Can I get an air source heat pump if I live on the coast?

A few people have asked us whether it is possible to have an air source heat pump if they live near the coast. This might seem an odd question at first, but there are good reasons to be careful when considering getting an air source heat pump on the coast.

Corrosion and coastal heat pumps

Heat pumps are a great way to heat an off-grid property. They are usually cheaper to run than an oil boiler or electric heating, plus you will receive government Renewable Heat Incentive payments.

Normally, you won’t have any problems running a heat pump, but if you live by the coast, you need to be aware that an air source heat pump is particularly vulnerable to corrosion from the salty air. Any property within 4 miles of the coast should be aware of this issue and your installer should be informing you and letting you know your options.

Avoiding corrosion with coastal heat pumps

Whilst corrosion can be a real issue for coastal heat pumps, there is a solution. There are protective coatings that can be applied to the heat pump to avoid corrosion. These are applied at the time of installation and may need touching up over the life of the unit. This is a simple and effective way to avoid expensive repairs and ensure the longevity of the heat pump unit.

Sizing coastal heat pumps

Generally, properties near the coast are more exposed, and so the heat pump will usually need to be sized slightly larger to accommodate the additional heat loss associated with the location. This is not a reason to avoid having a heat pump, but it is important that the system is sized correctly as an undersized pump will not get your home up to temperature.

Locating your heat pump

The location of your heat pump is really important. This is true for any heat pump, whether on the coast or inland, but we feel it is important to emphasise. Heat pumps need to be away from walls and fences, and need to allow good air flow around them. If this is not the case, air can leave the unit and go back into the intake. This lowers efficiency and is therefore something you’ll want to avoid.

Getting a heat pump on the coast

If you are worried about the lifespan of an air source heat pump in your locality, it might be a good idea to look at alternatives such as a ground source heat pump. Because ground source heat pumps take their heat from the ground rather than the air, there is no danger of corrosion. Biomass is also a possibility in more remote locations outside of cities where air quality regulations are less strict and more space is available.

Installing heat pumps

Are you thinking about getting a heat pump? We have scoured the country for the best tradespeople, so that we can make sure we only recommend those we really trust.

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