Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) and natural gas boilers are two common heating systems used in residential and commercial buildings around the United Kingdom, Each has its own set of benefits and considerations. Here are some advantages of air-source heat pumps compared to gas boilers that consumers are taking into consideration with great interest.
- Energy Efficiency: Air source heat pumps are known for their high energy efficiency ratings. They transfer heat from the outdoor air to indoors using electricity, making them more energy-efficient than burning natural gas in a boiler. This can lead to lower energy bills and reduced carbon emissions if the system designer has done all his calculations correctly and the installer has followed the plans.
- Renewable Energy Source: Air source heat pumps rely on the heat present in the air around us, which is a renewable resource. Gas boilers, on the other hand, burn fossil fuels and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, even with band A* graded appliances, this issue can’t be managed. There is a growing market of consumers who are turning their back on fossil fuels. As a gas engineer, you already hold one of the main prerequisites to undertake air source heat pump training.
- Safety: ASHPs do not involve combustion, so there’s no risk of gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, or explosions, which are potential risks associated with gas boilers. This isn’t to say that leaks can not occur. Most units are pre-charged for the refrigeration side and should never need servicing outside of critical failure internally, so the chance of a refrigeration leak is extremely low. The pipework layout for a property’s central heating will be very similar to that of a fossil fuel-burning appliance, with this comes all the usual leaks you commonly would find on a day-to-day basis as a gas engineer.
- Lower Operating Costs: While the upfront cost of installing an air source heat pump can be higher than that of a gas boiler, the long-term operating costs are generally lower due to the higher energy efficiency and potentially lower maintenance requirements. The case for lower operating costs is only true if the most imperative part of the job is undertaken correctly, the heat pump properties heat loss calculations.
- Longevity: ASHPs typically have longer lifespans than gas boilers. They have fewer moving parts and experience less wear and tear, leading to reduced maintenance and replacement costs over time as long as they have been installed to the designer’s criteria.
- Low Maintenance: ASHPs generally require less maintenance compared to gas boilers, which have more complex systems and moving parts. Maintenance of an air source heat pump is very simple, but there also comes with it the usual requirement of checking over any cylinder installation that is associated with the installation.
- Government Incentives: In some regions, there are government incentives, grants, or subsidies for installing energy-efficient systems like air source heat pumps. These incentives can help offset the initial installation costs and are commonly paid directly to the installer.