How does an Air Source Heat Pump Work?

Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air which is used to heat your home. Heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods.

The benefits of air source heat pumps:

  • Lower fuel bills, especially if you are replacing conventional electric heating
  • Lower carbon emissions
  • No fuel required
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Easier to install than a ground source heat pump

Heat from the air is absorbed at low temperature into a fluid. This fluid then passes through a compressor where its temperature is increased, and transfers its higher temperature heat to the heating and hot water circuits of the house. There are two main types of air source heat pump systems.

Air-to-water
An air-to-water system distributes heat via your central heating system. Heat pumps work much more efficiently at a lower temperature than a standard boiler system would. This makes them more suitable for underfloor heating systems or larger radiators, which give out heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time.

Air-to-air
An air-to-air system produces warm air which is circulated by fans to heat your home. They are unlikely to provide you with hot water as well.

*Information adapted from The Energy Saving Trust