What is the basic working principle of a heat pump?
Heat pumps are a relatively new technology, although they are widely used in many parts of Europe where renewable energy is abundant.
Heat pumps take energy from the outside and convert it into heat to circulate around heating and hot water systems. Heat pumps use electricity to run the heat pump's components, primarily fans, compressors, and circulation pumps, to transfer energy from a heat source to a radiator or heating system.
Government Subsidised Heat Pump - Boiler Upgrade Scheme
The Boiler Upgrade Program is a government incentive that will help you cover the upfront cost of upgrading your heating system with one of our air-to-water and ground source heat pumps.
In addition, heat pumps are now free of VAT - further reducing costs.
What grants are available?
Your installer will apply for the grant on your behalf. You can receive:
£5,000 reduction in cost and installation for air source heat pumps £5,000 reduction in cost and installation for biomass boilers £6,000 in cost and installation for ground source heat pumps
Our heat pumps:
Meet demanding hot water needs - from small to large homes.
Our premium heat pumps are our quietest for small to mid-sized homes.
Best of both worlds - combine a heat pump with a gas combination boiler.
Can I still use a gas boiler?
Yes, you can still have a gas boiler, and you can still replace your current boiler. Find out what the latest announcements about decarbonizing heat in your home mean for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of heat pumps?
There is debate as to which system is the most efficient, however, air source heat pumps rely on outside air temperature, which can be much cooler than the relatively stable surface temperature. As a result, ground source heat pumps tend to be more efficient at all outside temperatures, however, they are significantly more expensive to install and therefore less popular than air source heat pumps.
2. How does the operation of a heat pump differ from that of a boiler?
A heat pump works best when it circulates cold water around the heating system in a "steady state" mode. Heat pumps are best run from a weather-compensated system and are allowed to operate at all times as specified by outside weather temperature and inside room temperature. Due to the low temperature of the water in the heating system, it is not suitable for intermittent operation like a boiler. Boilers are typically turned on for a few hours in the morning, turned off throughout the day, and then turned back on for 5 or 6 hours at night.
The high temperatures a boiler can produce causes it to heat the house faster than a heat pump, so it is necessary to run the heat pump in "steady state" mode and avoid the need to heat the house quickly and from a low base temperature.
3. What are the maintenance requirements for the heat pump?
The maintenance requirements for heat pumps are not as onerous as boilers, but there is disagreement on whether homeowners can afford it or if a maintenance engineer is needed.
With a ground source heat pump, the requirement is more of an inspection than an activity, and the closed loop collection system needs to be checked for the correct level and efficacy, as the fluid is also used as an antifreeze. The water pressure of the heating system needs to be maintained, and if a hot water storage tank with main pressure unvented is installed, its maintenance requirements need to be considered.
Air source heat pumps require that the outer unit be kept free of leaves and debris, and any filters inside also need to be cleaned or replaced as specified by the manufacturer. Similar to a ground source heat pump, any unvented tap water pressure cylinder will need to be serviced according to the manufacturer's instructions.
4. What is the annual operating cost of the heat pump system?
The cost of running a heat pump varies depending on the type of home. Well-insulated homes built to new building code standards are generally less expensive to run than gas or oil boiler systems, provided the flow temperature of the heating system is kept relatively low, ideally around 40ºC.
When producing higher temperatures, the heat pump is less efficient and more expensive to run, either because the house is not well insulated, the radiators are not sized enough for the lower temperatures, or because the heat is being produced at a higher temperature. high temperature to produce hot water.
4. Can I connect the heat pump to my existing heating system?
The heat pump can be connected to an existing heating system, but several conditions need to be checked, otherwise it may affect customer satisfaction and operating costs;
Attribute heat loss calculations are required to determine the correct heat sink or heat emitter size required. If the original system was sized assuming the boiler was operating at a relatively high temperature, i.e. 70-75ºC flow, then unless the house has since then had additional insulation measures such as hollow walls, double glazing, etc. Then the radiator and when running at a heat pump temperature around 40-45ºC, the distribution piping may not be enough to heat the room. In some cases this is not done correctly and the heat pump is then turned up to run at a higher flow temperature, which results in the heat pump running at a lower efficiency and even backup immersion heaters running.
If the homeowner is used to operating the boiler system intermittently, they need to be instructed on how the heat pump system needs to operate differently. Many customer complaints about heat pump suitability stem from their expectations of how the two systems will operate differently. They need to be told that the radiator is not as hot as it used to be, and they need to pay more attention to the actual air temperature in the room rather than the surface temperature of the radiator.
If the existing heating system is a combined boiler system, a storage tank is required. Around 17 million households in the UK have a combined boiler installed, so there is a considerable difference between this system and a heat pump system. There needs to be room in the house for the newly needed cylinders, this can lead to a loss of space in bedrooms or landings, and homeowners need to be educated that cylinders now need to be heated before hot water is available, not as soon as hot water is available The water tap is turned on.
5. How much does it cost to install a heat pump?
The cost of installing a heat pump varies from house to house, as well as the size and type of heat pump chosen. As a rule of thumb, an air-to-water heat pump can cost around £8,000 to install, while a ground source heat pump can cost up to around £20,000. However, it depends a lot on the site and whether an existing heating system can be used, the location of the equipment, etc.
There are grants available to assist with investment, sometimes local and regional, and the Renewable Heat Incentive Program, which will pay the system purchaser an annual payment for seven years.
6. Is the heat pump noisy?
Air source heat pumps have an outdoor unit that contains a fan to bring outside air into the unit, so they are noisier than ground source heat pumps. Generally speaking, few people complain about the noise of the heat pump, which is quite acceptable compared to normal ambient external noise.