There has been very conflicting information concerning air source heat pumps in the press. Although not as efficient as ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps really can provide an excellent solution for a more economical form of central heating in areas where there is no mains gas.
To work well air source heat pumps must be sized correctly taking the heat losses of the property into consideration. Under recent amendments to MCS guidelines designers must size the heat pump to provide 100% of the heating required rather than use an air source heat pump and also rely significantly on another heat source. It is also important not to ‘oversize’ a heat pump as has happened in some social housing installations, as oversizing causes the unit to run inefficiently and cost much more to run than it should.
How an air source pump works
An air source heat pump runs on electricity. It has a fan to draw in the air, it draws in air at its ambient temperature and compresses the heat from it. The heat is then used to heat water in a buffer cylinder(s) and this is then used in the same way as heat produced by a boiler to heat your underfloor heating or radiators and hot water. The system is run by sensitive intelligent modern controls set up to suit your house and lifestyle. An air source heat pump should on average through the year be over 300% efficient.
It is possible to retro-fit an air source heat pump and connect it to a radiator system although some radiators will usually have to be changed.