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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines


Essential advice on your problems with building, budgeting, DIY & planning from the most experienced names in the self build industry


Is an air source heat pump suitable for my project?

I am really struggling to know whether I should run my wet underfloor system with an air source heat pump (ASHP). Does it save money over traditional methods? How do you heat water for other tasks in the house? Is the fan noisy? I am confused to say the least.

Underfloor heating (UFH) can be fed by conventional boilers, heat pumps or even a biomass boiler. Subsidies aside, an ASHP won’t necessarily save you money over mains gas given the greater initial costs. The Renewable Heat Incentive does offer a tariff of 7.51p/kWh though, which may sway you. For others the motivation lies in producing green energy and living more sustainably. Regarding acoustic performance, you don’t need to worry about the fans as they aren’t noisy and the units are normally located outside.

An ASHP is less efficient at higher delivery temperatures – so it’s more suited to supplying space heating than providing domestic hot water (DHW). However, it’s still more effective than electrical resistance heating (an immersion heater in a tank). I normally recommend underfloor heating when installing an ASHP as the heat output is lower than a radiator based system, so the pump does less work. Nonetheless, having UFH doesn’t mean you have to use an ASHP. If your reasoning is purely financial, I would recommend weighing up the installation fees, likely running cost and performance of particular models against the alternatives.

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About Build It

The December edition of Build It magazine brings you a wealth of information to help make your self build, renovation, extension or conversion project a success – including: • A unique modular home (page 20) • How to get basement extensions right (page 62) • 15 renovation ideas to add value and kerb appeal (page 66) • Will smart heating save you money? (page 73) • The latest woodburner trends and costs (page83) … and much more!