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Heat pumps – the ‘new’ technology you’ve been using for decades

Despite the current relatively low price of oil and gas, many people are looking at a more sustainable way to heat their homes because they are worried about climate change and realise that fuel prices will not stay low forever.

Many will have now heard of an ‘air source heat pump’ and wondered whether this ‘new’ technology is suitable for their home.

Yet despite its apparently recent arrival on the market, we have all been using the same basic technology contained in a heat pump for decades.

We all have a refrigerator humming quietly in the corner of our kitchen, reliably keeping our food chilled or frozen and few would even question how it works – it has just become a ubiquitous part of modern life.
Examples of Heat Pump Installations

The fridge uses a circuit of refrigerant at the back of the unit, which is compressed and expanded to move heat from one place (the food, making it cold) to another (in this case the back of the fridge).

In an air source heat pump, low grade heat is harvested from the outdoor air (even when in sub-zero temperatures) and upgraded using the same refrigerant compression cycle, to produce all the heating and hot water a home needs.

The outright market-leader is the Ecodan range from Mitsubishi Electric which has been manufacturing heat pumps in Scotland and the Far East for years.

Ecodan Heat Pump

They are proven, quiet and reliable, and the latest models also come with energy monitoring as standard, helping homeowners qualify for Government incentives.

Full Internet control of your own heat pump is also possible with smart Apps that let you monitor energy consumption, change the temperature or timing, and even put the system into holiday mode as you head to the airport.

So if you are looking for a greener alternative to traditional heating, and especially if you want to do away with the bother and cost of oil tanker deliveries, it’s worth considering what a heat pump could offer you.

Further details on the complete Ecodan range, which can be used for new-build and retro-fit properties can be found here.

1 Comment to Heat pumps – the ‘new’ technology you’ve been using for decades

  1. David Lane's Gravatar David Lane
    July 10, 2021 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I own a traditional stone-walled cottage that has loft insulation and with space heating & hot water provided by a Mitsubishi ASHP. Astonished to recently receive a very low EPC rating of F (26). My protestations to the assessor have failed to change this. Heat pumps are the one of the most important improvements that can be made in increasing energy efficiency and decreasing the carbon footprint of a property yet this is not properly recognised in the BRE approved software for EPC calculations.
    This is outrageous and completely at odds with stated Government policy switching from gas boilers to heat pumps in the coming decades. Adoption of heat pump technology will remain slow if this flawed EPC situation persists and this certainly do not look good in the lead up to the climate summit later this year!

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