You will need:
Outside space for the ASHP
Inside space for the cylinder
A heat pump works by sucking in air from outside, compressing it to make usable ‘heat energy’ that is used to heat your home and water. This means you will need a outside space to put the pump unit. It needs 1.5m of space in front of it to blow the cold air back out. Any shrubs, trees or plants in this zone may not like the colder temperature, so this has to be taken into account.
You will also need a cylinder installed to provide hot water. This is because ASHP’s work at a much lower flow temperature so it takes more time to heat up, so you need a large amount of heated up water (200l+) to run a bath for example. They come in all different shapes and sizes (Ecodan standard cylinder 1.5 X 0.7m) so can fit in an airing cupboards or loft spaces, but it’s is a consideration to think about at the start of the project.
Heat pumps work in a much different way to a gas boiler, they are designed to run at a lower flow temperature (50C) than your boiler (70-75C). This means that to get the same amount of heat from your radiators you may have to upgraded them. This is done by making them bigger or more efficient at radiating heat, a single radiator can be made a double or triple for example and will produce the same heat.
This is why underfloor heating works so efficiently with air source heat pumps. They are designed to work all day and efficiently produce the required 30-35C flow temperature cheaply and carbon free that is required for UFH.
If you have a south facing roof you can also take advantage of that wasted space by putting PV solar panels on it to create free electricity from the sun to offset the extra usage your ASHP will need to run. It will also mean your home will be using more renewable energy to run so reducing your carbon footprint even more.
Insulating and draft proofing your house will be the most effective way to prepare for an ASHP installation. Old houses in this country have little or no insulation. The government have forced builders to build in better insulation over the last few years. But it does mean that there are still loads of buildings still uninsulated. Loft insulation and new windows are cheap ways to help with the house heat loss.
As you can see, with planning, installing an air source heat pump is quite simple. If you would like us to plan and design you a renewable heating system for your home please contact us.