If you are looking for efficiency in heating for your new build or renovation, Air-to-water heat pumps are a great way to heat your home. They can be used for both underfloor heating and radiator heating.
How they work
Air-to-Water heat pumps consistently achieve high efficiency as they are designed to heat in cold environments and to get the most heat out of the power they use. Air-to-water heat pumps are eco-friendly as they use the natural heat found in the air to heat the water going through the system to heat your home.
Air-to-Water heat pumps extract heat energy from the air outside. An outdoor heat exchanger coil extracts the energy and an indoor heat exchanger coil transfers the heat to be used in the home. There are sensors and controls which allow the heat pump to supply domestic hot water as well as heating and cooling to your home. Some systems can also provide dehumidification.
Air-to-Water heat pumps circulate warm water through special cross-linked Polyethylene pipes which are laid under your floor. The pipes are connected via a manifold to your heating system – be it an underfloor or radiator system.
- Professional installation by Central Heating is required.
- The outside unit should be located away from any prevailing winds. It should be in a clear area so there is free air flow around the whole unit and it can be easily serviced.
- If the outside unit is to be installed in an area that is close to your neighbours’ home you may consider planting around the unit to help muffle some of the operational noise. If the space is surrounded by close walls this can amplify the sound the equipment makes while running.
- The unit must be sized properly based on actual heat loss, heat gains and projected demand for domestic hot water to take full advantage of the energy savings. Best practice is to have a room-by-room heat loss/heat gain calculation done. Central Heating will do this and advice the sizing you will require.
What Benefits are there to Air-to-Water Heat Pumps?
- If you are replacing normal power based heating in your homes ie: standalone heaters, then you can expect lower fuel bills. This is because the heat energy being used (air) is free and the system only draws a relatively small amount of electricity to drive the heat pump compressor and water pump.
- They work more efficiently at a lower temperature than a standard boiler system would.
- There is very small, if not negligible carbon monoxide emissions from Air-to-Water heat pumps.
- You need never fear to run out of fuel to run the system. They do not need wood, coal, gas, pellet supplies.
- They have minimal maintenance requirements.
- In winter the water that circulates is heated to provide warmth throughout the home, but in summer you can choose to circulate cool water to help lower the internal temperature throughout your home.
- Using an Air-to-Water heat pump system you will use around less than ¼ of the power an electricity powered underfloor heating system would use.
- You can use the system to heat your domestic hot water for your water cylinder. much like a wet-back system. This can potentially reduce your domestic hot water costs by around 66%.
Keep In Mind
Heat pump water heaters tend to work best in areas with average air temperatures above about 7° Celsius. But most will still run more efficiently than a traditional electric or gas water heater in below-zero temperatures.
Systems that use an electric booster or backup element in cold conditions can be more expensive to run.
The upfront cost of heat pump water heating is relatively expensive.
In a minority of cases you may need a building consent to install a heat pump water heater. Central Heating can advise what the procedure will be for your site.