A Guide to Air Source Heat Pumps, Insulation Upgrades, and Solar PV

A Guide to Air Source Heat Pumps, Insulation Upgrades, and Solar PV


In today’s world, energy efficiency is crucial for both environmental sustainability and cost savings. PTS Energy Solutions Ltd is dedicated to providing innovative solutions to enhance energy efficiency in homes. This blog highlights the benefits of three key technologies: Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP), insulation upgrades, and Solar PV systems. By incorporating these solutions, homeowners can significantly reduce their carbon footprint while enjoying long-term energy savings.

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP):

What are air source heat pumps?

Air source heat pumps (also known as ASHPs) are a low-carbon technology that provides efficient heating and cooling solutions for homes in any climate.

They are able to directly transfer the heat rather than generate it by burning fossil fuels, making them an excellent option for your home.

Their installation will automatically translate into lower utility bills and increased energy efficiency in comparison to other conventional heating technologies, such as boilers or electric heaters, and an overall positive impact on the environment.

In addition to these benefits of air source heat pumps, they are also eligible for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme launched by the UK government back in May 2022. The scheme is designed to encourage and support homeowners in England and Wales to afford the upfront costs of installing low-carbon heating systems, such as air-source heat pumps. The scheme provides grants of up to £7,500 for air-source heat pumps.

How do air source heat pumps work?

  • Air source heat pumps work by transferring heat from the outside air to water for heating your home through radiators and underfloor heating. ASHP can be used for both hot water and space heating.

  • The heat from the outside air is gathered and absorbed into a loop with refrigerant fluid and then it passes through a compressor, where the refrigerant is compressed, which causes it to heat up.

  • The hot refrigerant then passes through a heat exchanger, where it transfers heat to the water that flows through your radiators or underfloor heating system.

  • In cooling mode, the air source heat pump reverses the process. It decompresses the refrigerant, which causes it to cool down. The cold refrigerant then passes through a heat exchanger, where it absorbs heat from the water that flows through your radiators or underfloor heating system.

  • Air source heat pumps are an extremely efficient way to heat and cool your home. They can extract heat from the outside air even when the temperature is below freezing. This makes them a good option for homes in cold climates.

Advantages of air source heat pumps in the UK

There are numerous benefits to using heat pumps, but here are the most important advantages of purchasing an air source heat pump are the following:

  • Low Carbon Footprint: ASHPs are a low carbon emissions heating option, as they use the outside air to heat or cool homes at a highly efficient rate. For every 3-4 units of energy produced, only 1 unit of electricity is used
  • Money Saving: Switching to air source heat pumps can reduce your annual fuel bill by as much as £780, with larger savings for those switching from electric, coal, or LPG systems.
  • Boiler Upgrade Scheme: The £5,000 voucher from the Boiler Upgrade Scheme is available for the installation of air source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, or biomass boilers. The scheme aims to encourage the adoption of low-carbon heating technologies and runs until April 2025.
  • Heating and Cooling: Depending on the model, ASHPs can be used for both heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
  • Space and Hot Water Heating: An ASHP can also heat water if the flow temperature is around 55°C. If it’s only for space heating, the flow temperature will be 35°C.
  • High SCOP: Air source heat pumps have a high seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP), making them efficient in both winter and summer, with a typical COP of 3.2 when the outside temperature is above 7°C.
  • Easy Installation: Air source heat pumps can be installed in as little as 2 days, without the need for digging like ground source heat pumps. They are suitable for both retrofits and new builds and can be cost-effective when combined with other building work.
  • Low Maintenance: Air source heat pumps require little maintenance. It should have annual servicing by a qualified heating engineer. The occasional cleaning of filters and checking for leaks and refrigerant levels can be done by the homeowner.
  • Long Lifespan: Air source heat pumps have a long lifespan, with proper maintenance, they can operate for up to 20 years and most have 5-year warranties. Some models are even capable of working efficiently for close to 25 years.
  • No Fuel Storage: No fuel storage is needed with ASHPs because the fuel used is the outside air. That means no additional fees for fuel deliveries like with biomass or oil-fired boilers.

Insulation Upgrades:

Upgrading insulation is a vital step towards improving energy efficiency. By minimizing heat loss, homeowners can create a comfortable living environment while reducing energy consumption. PTS Energy Solutions Ltd offers comprehensive insulation upgrades, including but not limited to loft insulation. By sealing and insulating the attic, homeowners can prevent heat from escaping, leading to substantial energy savings.

The First Step to Going Green Is to Check Your Home’s Insulation

Whether you are considering investing in solar panels, solar water heating, heat pumps or any other green source of energy for your home, the first step you should take is to improve your home’s insulation. This will ensure that you maximize the use of natural resources and don’t waste energy. If you skip this step, you will end up spending a lot of money buying a very powerful system to cover the energy needs of a badly insulated house.

