Everything you need to know about installing an air source heat pump is covered in this practical guide.
Many people today prefer to install an air-source heat pump, especially those who are off the main gas grid. If specified properly, this technology can help you achieve significant savings on household energy bills because it is simple and relatively inexpensive to install compared to some renewable energy sources.
The process of installing an air source heat pump can be slightly different depending on whether it’s a retrofit or a new build. However, there are 3 main steps involved in the whole process:
- Pre Installation – onsite survey and assessing the suitability
- Installation – installation of indoor and outdoor units, and connecting them
- Post Installation – finishing and maintenance
We’ll give you helpful advice on installing an air source heat pump in this article.
Pre-Installation Work: On-site Survey and Preparation
The first step after you have chosen an installer is that they will conduct an onsite inspection to check the suitability of your property in order to install the chosen heat pump. A gas boiler is one of the systems they are trained to remove safely.
The size of the heat pump that must be installed will be determined by calculations of heat loss. The inspection is an important step in planning the installation correctly.
Following completion of this, the installer will create a report with sketches of the property to ensure efficient system installation. The installer will suggest an appropriate type and size of an air source heat pump based on your home’s size, your heating requirements, and how well it is insulated.
Installation: Indoor and Outdoor Units
Air source heat pump installation is a relatively uncomplicated process as the heat pump controls and pipework are similar to traditional boilers. There must be installations made for the system’s indoor and outdoor units.
The large unit that is usually visible outside the house is the outdoor unit. This unit sources air from outside and compresses it into warm air. Following installation, the indoor units are linked to either hot water pipes, underfloor heating, or radiators.
While installing the outdoor unit, the installer will make sure to choose an area where there is ample airflow with minimal obstructions. The installer will secure the unit with brackets and bolt it to the ground to prevent movement.
- Connecting the Units
The indoor cylinder and the outdoor unit need to be wired and connected. The indoor unit will be connected to the radiators and other units where heat is released from within the house.
Wiring typically requires drilling a hole in a wall, depending on your house and the distance between the indoor and outdoor units. Your installer will then connect them through refrigerant lines and electrical wires.
Post-Installation Work – Finishing and Maintenance
Once the installation has been completed, there will be some finishing fixes to be made to ensure the efficient working of the heat pump system. Most air source heat pumps come with sensors, so these need to be installed so that the heat pumps can send temperature signals to your thermostat.
You can also discuss the maintenance requirements with your installer at this time. Though air source heat pumps have low maintenance requirements, it is advised to keep checking the filters and cleaning the fans from time to time.
This can be done by your installer regularly to ensure that the heat pump is running efficiently throughout its long lifespan of around 20 years.
How Long Does It Take to Install An Air Source Heat Pump?
It can take between 2 – 5 days to install an air source heat pump depending on the complications that may occur during the installation process. Given that some of the installations is done outside the house, you won’t be bothered for very long.
Most heat pumps also do not require planning permissions but it is best to get this checked before installing it in your home. If you’re a small property the installation can even finish within one day, so it ultimately depends on your specific property.
Where’s the Best Place for Installing An Air Source Heat Pump?
Though they can be installed in relatively small spaces, air source heat pumps work best when given a good airflow. In light of this, open areas of the garden or outdoor space are preferable to dark, winding alleys for their placement.
If you have the space, it’s preferable to locate it on the ground level rather than on a roof so that maintenance can be done easily. However, if you don’t, a flat roof is an option.
Air source heat pumps must be installed at least one meter from the property line in accordance with regulations for planning permission. Additionally, they must be a meter away from the edge if they are air-source heat pumps installed on a flat roof.
What is An Air Source Heat Pump?
Heat can be moved from the outside to the inside of a building using an air-source heat pump (ASHP). In accordance with the principles of vapor compression refrigeration, an ASHP uses a refrigerant system composed of a compressor and a condenser to absorb heat in one location and release it in another.
They can be used as space heaters or cooler and are sometimes called “reverse-cycle air conditioners”.
An ASHP absorbs heat from the ambient air during domestic heating use and releases it as hot air, hot water-filled radiators, underfloor heating, and domestic hot water supply inside the structure.
In the summer, the same system frequently works in reverse to cool the interior of the house. An ASHP can provide complete central heating and domestic hot water up to 80 °C when properly specified.
What Will An Air Source Heat Pump Installer Do?
The equipment will be designed and specified by the installer, who will also specify the amount of heating, where the equipment should be placed, the location of the distribution networks, and the user interfaces, such as room thermostats.
Additionally, they will physically install the system and inform you of any work that is not included in the installation (especially if the property is an existing one, in which case repairs and decoration work are typically excluded from the installation).
Some installers are also fully qualified plumbers, and they might include additional sanitary and plumbing installation work in the contract.
Additionally, the installer will hand over the system to the homeowner, commission the air source heat pump, and go over how everything works. A maintenance package and post-care assistance may also be available.
How Do I Find An Air Source Heat Pump Installer?
Because they will have completed installer training and must adhere to specific industry compliance standards in order to certify the installation, accredited Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installers should be hired to install air source heat pumps.
Referrals are the most effective method of finding a reputable installer. Ask anyone you know who has had one installed for a recommendation. Additionally, you can search the MCS website for nearby registered installers, get a recommendation from a manufacturer, or search their website for approved or accredited installers in your region.
Getting a supply and install contract is the best way to enter the market for air source heat pump installations. In this manner, the chain of custody is complete and there is complete continuity from specification to commissioning. It is possible to buy the system parts separately, but you would need to make sure they are all backward compatible.
How Much Does An Air Source Heat Pump Installation Cost?
The cost of installing an air source heat pump typically costs between £8,000-£18,000. The size, type, and complexity of the pump as well as other factors like how quickly it can be installed all affect how much it will cost.
If you are looking to install an air source heat pump along with similar home improvements projects such as underfloor heating or new air conditioning units, the installation cost can be lower.
What Do I Need to Know After My Air Source Heat Pump Has Been Installed?
Your air source heat pump should only require minimal maintenance after installation because the installer should commission the system. The system should be given to you by the installer, who should also go over its operation with you. Only settings that you are fully capable of changing should be given to you to change.
The majority of the time, air source heat pump maintenance is done visually. You can conduct inspections, such as making sure the outdoor unit has unrestricted airflow and is not blocked by leaves or other debris.
Additionally, make sure that all pipe insulation is in good condition and that the pipework and casing show no outward indications of leaks or corrosion.
However, your central heating system, which might also be directly connected to the ASHP, needs to be serviced once a year. A suitably qualified and experienced engineer must likely perform any non-visual maintenance.
Conclusion: Installing An Air Source Heat Pump
An innovative and sustainable way to provide hot water and heating all year round is an air-source heat pump (ASHP).
An air source heat pump installation involves a set of steps, just like any other home improvement project: Pre-Installation – Site survey and suitability assessment; Installation – Installation of indoor and outdoor units and connection; Post-Installation – Finishing and maintenance.
While the installation of an air source heat pump is less difficult and disruptive than some alternatives, such as a ground source heat pump, it still needs to be done by a qualified professional to guarantee that the system is installed correctly and operating to its full potential.
Is It Worth Installing An Air Source Heat Pump?
Using heat pumps has many advantages. With an air-source heat pump, you can save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint compared to a gas or electric heating system. The adaptability and affordability of air-source heat pumps are two of their main benefits.
Does An Air Source Heat Pump Have to Be Outside?
Do you have a place to store it? You’ll need a place outside your home where a unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground. To ensure a smooth flow of air, there must be some room around it. Split systems and monobloc systems are the two categories of air-source heat pumps.