Air Source Heat pump Chippenham

Case Study – Air Source Heat Pump Installation – Chippenham April 2024

Zero Chippenham members Jan and Trevor describe their experience of an Air Source heat pump installation in their 1970s house in Chippenham.

 The Myths

Air Source Heat Pump? “It makes too much noise”, “It doesn’t keep you warm enough”, “it’s too expensive”.

BUT it does take you away from fossil fuels for keeping your home warm and well supplied with hot water.

The Reality so far…

Two years ago we started working towards removing gas usage in our home. We installed an induction hob in the kitchen, and felt quite good that, with solar panels and battery, we were doing green quite well. Our gas boiler wasn’t old, it was functioning well, but it was –gas.

Then the government offered £7,500 grants towards removing gas boilers, and installing heat pumps instead, so we started looking into it. We heard via Zero Chippenham that there was an installation near to our home, and the owner was very happy to show it to anyone interested, so we went to have a look. This convinced us that it wasn’t noisy, and it did keep a similar sized home warm enough, and the expense – well, that would depend on how many radiators needing upgrading.

We contacted three contractors: Octopus (our energy supplier), Good Energy, and WEC Limited, based in Calne and the contractors who installed our PV and battery nearly eight years ago. We went with the latter, being a known quantity.

The process involved getting a rough quote, a survey (charged for, but refunded if contract was given to the company) which measured everything heat related in the house, made recommendations, and gave a quote. The government grant is paid directly to the installing company upon completion and sign-off for the system.

Chippenham ASHP inside

Our installation took over 3 weeks, as the Easter bank holidays got in the way, and included a day without water, and 2 without heating, both of which we were warned about. There were a few tweaks needed to make everything work properly, mainly the radiators, of which we had 11 in our 70s-build house, and 9 needed upgrading.

The heat pump sits outside in the garden (listen to the bird song over the noise of the
pump), away from the neighbour’s fence (needs to be at least 1 metre), on a bed of gravel and a concrete slab. The pipes and wiring go up the wall of the ground floor extension, into the loft space and through into the garage, where the rest of the installation sits (see photos). It does take up a bit of room in the garage, but we needed to have a turn out anyway….
There are a few bugs which need sorting out with the installation, but the installer is
returning to sort them. And of course, this is the spring, so we look forward to learning how to live with it in the winter!

Chippenham ASHP inside tank
Chippenham ASHP inside Tank 2