What is aerothermal energy and how does it work?

What is aerothermal energy and how does it work?

Aerothermal heating has become one of the most popular options for those who want to air-condition their home or business premises in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.

It is a renewable energy source, as the European Union points out, as it works from the heat contained in the ambient air. Clean energy as opposed to the highly polluting fuels that power traditional boilers, such as gas or coal.

What is aerothermal energy and how does it differ from other systems?

Aerothermal energy is a technology that mainly uses air energy to air-condition spaces by means of a heat pump with an electric inverter compressor. The distinguishing feature of aerothermal energy is that it is able to offer heating, cooling and domestic hot water all in one:

Aerothermal heating

Aerothermal air conditioning allows a constant comfort temperature to be maintained even in the coldest climates. The Yutaki fan heater operates in heating mode with outside temperatures as low as -25 °C.

Aerothermal air conditioning
Although many people associate aerothermal energy only with heating, the truth is that aerothermal energy also provides highly efficient cooling. Air-to-water units have a water circuit that is cooled and used to cool the air in the room. This exchange can be done through two types of indoor installations: floor cooling or fan coils. The Yutaki range is able to provide cooling up to +46°C outside.


Domestic hot water (DHW)
With a tank, it is also possible to cover domestic hot water needs when installing aerothermal energy. The Yutampo range is able to heat water up to 60°*.

As aerothermal systems allow maximum energy to be captured from outside in both summer and winter, they are a perfect and efficient alternative to traditional boilers in conventional heating systems, both in single-family houses and small-medium buildings, both for existing and new buildings.



Why is aerothermal energy a renewable energy?

Renewable energies are those obtained from inexhaustible sources present in nature, such as the sun, water or air. Air contains energy in the form of heat and is inexhaustibly available, as it is capable of regenerating itself naturally thanks to the energy it receives from the sun. Aeothermal energy is a renewable energy because it is able to capture this energy stored in the form of heat in the ambient air to generate heating, cooling and domestic hot water.

Aerothermal energy uses up to 75% of the energy in the air and is able to extract it even when the temperature is below 0ºC. The rest of the energy it consumes is obtained from electricity, which can also come from a renewable source by combining aerothermal energy with photovoltaics, or from the common electricity grid. Unlike traditional boilers that burn gas, oil or coal, aerothermal energy is able to provide heating, air conditioning and hot water without emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.

In addition, the aerothermal heat pump is an extremely energy-efficient technology, as it is able to convert one unit of electrical energy into four or more units of heating energy, ensuring high performance even at very low outdoor temperatures.

Aerothermal energy is becoming one of the most popular options when it comes to solving the air conditioning installation of any home or premises, and has experienced strong growth in sales in recent years thanks to the fact that it is a clean and highly efficient source of energy, especially if we compare it with other energy sources. In fact, aerothermal energy has been recognised as a renewable energy source by the European Union since 2009.


How aerothermics works

Its operation is based on the exchange of energy between the temperature of the refrigerant contained in the equipment and the heat in the outside air, with these 4 simple steps:


  • The refrigerant is delivered in liquid form to a heat exchanger located outside. Once there, the refrigerant captures heat from the environment and evaporates into a gaseous state. This happens even at very low outdoor temperatures, allowing the heat pump to be used in summer and winter.
  • Then, by means of an electrically driven DC Inverter compressor, the refrigerant undergoes a temperature and pressure increase and is transported to the indoor unit.
  • El refrigerante a alta presión y temperatura pasa por un intercambiador en el que cede calor a una corriente de agua, calentándola a medida que ésta circula por la unidad.
  • The high-pressure, high-temperature refrigerant passes through a heat exchanger where it gives up heat to a stream of water, heating it as it flows through the unit.



Is aerothermal and heat pump the same thing?

Not exactly. The heat pump is a system that uses the energy contained in the environment and whose mechanism is based on a reversible refrigeration cycle. This means that it is capable of providing both heating and cooling, depending on the user's needs at any given time.

Aerothermal energy uses heat pumps to generate energy and transform it into hot or cold water, which allows cooling, heating and/or domestic hot water to be obtained, all with the same installation. There are other air conditioning systems that also use heat pumps, such as chillers or air conditioning.


Benefits of aerothermal energy

Aerothermal systems offer several advantages over conventional boilers, with energy savings and flexibility of installation being the most interesting for most users. The different aerothermal units allow these systems to adapt to any space, as they do not have the dimensions of a traditional boiler and are compatible with existing emitters: radiators, fan coil, underfloor heating, etc.

But there is more. Here are some of the benefits of aerothermal systems:

  • It is very easy and safe to install and complete the installation and commissioning.
  • Multi-purpose installation: heating, cooling and domestic hot water production.
  • They do not use a fuel that needs to be stored or supplied by dedicated installation.
  • It has a highly optimised performance: in extreme weather conditions with very low temperatures, the operating power does not drop.
  • Thanks to inverter technology, the power of the heat pump is adapted to the energy demands of the installation, without the compressor having to be started every time it is needed.
  • Modulating the power according to the thermal needs of the home reduces unnecessary consumption and improves the comfort conditions of the users.
  • It uses clean energy that considerably reduces CO2 emissions into the environment.
  • It does not need a chimney for smoke evacuation, as it does not release any emissions into the atmosphere.

by Hitachi Cooling & Heating