Insulation is one of the most efficient ways to save energy at home since it keeps it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In fact, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that in one year a typical three-bedroom semi-detached house can save up to £310 on energy bills by installing loft and cavity wall insulation.

This guide will help you understand the importance of home insulation as well as introduce you to the different measures you can choose from to improve your home’s insulation and make it as energy-efficient as it can be.

What Types of Insulation Are There?

1. Wall insulation

Depending on the type of wall you have, you can use:

  • Cavity wall insulation (there is a gap between the inner and outer leaf). An insulator is inserted into the wall through drilling holes which are then refilled with cement.
  • Solid wall insulation (no cavity inside them). If you have solid walls you can choose between internal and external insulation. External insulation typically covers the entire facade of the property while internal is generally applied to inner rooms.

2. Roof insulation

  • Warm loft, insulating immediately under the roof. This is more expensive than a cold loft but usually is a better insulator.
  • Cold loft, insulating immediately above the ceiling of the top story.

3. Window and door insulation

  • Make sure you have double glazed windows and doors! This is, having at least two panels of glass some millimetres apart instead of a single glass.
  • The price of new windows will pay for itself in more ways than just energy savings double glazing will also protect you from outer noise, keeping your home warm and silent!

4. Floor insulation

This might be very expensive, make sure if you really need it depending on the type of floor you have. Usually, modern houses have insulators under the concrete floor surface, but older houses with suspended floors will need some investment. One very accessible alternative for floor insulation is placing good rugs all around. This will also give you a nice feeling when walking!

Solar PV Systems:

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems harness the power of sunlight to generate clean and renewable energy. By installing a 4kw Solar PV system comprising of 10 panels, homeowners can generate approximately 3,700 kwh of free renewable energy each year. This not only reduces reliance on traditional grid electricity but also contributes to a greener and more sustainable future.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels have become a normal part of our suburban landscape. Crowning the tops of buildings and homes for many years, we still wonder how solar panels work.

In short, solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity using specialised structures within the panels known as ‘photovoltaic cells’. These clever cells produce an electrical current that we can then convert for use around our homes.

Not only is this incredible technology, but it’s also a completely clean, renewable energy source, providing an alternative to fossil-fuelled power. It’s reducing carbon emissions and saving people hundreds of pounds on ever-increasing energy bills. 

How do solar panels generate electricity?

Solar panels convert energy from the sun’s energy into usable electricity. The number of panels you install on your roof will determine how much they can generate – more panels mean more electricity.

It sounds straightforward, but some very clever science goes on inside a single solar panel. Here’s how it works, step-by-step: 

  • Solar panels are metal sheets inside a glass casing that contain a series of ‘cells’ known as Photovoltaics (PV). Inside these photovoltaic cells is a thin semi-conductive material made from two layers of silicon. One layer is positively charged, and the other is negatively charged, creating an electric field.
  • When sunlight hits the PV solar cell, it causes motion within the electric field, generating an electrical current. (There is more to this on a molecular level, as electrons detach from atoms within that semiconductor material – but we are here to keep things simple!)
  •   Once the electric current is generated, it can be redirected from the solar panels. At this point, the electricity produced is in a form known as a direct current (or DC), and for us to use this on our electrical devices at home, it needs to be converted to an alternating current (AC). 
  • To do this, a piece of equipment known as an inverter takes the DC electricity and changes it to AC, ready to be sent around the household. 
  • An inverter is a crucial part of a solar power system and can be installed inside or outdoors. They require a cool, ventilated atmosphere to work most efficiently, so indoor installation is recommended in a utility room or garage.
  • From here, you now have a usable source of electricity that can power your home. Two things can happen next – you can use the produced electricity or store any that you don’t use in a solar battery. That excess electricity may also be sent to the National Grid, where you may receive payments depending on certain criteria, such as solar metering. 

Since 2020, under the Smart Export Guarantee, homeowners in England, Scotland, and Wales can receive payments for each renewable energy unit they produce and export to the grid.

To learn more about this scheme and other ways you can save money with solar panels, look at our guide to ‘Solar Panel Grants and Schemes’.


PTS Energy Solutions Ltd understands the importance of energy efficiency and offers innovative solutions to help homeowners achieve it. By embracing technologies like Air Source Heat Pumps, insulation upgrades, and Solar PV systems, homeowners can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, lower energy bills, and contribute to a sustainable future. Incorporating these energy-efficient solutions will not only enhance the comfort of your home but also make a positive impact on the environment. Contact PTS Energy Solutions Ltd today to embark on your journey towards a greener and more energy-efficient home.

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