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Heat Pumps – Your Questions Answered

At present, heat pumps are one of the lesser known renewable energy sources so you will probably have a lot of questions if you’re looking into this as an option for your home. Predominantly used in Switzerland, Sweden and Austria, these are a green energy that have been introduced as part of the bid to reduce carbon emissions by 2020.

Before purchasing a heat pump it is important to fully understand them so you can identify the advantages / disadvantages before proceeding with one. However, with a growing number of people installing these, there are some very positive reviews and it has been identified that they will reduce energy bills by approximately 50%.

We’ve compiled all of our frequently asked questions and have included these below for you to see:

1. How does a heat pump work?

It works by drawing hot air from one place (i.e. the ground or air) to another. This means it will heat your home during the winter months but will cool it down during the summer months by transferring the warm air in your home to the outside of the property. It even works at low temperatures because heat can always be sourced.

2. What types of heat pumps are there?

The ground source heat pump and the air source heat pump are the most commonly known pumps available. The air pump will draw the warmth from the air, whilst the ground pump will draw warmth from the ground where the temperature remains at an almost constant level.

3. Would I still need my old heaters if I installed a heat pump?

This will depend on the layout of your home and whether you’re installing it in a new or old property. Sometimes additional heat may be required if the temperature drops, but this will depend on your insulation and property.

4. What’s a ductless system?

This basically means that no air pipes are needed for the system to work. Instead, the system has what are called ‘heads’, which act like fans blowing hot air out into the room it is installed. The beauty of these is that they can be isolated and turned on/off as required in each room.

5. What’s involved in installing a heat pump?

On average, the installation of a heat pump will take around 3 days. An outdoor and indoor unit will be installed but always allow more time for ground source heat pumps as these are installed underground and will require digging work. However, if you’re installing a ductless system, these can often be completed in a quicker timescale.

6. What’s the average cost for a heat pump?

Again, this is something that will depend on the system required, the property it is being installed in and how complex the system will be. The rough price range is approximately £1,500 to £6,000.

7. What’s the lifespan of a heat pump?

Providing they are properly maintained and continually checked, heat pumps can continue to work efficiently for 15 to 20 years.

8. What maintenance is involved?

Some of the maintenance required by a heat pump can be carried out by the user, including cleaning the system. However, a skilled technician will need to monitor certain parts and it is recommended that you have someone perform a yearly check on your heat pump.

9. Can a pump be used 24/7?

As with any heating system, it is far more economical to use it as and when is required. Running a heat pump all day can be very expensive and just isn’t necessary. Should you have the correct insulation in your home you should only need to have the heat pump on for a few hours to get your home to the required temperature.

10. Can a heat pump be programmed?

Yes they can. Just like your normal central heating system, most heat pumps can be put on a timer to come on as and when you require.

11. If I turn the heat pump to maximum temperature, will it heat up quicker?

This is another unnecessary thing to do with heat pumps as this will put the system under undue pressure and strain. It is far more cost-effective and efficient to place the thermostat to the desired temperature and let it warm up gradually.

12. What size heat pump will I need?

This is something that will need a lot of attention and consideration as the wrong size could lead to your heat pump being expensive and inefficient. Things like insulation and the average temperature in winter where you live will need to be considered to ensure you install the right heat pump for you.

13. Do heat pumps act as a dehumidifier?

They certainly do! As they have water moving through their pipes, this allows the heat pump to dehumidify your home, regardless of whether it is in heating or cooling mode.

14. How often does the heat pump need cleaning?

It is recommended that your heat pump is cleaned every two weeks to make certain that no dust, leaves and other debris have accumulated. If they do, it can lead to the pump underperforming.

What are your thoughts on heat pumps? have you an heat pump installed or thinking about purchasing? we would love to hear your thoughts below or on our heat pump forum.

Do you have any other questions regarding heat pumps we can help with?

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