Your questions answered below.

The funny thing is you’ve had a few of them around you for years already. If you have a fridge, a freezer or aircon in your car, you’re using a heat pump! To use a heat pump to generate heat in your home, just imagine a back to front or inside out fridge. Instead of the inside of the fridge getting cold and the fins on the back of the fridge getting warm, imagine the air outdoors getting chilled and a heat exchanger in your home producing heat. It’s essentially the same thing.

We explain this is a lot greater detail in our article on How Air Source Heat Pumps work

Do they make a noise? Yes. Do they make much noise? No.

The best way to get a feel for how much noise they make without actually hearing one is to compare it to things we’re familiar with:

  • Breathing 10 decibels
  • Whisper 20 decibels
  • Bird song 40 decibels
  • 8.5kW heat pump 42 decibels
  • Vacuum cleaner 70 decibels
  • Helicopter take off 100 decibels

So, as you can see an Air Source Heat Pump is just 2 more decibels than the dawn chorus, and about 30 decibels less than a vacuum cleaner. Which is the same difference between a vacuum cleaner and a helicopter taking off. Which we think you’ll agree with us, is a massive difference. They’re not silent, but they don’t make much noise. However, we’ll advise you on the best location to place the external unit for minimal noise disruption in your home, or your neighbours’ homes. Incidentally, it’s entirely possible that your existing boiler actually makes more noise than your heat pump will.

Still not sure? Well, we have a video of one in action here for you to hear for yourself. We’ll admit, it’s not the most exciting video you’ll ever see, and we’re sure it won’t be the most exciting thing you’ll ever listen to, but we hope that it will answer the question of how much noise an Air Source Heat pump makes.

When it comes to heating a room, it’s all about surface area and heat loss. You need to be able to pump heat into a room at a greater/faster rate than it’s escaping in order to be able to raise the temperature of the room. Heat pumps work at a lower temperature than a conventional boiler, which is one of the things that makes them so efficient. So, to get the same amount of heat into a room you’ll most likely need to increase the surface area of your radiators by installing nice new efficient ones. The good news is that they really aren’t very expensive in the grand scheme of things. In fact, the cost of not changing them could be considerably higher, as the ASHP would have to work much harder and for longer to heat your home. Which could result in higher bills than you currently have. As a result, we’ll assess the radiators that you have, but will most likely recommend upgrading them.

The short answer is no. Imagine putting a 5 litre V8 engine in your lawn mower, it might sound like fun, but it would actually use a huge amount more energy and do a worse job. In the case of a heat pump it would end up doing what’s known as a short cycle. This means that it would be constantly turning on and off as it would get itself up to temperature too quickly, and then shuts down again before the heating system can dissipate the heat. This is really inefficient, and inefficiency costs you money. It can also cause excess wear on the components within the heat pump leading to premature failure.

To combat this, we calculate the specific heat loss of your home, and then consider the output of the radiators to specify the correct size heat pump. This Is why it’s so important to work with a company with experience and expertise, because getting these simple calculations wrong, or taking short cuts, can result in the exact opposite of what you are wanting to achieve.

An Air Source Heat Pump needs a good flow of fresh air to work at it’s best. Which means, don’t park your Wheelie bin in front of it! But it really doesn’t matter if it’s in a north, south, east, or west facing position. When it comes to location, other than air flow, the main consideration should be the pipe run into the home. This wants to be as short as possible to optimise efficiency and minimise heat loss.

In the vast majority of cases you will not need to apply for planning permission as an Air Source Heat Pump is considered a permitted development. This is something that we would check for you to be 100% sure. Even in situations when planning could be an issue, sensible location of external units often satisfies the requirement. If you’re not sure, we’ll certainly investigate the matter for you at no additional cost.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is a government backed incentive that gives you an immediate £5,000 off your upfront costs. So not only are you upgrading your heating system but you are doing it at a massively discounted price!