Air-Source Heat Pumps

Ground-source heat pumps are very effective but they require a relatively large amount of land, which means can be quite costly. Air-source heat pumps are cheaper as they extract heat from the air rather than the ground. The downside of this is that the air has a less stable temperature range than the ground, making it a less efficient system.

What you need

With an air-source heat pump you’ll need a place where a unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground outside your property.

As with ground-source heat pumps it is essential that your home is insulated and draught proofed for the heating system to be effective.

Air-source heat pumps work best with underfloor heating systems or warm air heating, rather than radiator-based systems, due to the lower temperature heat that they produce.

What you can expect to earn

The system will pay for itself faster if it’s replacing an electicity or coal heating system, rather than a gas system. You can expect to save up to £70 a year if you are replacing a gas heating system. If you are replacing an electric heating system you can expect to save around £330 to £530 per year and if you are replacing a solid fuel heating system you can expect to save around £175 to £370.

Heat pumps will be eligible for the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The RHI is due to be launched in June 2011. It is designed to encourage the uptake of renewable and low carbon heat technologies by providing a financial incentive. The details of this are due to be released at the end of 2010. See Grants and Tariffs for more info.