All about air-to-air heat pumps

Heat pumps come in various forms and for different purposes. So which one best fits your heating requirements? Or do you also want to cool your house with it? And what about your domestic hot water in the kitchen and bathroom?

The purchase and installation of a heat pump

It is important to read up on the topic before you go ahead with purchasing a heat pump. And of course an installer can also offer good advice for your particular situation. Make sure you look for installer with plenty of experience in installing heat pumps. The installation of a heat pump that uses air as the source of heat usually takes just one day, whereas installing a heat pump that uses heat from the ground is a more complex job and can take several days. In either case, installation is not a do-it-yourself job.

System configuration

The choice of a suitable alternative to a central heating boiler also has consequences for your total heating system. Do you have underfloor heating or only radiators in the house? Everything must be properly coordinated and adjusted. This has an effect on the savings you will achieve and these can be greater if you also have solar panels or use a solar water heater. Whatever the case, all the elements of your system must fit together perfectly and work well together.

Air-to-air heat pumps

With heat pumps there is usually an indoor unit. This often looks like a central heating boiler, and may be available in a free-standing or wall hung unit. An air-to-air heat pump also has an outdoor unit, which looks like the kind of small air conditioning unit that you regularly see abroad in warmer countries.

Air conditioning

Air-to-air heat pumps use heat from the outside air as an energy source. An air-to-air heat pump is in fact a kind of air conditioning system. In the outdoor unit, heat is extracted from the outside air and moved through the system via a refrigerant. The indoor system then extracts the heat from the refrigerant and releases it to the air in the room via air circulating units in each room, which may be hung from the ceiling, wall or floor-mounted. The room is then heated with this warm air. Even at outside temperatures below 0°C, there  is still enough energy in the air to heat your house with a heat pump.

Cooling in summer

In the summer, the air-to-air heat pump process can be reversed and the installation can function as an air conditioning system. The coolant in the circuit  flows in the other direction and heat from the inside is dissipated to the outside. With an air-to-air heat pump you can therefore enjoy a constant temperature in every season. This type of heat pump most closely resembles the example of the refrigerator, which in fact is also a heat pump that extracts heat from the inside of the refrigerator and emits heat from the coils at the back of the refrigerator.

Advantages and disadvantages of air-to-air heat pumps

A big plus of an air-to-air heat pump is that the system is easy to install and has relatively low installation costs. In addition, the rooms are heated quite quickly and it offers a solution for rooms that you do not need to heat continuously, such as bedrooms or study rooms.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to an air-to-air heat pump. On very cold days, the efficiency of this system will be lower than air-to-water, water-to-water or ground-source heat pumps. In addition, an air-to-air heat pump is not suitable for underfloor heating or radiators and can only be used for an air heating installation. If you switch off the system it therefore feels cold again soon. So it really depends on what you find most comfortable.

Do the heat pump check now to see if your house is already suitable for a heat pump and, if so, which type.