Aira launches heat pump range promising 15 year ‘comfort guarantee’

Swedish technology firm Aira is continuing on its mission to disrupt the heat pump market in the UK and Europe with the launch of its first own-brand heat pump.

The new heat pump range boasts an unprecedented degree of digitisation and this, along with Aira’s direct-to-customer model, enables it to offer a 15-year ‘Comfort Guarantee’ – promising the customer will pay no extra for servicing or fault fixing on top of its fixed monthly payment model, along with ongoing optimisation to their individual home’s needs.

The manufacturer said its new range, built in its Polish gigafactory is inspired by ‘Scandi’ design, with soft edges and a neutral colour palette.

The new range, which uses low-carbon propane R290 refrigerant, initially comprising 6kW, 8kW and 12kW units, has an outlet temperature up to 70 deg C and an operating range from -25 deg C to 45 deg C.

The indoor units comprise 100-litre and 250-litre models, and are available with 40-litre and 100-litre buffer tanks. The 100-litre indoor unit is designed specifically to have a comparable footprint to a combi boiler.

UK services director Matt Isherwood said:

There has been a lot of excitement around the 100-litre unit because of the way it’s been designed – you don’t need access right in the back, and you don’t need to get to the side. Everything’s either piped on top or underneath, so it can go in a UK airing cupboard, or it can go alongside a fridge freezer in a utility room – it doesn’t actually need more space than what you see on the unit.

The company’s confidence stems from the suite of digital features it has integrated into its Aira Intelligence platform, product director Anna Gustavsson told elemental:

We are designing this product for the end customer. And that’s not the case with most products on the market, where the actual first customer is the installer… And that’s where we came to focus a lot on having an experience that’s intuitive…We can’t have a system where the customer is afraid of breaking the system when they change the parameters.

Intelligent features

Anna Gustavsson believes that the combination of intelligent features will add a layer of efficiency on top of the heat pump’s performance:

In Sweden, there are now a lot of companies offering optimisation against things like electricity prices. There’s so much that this whole digitisation of the electricity system can offer…We use applied machine learning, but we also just make sure that we are connected to the system in such a way that we can offer a lot of these add-on services and we can optimise it against things like: tomorrow’s electricity prices; tomorrow’s weather; what temperature you want; and are you in the house or not? We also ask ‘What’s the thermal properties of your house?’ Not the average UK house, your house. And that’s really when you start getting the real savings out of the system.

One of the additional benefits of the Aira Intelligence platform is the ability to remotely diagnose faults and thus to reduce the need for maintenance visits. It is expected that this will see onsite servicing reduced to as much as five-yearly intervals.

UK chief executive Daniel Särefjord added that this, plus its model of ‘monthly payments with no extra cost’ would offer customers something radically different:

No-one really wants to have the hassle of owning a central heating system. We are offering a new proposition.

No control panel

Other distinctive features include doing away with onboard control panels and replacing them with intuitive light cues, pulsing to indicate when the unit is communicating with its control app or requiring attention.

Anna Gustavsson said:

A control panel is not always that beautiful to look at, especially five years after the product was produced…Whereas if you put it on a digital interface, then you have the option to let that evolve over time and you can port it onto new digital platforms…And then we still have the thermostat for those who actually prefer the more conventional way. But it will be super simple to understand.

Aira promises the package will save customers up to 25% on their heating costs from day one, whilst reducing household CO2 emissions by at least 75% – with emission savings rising to 100% if the heat pump is powered by green electricity.

Daniel added: “Heat pumps are not a pipe dream. In Sweden they have been sold in their millions and we know the solutions work and are not that complicated.”

Aira will be coming to InstallerSHOW on 25-27 June.