Pros and Cons of Air Source Heat Pumps

What are the Pros and Cons of Air Source Heat Pumps?

When considering an Air Source Heat Pump it is very important to consider the pros and cons of Air Source Heat Pump technology overall.

Air Source Heat Pumps are an alternative to other more traditional heating systems and there are a range of different types of Air Source Heat Pumps and different manufacturers. 

EnergyMyWay  install a range of different makes of heat pumps and will always advise you of the pros and cons of each one.  However before considering the make of heat pump it is important you understand the general pros and cons of Air Source Heat Pumps.

Pros of Air Source Heat Pumps

Cheaper to run than Oil or LPG alternatives.
When installed and sized correctly Air Source Heat Pumps are a cheaper form of heating than Oil or LPG boilers.  An Air Source Heat Pump should have a COP of around 3 which means that for each 1kW of electricity you put in to run it you get 3kW worth of heat out of it.

Ideal to use with underfloor heating. 

Underfloor heating works best running at lower temperatures than radiators, Air Source Heat Pumps produce hot water at approx. 45c which is the ideal temperature for underfloor heating.

Generate less CO2 emmissions.
Because of heat pumps high efficiency and they run using electricity they produce less Co2 emissions than other heating systems that run on Gas, LPG or Oil.

Require very little maintenance.
Because Air Source Heat Pump technology has been around for decades it is tried and tested and therefore very reliable.  Air Source Heat Pumps use the same technology as our fridges and freezers and these require little or no maintenance. 

Can be used to provide cooling in the summer months 
Some air source heat pumps can be put in a reverse cycle and cool your property rather than heat it giving you cooling and heating in one unit.

Cons of Air Source Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps are not suitable for all properties
Only well insulated and draught free properties are suitable for Air Source Heat Pumps due to the fact that an Air Source Heat Pump only produces water temperatures circa 45c whereas traditional heating systems raises water temperature to 75 – 80c.

Radiators may need to be changed
As Air Source Heat Pumps only produce water temperatures circa. 45c the heat emitters for the property may need to be changed – if you use panel radiators these may have to be changed for larger ones or replaced with convection heaters (radiators with fans).

Looks like an air conditioning unit
In the UK we’re not used to seeing Air Source Heat Pumps outside our properties – they look like air conditioning units and you should consider where they are positioned as they are not generally considered to be aesthetically pleasing but then again neither are oil or LPG tanks!

They make a noise when running
Air Source Heat Pumps do make a noise when they are running as they have a fan and a compressor as does your fridge.  They will make a hum but most are very quite and not more than 48 decibels.

Higher cost than a replacement boiler  
Whilst the running cost of an Air Source Heat Pump is lower than Oil or LPG the capital cost of the equipment is much higher and the installation more complex making it cheaper in the short term to replace an existing boiler with a newer more efficient boiler.  However in the longer you will have a higher running cost. 

For more information on Air Source Heat Pumps contact your nearest EnergyMyWay office or call 0845 371 3181

James Eades

By: James Eades

Operations Director, James Eades is EnergyMyWay's in-house expert on renewable energy policy, microgeneration technologies and best practice in the renewable energy industry.