Air Source Heat Pumps Explained

Learn about installing an air source heat pump and its benefits and drawbacks.

Are you looking to upgrade your heating system? Do you want something as an alternative to gas or LPG? Another option for heating your house is to use an air source pump. In the long term, it may lower your energy costs and allow you to produce your own renewable heat.

Compared to gas and oil boilers, they produce heat at a lower temperature. Thus, in order to heat your house to a suitable temperature, you will need to operate them for significantly longer periods of time.

It is important to have a well-insulated home since, in an uninsulated one, the heat the pump produces would be more readily lost, preventing the temperature from reaching your desired level.

If you're replacing a costly system like coal, oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or electric storage heaters, heat pumps will save you more money on your heating expenses.

Although they aren't perfect devices, air source heat pumps can heat and deliver hot water with minimal upkeep. The following are some of the main benefits and drawbacks:


  • Since heat pumps produce more energy than they consume, they are very efficient. For instance, if your heating system has a COP of 3.0, 1 kW of energy is taken out and 3 kW is put in. The weather, heat loss, system size, and design all affect efficiency.
  • Air source heat pumps produce less carbon dioxide than a lot of traditional heating systems.
  • Less of a hassle than setting up a ground source heat pump, particularly when retrofitting
  • In comparison to certain older systems, you might be able to save money on heating, and you might also have cheaper operational costs than you would with a gas boiler.


  • Enough room in your garden is required for the exterior condenser unit.
  • Condenser units can produce noise and force colder air into the space right next to them.
  • They are not zero-carbon because electricity is required to operate the pump (unless that electricity is generated by a renewable energy source, like solar or wind power).
  • It might be necessary to install an underfloor heating system or new, larger radiators that can heat your house with lower water temperatures.
  • It takes a lot of work to install a heat pump since accurate heat loss estimates and thoughtful heating system design are essential to ensuring that both your comfort and your energy costs are reasonable. An installer with MCS certification or a member of an umbrella scheme is required.

So How do air source heat pumps actually work?

Even at extremely cold temperatures, an air source heat pump works by taking heat from the surrounding air. This is how it operates:

Heat Absorption: Air from the surrounding environment is drawn in by the pump.

Heat Transfer: A fluid inside the heat pump receives the heat that has been absorbed.

Heat Boosting: To increase the fluid's temperature, the heat pump uses a compressor.

Heating System: Lastly, the heat is transported to your home's heating system, which may consist of underfloor or radiator heating.

Imagine it as a reverse version of the process that goes on in refrigerators!

An air source heat pump: what is it?
Heating your house with an air source heat pump is a low-carbon option. They raise the temperature inside your house by absorbing latent heat from the surrounding air.

Air source heat pumps resemble air conditioners in appearance. The more heat your home requires, the larger the heat pump will be. This is determined by their size.

Air-to-air and air-to-water heat pumps are the two primary varieties of air source heat pumps. They are compatible with various heating system types and operate differently.

Air-to-water heat pumps.
Air-to-water heat pumps extract heat from the outside air and transfer it to your wet central heating system.

They're best suited for larger radiators or water underfloor heating because the heat they provide is colder than that of a traditional gas or oil boiler. To be most effective, they require a vast surface area to release heat.

Larger radiators or underfloor heating for a heat pump are easier to incorporate when extending your home or building a new house. It can also be less expensive than retrofitting underfloor heating later on.

Air-to-air heat pumps.
Through the use of fans, air-to-air heat pumps transfer heat from the surrounding air into your house. To spread the heat throughout your house, you'll need a warm air circulation system.

You'll need an additional immersion heater or another type of water heating system because these devices aren't able to generate hot water.

An air-to-air heat pump can run backwards during the summer. To put it another way, you can use it to chill your house like an air conditioner.

So how are they installed?

Typically, air source heat pumps are installed outside on a property's side or rear. For air to flow around them, they require a lot of room.

Usually, there will be a unit with pumps and hot water inside.

Since they don't need to be installed underground, they cause less disruption to your garden than ground source heat pumps.

An air source heat pump usually doesn't require planning permission, but if you reside in a conservation area or listed building, you'll often need your local government's approval. Additionally, be sure that your installation complies with local building codes.

Check with your home insurance company to see if the modifications to your property are covered.

Make sure your house is well-insulated if you're installing an air source heat pump so it can hold onto the heat. To properly distribute the heat, underfloor heating or larger radiators are frequently installed with heat pumps.
To make the best use of your heat pump, we would be able to instruct you on how to operate it’s controls. Most likely, you'll need to keep the heat on in your house for longer, but at a lower degree.

We would provide you with a Commissioning Certificate once your system is finished. After the system has been registered, you should also receive an installation certificate from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

If you would like a free no obligation quote for an Air source heat pump then please give us a call on 01243 820474 or drop us an email at and we will get you booked in.