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Air source heat pumps
10 Dec 2020

The future and air source heat pumps

By Robin
  • Read time: 4 minutes
Following the revolution in the domestic heating industry, which is mainly characterised by the usage of zero carbon-emitting heat pumps, the demand for a more efficient heating system has emerged.

More and more households are now learning about Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) and how they operate. Generally, they work by converting natural air to the heat used for heating houses and warming water. They are approximately three times more efficient than other heating alternatives.

Green home climate

Additionally, these heat pumps operate without emitting any pollutants such as greenhouse gases produced when gas or fuel heating systems are used. Due to their reduced pollution and efficient heat energy production, advisors now see them as one of the answers to decarbonising the environment. Therefore, they are advocating for the increased use of ASHPs in homes.

Although most people are still stuck in using the old gas and fossil fuel boilers, ASHPs' popularity is slowly picking up. However, as more people continue to learn about these heat pumps' effectiveness and efficiency, they will soon dominate the market phasing out fossil fuel boilers and other heating systems. This guide looks deeper into everything you need to know about ASHPs and why they are seen as the future of the heating industry.

What are air source heat pumps

ASHPs are a form of heating system that efficiently absorbs heat energy from the surrounding natural air and converts it into a usable form that can be used to heat your home or warm water. Owing to their high-efficiency levels, they can extract heat even when temperatures are as low as -25°C.

How do air source heat pumps work

Like other heating systems, ASHPs work to provide heat to the interiors of a house and heat water. Generally, air temperatures above absolute zero contain some form of energy. ASHPs, therefore, absorb this energy as heat and uses it to heat your house. The absorbed heat is converted into a liquid form. The liquid then passes through a compressor, which increases its temperatures before transferring the resulting high-temperature heat to the hot water and heating circuits.


ASHPs require electricity to operate smoothly. However, since they extract considerable amounts of renewable energy from the natural environment, their heat output outweighs the electricity input. This low consumption of electricity means they are a cost-effective form of heating. Other than saving on the emission of greenhouse gases, they also help save on electricity bills. It is advisable to connect ASHPs to an emergency backup heat system to heat the house when the outside temperatures are too low for the ASHP to work efficiently. A major plus for the same ASHPs is that the system you use to heat your house in winter is the same system you will use to cool it in summer.

Advantages of air source heat pumps

With an understanding of what ASHPs are and how they operate, it is equally important to understand some of their advantages;

Zero carbon emissions

With many countries seeking to decarbonise the environment, most of them are advocating for the use of ASHPs. These efficient heating pumps can heat or cool your house without emitting any greenhouse gases. If you need to incorporate renewable heating into your home, this is the best way for you.

Save on energy bills

By shifting to ASHPs, you get to save some money on energy bills. Although they require electricity to run, ASHPs consume only considerable amounts of energy. Therefore, using ASHPs for your heating needs is more cost-effective than gas or fossil fuel boilers.

Easy installation

Installing an ASHP in your home is quite simple and can take as little as two days. Its installation does not require underground digging as with other forms of heating such as ground source heat pumps.

Low maintenance cost

Once installed, this heating system requires little care and maintenance. You can do a few things on your own for continued optimal operations of your ASHP, from checking system leaks to cleaning filters. However, in case of a major system failure, seek help from a qualified technician. Additionally, ensure that your system is serviced once each year.

Long life span

ASHPs have a long life span and can last up to 20 years. Most of them have warranties that serve up to 5 years. If well maintained, you can enjoy lengthy service from these heat pumps.

Disadvantages of air source heat pumps

ASHPs have some downsides, which include:

Low heat supply

Compared to gas and fuel heating boilers, ASHPs heat supply is slightly lower. You need larger radiators to boost their total heat supply.

High installation costs

Although the installation process is simple, you might end up spending a pretty huge amount, especially for the underfloor installations. However Government grants are available such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Green Home Grant scheme to offset these high upfront costs.

Living with an air source heat pump

Installing an ASHPs in your house allows you to enjoy efficient heating through a zero-carbon emission system. Each ASHPs is tailored to meet your specific needs. Additionally, you don't have to worry about distractions caused by noise. Most of the modern ASHPs are designed with soundproof features to reduce any running noise.

Air source heat pump

After installing an ASHP of your choice, you should then set your ideal thermostat temperatures to enjoy consistent and comfortable heating. Additionally, get to enjoy water heating for your daily needs. Unlike other heaters and boilers, you don't worry about the radiators overheating. This is because ASHPs are designed to run efficiently at lower temperatures than other gas or fuel boilers.

What are the market drivers for air source heat pumps?

The penetration of ASHPs in the heat pumps market is likely to increase in the coming years. Some of the most relevant driving forces that will see this increased growth include:

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) fosters the use of ASHPs by offering financial incentives. The renewable heat incentive UK aims to make the heat pumps affordable to a majority of households.

Building regulations

The new building regulations in the UK aim at making zero-carbon residential homes. One way to achieve this is by installing ASHPs in homes.

Reduced running costs

Although their installation costs will remain high, their running costs are pretty low than other heating systems. This feature makes them an attractive option for many households.

The future of air source heat pumps

Taking into account the information above, it is clear that ASHPs will soon dominate the heat pump industry. This growth is mainly due to ASHPs efficiency and zero carbon emissions. Therefore, if you are thinking of replacing the heating system in your home, consider getting an air source heat pump.


Written by Robin

Writes blogs about e-mobility and climate solutions for 50five.