Continual growth and progress are essential parts of being successful in this highly competitive manufacturing industry. At European Springs, we embrace the changing nature of the industry as we all move to an eco-friendlier approach to our manufacturing. We continually work to find new innovative solutions that match the UK government’s goal of Net-Zero carbon by 2050. In this blog, we’re talking about one such new idea to help reduce our industry’s carbon footprint, Air Source Heat Pumps.
What are Air Source Heat Pumps?
An Air Source Heat Pump (or ASHP) is a machine designed to provide heating for your workplace at a much higher efficiency than most methods and is more cost-effective. An ASHP achieves this because it transfers the heat it absorbs from the outside air into the designated indoor space.
The ASHP is connected to your existing heating setup, so you don’t have to make extensive changes to your building; just augment your current system with a superior upgrade. Specific air source heat pumps can also be used as a cooling system during the warmer summer months; you’ll find both installed outside of a building or on the roof to allow space and ventilation.
There are two main types of ASHP:
- Air to water heat pumps transfers the outside heat into your central heating system to provide radiator heat, hot water, and anything else installed by your heating system.
- Air to air heat pumps do much the same, except rather than transferring the outside heat into your central heating system, the warmth is transferred directly into the room via a fan.
Are Air Source Heat Pumps Affected by the Weather?
Whilst warmer weather is better for ASHPs to operate, they still work effectively in cold weather. Warm weather allows the machine to function at 100% capacity efficiently as it is unhampered when extracting the warm air and transferring it where you need it.
During colder months, it will lose efficiency down from 100% to roughly 80-90%, which will marginally increase your heating bills as the machine compensates. This problem usually occurs when your ASHP has exposed piping rather than covered.
Choosing how you install your ASHP will depend mainly on the severity of the weather your business endures year-round; as spring manufacturers in Ireland, we encounter only short periods below freezing, so an ASHP is a perfect choice for our needs.
Advantages of Air Source Heat Pumps
There are many advantages when investing in an air source heat pump, but its low carbon footprint is one of the most prominent. They even have the ability to be used with a zero-carbon emissions rating. This zero-carbon rating is a green energy tariff that is agreed upon between you and your energy supplier.
Green Electricity Tariffs
Most energy suppliers have the option of a green tariff that helps their customers be a part of renewable energy sources. The supplier can manage this because they match the electricity used to verify sources of renewable energy. For example, wind farms, solar panel arrays or hydroelectric power stations are examples of where they match the energy used for your air source heat pumps. These renewable energies are then fed back into the national grid; the more businesses that sign up for it, the more green energy is in the supply.
Renewable Heat Incentive
The Renewable Heat Incentive (or RHI) is another advantage of choosing ASHP for your heating. This scheme, supported by the UK government, encourages businesses to install renewable energy technologies and offers financial support to achieve this. ASHP systems are eligible for this grant, making them an excellent choice for your company’s approach to helping the environment.
Over a quarter of the UK’s electricity is generated by wind, solar or hydro. With so many options for renewable energy, its become more accessible than ever for a business to contribute to the Net-Zero initiative while saving money on their energy bills.
The Net-Zero initiative plans to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to zero. It’s an achievable and affordable vision to substantially help the environment but will heavily impact gas spring manufacturers and many other sectors and industries. The current phase of this initiative is to reduce emissions by 78% (which is -63% relative to 2019) by 2035. By choosing to be a part of these green tariffs and adjusting your working processes accordingly, even the busiest manufacturers can be proud of their positive impact on the environment.
Low Maintenance and Easy Installation
Another advantage to these heat pumps is how easily they can become part of your current heating plan. Installing an ASHP is easier than installing a ground source heat pump due to the many choices available for installation, especially if you time the installation with any other builds or renovations you have planned.
Air source heat pumps require very little attention once installed. Booking a maintenance service once a year is recommended but simply making sure your external ASHP is unobstructed by any debris such as leaves or rubbish, your ASHP should run smoothly year-round.
Disadvantages of Air Source Heat Pumps
One disadvantage to note is that they can be noisy. The air to air units will create substantial noise as they transfer heated air into your building, but this problem can be solved by carefully choosing the best place to install your new ASHP.
As mentioned previously, your average ASHP will have lower performance when working in colder temperatures, specifically below 0°C will have an adverse effect as the unit will need to work harder.
The cost of use for an ASHP is not much different from any current heating plan. However, the investment required to install it and replace your current system will be significant. This problem is solvable through the aforementioned green tariffs and grants, such as the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Springs Manufacturers and Suppliers
We at European Springs & Pressings believe that our role as a springs manufacturer and pressings company requires adaptability to the shifting economies and the environmental needs around us. We are confident in our industry’s ability to address these issues with new and innovative designs such as air source heat pumps.
If you are interested in any of our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us online, and one of our engineers will happily answer any of your questions.