In the same way that a fridge uses a refrigerant gas to extract heat from the inside, keeping your food cool, an air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air, and uses it to warm your home and sometimes your hot water too. An air-source system has three main parts:
Typically the first two parts of the water pump system are situated outside of your house, and the final part, the heat exchanger is fitted inside your home.
In an air-to-water heatpump system, the energy produced is used to warm water, which can be used to preheat water in a storage tank or circulate through underfloor heating or radiators. Heatpumps produce hot water that is a lower temperature (typically 35-45C) than standard boiler systems, which makes the choice of underfloor heating the most effective option. In an air-to-air system, this energy is used to produce warm air, which is circulated by fans to warm a building directly.
The efficiency of air source systems is measured by a coefficient of performance (CoP).
CoPs for air source systems are comparable with ground-source heatpumps, and generally range between 3 and 4. This means that for every unit of electricity used to power the pump, 3-4 units of energy are produced, making it an efficient way of heating a building.
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