Air Source Heat Pump Installation

At Ashford Heat Pumps we will provide the ideal heating package for each home or business, custom-tailored to your needs. We are an MCS certified supplier – giving you the peace of mind that your system will be professionally commissioned in line with the latest industry standards and oversight.

What does MCS mean?

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme, (MCS), is an independent certification system that certifies microgeneration (renewable energy) products and their installers. This certification is a sign that the product is high quality and provides consumers with assurance. It is necessary for anyone who wants to receive financial incentives for the technologies such as the Smart Export Guarantee or the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

The different types of air source heat pumps we can install

There are two main types of air source heat pump (ASHP): air-to-air and water-to-water heat pumps. Most UK ASHP installations are of the ‘air-to water’ type. Hybrid types are also available, but are less popular.

Air-to-water heat pumps

These systems transfer heat into a standard ‘wet” heating system. This arrangement gives you hot water as well as central heating.

Air-to-air heat pumps

A small number of UK air source heat pump models are ‘air-to-air’. They heat the air through the transfer of heat, and then distribute the heat throughout the home via wall mounter “blower” units. They do not provide hot water. They can be turned on or off depending on the season.

Commonly known as air-conditioning, this system can also be used for room cooling.

Hybrid heat pumps

Hybrid ASHPs can be combined with existing central heating systems and boilers. They provide heat and hot water as a base load. The boiler is only fired up to heat more water, for example to give a quick heat boost when it is particularly cold.

Our air source heat pump installation process

As with any home improvement project there are a series of steps to install an air source heat pump. Although every home is different, the following guide will explain how we approach ASHP installation. This includes the steps that should be followed before, during, after the installation.

The controls and pipework for ASHPs are quite similar to traditional boilers. You will need to install both indoor and outdoor units. The precise steps can differ depending on whether the project is retrofitted or new.

Pre Installation: Site survey and system design

  1. We first conduct an inspection to assess the property and determine the most suitable type of heat pump and system set-up.
  2. In about an hour, the engineer will measure the dimensions of your home and determine the heating requirements. They will take into account factors such as the size of the home, types of existing radiators or underfloor heating, insulation levels, and potential sites for the heat pump
  3. All these factors will help them determine how much heat is lost from your home. The heat pump you will need to heat your home is going to be larger if there’s more heat loss.
  4. Once all this has been done, the engineer will prepare an installation report with drawings of the property to ensure efficient installation. The installer will recommend the right size and type of ASHP for you based on their findings from the inspection.
  5. We may recommend adding insulation to your home, larger radiators, or underfloor heating in order to reduce heat loss and make it more suitable for heat pumps. It often makes sense to make these changes at the same time as installing your heat pump.
  6. We are also certified to safely remove an existing system, such as a boiler or gas stove and will recommend appropriately if this needs doing.

Installation: Indoor and outdoor units

ASHP systems require an indoor and an outdoor unit.

The outdoor unit

This unit takes air from outside and compresses it to warm it up. When installing an outdoor unit, the installer will make certain that there is sufficient airflow and minimal obstructions. The unit will then be bolted to the ground. Brackets will be attached to ensure that it does not move.

How far should the heat pump be from my house?

The distance between the ASHP and any neighbouring properties will be governed by the type of unit and any intermediary boundary structures such as walls or fences. As MCS installers we will ensure that MCS020 standards are met.

What is MCS020?

This is the part of the MCS standard pertaining to the noise produced by ASHP units. It requires a noise limit below 42 dB(A). We will ensure that this compliance level is met.

The indoor unit

These are connected to the radiators, hot water tank, and other parts of of the internal heating system

Installation: placing and connecting the units

Access between the outdoor condenser and the indoor unit is via holes drilled through the wall of the house. This will allow for refrigerant, electrical, and condensate drain lines to be connected to the outdoor unit. The installer will drill a hole in your exterior wall, and in the room where the mini-split system is installed.

Next, the indoor units will be connected to the condensate and refrigerant lines. The refrigerant line allows refrigerants to cycle through both the outdoor and indoor condensers. Depending on the temperature of your ASHP, the lines will transport warm liquid or cool liquid to the indoor units.

After installing the outdoor and indoor units, the installer will connect them electrically and with the refrigerant line. The lines will be insulated and run through conduits to shield the wiring from the elements. A drain line will also go outside to remove condensation. The system will then be connected up to your hot water tank.

Finishing and maintenance after installation

There will be final fixes needed after the installation is completed to ensure efficient operation of the heat pump. Air source heat pumps are equipped with sensors which will need to be tested and calibrated. They must be installed to allow the heat pump to send temperature signals back to your thermostat.

Talk to your installer at this stage about maintenance requirements. Although air source heat pumps are very easy to maintain, it is recommended that you check the filters regularly and clean the fans as well. Our servicing technicians can check the filters and clean fans regularly to keep your heat pump running smoothly for its entire lifespan.

How long will the air source heat pump installation take?

The installation of an air source heat pump can take up to five days, depending on the complexity of the job. On average we complete most installations within 2 days. Most of the work is external, so won’t disturb you too much.

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