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The Reasons Why You Should be Investing in a Heat Pump

If you’re looking at installing a renewable energy source within your home, the chances are you’ve stumbled across heat pumps, but with everything else on offer out there, it often becomes quite confusing. We’ve digested all of the information about heat pumps for you and provided you with a full detailed guide below that will help you establish whether this source of renewable energy is right for you.

To start with, the term heat pump is probably the most misleading aspect of this energy source as it doesn’t just ‘heat’. In fact, a heat pump is just as effective at cooling your home as it is as heating it, providing cool air conditioning during the warmer summer months by reversing what it does during the winter months.

Pumps such as your Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) and your Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) take the heat from the air / earth and transfer this into your home (they do this even if the temperature is as low as zero degrees!). In the summer months, they reverse this cycle and transfer the heat from your home into the outside area, thus cooling your home and providing you with that much-needed air conditioning.

What Makes it Cost-effective and Eco-friendly?

Per pound that is spent on electricity for your heat pump, you will receive four pounds of heat energy in return. The heat pump is capable of this as from every unit of energy it uses it generates approximately 3 to 5 kilowatts of heat, making it a much more cost-effective solution for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Furthermore, because there are no fossil fuels burned during this process, the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from this heat source are far less than those produced by your standard heating systems. Not only this, but as a natural source, this also eradicates any risk of having carbon monoxide poisoning within your home.

Some users of the heat pumps also save more money by signing up to the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) Government Scheme. This has been established to encourage people to install renewable energy sources within their homes and businesses and does so by offering a financial incentive with quarterly payments made to you over a period of seven years.

Making Sure Your Heat Pump is Designed for the UK

If you are seriously considering installing a heat pump within your property, thorough research of the company you are enlisting to do this is essential. One of your primary focuses should be on establishing if the heat pump has been manufactured to the standard required in the UK.

As heat pumps work on temperature and humidity factors within the climate, a heat pump made to suit a foreign climate will not perform to the same level in the UK. If you don’t get a heat pump that has been designed correctly, you could be looking at significantly higher running costs and a performance that just isn’t to the standard you require.

Choosing Which Heat Pump is Best for You

When it comes to deciding on which heat pump is going to be most effective for you, there are a number of things you will need to consider. The two most popular sources of heat pumps are Air Source Heat Pumps and Ground Source Heat Pumps, and our pointers below detail what you’ll need to take into account first.

  • Garden Suitability – before considering a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP), you will need to ensure that your garden is capable of housing one. A deep borehole will need to be made, so you will need to establish if there is enough room for the ground loop.
  • Insulation – a heat pump is going to work most effectively when your home in insulated to the highest of standards. Without the correct insulation you could be wasting your time, so always assess that everything has been done to insulate your home properly first.
  • Replacing Fuel Types – if you’re replacing electric or coal heating systems, then a heat pump is going to provide you with a cost-effective solution. However, for those homes using mains gas for heating, it is advised that a heat pump may not be the most effective solution.
  • Combining Installation Work – one way to dramatically reduce the costs of installing a heat pump is to combine it with any other work that you may be doing at the property. Due to the amount of ground that needs digging out for a Ground Source Heat Pump, it is recommended primarily for new builds unless you have a large garden space.

How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?

As with all renewable energy sources, the cost of installing a heat pump at your home will depend on the size of the property, the insulation and what type of heating system you are intending to have. The approximate cost associated with Air Source Heat Pumps is between £6,000 to £10,000 to buy and install. But with the RHI (mentioned earlier) this cost can soon be paid off.

Due to the larger complexity of Ground Source Heat Pumps, this can be quite a varied cost, but it is estimated that installation and purchasing will cost you between £11,000 and £15,000. The return on this will depend on how your system works and to what efficiency level as well as your potential involvement in the RHI scheme.

Whenever you’re considering installing a renewable energy source in your home, always do thorough investigations first and obtain several quotations to compare before deciding to go ahead.

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.

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