What Is Air Source Heating? - Radiant Renewables
What Is Air Source Heating?

What Is Air Source Heating?

Introduction to Air Source Heating

Air source heating is a revolutionary technology that harnesses the ambient air temperature to provide heating for residential and commercial spaces. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of this method of heating, exploring its workings, benefits, installation process, efficiency, costs, maintenance requirements, debunking common myths, and envisioning its future.

Understanding the Basics

Air source heating operates on the principle of extracting heat from the outside air and transferring it indoors to warm up living or working spaces. Despite the term “air source,” this heating system can efficiently produce heat even in colder climates.

How It Works

The heart of this system is the heat pump, which absorbs heat from the outdoor air and then compresses it to increase its temperature. This heat is then transferred to a refrigerant, which circulates through the system and releases the heat indoors through a network of coils.

Advantages of Air Source Heating

One of the primary advantages of air source heating is its versatility. It can provide both heating and cooling functions, making it a year-round solution for maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures. Additionally, these heating systems are more environmentally friendly than traditional heating systems, as they rely on renewable energy sources.

Types of Air Source Heating Systems

Air-to-Air Systems

Air-to-air systems work by transferring heat directly from the outdoor air to the indoor air using fans and ductwork. These systems are often used in conjunction with forced-air heating systems to provide supplementary heating or cooling.

Air-to-Water Systems

Air-to-water systems transfer heat from the outdoor air to a water-based heating system, such as underfloor heating or radiators. These systems are highly efficient and can be integrated seamlessly into existing heating systems.

Key Components of Air Source Heating Systems

Heat Pump

The heat pump is the core component of an air source heating system. It extracts heat from the outdoor air and transfers it indoors, providing efficient heating for the building.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing heat from the outdoor air and transferring it to the refrigerant inside the heat pump.


The compressor increases the temperature of the refrigerant by compressing it, allowing it to release heat indoors.

Condenser Coil

The condenser coil releases the heat from the refrigerant into the indoor air, warming up the space.

Installation Process

Site Assessment

Before installing an air source heating system, a thorough site assessment is conducted to determine the suitability of the location and the system’s requirements.

Sizing the System

Proper sizing is crucial to ensure optimal performance and energy efficiency. Factors such as the size of the building, insulation levels, and local climate are taken into account during the sizing process.

Installation Steps

The installation process involves mounting the outdoor unit, connecting it to the indoor unit, and installing any necessary ductwork or piping. Professional installation is recommended to ensure safety and compliance with regulations.

Efficiency and Environmental Impact

Energy Efficiency Ratings

Air source heating systems are rated for their energy efficiency using metrics such as Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP) or Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF). Higher ratings indicate greater efficiency and lower operating costs.

Carbon Footprint Comparison

Compared to traditional heating systems, air source heating produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the carbon footprint of buildings and contributing to environmental sustainability.

Renewable Energy Benefits

By utilising renewable energy sources such as ambient air temperature, air source heating systems help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to the transition to a cleaner, greener energy future.

Cost Considerations

Initial Investment

While the initial cost of installing a heat pump may be higher than traditional heating systems, the long-term savings on energy bills and potential government incentives can offset the initial investment.

Operational Costs

Air source heating systems typically have lower operating costs than conventional heating systems, as they require less energy to produce the same amount of heat.

Long-Term Savings

Over the lifespan of the system, the savings on energy bills can outweigh the initial investment, making heat pumps a cost-effective choice for homeowners and businesses alike.

Maintenance Requirements

Regular Inspections

Regular inspections by qualified technicians are essential to ensure the proper functioning of the system and identify any potential issues before they escalate.

Filter Replacement

Filters should be replaced regularly to maintain optimal airflow and efficiency. Clogged filters can restrict airflow and reduce the system’s performance.

Professional Servicing

Periodic servicing by trained professionals is recommended to keep the system running smoothly and prolong its lifespan. This may involve cleaning coils, checking refrigerant levels, and calibrating controls.

Common Myths and Misconceptions

Noise Level

Contrary to popular belief, modern heat pumps are designed to operate quietly. Noise levels are comparable to traditional heating systems.

Effectiveness in Cold Climates

While heat pump systems may experience reduced efficiency in extremely cold climates, they can still provide reliable heating year-round with proper installation and sizing.

Compatibility with Existing Heating Systems

Air source heating systems can be integrated with existing heating systems. They can provide supplemental heating or replace outdated equipment without the need for major renovations.

Future Trends in Air Source Heating

Technological Advancements

Advancements in heat pump technology, materials science, and control systems are driving improvements in the efficiency and performance of these heating systems.

Integration with Smart Home Systems

Heat pump systems can be integrated with smart home automation systems. This can allow users to monitor and control their heating remotely for greater convenience and energy savings.

Potential for Mass Adoption

As awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of heat pumps grows, we can expect to see increased adoption of this technology in both residential and commercial buildings.


In conclusion, air source heating offers a sustainable, cost-effective, and efficient solution for meeting heating needs. This is all done while reducing carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. With ongoing technological advancements and government support, this form of heating is poised to play a significant role in shaping the future of heating systems worldwide. Whether you’re considering upgrading your existing heating system or building a new home, air source heating is a worthy investment. This method of heating offers long-term benefits for you and the planet.

Contact our team today to learn more how an air source heat pump can help you save on your energy bills.