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Renewables: Air Source Heat Pump

Air source heat pumps take heat from the outside air and use it to heat radiators or underfloor systems. They can function even when external temperatures are as low as -15oC and provide both heat and hot water in the home.

Heat pumps have some environmental impact, as they require electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the air is constantly being renewed naturally. 

How do Air Source Heat Pumps work?

Heat from the air is absorbed and transferred into a refrigerant fluid. This fluid then passes through a compressor where its temperature is increased and transfers its higher temperature heat to the heating and hot water circuits of the house. 

Having a heat pump could eliminate the need for a traditional boiler and significantly lower your heating bills because heat pumps run on electricity. If run on renewable energy, they can be very environmentally friendly.

Is your home suitable?

  • Check whether you need planning permission for ground source heat pumps, to check contact your local council's planning department 
  • Ensure that the walls and roof are well insulated before installing your air source heat pump to work efficiently 
  • You will need somewhere to put the unit outside the property, preferably against an open, south-facing wall
  • Although they can work with radiators, the technology usually works best when using underfloor heating
  • What fuel will you be replacing? Air source heat pumps are most cost effective when replacing electricity or coal heating systems

Financial help

Air Source Heat Pumps that generate renewable heat are eligible for the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. This will pay property owners annually over a period of 7 years for the heat that their heat pump generates. Visit our Incentives for Renewable Energy page for more information on the renewable heat incentive.

Have you thought about a hybrid heat pump?

In older properties where it is not possible to insulate to a high enough standard, a heat pump may not be fully effective on its own. If this is the case, you can install or have another heating system alongside the heat pump, usually a traditional gas or oil-fired boiler.

A heat pump and boiler set up is known as a hybrid heat pump or bivalent system. For most of these systems, the heat pump will provide all your heating needs, and the boiler will be switched off. However, on some occasions when the heat pump can not provide enough heat on its own for the property then the boiler will be switched on. This means that the system is ideal for all seasons, keeping your home cool in the summer and warm throughout the winter.

In this instance, the heat pump can be switched off and the boiler will provide all the heat, or both systems can run at the same time. This can be based on what is most cost effective for you and your property.

For more information contact Action Surrey on 0800 783 2503 or email

Alternatively, fill out our enquiry form online to obtain a survey and no-obligation quote.

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*All figures are taken from the Energy Saving Trust April 2019 figures