Air Source Heat Pump
An air source heat pump functions through the transfer of outdoor air into an indoor space to heat underfloor heating, radiators or water; it uses an electric compressor system to warm the air in transit until it is at an adequate temperature to provide heating for your property. Heat pumps are extremely effective in providing household heating, being able to modify the pressure and temperature of outdoor air that is well below freezing and transform it into heat.
Heat pumps will be most effective in well-insulated homes, enabling the system to operate at a lower temperature. They will therefore require less heat to create more warmth. Although they use electricity to function, an air source heat pump can create over triple the amount of heat as electricity it uses to do so, shrinking energy bills and reducing your carbon contribution.
If you are interested in installing a heat pump and have a large outdoor space, your house may be suitable for a ground source heat pump, which offer more long-term efficiency with a higher Coefficient of Performance (COP).
Air is heated and circulated around your home using an air-to-air heat pump, absorbing warmth from outdoor air and transferring directly into your property.
Air-to-water heat pumps convert warmth from the outdoor air and direct it into your central heating system to be used in all aspects of heating, from hot water to radiators and underfloor heating. This is the UK’s most common and efficient type of air source heat pump.
Coefficient of performance (COP)
The coefficient of performance (COP) determines the efficiency of the heat pump system and is calculated by the ratio of the energy used to operate the electric compressor to the useful heat that it produces. The higher the COP, the more efficient the heat pump system and the lower it costs to operate.
Heat pumps most often have a minimum COP of 1, as they go beyond the level of complete efficiency to transfer heat from the compressor to the space in which it is required. As the COP of a heat pump is calculated with regard to the facilities using the heat it produces, the coefficient coincides with the environment in which the heat pump operates.
Ground source heat pumps tend to have a higher COP than air, which is reflected in their size and cost.