Working parts and components of an air source heat pump

Have you ever wanted to know how an air source heat pump works? This system can heat and cool your house in an energy-saving way! In this post, we’ll explain what each part of the heat pump does to keep you comfy all year. 

They are not only amazing performers but they also do that at significantly less energy consumption. This is exactly why the UK government is increasingly encouraging it. These are so amazing that they’ve become an integral part of the net zero carbon emission 2050 target. To get working government-led ECO 4 scheme is helping households to switch to these incredible machines. Details of this free air-source heat pump can be found at
Now, let’s embark on a journey to uncover the fascinating world of air source heat pump components and discover how they work together to create a comfortable environment within your home.

What is an air source heat pump?

An air source heat pump is like a magic box that can make your house warm in winter and cool in summer. It works by taking heat from outside and bringing it inside when it’s cold, and vice versa when it’s hot. As a result, it helps to keep your home cosy all year round.

Also, there are two main types of air source heat pumps: one that directly heats or cools the air inside your home (air-to-air), and another that heats water first and then uses it to warm up your house (air-to-water).

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The science behind air source heat pumps

To understand how air source heat pumps work, we need to know about the refrigeration cycle. This cycle involves four parts: compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. Moreover, it allows the heat pump to move heat from one place to another.

How air source heat pumps work

Firstly, the heat pump takes warmth from the outside air using a special liquid called refrigerant. This liquid absorbs heat and turns into a gas. Next, it goes through the compressor, which squeezes it, making it hotter. After that, the hot gas releases its heat inside your home and becomes a liquid again. As a result, this process keeps repeating, keeping your house cosy.

Components of an air source heat pump system

There are three main parts to an air source heat pump system:

The heat pump system consists of several essential components that work together to provide heating and cooling for your home.

  • Compressor: It pumps refrigerant through coils to transfer heat, increasing the pressure and temperature before releasing it into the condenser coil.
  • Expansion Valve: Regulates refrigerant flow by controlling liquid or gas entering components, ensuring optimal performance.
  • Evaporator Coil: Absorbs thermal energy from outside air, converting it into cool air inside your home using evaporation cooling technology.
  • Condenser Coil: Releases hot compressed gas outdoors, providing efficient cooling without straining other HVAC parts.
  • Refrigerant Lines: Connect major components, allowing efficient thermal energy transfer indoors and outdoors.
  • Reversing Valve: Switches between heating and cooling modes for year-round energy savings.
  • High & Low-Pressure Switches: Prevent excessive pressure, ensuring system safety and efficiency.
  • Thermostat: Regulates temperature by instructing the heat pump to turn on/off based on ambient air temperature.
  • Electric Heating Element: Provides additional heating when temperatures are too cold for the heat pump alone.
  • Defrost Cycle: Prevents freezing during winter by melting ice on outdoor components.
  • Air Handler: Distributes warm or cool air throughout the building via ducts and vents.
  • Blower Motor: Powers the air handler, pushing air throughout the building.
  • Drain Pan & Condensate Pump: Collect and remove condensation to prevent damage and maintain low moisture levels.
  • Outdoor Fan & Air Filter: Move cool air and catch debris to maintain system efficiency.
  • ECM Motor: Regulates blower motor speed for comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Accumulator: Collects leftover refrigerant to prevent damage to other components.

Air source heat pumps are popular in the UK for several reasons.

Firstly, they are highly energy-efficient, generating up to three times more heat than the electricity they use. Consequently, this helps cut down on energy bills. Moreover, they are environmentally friendly as they use renewable energy from the air, reducing reliance on fossil fuels. As a result, they help in decreasing carbon emissions.

Additionally, they offer cost savings by reducing energy bills over time. Now, there are grants available for homes not connected to the gas grid. Consequently, they cover some installation costs. Lastly, they are perfect for the UK’s weather conditions. So they work efficiently even in temperatures as low as -20°C. On top of that, they provide reliable heating in winter and cooling in summer.

Installation and maintenance of air source heat pumps

For the installation of an air source heat pump system, it’s essential to hire a certified professional. They’ll ensure safety and proper functioning. The process involves placing the outdoor unit, connecting it to the indoor unit, and setting up the thermostat. As a result, regular maintenance is crucial for the longevity and efficiency of your system. This includes tasks like cleaning filters, inspecting components, and scheduling professional servicing every few years.

So by understanding how air source heat pumps work, you can decide if they’re right for your home. No doubt, with their energy efficiency and eco-friendly features, they offer a sustainable and cost-effective solution.

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How much does an air source heat pump installation cost?

Well, the cost of installing an air-source heat pump can vary based on different factors. If you qualify for the air source heat pump grant available in the UK under the ECO4 scheme, you may be able to have it installed for free. Otherwise, if you opt for private installation, the cost depends on factors like system size, installation complexity, and location. On average, installing a complete air source heat pump system, including installation, can range from £6,000 to £12,000.