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How Efficient is an Air Source Heat Pump?

Q)   Are air source heat pumps efficient?

A)    Yes. If installed and designed correctly. Efficiency of a heat pump is measure in COP. For example the amount of heat produced for every unit of electricity used is known as the Coefficient of Performance (CoP). So, if a heat pump has a CoP of 3.0, then it gives out three units of heat for every unit of electricity it uses.


A heat pump uses less energy than a gas boiler; as it produces more than 1 kW of heat from 1 kW of electricity, so for example a heat pump producing 3 kW of heat from 1 kW of electricity in a household that needed 15,000 kWh of gas will only need 5,000 kWh of electricity to provide the same heat.  In the design of heating systems with heat pumps it is therefore extremely important to ensure that as much heat as possible can be created from each kilowatt hour of electricity, as this will reduce the amount of electricity required, the lower the flow temperature, the better the design and installation the more efficient your heat pump will be

Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are an increasingly popular choice for domestic heating and cooling. Like each of the electrical, heating and renewable systems that we install at DCR, there are ways to maximise their performance for optimum efficiency.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your ASHP running efficiently. This includes:

Annual Servicing: Our specialist aftercare team will contact you to arrange for one of our engineers to inspect and service your heat pump annually. They will check for any issues, clean components, and ensure everything is working correctly.

  • Clean or Replace Filters: Dirty filters can restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.

  • Clean Coils and Fans: Dust and debris can accumulate on coils and fans, reducing efficiency. Clean these parts regularly to maintain optimal performance.

Optimise Thermostat Settings

Using your thermostat efficiently can have a significant impact on your ASHP’s performance.

  • Set Appropriate Temperatures: Avoid setting your thermostat too high in the winter or too low in the summer. Moderate settings reduce the load on your heat pump.

  • Use Programmable/SMART Thermostats: If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to adjust temperatures when you’re away or asleep to avoid unnecessary heating or cooling.

Improve Home Insulation

Good insulation reduces the amount of work your ASHP needs to do to maintain a comfortable temperature.

  • Seal Gaps and Cracks: Check for and seal any gaps or cracks in your home’s exterior to prevent heat loss.

  • Insulate Walls and Loft Space: Ensure your walls and loft is well-insulated. This helps maintain indoor temperatures and reduces the strain on your heat pump.

Optimise Airflow

Proper airflow is essential for heat pump efficiency.

  • Clear Obstructions: Ensure that the outdoor unit is free from obstructions such as leaves, snow, or debris. Maintain a clear space around the unit to allow for adequate airflow.

  • Indoor Airflow: Keep vents and ducts clean and unobstructed to ensure efficient air distribution throughout your home.

Upgrade to a Variable-Speed or Inverter Unit

If your current heat pump is an older, single-speed model, consider upgrading to a variable-speed or inverter unit. These models can adjust their output to match the heating or cooling demand more precisely, leading to higher efficiency and comfort.

Monitor and Adjust System Performance

Keep an eye on your system’s performance and make adjustments as needed.

Install a Smart Thermostat: Smart thermostats can provide insights into your energy usage and allow you to make adjustments remotely.

Monitor Energy Bills: Sudden increases in your energy bills can indicate a problem with your heat pump that needs addressing.

By following these tips, you can significantly improve the efficiency of your air source heat pump, leading to lower energy bills and a reduced environmental impact.


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