<span class="article__meta">Written by</span><p class="author__name"><a href="https://www.cbheating.co.uk/author/james-enderby/" target="_self">James Enderby</a></p>

James Enderby

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Jamie Ansell

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Can Air Source Heat Pumps cool your home?

Air source heat pumps are one of the best ways to heat your home dependably, comfortably, and without having to worry about gas in your home, you’ll also not have to worry about emissions as heat pumps produce no CO2!

But can ASHPs also cool your home? Some indeed can, but this function comes with particular downsides that mean they’re not always desirable for all areas.

Here is what you need to know:

Air source heat pumps move heat

The most important piece of information to begin with is that heat pumps move energy from one place to another (read all about how they work here) – in much the same way that a fridge keeps itself cold by taking heat from inside the fridge and releasing it outside. Heat pumps work in the same way; they extract heat from the outside air and transfer it to the central heating for your home.

Can I get an air-to-air heat pump?

While you absolutely can get an air-to-air heat pump, this is something you may want to avoid doing in the UK for several reasons.

The first is cost

The government BUS grant (which is currently very generous) doesn’t cover air-to-air heat pumps.

This is because the intention with the BUS grant is to reduce overall energy consumption across the country, but switching to air-to-air systems means that energy consumption essentially increases as homeowners use electricity to heat their homes in the winter and use more electricity to cool their homes in the summer.

They’re awkward to retrofit in UK homes

Secondly, almost all UK homes are heated through water-based central heating – so switching your heating system means you need to pull up all your floors in order to remove the heating pipes and/or install bulky ducting or multiple in-room units around your home.

You then need another way to heat water

Thirdly, air-to-air systems can only heat (or cool) your home – which is great for the ambient temperature but then means you need a completely different system to heat your water for showers, baths, and sinks.

This, in turn, further increases energy consumption and installation costs while also making maintenance more complex; after all, you’ll now have to organise maintenance of two systems.

They’re not especially necessary

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, they’re not usually necessary in UK domestic properties because of our climate. While we may get a few weeks of high heat, our summers rarely get as scorching as they do in places like California, Greece, or southern Spain. So it’s a great deal of work and a significant investment to refit a home’s heating for the sake of a few hot days a year.

Air to water cooling

Air to water heat pumps like the ones we install can be used for cooling too however this cannot be done with underfloor heating or traditional radiators due to condensation. Therefore, we need to replace these with fan convectors, these are a similar size to radiators but require power for the fan inside and a condense drain pipe that need to go outside. Another consideration is that ALL pipework within your house must be insulated to prevent condensation forming and causing damp issues within your home.

What’s the alternative?

Heating your home with water-based central heating has worked perfectly well since roman times, so why change that? What you can change is the source of your heat. 

Make the switch from gas to an air-to-water heat pump – these replace your gas boiler with a super efficient and dependable way to heat radiators and tap water, and they can be powered by zero carbon tariffs for a truly green home.

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