Ayrshire business to embark on air source heat pumps programme

Gregor Stewart

AN Ayr-based heating, ventilation, refrigeration and air conditioning business has revealed it is launching a drive to ‘urgently’ supply domestic premises with carbon-reducing air source heat pumps (ASHPs).

Stewart Temperature Solutions has already trialled 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 even introducing an ASHP system into his own home and removing his gas boiler, which is a primary source of carbon emissions.

He expects to take on at least one additional team of specialist fitters to meet expected demand, as well as considering employing apprentices.

Gregor Stewart 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 encompassing the heat exchanger, and a large water tank inside the house. Some homes may need larger radiators.

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.”

The business is predicting a turnover of in the region of £1 million by the end of the year.