An air source heat pump (ASHP) allows for heat transfer from the environment into a building or vice-versa using the vapour compression refrigeration principle. These pumps have widely been employed as coolers or space heaters and are also referred to as reverse cycle air conditioners. Domestically, air source heat pumps make it possible to transfer heat from the outside which is then released into the building serving as underfloor heating, domestic hot water supply, hot water-filled radiators or a hot air source. The equipment can also help cool the house in summer months and can supply up to 80°C of domestic water when correctly specified. They have the incredible ability to draw heat from outside air even at a temperature below 00C.

In operation, heat pumps trap heat from the outside into a fluid at low temperature, the fluid subsequently undergoes temperature rise when passed through a compressor and this increased heat is passed to the hot water and heating circuits of the building. Air-source heat pumps can be all-electric, add-on or bivalent as the case may be. Add-on heat pumps normally use a supplementary heat source, such as gas, oil or electric furnace. Bivalent types are rare and employ propane or gas fired burners in increasing the incoming air to the outdoor coil while all-electric air heat pumps come with electric-resistance heaters that serve as an additional heating system.

There are two main types of air source heat pumps based on operational principle and these are:

  1. Air-to-water heat pump

This system expels heat through a wet central heating system. Since heat pumps are relatively more efficient working at lower temperatures than is obtainable by standard boilers, they are thus more suitable when used for larger radiators or underfloor heating systems which expend heat at lower temperatures for a relatively long period of time.

  1. Air-to-air heat pump

This type of heat pump are effective in giving your home warm through circulation by fans with less plausibility to serve as water heating sources.

Air source heat pumps have tremendous benefits which include: helping lower your fuel bills, especially if you’ve been using conventional electrical heating, they are also good contributors to a greener environment as they have a considerable lower home emission of carbon. Additionally, air source heat pumps don’t require fuel deliveries to work, require very minimal maintenance and can be used for your indoor home warming as well as your water needs.

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