top of page


Are you thinking about installing an air source heat pump? Or maybe you’re not sure and want to know more about how an air source pump works.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about air source heat pumps and their advantages and disadvantages.

What Is A Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one place to another by using the latent heat of the air.

Depending on the application, heat pumps can be used for heating or cooling. In winter, a heat pump extracts heat from the outdoor air and transfers it indoors. In summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump moves heat from the indoor air to the outdoors. The heat generated can be used for various purposes.


What Is An Air Source Heat Pump?


An air source heat pump is a low-carbon heating technology. It employs a refrigeration cycle to extract heat from the air outside and deliver it as usable heat in your home.

Air source heat pumps, like boilers, function as heat sources but produce heat at lower temperatures than a boiler (lower heat supply). As a result, to assure peak performance, they must be carefully integrated into well-insulated, houses with appropriate insulation levels.


How Does An Air Source Heat Pump System Work?


ASHP work by transferring heat from the air outside into your home's heating system. Even when it’s cold outside, there’s still heat in the air – it’s just at a lower temperature than indoors.

The technology behind air source heat pumps is similar to that of a fridge or an air conditioning unit. In both cases, a refrigerant is used to transfer heat from one place to another.

An air source heat pump uses a liquid refrigerant to absorb heat from the outdoor air. Outside air is blown over a network of tubes filled with a refrigerant. As the refrigerant warms up, it changes from a liquid into a gas form.

The gaseous refrigerant is then passed through a compressor, raising its temperature further.

The hot refrigerant is passed through a heat exchanger, transferring its heat to the heated indoor air, water, or another medium.

Finally, the refrigerant returns to liquid form, and the cycle begins again.


Types Of Air Source Heat Pumps


There are two main types of air source heat pumps:



Air-to-air heat pumps use fans to take heat from the outside air and deliver it into your house. You'll need a warm air circulation system to move the warmth throughout your property.

These systems cannot generate hot water; therefore, you'll need a separate immersion heater or other water heating method. Air-to-air heat pump systems may operate in reverse during the summer. In other words, you may utilise it as an air conditioner to send cold air into your home.



Low installation cost

No need for extra space as the system can be installed on an external wall

Can also cool your home in summer




The heat pump and ductwork take up space inside your home

Not suitable if you want to use the heat output to generate hot water

You'll need a separate water heating system for hot water heating




An air-to-water system may be more suitable if you want a system that can provide space heating and hot water. These water heat pumps work by taking heat from the outside air and using it to heat water, which is stored in a cylinder.

The hot water can then be used in a central heating system and for hot water needs. You can have an air-to-water heat pump combined with solar panels. This hybrid system utilises free energy from the sun to heat your water, which is especially beneficial during the summer months.




Can provide both heating and hot water (energy efficient)

May be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

Hybrid systems can utilise free energy from the sun




More expensive to install than an air-to-air system

The heat pump and associated equipment take up space inside or outside your property

You'll need a suitable place to store the hot water cylinder


What Are The Advantages Of Using An Air Source Heat Pump?


There are many advantages to using an air source heat pump, including the following:


1. Lower Running Costs


Air source heat pumps are cheaper to run than a traditional underfloor heating system such as gas or oil boilers. The initial investment may be higher, but you'll make significant savings over the long term.

You may save money on your utility bills by switching to air source heat pumps since you'll utilise the outside air for heating and cooling. If you're moving from an electric or coal-based energy system, your savings will be more significant.

The running costs of air source heat pumps will also depend on the type of system you choose. For example, an air-to-water system may be more expensive than an air-to-air system.

However, these systems are much more efficient and can provide heating and hot water, so your savings may offset the extra costs.


2. Good For The Environment


Air source heat pumps are a renewable energy source, which means they have low carbon emissions.

Conventional heating systems such as oil and gas boilers release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These emissions contribute to climate change, which is a major global problem. These pumps can also be combined with renewable energy sources.

By switching to an air source heat pump, you can help reduce your carbon footprint and do your part to protect the environment.


3. Advanced Technology


Air source heat pumps utilise the latest technology to provide heating and cooling for your home. The technology is constantly improving, so air source heat pumps are becoming more efficient and effective.

This also means that air source heat pumps are becoming more affordable, so now is a great time to switch to this system.

The advanced technology in air source heat pumps makes them much quieter than traditional heating systems. So, you can enjoy the benefits of a warm home without noise pollution.


Final Thoughts!


Air source heat pumps are a great way to save money on energy bills and do your part for the environment. The initial investment may be higher, but you'll make significant savings over the long term.

Air source heat pumps are also becoming more advanced, so now is a great time to switch to this system. If you're considering air source heat pumps for your home, be sure to consult with a qualified installer to ensure you get the best possible system for your needs. Thanks for reading!


bottom of page