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Air source heat pumps

We're installing air source heat pumps instead of traditional boilers in many of our new homes and some of our existing homes as they're more efficient and are better for the environment. As a result, they can help to reduce your energy bills, and they usually require less maintenance too.

How do they work?

They work by taking the warmth from the air outside and using it to heat your home. There are two types of air source heat pumps:

Air-to-water heat pumps

These are the most common type and work by heating water which is circulated around your home using your radiators. They can also be used to heat water in a storage tank.

Air-to-air heat pumps

These work by using fans to circulate warm air around your home. These types of heat pumps can't be used to heat water.

Heat pumps are designed to run over long periods of time and will work more efficiently with gradual temperature changes rather than turning your heating up high for a short period of time. This means they need to be used differently than traditional central heating systems.

They work better, and cheaper, by leaving them on throughout the day rather than setting them to turn on at certain times. They should never be turned off fully, as they will try to raise the temperature in your home as quickly as they can when turned on again which can be very costly, and it can also take a few days for your home to return to a comfortable temperature.

Heat pumps generally have a lower flow temperature than traditional boilers, meaning that your radiators might not feel as hot to the touch. This is normal, and your radiators are still heating your home effectively, so don't panic.

A control panel is normally installed separately to the thermostat for your heat pump, but this is only for the use of trained engineers. Please don't try to change any settings on the control panel as we set these up with the most efficient settings for your home and changing them could increase your energy bills. You should only ever use the thermostat.

How should I use my heat pump?

Most heat pumps are controlled in a similar way to traditional systems through a thermostat, so they're easy to use, but it can take longer for them to start heating your home when you change the temperature compared to traditional systems. It's best practice to change the temperature by one or two degrees at a time and wait for a while to see if your home is a comfortable temperature before turning it up further.

Before you go to bed, it's a good idea to lower the temperature by two to three degrees, and then turn it back up in the morning so that your home is a comfortable temperature throughout the day. You can control the heat in each room in your home by using the radiator valves like you would with a traditional central heating system.

If you're away from home for a day, it's best to leave it running as normal. If you're going away for longer, the system's control panel should have a frost protection or holiday setting which will lower the temperature while you're away. This setting will help to prevent your pipes from freezing during cold weather, so try not to forget to turn it on!

You should keep the area clear around the outdoor heat pump unit as clear as possible so that you're not restricting the airflow into the system. Keeping a clear area means a more efficient heat pump and lower energy bills!

What should I do if it turns off?

If you've had a power cut, some heat pumps will come back on automatically. However not all of them do, so check your instructions to see if you need to select any settings if this happens.

If you're on a pre-payment electricity meter, it's a good idea to make sure that you're keeping the meter topped up. Your heat pump will turn off if your meter runs out. It's a good idea to regularly review what energy tariff you're on and see if you can find a better deal to keep costs down too. Uswitch have a handy tool which can help you to compare providers in your area.

My heat pump system has an error, what should I do?

If your system is showing an error, try turning it off from your fuse box, waiting a few minutes, and then turning it back on. This can often clear error messages with heat pump systems.

If the error is still showing after you've done this, you should get in touch with us.

Not sure about something?

If you have any questions about your air source heat pump, please get in touch with us.