Ayr-based heating and air conditioning company Stewart Temperature Solutions is launching a drive to urgently supply domestic premises with air source heat pumps (ASHPs).
It has already trialled successful installations locally and is launching a programme this year to gradually roll out supply and installation nationally.
Director Gregor Stewart, who established his business in 2008 and now employs nine people, is introducing an ASHP system into his own home and removing his gas boiler.
He now expects to take on at least one additional team of specialist fitters to meet expected demand, as well as considering employing apprentices to develop robust future skillsets within the company.
Gregor Stewart, whose father also ran a refrigeration business in Ayrshire, said: “There is really no question that ASHPs are the future and, by installing them now, we are protecting against the price of gas, which is expected to soar as international tensions and supply issues are exacerbated.
“In the long term, as well as saving on energy bills, ASHPs are a giant first step towards comprehensively reducing our carbon footprint which, as COP26 so vividly illustrated, has to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“So long as they are proportionate to the size of the house, the pumps can be used for heating and cooling as well as space heating and hot water, and they have a high seasonal co-efficient of performance [SCoP]. They are also eligible for Renewable Heat Incentive payments.”
ASHPs work when outside air passes over tubes filled with liquid refrigerant, which warms up and turns into a gas. This gas is compressed, adding more heat, and passes into a heat exchanger surrounded by cool air or water, which it warms. This is then circulated around the home.
The installation requires a unit outside the home which encompasses the heat exchanger, and a large water tank inside the house. Some homes may need larger radiators.
The Stewart Temperature Solutions ASHP programme has been given added urgency by the UK Government decision to ban gas boiler installation in new homes from 2025 – just three years away – and to ban the sale of new boilers completely by 2035.
The company’s website currently markets its ASHP service and, in line with its commitments to environmental improvements, it is also buying electric vehicles for its fleet as its diesel vans come up for renewal. It will also market on social media.
Gregor Stewart added: “As well as being good for the environment, this diversification will make the business less seasonal, and reduce our reliance on air-conditioning work in the hot summer months.
“It is essentially about future-proofing not only our business, but also making valuable changes in our wider society. These changes are coming, and it will be to everyone’s benefit to embrace them.”