Green square blog featuring current issues and information on renewable energy and its efficiency, reliability and how to make the swap to renewable energy. Information on products biomass boilers, biomass stoves, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, solar PV, solar thermal.

Go off-grid with an air source heat pump

There are more and more homes being built in rural areas to meet the high demand of housing and whilst most of these homes will be able to connect to a mains gas supply, the high cost of grid connection means that consumers are looking for alternative solutions.

Architects and developers are increasingly specifying LPG for new build homes instead of oil due to the lower carbon intensity of LPG. But given the availability of renewable green technologies, should we still be building homes reliant on expensive fossil fuels today?

As house builders are looking for alternatives to oil, using an Air Source Heat Pump could be the solution. An average size new detached property using 7,550kWh could save up to 30% a year to heat compared to using LPG.  

Opting to incorporate a heat pump during the design stage of a property could make big savings for the property and also limit its impact on our planet in years to come.

How do they work?

Different from a ground source heat pump, an air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside.The ASHP absorbs heat from the outside air into a liquid at a low temperature, then the heat pump compressor increases the temperature of that heat. In the condenser, the hot liquid's heat is transferred to your heating and hot water circuits. So you can use it to warm up your home. The operation can also be reversed in summer so it can be used like an air-conditioning unit to provide cool air for your home.

The Renewable Heat Incentive

Many air source heat pumps are eligible for payment through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a government scheme that provides payments to homeowners who generate their own heat. The RHI is a scheme to reduce the carbon footprint and help lower energy bills. You could receive quarterly cash payments over seven years if you install an eligible renewable heating technology.

Air source heat pump costs and savings

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates that the cost of installing a typical ASHP system ranges between £7,000 and £11,000. The payback period depends on how efficiently your system works, the type of heating system you're replacing and whether you can get money with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
If replacing an old heating system, the Energy Saving Trust says that an average performing air source heat pump in a four-bedroom detached home could save:

  • Replacing oil (non-condensing) - between £290 to £315
  • Replacing gas (non-condensing) - between £455 to £485
  • Replacing LPG (non-condensing) - between £1,000 to £1,090
  • Replacing electric (old storage heaters) - between £735 to £820

The EST also estimated the RHI would pay an extra £1,140 to £1,235 a year over a 7 year period.

The benefits of air source heat pumps

  • Lower fuel bills, especially if you are replacing conventional electric heating
  • Potential income through the UK government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • Lower home carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing
  • No fuel deliveries needed
  • Can heat your home as well as your water
  • Minimal maintenance required
  • Can be easier to install than a ground source heat pump.

Talk to the experts

At Green Square, we are here to help you further with any queries you may have regarding air and ground source heat pumps. Our aim is provide clear and accessible information on our products to find the best option for you to meet your present and future needs. Call us for a free consultation today, and start making a difference.