Air Source Heat Pump Problems
Heating your home with a renewable heating system is a great way to lower your energy bills and shrink your carbon footprint. And there aren't many better options than an air source heat pump.
While there are almost countless benefits to having an air source heat pump installed, there are a handful of problems it's worth considering before the installation.
What is an air souce heat pump?
An air source heat pump is a renewable heating system that is able to extract heat from the air outside (even in freezing temperatures). This heat warms up a fluid, with help from a heat exchanger, before being circulated around the central heating system.
Find out more: What is an Air Source Heat Pump System?
Air source heat pump problems
Air source heat pumps are highly efficient heating systems that can help to reduce your carbon emissions and energy bills but there are a few problems that it's worth considering before having one installed.
The key to maximising the performance of an air source heat pump is its location. An air source heat pump installed in a poor location could cause it to make more noise, fail to heat your home as efficiently as possible and be a disturbance to either your own home or neighbours.
So how can you ensure the unit is installed in the best location? The answer is to hire a fully-qualified installer.
With Boiler Guide, you can get free quotes for the installation of an air source heat pump from up to 3 qualified installers based in your area. Each will provide a free quote so that you can compare them and make sure you're getting the most competitive price from the best person for the job.
While heat pumps are highly efficient and will help to reduce your energy bills, they're not the most appealing of units. So, if you're precious over the look and feel of your garden then they might not be for you. However, your installer might be able to offer a solution so make sure you ask when getting your quotes.
Some air source heat pump models can extract heat from the air in temperatures as low as -20°C but after long periods of extremely cold weather it's worth getting the unit looked over by a professional.
Snow and ice can build up within unit, around the fan and heat exchanger, preventing it from operating properly or even at all.
Can be loud
The noise level of an air source heat pump will vary depending on the model and age of the unit but they tend to produce levels between 40 and 50 decibels, making them quieter than a dishwasher but still noticeable.
Much of the noise comes from the components, which includes a fan that turns to bring in the air, but that air can also make a noise as it moves through the heat exchanger.
Produce heat at a lower temperature
Boilers heat water to a higher temperature than air source heat pumps which makes them more effective with large radiators or underfloor heating.
Corrosion in salty atmosphere
A salty atmoshpere, like that found near the coast, can corrode the unit which means that a protective coating will need to be added to air source heat pumps installed close to the coast.
Heat pumps are designed to work continuously so the unit may run into issues if it’s constantly turning on and off. During the winter season, when heating is needed more often, cycling action isn’t much of a concern. However, when the summer comes around it could become a problem. To prevent this from happening, a buffer tank is added to the system which will top up the system without.
Efficiency of your property
This point is important to think about when having any type of heating system installed but as ASHPs operate at lower temperatures, it's an important consideration to make.
Without sufficient insulation, which includes loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and double glazing, the heat generated by your central heating will escape. This will mean having to rely on the central heating for longer, driving up your energy bills.
Run on electricity
Air source heat pumps need electricity to convert that renewable energy into heat for your home and electricity can be expensive. For that reason, it's important to make sure you're on the best tariff which our Energy Switching Guide can help you to find.
While they are powered by electricity, air source heat pumps are highly efficient in how they use that energy. While there's always waste with gas and oil boilers, ASHPs actually produce 3 times more energy than they use.
Missing out on Renewable Heating Incentive payments
This one isn't so much a problem but could leave a sour taste in your mouth if you've been missing out.
The Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) is a government scheme that pays homeowners for heating their property with a renewable system. Alongside reduced energy bills, these payments can lead to you seeing a return on your investment in an air source heat pump.
Finding an installer
Qualified air source heat pump installers aren't as easy to find as boiler installers and you'll want to know that you'll be getting the best possible service when you find one. This is where Boiler Guide can help.
We have a network of installers right across the UK who hold all of the qualifications necessary to install a renewable heating system. All you have to do to get connected with up to 3 in your local area is complete our simple online form.
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What are the benefits of an air source heat pump?
It's important to weigh the potential problems with the benefits and when it comes to heat pumps, there are many plus sides.
Lower energy bills
As a renewable heating system, air source heat pumps have the potential to reduce your annual energy bills, delivering possible savings of up to £900 based on your existing system.
Simple to use
Air source heat pumps can be left to do their thing without much interference. All you'll need to arrange is an annual service to check on the efficiency, performance and safety of the unit.
While it's recommended to have a conventional boiler replaced after around 10 years, an air source heat pump can heat your home for twice as long. Some models can even perform for as long as 25 years.
Operate in cold temperatures
You might be sceptical about installing a heating system that relies on taking heat from the air outside, especially in the UK where we're not treated to tropical climes, but ASHPs can still operate in temperatures as low as -15°C to -25°C.
When looking for an air source heat pump, the minimum operating temperature will be listed in the specifications.
Our guide to the Best Air Source Heat Pump Manufacturers will help you to find the right one for your home.
Payments through the Renewable Heat Incentive
Air source heat pumps are a renewable heating system which makes them eligible for the RHI which means that you can earn money for the heat being generated. We highlighted that missing out on these payments is a potential problem but once signed up, this is one of the biggest benefits that will help you to see a return on your investment.
Potential energy bill savings with an air source heat pump
If you've recently had an A-rated gas or oil boiler installed then switching to an air source heat pump wouldn't make financial sense until it's due to be replaced.
However, if you have an old gas, oil or electric heating system then there are savings of between £400 and £900 to be made annually on your energy by having an air source heat pump installed.
|Current Heating System||Potential Energy Bills Savings (Annually)|
|Old G-rated gas boiler||£400 – £465|
|New A-rated gas boiler||Increase by £35 – £55|
|Old G-rated oil boiler||£460 – £545|
|New A-rated oil boiler||Increase by £45 – £55|
|Old electric storage heater||£800 – £900|
|New electric storage heater||£465 – £545|
|Coal||£425 – £525|
No matter whether you're replacing a new or old gas or oil boiler, choosing to replace it with an air source heat pump will help to reduce your impact on the environment. This is because, while they run on electricity, they don't release carbon into the atmosphere.
Get free heat pump quotes with Boiler Guide
We have a network of qualified ASHP installers across the UK and by taking a few moments to complete our simple online form, we'll connect you with the installers based in your area.
You'll get free quotes from up to 3 qualified installers, with no-obligation to accept, which will allow you compare them and be confident that you're getting a confident price. Much better than only getting a single quote.
Get FREE Heat Pump Quotes