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How Much Space Does An Air-Source Heat Pump Require?

Unlike ground-source heat pumps, the installation of air-source heat pumps has a relatively smaller impact on the interior or exterior space of your property.


Air-source heat pumps extract heat from the air outside your home and use it to heat the water inside your house. Here’s how an air-source heat pump works.


While they are not the largest, air-source heat pumps do require installation space.


Here’s the space you’ll need for installing an air-source heat pump both inside and outside your property:


External Space for Air-Source Heat Pump:

Air-source heat pumps are typically installed outside the house. This allows them to capture cold air from the outside, extract the temperature from the air, and use it to heat the water inside your home.


Then, the cooled air is expelled. As this process continues, the water continues to heat until it reaches a sufficient temperature for heating your home, providing hot water for showers and baths, and for everyday activities like cleaning and washing.


When installing a heat pump outside your property, you’ll need:

  • Flat concrete (or an alternative sturdy, stable surface) for the heat pump installation.
  • Vertical space of 1 – 1.5 meters to accommodate the upright placement of the heat pump.
  • External heat pump unit width of 0.5 – 1 meter.
  • At least 1.5 meters of unobstructed space in front of the heat pump’s fan to prevent obstruction of the airflow leaving the heat pump and preventing cold air from recirculating through the pump.
  • Space for the pipes that carry the heat into your home, the size of which will vary.

Depending on the type of heat pump you choose, you might be able to have it installed on an external wall, or you might need to leave a small gap.


Air-source heat pumps can generate some noise, but they typically don’t cause disruptions. However, some installers may advise against installing them on an external wall near downstairs bedrooms.


Air-source heat pumps do not require planning permission, as they are considered permitted development.


heat pump installation

Internal Space for Air-Source Heat Pump:

Similar to ground-source heat pumps, you need to ensure there’s internal space for both:

  • Heat exchanger (roughly the size of a conventional gas boiler, 0.7m high x 0.3m deep x 0.4m wide).
  • Hot water cylinder (typically around 1.5m x 0.7m).
  • An integrated heat pump system is also an option, where the heat pump and cylinder are combined in one unit (the size of an integrated heat pump is approximately that of a fridge-freezer, 1.91m high x 0.6m wide x 0.65m deep).
  • Size of Ground-Source Heat Pump Radiators:

Air-source heat pumps operate at lower flow temperatures compared to gas boilers, usually around 35° – 45°. Due to the lower flow temperature, you’ll also need larger radiators to help maintain a stable internal temperature and distribute heat evenly throughout the house, even as the outdoor temperature drops. The recommended radiator size for a ground-source heat pump is typically suggested to be 2.5 times the size of standard radiators installed with gas boilers.


General domestic radiators are around 10; 0.4m x 0.4m (each radiator 0.16 square meters or a total of 1.6 square meters).


10 radiators x 1m x 1m (each radiator 1 square meter or a total of 10 square meters).


An alternative recommended radiator upgrade option can be underfloor heating, but it can be costly.


Air Ducts for Delivering Cold Air around Your Home:

If you want the heat pump to provide cooling settings and act as air conditioning during summers, you’ll need to install air ducts inside your home to allow the heat pump to deliver cold air.


The cheapest ducting type is spiral duct fittings, which typically have diameters ranging from 80 to 1600 millimeters and are made from galvanized steel, aluminum, or stainless steel.


If you’re looking for a system that handles heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, a HVAC system is also an option.


The size of HVAC systems varies, and the area of your home will influence the type and size of HVAC system you’ll need.


The size of the system is around 1010 millimeters wide x 549 millimeters high x 165 millimeters deep but can replace existing air conditioning units.


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Total Space Required for Air-Source Heat Pump:

External Space: 3.5 square meters for the external heat pump unit.


Internal Space: 13.6 square meters for internal heat pump components, hot water cylinder, and larger radiators or HVAC system to distribute heat around your home.


When planning for the installation of an air-source heat pump, it’s essential to consider both the external and internal space requirements. Proper placement and adequate space will ensure the efficient operation of the heat pump and provide the desired heating and hot water supply for your home.


Additionally, it’s important to consult with a professional HVAC technician or an installation company to assess your property’s specific needs and recommend the most suitable air-source heat pump system for your home.


Keep in mind that while air-source heat pumps may have a smaller footprint compared to ground-source heat pumps, they still require careful consideration of the available space to ensure optimal performance and comfort in your home.


Moreover, air-source heat pumps are known for their energy-efficient and environmentally friendly operation, as they extract renewable energy from the ambient air. By investing in the right heat pump system and ensuring proper installation, you can enjoy the benefits of a more sustainable and cost-effective heating and cooling solution for your property.


If you have any specific concerns or questions regarding the installation of an air-source heat pump, it’s best to reach out to a reputable HVAC company with experience in heat pump installations. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your property’s layout, heating requirements, and budget.


In conclusion, air-source heat pumps are a viable option for heating and hot water supply in residential properties, offering a greener alternative to traditional heating systems. With careful planning and professional installation, you can make the most of your air-source heat pump and create a comfortable, energy-efficient living environment for your home.

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