-source heat pump or £6,000 for a ground-source heat pump.
    5 You can use the voucher to pay for the cost of the heat pump installation with the installer.

    The government grant is available to homeowners in England and Wales. To be eligible, you must own and live in the home as your main residence. The heat pump you install must meet certain standards, such as minimum efficiency levels.

    It’s important to note that the grant is not available for hybrid heat pump systems, which combine a gas boiler and an air-source heat pump. Additionally, the heat pump system you install must have a maximum capacity of less than 45kWth.

    When applying for the government grant, you will need to provide the following information: your name, address, your property’s certificate (EPC), the type of heat pump you want to install, and the details of the installer.

    For more information about the government grant for heat pump installation, you can visit the government website.


    How Much Does an Air Source Heat Pump Installation Cost?

    The cost of air source heat pump installation varies depending on factors such as the size and type of the heat pump, as well as the complexity of the installation. Generally, installation costs range from £5,000 to £17,000.

    Bear in mind that the initial cost of installation can be offset by long-term savings and potential financial incentives, such as the Boiler Upgrade Scheme for air-to-air heat pump systems where you can receive up to £5000 from the government.

    What are the running costs of an air source heat pump?

    Air-source heat pumps are typically associated with lower operational costs than conventional heating systems, resulting in long-term savings on your bills. The exact running costs of most heat pumps will depend on factors such as the size and efficiency of your heat pump, as well as your home’s insulation and central heating system requirements.

    It’s important to consider these factors when calculating the potential savings of switching to an air-source heat pump, as well as any maintenance costs, which may include professional servicing and personal upkeep, such as cleaning and maintenance.

    Impact on Energy Bills and Emissions

    Installing an air source heat pump can lead to reduced gas bills and lower carbon emissions, contributing to a greener future. Air source heat pumps are more efficient than traditional boilers, operating at an efficiency rate of approximately 400% compared to boilers’ 92%.


    How Long Does it Take to Install an Air Source Heat Pump?

    The installation process for an air source heat pump typically takes between 2-7 days, depending on the complexity of the project. This time frame includes the inspection of your property, preparation, and installation of both indoor and outdoor units, as well as the connection of the various system components.

    To ensure a water-safe and efficient installation process, as well as long-lasting operation of the heat pump, it is crucial to have our heating engineer plan the work.


    Are there different types of air-source heat pumps?

    There are different types of air-source heat pumps available, including air-to-water, air-to-air, hybrid systems and ground-source heat pumps. Air-to-water heat pumps are used for heating water, while air-to-air heat pumps are utilized for heating and cooling air.

    Hybrid air source heat pumps, on the other hand, combine a boiler and a heat pump to provide hot water or a quick heat boost during very cold weather periods. Each type of air source heat pump has its benefits and applications, so it’s essential to choose the one that best suits your needs.

    Air source heat pump for underfloor heating

    Air source heat pumps are an excellent match for underfloor heating systems due to their low-temperature operation and large surface area, making them a suitable heat distribution for new underfloor heating systems. Underfloor heating systems distribute heat evenly throughout the floor, providing a comfortable and efficient heating solution.

    When paired with a gas boiler and an air source heat pump, underfloor heating can help you save on gas bills while reducing your carbon footprint.

    Heat pumps for water heating

    Heat pumps can provide hot water at temperatures between 50-55°C, making them suitable for water heating purposes. To utilize a heat pump for water heating, you may need to install a new hot water cylinder, as the coil of an existing domestic hot water cylinder might be too small for optimal performance.

    By using a heat pump for water heating, you can enjoy efficient hot water while reducing your carbon footprint and utilizing heat energy.


    Efficiency and Performance

    Air source heat pumps are known for their high efficiency and performance, providing 3-4 kWh of thermal energy for every 1 kWh of electricity used. This efficiency may vary depending on factors such as temperature, size, and model of the pump, but generally makes air source heat pumps an excellent choice for those seeking to reduce their energy consumption and want to go to a greener home heating supply.

    By investing in an air-source heat pump, you’re choosing a central heating system solution that is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

    Pre-Installation Work: On-site Survey and Preparation

    Before the air source heat pump installation, an on-site survey and preparation work is necessary to ensure the property is suitable for the installation of a typical system. This includes verifying the existing electrical and plumbing systems, as well as the size of the property and the location of the outdoor unit. It is essential to ensure that your heating system’s pipe size is in good condition and the correct size which is a minimum of 15mm.

    Proper preparation helps ensure a smooth and efficient installation process, setting the stage for the successful operation of your air source heat pump system.

    Important: What is an EPC?

    Before reaching out to our heat pump installer, it’s essential to understand what an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is, especially if you’re considering applying for a grant. EPCs provide information about how efficient your property is and are rated on a scale from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They can also give you an idea of the expected heating costs and emissions for your property.

    To obtain an EPC, you need to arrange for an assessment by an accredited assessor. Once you have your EPC, you can call MML Plumbing to receive a quote for a new and efficient heating system. If you recently bought a property, there’s a chance that a valid EPC is already in place, and you can confirm this through the government portal.

    The outdoor unit

    The outdoor unit of an air source heat pump should be placed in a location with good airflow and secured to a flat concrete base or attached to an external wall. Proper placement and securing of the outdoor unit are crucial for the efficient operation of the heat pump system.

    The outdoor unit, acting as a heat exchanger, is responsible for absorbing heat from the outside air, which is then transferred to the indoor unit to provide heating and hot water for your home.

    The indoor unit

    The unit of an air source heat pump is typically a hot water cylinder or buffer tank, which should be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and the specific needs of your property. This unit is responsible for receiving the heat absorbed by the outdoor unit and transferring it to your home’s heating and hot water supply.

    Proper installation of the indoor unit is crucial for the efficient operation and performance of the air source heat pump system.


    Post-Installation Work – Finishing and Maintenance

    After the installation of your air source heat pump, our installer will complete any necessary finishing touches and discuss maintenance requirements with you to ensure the efficient operation of the system, including the proper use of heat pump controls. Regular maintenance for air source heat pumps involves cleaning the external unit and registers, de-icing in winter, and employing a professional engineer once per year to replace filters, wipe down coils and fan blades, and refill antifreeze.

    By properly maintaining your heat pump, you can ensure its longevity and efficient performance for years to come.

    Noise Level During Operation

    Air source heat pumps produce some noise during operation, primarily from the outdoor unit’s fan and compressor.

    Modern air source heat pumps are designed to operate quietly, and their noise levels are generally comparable to other outdoor HVAC equipment like air conditioners.

    The noise can vary depending on the brand, model, and installation location, but it is generally not disruptive to neighbours.

    Frequently Asked Questions


    In this section, we’ll address some frequently asked questions about air source heat pump installation, helping you make an informed decision.


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