1. Heat pumps: gimmick or benefit?
Renewable energy technologies have gained significant popularity in recent years. They are cost-efficient and can contribute greatly to the greenhouse gas reduction. It is believed that alternative sources will eventually replace conventional fossil fuel and gas systems. Nowadays people worldwide are gradually getting accustomed to employ solar and wind energy, biopower and geothermal resources on an industrial scale. And the next promising frontier of green technology implementation is a heating sector. Alongside the extensive use of heat pumps in commercial premises, householders also start switching their homes to renewable heating solutions. On March 2017 more than 30 building, heat and energy effectiveness organisations in the UK called on the government to reconsider its energy efficiency policies and draw up a nationwide improvement plan for encouraging houseowners to opt for low power consuming solutions and have domestic heat pumps installed.
2. How an air source heat pump works.
Source: Energy without Carbon
If you are still on the fence about picking a right renewable source heat pump, let’s first get a general picture of what it is and how it works.
The most common type of domestic green heat pumps is an air source heat pump or ASHP. Its operating principle is much the same as in any air conditioner – the ASHP gets heat from the ambient air, raises its temperature by means of compression and transfers indoors for water or space heating. Unlike ordinary air conditioners they can be operated at lower temperatures, though the COP in winter time is slightly less effective (see the graph above). The main heating unit is usually located outside, at the back wall of the house, and requires little space for installation. As any other appliance it runs on electricity, though its consumption is quite low. On the average, an air source heat pump generates several times more energy than the amount it uses.
3. Selecting between air-to-air and air-to-water heat pumps.
Air-to-Water Heat Pump Section Scheme.
Once you become confident you’re going to get a heat pump installed in your property, make sure you know the difference between air-to-air and air-to-water types of heat pumps. The diversity lies in the way they allocate the output heat. The air-to-air heat pump releases warm air inside your house, whilst air-to-water pumps can provide you both with space heating and running hot water. As soon as the unit price and power usage are relatively the same, ranging from around £7,000 to £11,000, we’d rather kill two birds with one stone.
4. Contributing to the environmental protection
Since the energy source for this system is literally air, heat pumps are truly considered to be eco-friendly. The amount of greenhouse gas they emit is puny compared to oil or gas boilers. Together with positive effects on nature you will always feel safe, not being afraid of fumes or any gas leakage inside the building.
5. Air Source Heat Pump: Pros and Cons.
Air source heat pump pros:
- Low energy bills. Cut down the bill costs, save your money to indulge yourself with more pleasant things in your life.
- High COP numbers of heat pump systems. The higher the number, the more effective a heat pump performs and generates heat for your home;
- The RHI eligibility, that is the governmental subsidy granted to your property if you have a renewable heating system installed. You may follow this link to calculate a ballpark payback amount you will get from this initiative. Make sure, however, you have a valid EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) and try to properly insulate your house to get a high EPC rating.
- Carbon dioxide emissions reduction. You will minimize a CO ² footprint with a renewable heating air solution.
Air source heat pump cons:
- You need to find some free space in your backyard for the external condenser to be installed. However, it is not so large as one may imagine and a relatively small spot of uncultivated land will do.
- An outdoor unit may produce some noise. But due to insulation, these humming sounds can be hardly heard inside the house.
- The RHI for air source heat pumps is not a one-off payment. So be ready that you will get up to 80% of your money back not at once, but within next 7 years.
- Depending on your climate zone the work efficiency of a heat pump may vary. So you’d better consult you local installer first to pick a more powerful model that fits your weather conditions.
Should you have any additional questions, feel free to email us and our experts will contact you shortly.
Also, you may claim a ballpark installation price for your property completely free of charge by filling in a simple form on our website.
All figures and numbers are approximate and stated for information only. Figures for your property may vary. Subject to survey.