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Getting my home ready for an Air Source Heat Pump

Can a heat pump replace my gas boiler?


If your gas boiler is working well and you are happy with it, there's no reason to replace it. However, if you are looking to reduce the carbon footprint of your heating system, we would recommend a hybrid system, where a boiler and a heat pump work together. Your heat pump would provide the majority of your heating and hot water needs, and your boiler would kick in when you need a bit more heat. 


If you are thinking of replacing the gas boiler completely, then you will need to put certain measures in place first, for example: 


  • Reducing heating energy consumption (double glazing etc)
  • Checking the heat loss of the property
  • Checking how the heat emitters (such as radiators) have been sized previously
  • Identifying suitable location for heat pump and cylinder. 


An MCS accredited heat pump installer would be able to advise you of the best solution. 


What do I need to do to my home to make it suitable for a heat pump?


First off, there are a few actions to take to reduce the energy loss of your home: cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, double or triple glazing, and, most importantly, reducing draughts.


Once you have made your home as energy efficient as possible, you should engage with a qualified installer or manufacturer, who will look at the heat loss in each room, the radiators in each room, the pipework, the external space where you are planning to place the heat pump - and help you at every step of the way.


Where in my home can a heat pump be installed?


Your air source heat pump needs to be installed outside. It needs to be relatively sheltered and allow enough space for the heat pump to be serviced. More importantly, it shouldn't be somewhere that could cause any noise nuisance or interfere with the enjoyment of your garden. Heat pumps are very quiet, but during the defrost cycle, you would hear a bit of fan noise, so you don't want to put it directly underneath a bedroom window for example. 


Can heat pumps work with my existing radiators?


Yes, they can. Heat pumps work with a much lower flow temperature than gas boilers, and the lower the flow temperature you put through your radiators, the less heat they will give out. However, if you have carried out all the measures to make that room more energy efficient, the radiator may need to emit far less heat than previously, so will work absolutely fine with a heat pump. 


Who can install my air source heat pump?


The most important thing to remember is that the success of your finished heating system depends on an initial good design. 


Anyone can install a monobloc heat pump, but we always recommend that they should be MCS accredited, have a good track record and provide excellent aftercare and servicing. You will have to use an MCS accredited installer if you are applying for a grant to help towards the cost of installation. 


Split air source heat pumps are slightly different, and you will need a F-Gas certified because there are refrigerant pipes that go between the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. 


Do I need planning permission for an air source heat pump?


In nearly all cases, ASHP's don't require planning permission. However, we would always recommend checking with your local planning department first. 

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