What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (2023)

What is an air source heat pump?

Aair source heat pump(ASHP) works fromTransfer of heat absorbed from the outside air to an indoor space.This works via the wet central heating systems for heating radiators and for hot water preparation. Heat pumps work in a similar way to a refrigerator: They absorb heat and transfer it to another medium.

Certain air heat pumps can also be used ascooling systemin the summer months. They are the most commonplaced outside of a buildingwhere there is sufficient space for installation.

There are two main types of air source heat pumps:

  • Air to Air Heat Pumps, which absorb heat from the outside air and then transfer it directly into your home via a fan system to heat a room.
  • Air to water heat pumps, which absorb heat from the outside air and then transfer it through your central heating system to provide hot water heating, a radiator or underfloor heating in an indoor space (or all three).

Before you make the switch, you should consider bothAdvantagesAndDisadvantagesof air heat pumps.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (1)

These highly efficient heating systems are being heralded by both the scientific community and the UK government as an essential part of the UK's green energy transition. Widespread adoption of heat pumps would bring low-carbon, more renewable, and more affordable energy.

While there's a lot to love about an air source heat pump, anyone considering investing in one should equally consider the cons before making a decision. For this reason, in this article we will go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps.

IfIf you are curious about how well an air source heat pump can heat your home, then it is best to consult a professional heat pump installer. Luckily, GreenMatch can help you with that.

Click on the link below, fill out the form and we'll match you with up to 4 local installers. They can provide bespoke advice on your home's suitability for a heating modernization, then you can compare their offers and make your choice based on the most competitive offer.

It's free, with no obligation. Only tailor-made offers from qualified engineers in and around your region. Click the link below to get started!

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To achieve Net Zero by 2050,The British government wants to install 19 million heat pumpsin new buildings. With the increase in the use of heat pumps, the UK governmentGrants for heat pumpseven make this renewable energy sourcecheaperto run and reduces the burden ofAir source heat pump cost.

The International Energy Agency, in theirlatest special report, emphasizes thatNo new gas boilers should be sold after 2025if the net zero targets have to be reached by 2050.heat pumpsare expected to get betterlow-carbon alternativeto heat homes in the foreseeable future.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (2)

Finding the right installer for the installation is crucial to ensure your heat pump is running efficiently and meeting the needs of your home. On top of that, you also want to make sure you're paying a fair and accurate price for the installation. For this reason, we recommend getting quotes from multiple installers and comparing them to find the best possible deal.

Use GreenMatch's free, no-obligation quote service to be matched with up to 4 licensed installers. This saves you the time and effort required to find installers yourself. We only connect you with the best installers in and around your area, so you can avoid overpaying for high delivery fees charged by nationwide companies.

Click the link below to get started!

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Advantages of air source heat pumps

There are numerousAdvantages of using heat pumps. With an air source heat pump you can save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint compared to a gas or electric heating system. One of the keysAdvantagesof air source heat pumps is theirsversatilityAndaffordability. An ASHP can work for bothheating or cooling purposesand can be used for space heating or water heating.

Mostimportant benefitsfor the purchase of an air source heat pump are the following:

1. Low carbon footprint

Air source heat pumps are a form oflow carbon heating,as they use the outside air to heat or cool your home. Switching from coal or electricity based heating can significantly reduce your carbon emissions. For every 3 to 4 units of energy produced by an air source heat pump, only 1 unit of electricity is used, making it a far better alternative for reducing emissions.

2. Save money on utility bills

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (3)

This is possible by switching to air heat pumpsreduce your energy costsbecause you use the outside air for your heating and cooling needs. Your savings will be more significant when you switch from an electric or coal system. Although the upfront cost is quite high, yYou could be eligible to receive £5,000 from UK governmentsKessel-Upgrade-Schema.

TheOperating costs of heat pumpsdepends on somefactors, from the degree of efficiency to the amount of heat required to the temperature of the heat source.

