Air Source Heat Pumps
Air Source Heat Pumps can save you money compared to conventional oil or gas central heating.
Air source heat pumps heat your home using free heat energy drawn from the environment, with efficiencies of up to 400%. Stiebel Eltron’s heat pumps also work at higher flow temperatures so are ideal for older properties with radiators without a drop in efficiency.
How do Air Source Heat pumps work?
Air Source Heat Pumps and Ground Source Heat Pumps work by extracting latent heat energy from the environment (either from the atmosphere, from under the ground or from a lake or river) to heat a property and produce hot water. The environment around us absorbs and stores heat energy from the sun. This heat energy is stored at low temperature and in order to make it useful for heating purposes the temperature of this stored heat energy needs to be increased.
In a Ground Source, or Ground to Water, Heat Pump for example, an array of underground pipes, containing a water and glycol based antifreeze mixture, known as brine, absorbs heat from the ground, (at a depth of approximately 1m – 1.2m this heat energy is at a fairly constant temperature of 10 – 12oC). The brine then passes through a heat exchanger within the heat pump and transfers its captured heat energy to a refrigerant gas, which has a low enough boiling point so that the heat energy stored in the brine causes it to evapourate. This evapourated gas then passes into a compressor; compressing the refrigerant gas, causing the temperature to increase.
The compressed gas then passes through another heat exchanger, known as a condenser, where the stored, higher temperature heat energy is transferred into the property to provide heating and domestic hot water. As the refrigerant gas gives up its stored heat energy, it condenses back into a liquid and begins its circuit back around the heat pump.
The compressor and circulation pumps within the heat pump require an electrical supply, but because most of the heat generated by the heat pump is free heat energy drawn from the environment, heat pumps are typically 350% – 450% efficient, so for every 1 Kilowatt of electricity used, the heat pump will generate 3.5 – 4.5 Kilowatts of heat.
In order to achieve these levels of efficiency and maintain low running costs, heat pumps are best suited to well insulated, new build properties or properties that have been renovated to new build standards and they need to produce flow temperatures as low as possible; typically, between 35oC and 45oC. Because of this, heat pump installations must be designed in unison with the heat emitters, whether they are radiators or underfloor heating.
The advantages of all heat pumps is that they have minimal maintenance requirements, long service lives and when installed correctly will provide very cost affective heating for years to come.
How an Air source heat pump supplies your home
Air Source, or Air to Water, Heat Pumps work by drawing heat energy from the atmosphere. Although the air temperature is more prone to fluctuation, Air Source Heat Pumps are still highly efficient and will provide 100% of the heat most properties require. For larger properties, it is possible to integrate a heat pump with a conventional heating system to produce a ‘bivalent’ system.
The advantages of Air Source Heat Pumps are that they are quick, easy and therefore relatively cost effective to install and that they can be installed in properties that have minimal adjoining land.
Key steps when having an Air Source Heat Pump installed
Optimum Heat Pump efficiencies, whether Ground Source or Air Source, are dependent on a system that is correctly designed and installed for an individual property, which is why it’s important to use an experienced MCS accredited installer, such as Cedar Renewables. To make sure of a system that perfectly matches your home and your heating and hot water needs, a we will work to three key stages:
1. Pre-design assessment
This stage is to determine which heating system will best suit your property and the feasibility of your preferred system. With years of experience in the renewable heating industry Cedar Renewable will be able to advise you on the most beneficial system for you. If choosing an Air Source Heat Pump, we will be able to advise you on the best location for external and internal components. We will produce a budgetary estimate, detailing the work required and including different options, where applicable.
2. Detailed Design
Should an Air Source Heat Pump prove to be the most advantageous system for you, we will begin the detailed design process. This will include carrying out sound pressure calculation to determine suitable location to ensure the installation is Building Control compliant, a full heat loss survey to determine the heating and domestic hot water requirements of your property and a heat emitter design to ensure the heat is transferred efficiently into your property. All of this information will be included in our full quotation, along with a performance report detailing the estimated energy savings and Renewable Heat Incentive payments that you could receive.
Our team of qualified engineers, led by one or both of our directors will be onsite to carry out the installation. All work can be completed in house, including the positioning and connection of the heat pump, buffer tank and heat pump cylinder, installation of the underfloor heating and or radiators, depending on which is selected, connection of the heating controls and final commissioning of the system. Upon completion you will be provided with a full handover pack and we can even assist in the application for the RHI.
What is the Renewable Heating Incentive?
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is open to applicants who wish to upgrade to a renewable heating technology in a domestic property that they own.