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Comparing Heating Solutions: Air Source Heating vs. Traditional Systems

Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you will be aware of Air Source Heat Pumps! They make the news on an almost daily basis and generate debate regarding their use as an effective alternative to gas, oil, or electric heating.


Now, if this were as straightforward as comparing how efficiently a heat pump runs compared to fossil fueled appliances, then it would win hands down! Of course, it’s not quite that simple. 


In this blog, I will break down the various component costs to get a feel for what might be suitable for you and help you make an informed decision. 


Long Term Gain

If you live in your forever home and are concerned about your heating bills, then installing a heat pump is definitely something you should consider. A well-designed heat pump system will run at upwards of 350% efficiency. That means for every 1kW of electrical energy that goes towards your heating, you will get 3.5kW of heat energy out - and this is a conservative figure.


Compared to a natural gas boiler, which will only ever achieve 90% efficiency (running on condensing - most efficient mode), that’s a ratio of 1:4. This figure can be even greater with lower flow temperatures, working out more cost effective, even with the inflated rate of electricity kWh compared to natural gas kWh.


The caveat to this is the capital cost of a heat pump being significantly more expensive than a gas boiler. The solution being (at time of writing) the government subsidises every install to the tune of £7,500 with another £7,500 on top as a 0% interest loan for up to x10 years. This levels the playing field and with lower running costs, heat pumps will pay for themselves in a short period of time. 

A Vaillant Heat Pump for Air Source Heating


Short Term Pain

Replacing your heat source is not usually at the top of anyone's agenda unless it’s a stress purchase (boiler condemned). Heating is very important, but most people take it for granted. When everything is running smoothly, it tends to go to the back of your mind, while you instead think about paying for your next holiday.


Having a comfortable, cosy home is also an expense that some can’t afford, which is highlighted by the extortionate cost of utilities added to the ever-growing cost of living crisis.


Another compelling argument for an air source heat pump is the ongoing, positive environmental impact. Naysayers will argue that electricity is generated from fossil fueled power stations. This is true in some places, but our energy in the North of Scotland is mostly generated from wind and hydro power (source: National Grid ESO).


Even when the electricity comes from a power station, a heat pump uses only a fraction of a direct fossil fueled appliance. Air Source Heat Pump = 1kW electricity in for 3.5kW heat out. Gas Boiler = 1kW in for 0.9kW heat out.


So, for anyone thinking a heat pump puts an equivalent demand on electricity being generated by a power station, the sums show otherwise.  Not only are heat pumps greener, they’re also cheaper to run! 


Companies with vested interests make the argument for hydrogen to produce green energy. This argument falls short on a number of levels, not least because it costs 3 times more money to make it using electricity, which of course could go directly to your heat pump instead.


All in all, the positives of installing an air source heating system far outweigh the negatives. If your building fabric allows and you have space outside to locate a heat pump, then what are you waiting for?


Get in touch with our friendly team at Aberdeen Air Source Heating Ltd.

and start your journey today!


We will guide you towards the relevant agencies for funding and give best advice for every scenario.


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