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Fire Extinguishing System

Air-to-Water Heat Pumps

If you’re contemplating installing a heating system in your house, you aren’t alone.

Most homeowners in Europe and America are looking forward to investing in smart home solutions that embrace modern technologies including energy-efficient heat pumps.

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Certainly, your home has unique energy requirements. Irrespective of its size, location, or climate, an air conditioner will offer an efficient cooling and heating solution for your family. These technologies/systems help reduce electricity bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions by leveraging the energy of the air to produce heat energy for warming your home and heating water for household use.

Recently, Air Source Heat Pumps, or ASHPs have become immensely popular technologies as an efficacious method of controlling temperature inside your house. In particular, two types of technologies have garnered tremendous attention over the past few years. They are air-to-air heat pumps and air-to-water heat pumps. The former is essentially a typical air conditioner that comprises indoor systems like floor consoles, wall-mountable components, and conduits that circulate heated or cold air inside your home. The latter is a special type of pump that transmits heated air from outside your house to water inside your home, which is then circulated via radiators and other components. Also, in addition to cooling, an air-to-water heat pump provides hot water for domestic applications. This post focuses on air-to-air heat pumps, their working principle, benefits, and installation.

  • What’s an air-to-water heat pump?
    A typical heat pump is an electrical gadget or system that transfers heat (hot air) from one point to another. Likewise, an air-to-water heat pump is a type of heat pump that consumes electricity to heat free air (outdoor), which then heats your indoor environment and water during winter and keeps your home cool in summer. Unlike a typical heat pump, an air-to-water heat pump pumps heat from the outside of the house (absolutely even if it is cold outdoors) instead of converting it using fuel, making air-to-water heat systems more economical and more energy efficient. These systems effectively replace conventional gas appliances, including ovens and gas hobs saving homeowners significant gas bills. Air-to-water heat pumps work efficiently with radiators in both existing and contemporary homes. Some homeowners prefer underfloor heat pump models/technologies (mostly owners of newly constructed houses with modern floors such as polished concrete and tiled floors)
  • Working Principle
    Basically, all heat pumps transfer heat energy from the outside to the inside of a house – on a similar principle as air conditioners. Besides, they resemble air conditioners – they feature outdoor units, ducts, and indoor units. An air-to-water heat pump is a sustainable and safe modern system that leverages advanced technologies for comfort in our homes. So, as the name suggests, a heat pump leverages outdoor free air to extract energy that is used to heat our houses. The cycle starts when a liquid-state R32 gas enters an evaporator where it is converted to a gaseous state after transforming from its aggregate state. To achieve this, these systems feature three fundamental components: an outdoor unit, an indoor component, and a liquid refrigerant. • Outdoor unit: this device/system works as the evaporator that extracts energy from free outdoor air. Simply put, the outdoor component draws free air into a heat pump and passes it through the evaporator to absorb thermal energy. • Liquid Refrigerant: This absorbs energy from the transformed gas. • Indoor unit: this houses the compression and condensation systems. When the gas enters this unit, it is compressed increasing its pressure and temperature. The compressed gas enters the condenser where it is passed over the home heating and hot water systems. The heat from the compressed gas is exchanged into a heating system and the compressed gas is transformed into liquid (water). To cool your home, all you need is to reverse this process, where the liquid refrigerant in the outdoor component will absorb heat from inside your home and release it outside
  • Benefits of air-water pumps