3. Eligible for Boiler Upgrade Program

you could receive£5.000on the initial cost of an air source heat pump through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. Applicants receive a voucher which they must redeem within three months. This means that the heat pump must be installed within this period.

This £3.9 billion initiative was launched by the Government in April 2022 as part of the Heat and Buildings Strategy. The scheme runs until April 2025.

The aim of the program is to encourage the uptake of low carbon heating technologies in homes in England and Wales. In particular, the costs of air source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps and biomass boilers, all of which are more environmentally friendly than natural gas boilers, are subsidised.

For more information, including information about other, more regional grants, see our article onHeat pump grants in the UK.

4. Can be used for heating and cooling

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (4)

Air source heat pumps can be used for bothheating and cooling purposes. Depending on the model, they can cool in summer and heat in winter. All you need to check is that the COP of your air source heat pump should beover 0.7for cooling.

(Video) Air to Water VS Air to Air Heat Pump: A Comprehensive Comparison | GreenMatch

In addition, air source heat pumps work very well with underfloor heating - so if you want to get the most out of your system, the installation is definitely something to considerunderfloor heating.

5. Can be used for space heating and hot water

Depending on the air heat pump, you can also use thisHeat up your water. This depends on the temperature of the water in the heating system (also called "flow temperature"). In order to be able to heat water, the flow temperature must be approx. 55°C. If your system is designed for space heating only, the flow temperature is 35°.

If you want both space heating and domestic hot water, you need to opt for an ASHP with a leaving water temperature of 55°C.

6. High Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP)

Air/water heat pumps are efficient in both winter and summer thanks to excellent performanceSCOP(Seasonal Performance Number). A heat pump's COP is a way of measuring its efficiency by comparing the power input required to produce heat versus the heat output. A “Seasonal COP” figure is adjusted for seasonality.

For example, a typical air source heat pump will run with a COP of 3.2 when the outside temperature is above 7°C. This means that the heat pump has an efficiency of 320%: for every kWh of electricity consumed by the fans and compressor, 3.2 kWh of heat are produced. The higher the COP, the better.

So if you look at the COP of an air source heat pump versus the outside temperature, you will see that this is the case despite some slight variationsrun efficiently all year round. In order to be able to compare heat pumps according to how much they are affected by these efficiency changes, the seasonal COP is used.

7. Easy installation process

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (5)

Installing an air source heat pump can take as little time as possibletwo days. Installing an air source heat pump is easier than installing onegeothermal heat pump, because you don't have to dig. A domestic air source heat pump does not usually require planning permission, but it is always recommended to check with the local authority before beginning the process. It is an ideal option for both retrofits and new builds. When you combineInstallation of an air source heat pumpWith other construction work, you can also reduce installation costs.

8. Low maintenance

Servicing and maintenance should be carried out by a technicianonce a year. Because such air source heat pumps require little maintenance, there are a few things you can do to ensure optimal performance from your heat pump, from cleaning the filters, checking for system leaks, checking the coolant level and removing leaves and dust from it your heating pump and so on. All other technical tasks should only be performed by a certified installer.

9. Long service life

Air source heat pumps have a long service life and, with proper maintenance, can last up to20 years. In addition, most have air source heat pumps5 year guarantee. Thanks to various technological developments, modern heat pumps can work efficiently for almost 25 years before they need to be replaced.

10. No fuel storage required

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (6)

No fuel storageis required for air/water heat pumps because the outside air is used as fuel. Withoil fired boilers, you have to store the oil somewhere, for example, which would take up additional space on your property. Not using fuels like oil or wood pellets also means you don't have to pay any additional feesfuel deliveries.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (7)

Disadvantages of air source heat pumps

An importantDisadvantageIt should be noted that air heat pumps alower heat inputthan other alternatives. That means to get the most out of your ASHP, you need onewell insulatedHouse and ideally also underfloor heating. Another common problem with air source heat pumps is that they can be noisy. So choosing where to position them can make a big difference.

