An air source heat pump is a great way to make the switch from fossil fuels to green heating, reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills at the same time. With the UK’s target to be net zero by 2050, and a £7,500 government grant towards the cost, a heat pump is a logical choice when upgrading your home’s heating system.
It’s confusing sorting through all the misinformation when you’re looking into buying a new technology. That’s why we’ve debunked ten common heat pump myths in this article.
Myth 1 – air source heat pumps are too noisy and will
disturb me and my neighbours.
Truth – An air source heat pump is no louder than a fridge.
Situated outside your property, an air source heat pump creates a similar level of noise to a fridge, with a maximum output between 42 – 45dB. A heat pump will normally only operate at this level for a short time (while it is reaching the target temperature), and the volume will afterwards reduce.
To put this into context, an average conversation at home is about 50dB and a washing machine can fall between 40dB – 80dB. Air source heat pumps are slightly quieter than a traditional boiler – which can range from 48dB – 53dB depending on your model.
It’s also important to remember that during the months you and your neighbours are outside enjoying the garden, your heat pump will be on less, as it will be used just for hot water, and not for heating your home.
Myth 2 – Heat pumps cost more to run and increase your heating bills.
Truth – Air source heat pumps can help you save money on your bills.
A correctly designed air source heat pump installation is a much more efficient heating system and can actually save you money on future energy bills. In fact, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that it could save you up to £1,300 per year on heating your home depending on your current heating source.
Electricity is currently four times more expensive than gas (due in part to additional environmental taxes levied on it), but the greater efficiency of an air source heat pump can offset this, helping you save.
Here are some examples of boiler types, and their efficiency levels (how much energy they generate compared with how much they use to run):
- Air source heat pumps: 350% efficiency / 0% energy loss
- Modern, condensing gas boiler: 92% efficiency / 8% energy loss
- Older, non-condensing gas boiler: 50-75% efficiency / 25-50% energy loss
Here are some of the savings you could expect, calculated by the Energy Saving Trust:
- LPG: typical savings of between £380 and £1,300 per year.
- Electric storage heaters: typical savings of between £520 and £1,000 per year.
- Oil: typical savings of between £80 and £550 per year.
- Gas: typical savings of between £95 and £425 per year.
Myth 3 – Air source heat pumps are too expensive and not affordable for most households.
Truth – Government incentives can make choosing a heat pump a cost-effective solution.
With Good Energy’s air source heat pump, you’ll likely pay a comparable price to a typical boiler installation. Prices start from £3,951 – although this does depend on the system design and requirements for additional plumbing, radiators and cylinders.
Get a no obligation quote today to understand the costs you could expect from upgrading your heating system.
Households in England and Wales are eligible for a Government grant of £7,500 to reduce the cost of installing a heat pump. As a registered installer, Good Energy will apply for the grant on your behalf so that you don’t have to deal with deadlines or paperwork.
The Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme has made a total of £450 million available for supporting households to switch to greener heating. Individual grants are offered on a first come, first served basis – so enquire soon to make sure you don’t miss out.
Myth 4 – Heat pumps are not powerful enough to heat my home in cold weather.
Truth – An air source heat pump easily maintains a constant and comfortable temperature in your home all year round, even in sub-zero weather.
More than 1.4 million households in Norway comfortably rely on air source heat pumps as their source of heating despite the freezing temperatures of the Nordics. In fact, heat pumps run most efficiently at temperatures down to around minus 2 as there is less moisture in the air.
We will design a heating system that is most efficient for the size of your home. This will ensure you will stay warm and comfortable in temperatures down to -15C.
Myth 5 – Heat pumps take up too much space.
Truth – All heat pumps are installed outside the home, and take up less space than a standard wheelie bin.
