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Air Source Heat Pumps: 5 Things to Know

December 13th, 2020

Last updated: June 25th, 2024

The use of air source heat pumps has increased in recent years as the HVAC sector has become more aware of its carbon footprint, technologies have improved to make them more effective and the industry has responded with Green initiatives and grants for air source heat pumps to promote and reward their use.

Using heat pumps has to be cost effective for a business to buy-in to the technology, and this is now the case, with both ground source and air source pumps becoming popular.

A recent announcement by the Government to work towards installing 600,000 new air source heat pumps in the UK every year by 2028, means now is definitely the time for businesses to invest in heat pump technology. But what do you need to know if you are taking the plunge and moving away from a traditional gas boiler for your heating and hot water requirements?

You will likely have a long list of questions regarding how air source heat pumps work, the typical air source heat pump running costs, and what air source heat pump maintenance might be required.

Let’s answer some of your questions about this modern and efficient heating method.

1. Your Property Needs to Suit a Heat Pump

Not every building is suitable for this kind of heat pump. To make a heat pump energy efficient, your property needs to be well insulated and have no draughts, meaning windows and doors need to be airtight and well-sealed. So a heat pump might not suit a business that is in an older property, or a warehouse with lots of open space and where doors are left open for long periods of the day. Also, you will need sufficient space outside the property to install the pump unit, this might be a problem for some smaller businesses.

2. System Design Needs to be Matched to Your Premises

You will most likely want your heat pump to take care of all your heating and hot water requirements, just like your gas boiler did. But the design of your system has to suit your premises and the demands you put on it. It is very easy to overwork a heat pump and it can then become inefficient if the pump isn’t big enough for the demands you subject it to. The pump can then cost extra money, or even break down more frequently as a result of being overstretched.

So the pump has to be big enough to produce enough energy to heat all the rooms sufficiently and produce enough hot water for all your staff.

This means that air source heat pump systems are rarely off-the-shelf products and you will need to speak to design professionals to find a system that works most effectively for your business. Fortunately, Robinsons Facilities Services can help you to create the perfect system for your own unique building, as long as it is suited to installing this type of heat pump.

3. Heat Pumps Can Work All-Year-Round

There are some common misconceptions about how these pumps work. Air source heat pumps are effective in converting heat from the air, whatever temperature it is. It doesn’t have to be warm, and the conditions outside don’t make a difference to how the technology works. So an air source heat pump will work just as well when it is zero degrees outside as they do when it is 20 or 30 degrees.

You always need hot water at work, even if you don’t need heating, so heat pumps are a cost effective and energy efficient way of providing that 365 days a year.

4. Adopting Smart Technology

As a renewable energy source, your heat pump can be connected to the internet and managed remotely using a smartphone app. So a business owner can monitor and control usage from home at all times of day and have a much better visibility of running costs and emissions.

If you have already adopted this sort of technology via a building management system then there is every chance that you can integrate your heat pump to ensure that it is working at maximum potential. These kinds of systems help with multiple aspects of building management, including allowing you to section off certain sections, and alter the heating settings from afar to make sure you aren’t just burning energy the whole time.

5. You Still Need Electricity

This is where we’re going to get into how air source heat pumps work. A heat pump works by effectively moving heat from one place to another, to make it more usable. Heat from the air gets absorbed into a liquid, which causes it to boil and become a gas, this raises its temperature. This is done using a pump which is still powered by electricity. With the cost of electricity as it currently is, you might be forgiven for thinking that’s really bad news.

However, the efficiency of heat pumps is measured by the heat energy output per kW of electricity used. So for example, for every 1kW of electricity used, 3.2 kW of heat can be generated. So a heat pump is still much more energy efficient than some other heating sources, despite using electricity. It’s clear to see why this sort of technology is being pushed so much, as it can greatly reduce the impact your business has in terms of energy usage.

At Robinsons Facilities Services we have great industry experience in designing, installing, maintaining and servicing air source heat pumps, so we can work with your business to find a suitable heat pump solution that is cost effective and energy efficient for the long term health of your business and the environment.

As well as installation services, we can offer planned preventative maintenance for heat pumps, and a variety of other HVAC products. With a maintenance contract you can ensure that you never make the easy mistake of forgetting to book a service or maintaining your premises. For more info, call 01423 226578 or email

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