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Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside to heat buildings. It is even possible for air source heat pumps to extract useful heat from air at temperatures as low as minus 15°C.
In the same way that a fridge uses refrigerant to extract heat from the inside, keeping your food cool, an air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air, and uses it to heat your home and hot water. In an air-to-water system the heat produced is used to heat water, which can heat a thermal store or circulate through under floor heating or radiators. Heat pumps produce hot water that is at lower temperature (typically 35-45°C) than standard boiler systems, which makes under floor heating the most effective option.