Myth-buster: Air Source Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps are a fantastic way to switch from using gas or fuel boilers to a green alternative, help you to drastically lower your carbon footprint and, this is the best bit; reduce your energy bills! The principle technology behind the functioning of a heat pump has been around for decades, but the development of it into what we now see today is relatively new. And with the government's target for the UK to become carbon net-zero by 2050, the pressure is on for the public to embrace renewable energy technologies as it is predicted that there are currently only 240,000 heat pumps in operation in the UK. The magic number for us to reach the 2050 target is 19 million heat pumps.

It's clear that heat pumps are the way forward and understandably, some people are a little apprehensive about them as they're so different to what we are used to. We're going to discuss and debunk some of the common misconceptions about heat pumps for you so you can easily decide whether a heat pump is the right choice for your home. 

"Air Source Heat Pumps are Noisy"

This is the most common myth that you're likely to come across when researching heat pumps. All heat pumps make some level of noise due to their working components, so although they're not silent, they are quiet! If you're applying for the government Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), then your heat pump will need to be MCS certified, and this means that your heat pump will not exceed a decibel noise rating of 45 at a 1-metre distance. That's less noise than the average home fridge and a little more than leaves rustling outside. When you take into consideration that your heat pump will be installed on the outside of your house, it is unlikely you will actually hear it at all when you are inside going about your daily life.

"Heat Pumps are not Efficient During Cold Winters"

Air Source Heat Pumps easily maintain a comfortable and constant temperature in your home no matter the time of the year. They even work in sub-zero temperatures as low as -10 degrees, some pumps will still work at -15 degrees!

To put it into perspective, more than 1.4 million homes in Norway rely on air source heat pumps to heat their homes and hot water. That's 1.4 million homes staying toasty and warm in the sub-zero freezing temperatures of the Nordics. The efficiency of an air source heat pump will start to diminish in colder temperatures, but considering the usually mild UK winters, it is highly unlikely to affect UK residents. 

"Heat Pumps are too Expensive for Most Households"

Although the initial cost of installing a heat pump can be steep, there are government schemes and financial support available. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) means households benefit from a £7,500 government grant towards your heat pump installation. The BUS will be available for 3 years.

If you are in Scotland, the Home Energy Scotland Loan offers up to £10,000 to homeowners. And if you live in Wales, you can apply to the Welsh Government's Nest Scheme to receive help with the installation costs. 

"Heat Pumps Only Work with Underfloor Heating"

Heat Pumps work with both underfloor heating systems and radiators. Larger radiators give out heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time, unlike traditional radiators intended for high-temperature heating, which can help to maximise the benefits of your Air Source Heat Pump. 

It's also important to ensure that your home is well insulated to avoid unnecessary heat loss, but a good installer will be able to advise you if you need to install extra insulation when they come to conduct your home survey. They will also advise you on any other requirements they think you could benefit from to maximise your heat pumps efficiency. 

"Heat Pumps Can Only be Installed in New Houses"

Although the UK's governments target is to have 600,000 heat pump installations every year by 2028, heat pumps can in fact be installed in to new or existing homes, no matter the age of the property. The focus is predominantly on new builds, but they are still actively encouraging homeowners to switch and have an Air Source Heat Pump installed retrospectively. 

Similarly to underfloor heating, it's advisable that you check your property's insulation if retrofitting a heat pump to ensure it's running as efficiently as possible. Older properties were built differently to new builds and may suffer from lack of insulation, but this can easily be rectified and upgraded to minimise your homes heat loss. 

Hopefully now you have a better understanding about Air Source Heat Pumps, the way they operate and how beneficial it would be to have one installed in your home. If you have anymore questions or would like to enquire about having a pump installed in your home, head to the contact us page on our website to get in touch with our highly knowledgeable team.