    Although air-to-water heat pumps aren’t a modern solution, they’ve recently witnessed tremendous uptake due to increasing energy bills across the globe and consumers shifting to more eco-friendly technologies. Many people are now enjoying the benefits of these systems in their homes, including: 1. Cost-effectiveness While the installation of air-to-water heat pumps requires more investment than installing a typical heating system, if properly used, they consume nearly 5 times less electricity than using classic heating systems to heat your home. This translates to substantial cost savings on monthly energy bills. For instance, depending on the brand, for every 1kW of electricity, an air-to-water heat pump can produce up to 5 KW of heat energy, compared to a regular heating system that generates heat energy in a ratio of 1:1. Compared to traditional heating systems, air-to-water heat pumps save close to 75 percent of heating energy. Overall, these systems help you save up to 25 percent of your all-inclusive monthly energy bills. Nevertheless, their efficiency and operation depend on various factors, including insulation, home design, type of material used, etc. 2. 75 percent carbon emission Air-to-water heat pumps are up to 4 times more efficient than conventional gas boilers and reduce carbon emissions by close to 75 percent. If you’re on a green energy tariff, the system operates entirely on a fossil-fuel-free and carbon-free emission mode. 3. Tailored for your unique home needs Since every home is unique and has peculiar heating requirements, most modern air-to-water heating systems can be customized to meet the demands of all homes, differently and satisfactorily. 4. Operating temperature and Space An air-to-water heat system has a vast range of operating temperatures and could be used to heat spaces measuring a few thousand square feet. 5. Compatibility with other existing heating systems/elements These systems are compatible with a wide variety of indoor heating systems/elements, including fan coils, underfloor heating and cooling, radiators, etc. If you want to upgrade your current heating system with an air-to-water heating system, you can still use existing heating elements without making additional investments. 6. Quick installation Installation of a typical air-to-water heating system takes approximately four days with minimal disruptions. 7. Little maintenance Unlike traditional heating systems like boilers, air-to-water heat pumps require comparatively little maintenance and can last roughly 50 percent longer. Generally, boiler systems last appropriately 10 to 15 years whereas air-to-water heat pumps can last up to 20 years.
  • Installation of air-to-water heat pumps
    Like any other upgrade or home change, the installation of an air-to-water heat pump involves a couple of steps, as follows: Step #1: Home Evaluation This exercise ensures that the heating system proposed is the right one to meet your home needs. These include your heating needs, the size of your home, the number (specification) of heating system units needed, and your favorite heat distribution method (radiator, underfloor, etc.). An HVAC engineer or technician can thoroughly evaluate your home and compile a report providing a rough estimate of the amount of money required for installation. Step #2: installing indoor component Here, the homeowner may choose between a ducted and ductless heating system. If they opt for a ducted system, the technician will need to access the ductwork (if there is any existing) in the building (whether in the basement, attic, etc). Where necessary, the contractor will repair the ductwork to maximize the efficiency of the new installation. On the other hand, if the consumer prefers a ductless heating system, the technician will find an unobstructed point on the wall, and then fasten a mounting plate on that point to clutch the indoor component. Step #3: Create an access point for connections Often, installers drill holes in the wall to create outlets for refrigerant pipes, electricity cables, and condensate drain pipes. Step #4: coupling the indoor components Next, the indoor component is connected to the refrigerant and condensate lines. Refrigerant lines enable the refrigerant to cycle through the outdoor condenser and the indoor condenser. Step #5: Installing outdoor component This is done after the indoor unit is installed. For large systems, the contractor may build a concrete slab to mount the condenser. For mini-split heating systems, the condenser is often mounted on the wall, above the ground. Step #6: Connecting the indoor and outdoor units When the installation of indoor and outdoor units is completed, the components will be connected with electrical and refrigerant lines. The lines will then be insulated and passed through conduits. Also, the contractor will install a drain line on the system. Step #7: final touches These are minor touches needed to completely finish the installation process, including installing sensors to signal your thermostat during different zones, affixing the pipes to the walls to secure them from sagging or falling, and configuring the system to a remote-controlled temperature adjustment system. How to maintain an air-to-water heat system If well maintained, the system can last more than two decades and this requires minor maintenance exercises such as: • Cleaning the coils and fan blades • Cleaning and replacing filters • Checking and removing debris (dust, objects) from the ducts • Checking refrigerant level • Checking for possible system leaks and damages • Lubricating moving parts • Checking electrical contacts
  • Why choose an air-to-water heat pump
    An air-to-water heat pump guarantees you a greener and cleaner future, helps you cut energy costs, lowers carbon emissions, and most importantly, brings comfort to your home.
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