Here are the dimensions for a typical air source heat pump – even the largest one is smaller than a standard wheelie bin. The more powerful heat pumps are the largest; and these are suited to larger homes or ones that lose heat more easily:
- 5kW unit: HWD 88cm x 79cm x 31cm
- 8kW unit: HWD 94cm x 99cm x 33cm
- 12kW & 16kW unit: HWD 94cm x 142cm x 33cm
Your installer will be able to identify the most suitable location and the most appropriate size of unit for your home, which should all be explained prior to install. It will need to be placed in a location with good airflow that is easily accessible for maintenance. This often means on the ground at the rear of the property, although they can also be hung to the outside wall of your home.
Myth 6 – Heat pumps are only suitable for new homes and not for older homes.
Truth – Air source heat pumps can be installed in new as well as old homes.
It is very common to see older homes retrofitted effectively that have replaced their existing boiler with an air source heat pump. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether a property is old or new, what really matters is keeping the level of heat loss to a minimum. To do so, the existing level of insulation should be reviewed and upgraded if needed, which will help you to gain the maximum benefit of a heat pump.
Information from your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will form the basis for the property’s initial assessment. A full survey will then be carried out to determine whether an air source heat pump is suitable for your property and, if so, what size you will need.
Myth 7 – Heat pumps only work with underfloor heating and not with radiators.
Truth – Heat pumps work effectively with radiators and are compatible with underfloor heating too.
Air source heat pumps work with both radiators as well as underfloor heating. However, the flow temperature for an air source heat pump is lower (around 50C) than a traditional heating system, which means that existing radiators may need to be updated with radiators with a larger surface area.
Larger radiators together with good insulation will help keep ideal warmth and comfort levels in your home and ensure maximum efficiency. If your radiators are too small for your home and level of insulation, it will mean that the air source heat pump won’t be able to provide a high enough temperature. Your installer will be able to clarify your radiator requirements when carrying out a home survey.
Myth 8 – Heat pumps need more maintenance than boilers and have to be serviced more often.
Truth – Air source heat pumps are highly reliable and require little to no maintenance outside of the annual service.
Air source heat pumps are highly reliable and require little to no maintenance outside of the annual service. In the unlikely event that something does go wrong, you have the peace of mind of the manufacturer warranty – just as with a boiler. Our air source heat pumps come with a 10 year manufacturer warranty, and a two year workmanship warranty.
The typical lifespan of an air source heat pump is between 15-20 years, which is slightly longer than a boiler, which typically have a lifespan of between 10-15 years.
Both traditional boilers and air source heat pumps should be serviced annually to ensure they’re working efficiently, extend their lifespan and keep warranties validated.
Myth 9 – It’s difficult to find a reliable installer in my area who will carry out the work to a high standard.
Truth – There are safeguards in place to help you to select a reliable installer, such as Trustmark and MCS accreditation.
There are safeguards in place to help you to select a reliable installer. These include Government endorsed accreditations such as Trustmark and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) by Ofgem, both of which are awarded only to installers who represent the highest installation standards.
Here are some things to check when choosing an air source heat pump installer:
- Trustmark: This Government endorsed quality scheme means your installer has been thoroughly assessed to meet a high standard of technical competence, customer service and trading practices.
- MCS accreditation: MCS certifies companies to help ensure that products are installed to a high standard.
- Compare quotes: Aim for 2-3 quotes from installers to compare products and prices.
- Customer reviews: When doing your research on an installer, you should always check for previous customer reviews. Trustpilot is a great place to start.
- Home survey: Reliable installers will always carry out a survey of your home to ensure a heat pump is suitable and the correct size installed.
Myth 10 – Getting a quote is a lengthy process, and I’ll need to provide lots of information.
Truth – You can complete our quote journey in only two minutes.
Getting a quote is hassle-free and quick. A reputable installer will ask that you have an up to date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which provides important information about how well your home retains heat – and what work is needed on your home to improve its efficiency.
Our quote journey will even pull all of the information we need from the EPC for you – so you can complete it in only 8 easy steps.
If you don’t have a recent copy of your EPC, your installer will be able to assist with this.
At Good Energy we believe that air source heat pumps are an affordable greener heating solution for your home. If you do have any questions or you’d like to speak with our team about booking a survey – you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0333 016 4500. We’re here to help.