(Video) Pros And Cons Of Air Source Heat Pumps In The UK

These are the main air source heat pumpsDisadvantages:

1. Lower heat input than boiler

This type of heatinghas less heat inputcompared to oil andGaskessel, so larger radiators may be required. The water circulating in radiators connected to boilers can operate at a higher temperature than that of an ASHP system.

So for the same amount of space heating you need a larger heat dissipation surface.

2. Additional expenses for installing underfloor heating

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (8)

Due to the lower heat input, air source heat pumps are most commonly used with underfloor heating to get the most out of the system. This is because you don't need such high temperatures to operate - you don't want to be standing on a 40C hot floor.

This may mean that your installationCosts can be higherIf you do notalready have oneunderfloor heatingFurnished.

3. Your home must already be well insulated

To get the full benefits of an air source heat pump, you need onewell insulated housefirst. However, this applies to any heating system.

When heat can easily escape from your home through windows, doors or walls, you need more energy to keep the room warm. So take care of yoursHouse is isolatedsufficient.

4. Lower efficiency below 0°C

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (9)

Although air heat pumpscan work at such low temperaturesat -20°C alreadyLoss of efficiency below 0°C. Because they are solely dependent on the outside air and as the temperature drops, the total heat output that the pump can deliver also drops.

Ground source heat pumps, on the other hand, have pipes buried deep underground and have a more stable temperature and are little affected by cold climates.

5. Less savings compared to cheap grid gas

If you have accesscheap fixed gas, then the difference between the gas price and the electricity price (for the operation of an air heat pump) is not significant. It remains that heat pumps are a high investment for many. However, the future of the UK is focused on significantly increasing heat pump installations and you can count on itmore low-carbon incentivesto make the switch.

6. ASHPs can be noisy

Air source heat pumps can be somethingseawhen running, comparable to a normal air conditioner or light to heavy rain. However, companies are constantly making technological advances to improve this andreduce their volume.

Factors to consider before installing an ASHP

When thinking about installing air source heat pumps, there are three main factors to consider:

(Video) Air Source Heat Pump Winter Review and Performance Update: What Happens When Temperatures Drop

  • Cost:The cost of installing an air source heat pump is usually between8.000 bis 18.000 £. Depending on the type of system selected (cooling combined with heating), the size of your property and your specific requirements, additional costs may apply. This cost is much lower compared to ground source heat pump prices, which range from£14.500 – £45.000.
  • Insulation:In order to get high returns in terms of saving, it is essential to have onewell insulated house, especially with attic insulation. This ensures that the heat generated in the house does not escape, allowing for a consistently warm home throughout the winter.
  • Installer:Finding the right installer is very important to ensure the heat pump is installed correctly. You should do your due diligence, e.g. B. Check that the installer has the necessary accreditations and a positive track record, and that you are getting a fair price.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of air source heat pumps (2023) | GreenMatch (10)

If an air source heat pump sounds interesting to you and you're considering buying one, simplefill out the form aboveto getup to 4 personalized, non-binding offers, which brings you one step closer to your future owner of an air/water heat pump.


Are heat pumps worth it 2022? ›

If your furnace or air conditioner is nearing the end of its useful life – the answer is yes. Heat pumps are already cost-competitive with those systems and offer monthly energy savings.

What are the 5 key advantages and disadvantages of heat pump technology? ›

Advantages and disadvantages of heat pumps
  • Advantage – heat pumps can eliminate your gas or oil fuel bills. ...
  • Disadvantage – electricity usage will increase with a heat pump. ...
  • Advantage – heat pumps are very efficient. ...
  • Disadvantage – you may need to install new radiators. ...
  • Advantage – heat pumps are user-friendly.

Why is my electric bill so high with air source heat pump? ›

Improper maintenance of your heat pump could lead to a 25 per cent increase in your energy bills. Blocked and dirty filters reduce the amount of airflow that can pass through the system and may harm performance. It's also worth checking the fan regularly to ensure there isn't any debris, such as leaves, stuck in it.

