Air warmed by air? It sounds like a paradox, but is a heating solution that is becoming more common in the UK every day. An air to air heat pump extracts heat from the outside and directly heats the air in a specific part of a building, causing the temperature to gradually increase as the warm air circulates. This circulation of warm air is designed to supplement the property’s central heating system, enabling the homeowner to maintain their primary living space at a higher temperature for increased comfort.
The system works according to principles similar to those which cause your refrigerator to extract heat from inside and deposit it outside, except in reverse. The process allows you to gather heat from the outside air, even if the temperature outside is fairly low, and release it into your building. Since outdoor heat is renewable, this type of heat pump can contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.
But how does it work? An air to air pump sources heat from the outside air by circulating a liquid with a very low boiling point through pipes that reach the outside air. This liquid becomes a gas when in contact with heat in the air outside and then passes through a compressor which raises the temperature further. The heat created is harvested through a condenser, which turns the gas back into liquid form while at the same time transferring the heat to a useable medium. In this case, the heat from outside is transferred to currents of air and used to warm the rooms of the building.
The benefits of an air to air heat pump are similar to those of any air source heat pump. Although the system requires electricity to work, the costs are generally lower than those of traditional heating systems, especially once the initial costs of installation have been offset. Despite the electricity requirement, an air to air heat pump is considered to be a renewable form of energy and is therefore eligible to receive support under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme run by the UK government. The grant you receive as part of this scheme lowers the running costs of your system considerably. There are also added advantages of no fuel and little maintenance to worry about. An air to air heat pump can also work in reverse, doubling as an air conditioning unit during the summer months, when a cooler indoor temperature is desired.
Air to air heat pumps can only be effective if every effort has been made to minimise heat loss from the building. Otherwise, the warmth deposited in the air will be lost through walls, windows or doors. Insulation is important in every home, but particularly in homes that employ this type of heat pump, otherwise the system will be forced to work too hard and use too much electricity to be efficient. Air to air heat pumps are usually used in a supplementary manner with other systems and benefit homeowners by reducing dependence on traditional methods of heating and the costs thereof.
If you are interested in increasing the sustainability of your lifestyle, installing an air to air heat pump may be a good solution, but only if your home is suitably well-insulated and compliant with various other factors. If you are unsure whether it is the best renewable heat solution for your building, you can contact us at Franck Energy and we will do our best to help you choose the right technology for your particular situation. Our staff are friendly and knowledgeable and we take a down-to-earth view of things. We are interested in helping you to find the right supplier and installer for your chosen technology, rather than in dazzling you with the latest cutting-edge design. Get in contact today to find out how we could help you to save both money and the environment.