What is an Air Source Heat Pump?

This is quite a common question as this is relatively new technology. An air source heat pump absorb heat from the outside air whatever the temperature. This collected heat can then be used to heat radiators and hot water in your home. They can absorb heat from the outside air even if the outside temperature is as low as -15° C.

What is an Air Source Heat Pump and What Does It Do?

what is an air source heat pump?

Heat from outside air.

Heat is absorbed from the air outside at low temperature into a fluid. The fluid then passes through a compressor where its temperature is increased and transfers its higher temperature heat to the heating and hot water inside the house. Air at any temperature above absolute zero contains energy. The air-source heat pump transfers some of this energy as heat between the outside and inside of a home. This heat can provide ample heating and hot water.

The method is similar to a refrigerator or freezer. If you imagine the way a fridge takes heat out of the air, and then the extracted heat is the waste product. Air source heat pumps are similar but in reverse. The extracted heat is the primary product that is used to heat your home and water supply. Just as the pipes on the back of a refrigerator become warm as the interior cools, so an air source heat pump warms the inside of a building whilst cooling the outside air. Air at any temperature above absolute zero contains energy. The air-source heat pump transfers some of this energy as heat between the outside and inside of a home. This heat can provide ample heating and hot water.

Refrigerant

An air source heat pump uses a refrigerant system. This is made up of a compressor and a condenser to absorb heat from the outside, and transfer this heat into an internal hot water system. The refrigerant is the fluid used in the air source heat pump to transfer the heat from one phase to another. It undergoes phase transitions from a liquid to a gas and back again. Heat from the air is absorbed at low temperature into this refrigerant (or fluid). This fluid then passes through the compressor where its temperature is increased, and transfers its higher temperature heat to the heating and hot water circuits of the house.

Compressor

Once the heat from the air is absorbed (at the low temperature into the fluid), the fluid then passes through the compressor. The compressor squeezes the fluid and its temperature is increased, It then transfers this heat to the heating and hot water system in the house.

Heat Transfer

Using a condenser, the hot liquid’s heat from the compressor is transferred to your heating and hot-water system. This replaces the traditional need for gas to heat your water.

Pump

The pump transfers the hot liquid within the system.

Hot water

Fuel bills. Many people ask, Is an Air Source Heat Pump Cheaper Than Gas? The simple answer is yes. Because of the efficient nature of air source heat pumps, the running costs are a great deal more efficient than standard fossil fuel heating systems. This means lower fuel bills, especially if you are replacing conventional electric heating of gas heating.

Carbon emissions

Air source heat pumps are much better for the environment due to the efficiency of their design. This means lower home carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing.