Air Source Heat Pumps

A major part of our Sustainability Strategy is removing reliance on fossil fuels from our new developments and providing our customers with greener ways to heat their homes.

Building regulations set out by the Government have provisional deadlines to ensure new homes are gas free by March 2024 in Scotland and January 2025 in England. At Cala Homes, we aim to be ahead of these regulations, setting ourselves the target of ensuring all new developments in both England and Scotland will be designed to be gas free from January 2024.

To do this, and to provide our customers with the tools and technology they need to operate their homes with zero emissions, we have begun the roll out of heat pumps to replace traditional gas boilers – a fundamental change to the way our homes are heated.

Using air source heat pumps as an example, these heat pump systems are fully electric and extract heat from the surrounding environment, operating efficiently even in low temperatures to provide both hot water and heating throughout the home. They use the same kind of technology that keeps a fridge or freezer cool – but in reverse.

With gas currently equating to around 70 per cent of the operational carbon within residential properties, house heat pumps can deliver significant carbon savings and allow more efficient energy use for our customers.

ASHPs are already being successfully used by Cala customers across several of our developments, but as home heat pump solutions are new to many, we’ve answered some of the key questions homebuyers might have, including:

How are they maintained?

Like a conventional gas boiler, heat pumps require annual check-ups, however a fully maintained and serviced heat pump system will have a lifespan of between 15-25 years, compared to a traditional boiler system which typically lasts between 10-15 years.

Our team ensure that any new technology is as user friendly as possible for our customers, so that they can benefit from its functionality and reliability.


Do they make noise?

As both the UK and Scottish governments move towards homes being gas free, strict regulations are in place regarding how loud an air source heat pump can be. As such, ASHPs are very quiet during operation and create less than 42 decibels of noise – around the same level that you would find in a library.

You will also find less noise from pipes and radiators associated with traditional gas boilers, due to the way the heat pump system runs.

What are the running costs?

Air source heat pumps use electricity, so they are naturally open to price fluctuations set by the market. However, when combined with a well-insulated home to retain heat and other technologies such as solar PV panels to contribute to offsetting electricity consumption, plus factoring in the lifespan, efficiency and low carbon impact of the system, there can be overall cost benefits when compared to a standard gas boiler.

What do they look like?

Designs can vary, but ASHPs tend to comprise of a unit outside of the home and a hot water cylinder inside. The size of an air source heat pump unit will vary between manufacturers, but our designers ensure that the positioning of any ASHP system is carefully considered to ensure it will not impede on outdoor space or take away from the aesthetic of your Cala home.

As ASHPs work at a lower temperature than gas boilers, radiators will be marginally larger to ensure homes are heated thoroughly. Cala Homes house types are expertly designed to take this into account and ensure that radiators tie seamlessly into your home.

How environmentally friendly are they?

As we move away from fossil fuel use in our homes, heat pump systems are more environmentally friendly than traditional heating systems, such as gas boilers, as they generate far fewer carbon emissions and have an efficient conversion rate of energy to heat.

What’s more, as the electricity grid is decarbonised further with renewable energy measures, heating and hot water production within the home will become even more sustainable.

Air Source Heat Pumps at Cala

Cala has installed air source heat pumps at a number of developments over the past decade where gas was not available on site, and our commitment to end the use of gas in all of our homes has seen us roll out heat pumps across several developments more recently. However, for existing or under construction sites, heat pumps might not be in operation.

Customers should speak with their sales consultant and read the specifications for their chosen development to see what green technology is available and suitable for their home.  

To find out more about Cala’s goals, check out our sustainability page.

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