Air source heat pumps are the most cost-effective and simplest for retro-fit installations due to ease of installation compared to their alternative, ground source heat pumps. Ground source are particularly suited to new build properties due to the need to dig up the surrounding ground to install the required pipework that this type of heat pump requires. Ground source can be retrofitted too as long as you have enough outside space for the pipework.
It’s important to note that an air source heat pump’s efficiency can be affected when it is colder outside as it will need to work harder converting the cold air, which consumes more electricity. It will still provide more heat than electrical consumption, but not as much as when temperatures are warmer outside.
Some factors that also need to be taken into account when installing an air source heat pump is the location at the property, noise levels for both the home owner and neighbouring properties and the distance to the potential hot water storage tanks location, plus additional allowances for the unit being exposed to the outside weather conditions.
Both air and ground source heat pumps require specific and detailed design including the completion of an in depth room by room heat loss calculation. Installers of air and ground source heat pumps should undergo vigorous, regular and in-depth Quality Management reviews and External Auditing which gains approval to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).