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September 27, 2023 ---- Gastec Training

AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS, THE TRUTH

An air source heat pump (ASHP) works by transferring heat absorbed from the outside air to an indoor space. This works via the wet central heating systems to heat underfloor circuits or radiators, it also provides domestic hot water. Heat pumps work similarly to a refrigerator, they absorb heat and transfer it to another medium. After completing our air source heat pump course we would not be lying if the words “Is that it. a flow and return?” came up often describing how simple the installation is.

Ignore the bad press. As an engineer, you should understand the simple reason for it. As an engineer is it not your job to figure out what is going wrong and put it right? It certainly is a lucrative market, and it is not showing any signs of slowing down.

A poorly designed system costs money, this applies to gas central heating systems as much as it does heat pump technology. There is no denying the demand for air-source heat pumps, a simple look around Facebook or watching the news will show this.

The real question is, do you have the skill level required to claim five thousand pounds in grant money from the government to expand my business? Not something you will hear very often…

How do I make air-source heat pumps benefit my business?

There is no denying the cost of an air source heat pump can be high, but demand is there. With the BUS (Boiler Upgrade Scheme) from OFGEM, you as an engineer can get five thousand pounds towards the installation. More information on the BUS scheme is in the link below.

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-and-social-schemes/boiler-upgrade-scheme-bus

The cost of the grant with the associated extra work makes air source installations demanding, and therefore good for business. We have seen many companies expand into air source system installation as of late, so why fall behind the crowd? Like it or not, they are here to stay.

For a heat pump to work properly, a home needs to be insulated in accordance with all new building regulations to prevent heat from escaping. A house that is not insulated to specifications will require a larger heat pump to make up for the heat loss from the property. The cost will increase from an installation standpoint and the running costs for the customer will be high and non-efficient.

Step 1 – Planning

Many engineers will go directly to a manufacturer for surveying a job and coming up with the design plans, this eliminates all the stress of a system not running efficiently down the line. Any issues with the system efficiency will always fall to the system designer, so why take the stress? Manufacturers will not hesitate to tell you if a property is not suitable. You can even sit on our air source design course to learn the requirements to specify and design air source systems yourself. Many companies assign a set engineer in the surveying and design role as this is very paperwork orientated… not for everyone.

Step 2 – Installation

Plans and wiring diagrams being handed over, you do the job you love. Air source heat pump systems from inside a property are not dissimilar from what you know as an unvented system. There are added requirements set out by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), and we cover all the requirements in our training course. Once the installation is complete, it’s a simple job of setting up the parameters and handing them over to the customer.

Step 3 – Maintenance

Maintenance of air source systems is rather straightforward. Unvented G3 checks you would normally carry out with unvented cylinders cover a bulk of the work. The refrigeration side of the air source units requires no maintenance, in fact rarely ever goes wrong!

We cover the full installation of an air source heat pump system to an underfloor heating system during our training, we even threw an oil boiler in for good measure! Gastec also covers commissioning, MCS requirements for installation, filling and flushing systems as well as fault finding. No stone is left unturned.

Time and time again we see engineers walk away looking confused as to how simple the whole process is. It is not alien technology and we are here to prove it.

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Gastec Training and Assessment Centres have been the leading supplier of ACS training and assessment services to the trades for almost 30 years.

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