What is the major problem of heat pump? ›

A clogged air filter is a common cause behind a heat pump not working, as the system doesn't receive adequate airflow due to this obstruction. The system often overheats and shuts down, leaving you without cooling. Or, not enough cooling makes it into your home due to the restriction.

Should i buy a heat pump in 2022 or 2023? ›

The year 2023 may be the best for homeowners buying a new heat pump. The new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes incentives for upgrading a home's energy efficiency, including tax rebates and discounted purchasing.

At what temperature is a heat pump useless? ›

Heat pumps do not operate as efficiently when temperatures drop to between 25 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit for most systems. A heat pump works best when the temperature is above 40. Once outdoor temperatures drop to 40 degrees, heat pumps start losing efficiency, and they consume more energy to do their jobs.

What HVAC system qualifies for tax credit 2023? ›

Central Air Conditioners:

The air conditioner must meet the following efficiency requirements: Split Systems: ENERGY STAR certified* equipment with SEER2 ≥ 16. Packaged Systems: ENERGY STAR certified equipment with SEER2 ≥ 15.2, EER2 ≥ 11.5 (also including gas/electric package units)

Is it worth getting an air source heat pump? ›

Yes. An air source heat pump will typically save you £6,700 over its lifetime, compared to a gas boiler – which means you can actually cut your costs by going green.

How noisy is an air source heat pump? ›

Are heat pumps noisy? Answer: All heating products make some noise, but heat pumps are usually quieter than fossil fuel boilers. A ground source heat pump may reach 42 decibels, and an air source heat pump may reach 40 to 60 decibels, but this depends on manufacturer and installation.

What is the most reliable air source heat pump? ›

What are the best air source heat pump brands?
  • Best overall: Samsung EHS Monobloc.
  • Most efficient: Hitachi Yutaki.
  • Most powerful: Vaillant flexoTHERM 400V + aroCOLLECT.
  • Best for cold climates: Daikin Altherma.
  • Best for small homes: Nibe F2040.
  • Best for combining other sources: Calorex.
  • Best for scalability: Danfoss.
Jan 4, 2023

What is the best alternative to a heat pump? ›

Geothermal Heating

Compared to traditional air-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps are quieter and don't depend on the temperature of outside air. These systems also need little maintenance and have a long lifespan.

Do air-source heat pumps work in winter? ›

Contrary to popular belief, air-source heat pumps work amazingly well in winter—even in very cold climates. In fact, heat pumps are now the best heating option just about everywhere on the planet.

What is the future of heat pumps? ›

Heat pumps have the potential to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by at least 500 million tonnes in 2030. For Europe, they are a vital tool to cut reliance on Russian gas, since they can lower Europe's largest source of gas demand – heating in buildings – by at least 21 billion cubic metres in 2030.

Do air source heat pumps work in very cold weather? ›

Yes! It's equally possible to enjoy all the benefits of an air source heat pump in cold weather as it is through the milder months. Air source heat pumps can easily withstand up to at least -10°C, with some being durable enough to work at temperatures as low as -25°C.

How long do air source heat pumps last? ›

Air source heat pumps can be installed in a matter of just a couple of days and can go on to last up to 20 years. They require minimum maintenance, needing cleaning every couple of months and a yearly service.

Are air source heat pumps any good in winter? ›

Contrary to popular belief, air-source heat pumps work amazingly well in winter—even in very cold climates. In fact, heat pumps are now the best heating option just about everywhere on the planet.


1. Introduction to Air Source Heat Pumps
(Nu-Heat Underfloor Heating & Renewables)
2. Air Source Heat Pumps & Energy Efficiency in Cold Climates
3. Air-Source vs Ground-Source Heat Pumps | Geothermal Heating and Cooling
(Katha's ePoint)
4. Air Source Heat Pumps are on the rise - What are the benefits?
(GreenHome Institute)
(Heat Geek)
6. Should I get a Gas Furnace or Heat Pump System? (...in about a minute)
(Fox Family Heating and Air Conditioning)


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