Should I get an air source heat pump
March 22, 2011 8:50 AM   Subscribe

We've just moved into an old house in the South of the UK. The oil-fired boiler is in desperate need of replacement. No mains gas is available. I'm interested in air source heat pumps, what advice can you offer me?

Air source heat pumps seem relatively new to the UK, and it's difficult to get unbiased advice. One heating engineer thinks it might be a good idea, another doesn't. What should I consider before choosing? Tell me about running costs, noise, whether it does a good job of heating your house. Or should I just pick the much cheaper option of a more modern and more efficient oil-fired boiler?

Alongside replacing the boiler we are upgrading the currently non-existent insulation in the timber-framed, render-clad walls.

Possibly relevant metrics are approx 2,500 square feet of living space, and near Cambridge in the UK.
posted by grahamspankee to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
There was a long article about this company in the Times (I think) at the weekend.

The owner's house is bascially a showcase for the technology and they make claims of £45k installation costs (bearing in mind this includes insulation, solar PV AND air source heat pumps) set against energy bills of £100 per year (against a £2k-£3k average).

This is the case study of the build (from the site).
posted by MuffinMan at 9:05 AM on March 22, 2011

Air Source Heat Pumps are not eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive when it starts in Ocotber 2012, which means there is a good chance that any ASHP installed now will not be brought into the subsisdy scheme even if it does expand to include ASHPs. Ground Source HPs are included in the RHI and if you install one now it will be included when the scheme begins for domesitc installations in October 2012.

You might consider applying to the Warm Front shceme, dependent on your personal circumstances, they can pay for energy efficiency and/or new heating systems.
posted by biffa at 9:22 AM on March 22, 2011

The efficiency increase of the modern boilers would probably pay for the cost of replacement in 2-3 years; energy conversion is around 85% now.
posted by buzzman at 11:30 AM on March 22, 2011

My apologies if this is off-topic and not helpful, but I thought it might be worth mentioning. I grew up in a village with no mains gas supply, but there were quite a few houses with gas supplied from a refillable tank (refilled by a tanker, much like oil). Calor gas were the major supplier I remember.
posted by *becca* at 6:20 PM on March 23, 2011

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