Air source heat pump heating systems
An air source heat pump system includes the following elements:
- Air source heat pump
- Slimline hot water cylinder
- Main controller
- Room thermostat
Installing your new heating system
Installing a new air source heat pump system can take up to a week. All existing radiators, pipes, boiler and cylinder in your home will need to be removed before the new system can be fitted.
Your hot water will be turned off for a couple of days. You'll have no central heating for two or three days, but we'll provide temporary heaters if needed.
Your new heating system
These work like a fridge in reverse. It absorbs heat from the air outside, with the heat pump compressor increasing the temperature of that heat further to create ‘useful heat.' This heat is then transferred into hot water which can be pumped around radiators and your hot water cylinder, much like your current system.
The heat pump will generally be located outside your home. This unit must not be covered – air must be able to circulate all around it.
The heat pump isn’t very noisy – it’s fitted with vibration reducing dampeners too. The pipes at the back go to the radiators and hot water cylinder.
It can release steam, which looks like smoke. This is, in fact, warm air being blown from the heat pump to ensure that the internal parts don’t freeze. It’s known as the defrost cycle and is normal.
The slimline cylinder unit is made up of a hot water tank and various heating parts to complete your heating system, such as water pumps and safety valves.
It’s fitted inside your home and we’ll carry out a survey to find the best place to install it. The cylinder will fit in some existing airing cupboards, but where it can’t, a new cupboard may have to be built to house it. Alternatively, your existing airing cupboard could be altered.
It’s larger than an average hot water cylinder and heats water to 60°C. This larger size ensures that adequate hot water storage is maintained.
The heat produced is cooler than that from a conventional boiler, which means it takes longer to heat up than conventional systems and we may need to install bigger radiators in your home to get a comfortable temperature in each room.
The radiators may have double or triple panels, or there could be more radiators than before. They won’t feel as hot to the touch as you’ve been used to. This is perfectly normal and they’ll still maintain the correct temperature in your home.
The heating system is intelligent, checking the temperature outside and inside to maintain the correct temperature. The radiators will warm up slowly and provide a consistent level of heating. This is unlike a standard boiler, which operates at a higher temperature to heat up rooms more quickly.
It’s a much more efficient way of heating your home than short bursts of high temperature. Turning off the air source heat pump and turning it back on when you require heating and hot water may increase your energy bills. This is quite a change to how you may have used your previous heating and hot water system.
Don’t cover the radiators as this’ll prevent the heat from passing to the air in the room.
You must not remove or bleed the radiators as they contain antifreeze and removing this can shut the whole system down.
You can use the Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) to turn individual radiators up or down, by turning the top of the valve with the numbers on. The hallway radiator won’t have a TRV.
You can control the room temperature using the control panel which’ll be attached to a wall in your home – usually in the hallway.
The bottom number tells you what the room temperature is now, whilst the top number is the temperature you’d like it to be.
The heating can be turned up and down using this control panel.
Holiday mode (bottom left button) turns the system down, so it won’t heat any water and keeps the heating on a minimum.
Your hot water and central heating system is controlled by the main control panel which is either attached to the front of the cylinder unit or a wall in your home.
The display screen shows the target room temperature. The system will have been programmed by an engineer, but you can change the schedule by referring to the user manual.
This new central heating system has the potential to save you money each year on your heating costs, but this really depends on how you use it.
To make the most of these savings, it’s important that the electricity you buy is the lowest price available, which may mean looking at other suppliers. Changing your meter from a pre-payment meter to a standard one is recommended as pre-payment energy is more expensive and by keeping the system on a low temperature instead of turning the heating off like a gas boiler.
How does the system work?
The pump operates on electricity but, due to its high efficiency, it produces three units of energy for every one unit of energy it uses to run, giving an efficiency rating of approximately 300 percent. An A-rated gas boiler operates at an efficiency of between 90 and 92 percent.
What happens if there's a power cut?
As with gas central heating, your system will temporarily shut down. It’ll automatically restart once the power returns.
Who should I contact if my heating stops working?
You can still ring our repairs line on 0800 111 4013.
Will I still need a gas supply?
Your home will no longer use gas for heating, but we won’t remove any existing supply to your home so you’ll be able to continue to use gas for cooking.
If you have an electric cooker, you won’t need to pay a gas bill. You should contact your gas supplier and ask them to remove your gas meter so you don’t have to pay a standing charge.
Updated: 31 January 2023