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16 June 2023
3 minute read

Busting the top five heat pump myths

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Written by:

Carl Robinson
Carl RobinsonContent writer
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Heat pumps have the potential to help millions of households across Europe reduce their energy bills and carbon footprints. But renewable energy systems can be complex and it feels like everyone has a different opinion on them.

Investing in a heat pump is a big decision to make. To help you make the right decision for your home, we’ve addressed the top five myths surrounding the technology.

Myth 1 - Heat pumps are expensive

Aira is committed to helping people join the clean energy revolution by buying an air to water heat pump. We offer an all-inclusive monthly plan, with zero deposit required to help our customers spread the cost of their air source heat pump over 10 years. The government is also offering a grant (Boiler Upgrade Scheme) for making the switch.

An air source heat pump cleverly uses the free air outside your home, combined with a small amount of electric power, to provide the same amount of heat you would expect from a gas boiler. This means you can expect to save up to 25% on your energy bills.

Myth 2 - Heat pumps are loud and difficult to maintain

Heat pumps do not run silently; however their maximum running volume is very quiet, with the unit that sits outside producing only about the same amount of noise as a refrigerator. The indoor parts of the heat pump - the circulation pump and immersion heater – make even less noise, rarely louder than whisper, so they shouldn’t disrupt your day-to-day life.


Myth 3 - Heat pump technology is new and hasn’t been properly tested

Heat pump technology is not new. In fact, the first air source heat pump was created between 1855 and 1857 by Austrian scientist Peter von Rittinger, who used it to dry out marshes so that they could be mined for salt.

Sweden has around two million heat pumps in operation, covering 43% of households – making it a tried and tested alternative to gas or oil-fired boilers for heating and hot water.

Myth 4 - Heat pumps require lots of space

Air source heat pumps are typically installed outside homes, in gardens or on patios. This allows them to capture cool air, extract its temperature and use it to heat your home and water.

For the outside unit, you will need a flat, solid surface to mount your heat pump, allowing 1 – 1.5m of vertical space and 0.5-1m horizontally. At least 1.5m of unobstructed space will be needed in front of the heat pump fans to prevent the heat pump being obstructed, and a small gap will need to be left between the heat pump and the wall.

For the inside component, you will need to ensure you have an interior space roughly the size of a conventional gas boiler (0.7m height x 0.3m depth x 0.4m width) and, depending on the model you are provided, an additional space for a hot water cylinder (these are normally about 1.5m x 0.7m).If you are more limited on space, Aira also offers an all-in-one indoor unit, which is approximately the size of a fridge freezer (1.91m height x 0.6m width X 0.65m depth).


Myth 5 - Heat pumps won’t work in cold weather

Although heat pumps must work harder to heat homes in colder climates, they remain a very efficient heating solution all year round.

Air source heat pumps can easily withstand up to at least -25°C. Norway is a great example of this: long-standing government grants have contributed to one heat pump being installed for every four people, proving that air source heat pumps can be very effective even in very cold climates. At Aira, we ensure that our customers’ homes have an average temperature of 20°C on the coldest day of the year.

Ensuring your home is well insulated, servicing your heat pump before the weather gets cold, and considering installing underfloor heating and larger radiators can help maximise heat efficiency.

Girl and dog outside with heat pump in snow

Towards a more sustainable future

Heat pumps are key to driving the low-carbon revolution in Europe. By tackling misinformation about this exciting technology, we can ensure that everyone – whoever they are and wherever they live – has the potential to benefit from it.

Find out why you should switch to a heat pump from a boiler.

From the Aira team

Common heat pump misconceptions

The outdoor unit of the heat pump does make some noise, although it is only as loud as your refrigerator or a quiet washing machine.

The indoor parts of the heat pump - the circulation pump and immersion heater - might make a very small noise, but it will be no louder than a whisper.

Heat pumps can provide effective heating in temperatures as low as -25 degrees celsius. And because your package includes our Aira Comfort Guarantee at no extra cost, you’re guaranteed 20 degree celsius cosiness on even the coldest day of the year – or we’ll come straight out to fix it.

Yes, our indoor unit can be installed in a garage, but our experts will recommend the best location for your air to water heat pump after visiting your home.

A heat pump will work far more efficiently if your home is well-insulated. Not every home will need insulation but if it is required, we will take care of it for you as part of our Aira all-inclusive plan. This will all be discussed with you during your home energy assessment.

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