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Air Source Heat Pump Installation – A step by step guide from start to finish

Air Source Heat Pump Installation – A step by step guide from start to finish

We often get asked for a walk through of the steps to installing an Air Source Heat Pump on someone’s home. So we decided to put together this guide to the process from start to finish. Everyone’s home is different; however, the process remains similar for every installation.

Step 1 – Find out if an Air Source Heat Pump is Right for you.

The very first step in the process of installing an air source heat pump is to find out if installing an air source heat pump is right for you. To do this we need to establish a few things:

1. Is your property suitable for an air source heat pump?

2. Will an air source heat pump save you money?

3. Is your property suitable for RHI funding?

4. Can an air source heat pump adequately heat your property?

The best way to start answering these questions is to do a full energy assessment of your property by conducting an EPC assessment. EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate.

An EPC contains:

· information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs

· recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. The EPC will highlight the properties energy usage which is useful for estimating RHI (renewable heat incentive) payments and also the running costs of an air source heat pump for your property. Later in the process an EPC will be required as part of your RHI application (so it’s worth investing in this assessment first.)

Once an EPC has been completed your installer will be able to provide running cost comparisons, RHI estimates, payback estimates, estimated heat pump size required and also a ball park installation costs.

The EPC may recommend additional insulation measures, which are always best to implement prior to installing an Air Source Heat Pump as this will lower the size of the heat pump required, the cost of equipment and also the cost of heating your home.

Step 2 – Survey

Once we have established that a heat pump is the right solution for your property, that it will save you money and be capable of efficiently heating your home the next step is for your installer to conduct a full survey of your property. In this survey the installer will be looking in depth at room sizes, windows, insulation levels, existing radiator sizes, space required for the outdoor unit, cylinder cupboard space, pipe routes, enough power in the house to run an air source heat pump.

After this survey the installer will produce full MIS3005 calculations. This is an industry standard and is required for MCS sign off. An MCS certificate will be required as part of your RHI funding application.

Step 3 – Quotation and Sizing Report

After the initial survey the installer will contact you and issue you with a detailed heat loss report. This will provide the exact size of ASHP required to heat your house, the sizes of radiators you need to adequately heat each room, hot water cylinder sizing, running cost estimates, hot water calculations as well as a detailed quotation explaining exactly what you will be getting with your installation.

The installer should thoroughly explain the report so that you completely understand it and the equipment that will be required.

Step 4 – Deposit and booking of installation

Once you are happy with your quotation its time to book your installation in with the installer and depending on the installer pay a deposit. If your installer is registered with the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) then this deposit can be protected in a certified deposit protection scheme to protect both you and the installer.

Step 5 – Installation

A typical air source heat pump installation on an average 3-4-bedroom house can take anything from 3-5 days (depending on the existing heating system.) The installation can be split into two general areas – the ASHP itself and the heating system and hot water cylinders inside the house:


Firstly, a base will be prepared for the ASHP with adequate drain off around it (ASHP’s produce condensation when operating.) Next an electrician will install a power supply with rotary isolator to where your ASHP will be located. Finally, your installer will run primary flow and return pipework into your house.

Inside the house

The installer will then begin by decommissioning and flushing the existing heating system to remove any debris that can affect the operation of the ASHP. Next step will be to replace or install the new radiator or under floor heating system. Typically, this will take around 1 hour per radiator as a rough guide. The next step will be to decommission your existing hot water cylinder and replace with the new ASHP compatible hot water cylinder.

Once the complete system is installed it will then be dosed with glycol to prevent the primary flow and return pipes from freezing in the winter if the ASHP unit is not running.

Step 6 – Commissioning

The installer will then spend some time commissioning the system to make sure it is not only running efficiently, but also providing the right amount of hot water and space heating for you and your family. They will spend time with explaining how to best operate the system and make sure you fully understand it.

Step 7 – MCS Certificate and RHI Application

Once the system is up and running your installer will issue an MCS certificate which is then used in the application for RHI. It is a straightforward process to apply, however most installers will provide you with some assistance in applying for the funding.

Step 8 – Relax

Relax, sit back, enjoy your warm home and wait for the RHI payments to come in every quarter for the next 7 years.

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