Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions
about air source heat pumps

As we know, the future of heating in the United Kingdom is going to be a Renewable product, however – there are many who have not yet heard of Air Source Heat Pumps – for those who’re new to the technology, understandably there will be questions… hopefully we can answer as many of these here…

The UK government has put its backing behind air source heat pumps as the future of sustainable heating in the UK, predicting sales of over 12 million by 2030.

UK homes are already benefiting from renewable heating, as there have already been almost 1 million heat pumps of all kinds fitted over the past decade.

Yet many people are unaware of how much better heat pumps are for the environment, reducing both national emissions and their own energy consumption.

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Click the above image to try the online Heat Pump selection tool to find out if a heat pump is suitable for your home

1. What is a heat pump?

You have already been using a heat pump for decades without realising it.

Your refrigerator using the same basic heat pump technology to remove the heat from the food inside the ‘box’, ejecting it to the outside and keeping the food cold.

A heat pump reverses this process and extracts heat energy from the outside air, ground or water and moves that heat into your home (hence ground source or air source heat pumps).

Using the same ‘vapor compression cycle’ as your fridge to produce heat, the heat pump can take a few degrees of outside heat and upgrade it to provide all the heating and hot water you need.

2. What is an air source heat pump?

An air source heat pump, such as the market-leading Ecodan range, is essentially a ‘box’ that sits outside your home and uses a fan to draw air through the refrigerant piping, where the heat energy is harvested and upgraded.

The heat pump runs on electricity and will ‘convert’ each kilowatt of electrical energy into 2, 3, 4 or more kilowatts of heat energy. This ‘free’ energy taken from the air is replaced each day by the sun and is therefore renewable energy.

3. How much will Ecodan cost to install?

There are a number of factors affecting the cost of installation such as the age and size of your property, the levels of insulation and thermal efficiency, the number of rooms and radiators, etc, so it is difficult to give even an average idea of cost.

However, installations are eligible for 7 years of payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive, which significantly reduces the payback period. You should also make savings on your monthly energy bill so will notice a difference almost immediately.

And, if you install and Ecodan system, this can come with a Metering and Monitoring Package (MMSP) which qualifies for an additional government payment amounting to £1,610.

 

4. How much will I save on running costs?

This depends on what system of heating you currently use but even with a gas boiler, you are likely to make significant savings.  For oil, LPG or direct electric heating the savings could be even greater.

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5. How long will it take to install?

Again, there are a number of factors that will affect this but for a new-build home, the Ecodan air source heat pump can be installed in a couple of days.

For a refurbishment, it depends whether your radiators also need replacing, whether your water cylinder needs re-siting, where the outside box will be fitted, etc.

It will also depend on whether you are completely replacing the existing heating system or simply adding an Ecodan to work alongside the current heating in a hybrid solution – which more people are doing now. This provides a fairly straightforward way of adding renewable heating (which can still qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive) whilst minimising the work needed.

6. What about when it’s freezing outside?

Ecodan has been manufactured in the UK for more than a decade now and Mitsubishi have invested heavily in R&D to make sure that it is designed specifically for UK conditions.

The system will continue working to maximum efficiency down to -15C and will carry on working to -25C or more, so you can rely on a warm and cosy home even when there is snow on the ground.

7. Are they noisy?

The outdoor part of the system does have a fan which draws the air across the internal components and this will make a whirring noise in operation.  The amount of noise depends on the quality of the product and this is where the Ecodan range has led the market in the UK.

This increases the choice in where the outdoor unit can be sited, making it even more flexible in terms of installation.

8. Do I need planning permission?

Under Permitted Development regulations, an air source heat pump noise level must not exceed 42dB(A) 1m away from a neighbour’s nearest room.

With Ultra Quiet Ecodan air source heat pumps can be located much closer to the your neighbour’s property and pass planning.

The latest models offer superb style, market-leading energy efficiency and sound levels and are 3 times quieter than previous models virtually eliminating planning restrictions.

Should you have a large property that requires more than one heat pump, planning will be required.

9. What about linking them to smart controls?

Ecodan already comes with sophisticated smart controls that allow you to monitor and control your heating from anywhere. The MELCLoud app is part of the package and allows you to see and change settings from your sofa, your office, or the poolside.

In addition to this, you are able to see how much energy you are using, allowing you to spot trends and vary your heating to match your needs with maximum efficiency and minimum cost.

These advanced controls also mean that both you, the installer and Mitsubishi can access your system remotely to check your system is running as efficiently as possible and troubleshooting if ever necessary.

10. Where can I see one in action?

We have a number of customers who act as referral agents for the company, they’re always happy to show off their new heating system and explain the difference it’s made to their day to day life.

We can offer you installations in your area to view, we’ll arrange an appointment with one of them for you to visit at your (and their) convenience.