Is a high temperature heat pump right for you?
For homeowners, there will undoubtedly be a mix of renewable energy options, and heat pumps have been identified as playing an important role in decarbonizing our homes. Low temperature heat pumps can comfortably heat our homes, but they require us to install larger radiators and provide a high degree of insulation for our homes.
The Climate Change Council has identified high temperature (HT) heat pumps as a viable option for many homes where low temperature heat pumps are impractical. HT heat pumps can run our existing radiators with little or no adjustment, but they are less efficient and more expensive to install. We explore the pros and cons of this renewable technology.
Our existing home heating system
The vast majority of homes have gas or oil boilers and high temperature radiators installed. For older non-condensing boilers, the temperature from the boiler to the radiator is 80 degrees.
With modern condensing boilers, the heating temperature should be lower so that the boiler operates at higher efficiency, although this rarely happens in practice. But sure, the boiler's 65-degree temperature can run a standard radiator-based heating system.
Barriers to Cryogenic Heat Pumps
All air source heat pumps are viable alternatives to our gas and oil boilers. They have a standard capacity of between 3-16kW and have the potential to heat most homes; on very cold days the average heat demand is only 6-8kW.
However, low temperature heat pumps are most efficient when the heating system temperature is operating between 35-45 degrees. Our homes can still be heated with this lower temperature, but our radiators need to be larger to dissipate more heat. So a new low temperature heat pump will also mean new radiators unless we drastically increase our insulation levels.
High temperature heat pump
HT heat pumps are designed to operate at 80 degrees, so they can heat standard radiators. Other advanced heat pumps operate up to 65 degrees and are also ideal for existing heating systems.
The downside is that high temperature heat pumps are more expensive to install and less efficient than low temperature models. The exterior units are also larger and therefore require a garden. Still, they may be the only option for some families.
When is the right time for me to use a high temperature heat pump?
There is no doubt that the next decade will push to insulate our homes so that we can adapt to low-carbon technologies, especially low-temperature heat pumps.
However, some properties may not achieve a high level of insulation, such as listed and older properties. If it seems unlikely that your heating system will run at 45 degrees, a high temperature heat pump is a great option, and can be installed right now, and you can partially decarbonize your home in no time.
Efficiency of high temperature heat pumps
With the right setup, homeowners can expect a SCOP of around 2-2.5. This means that per unit of electricity, the device will generate 2-2.5 units of free energy from the air.
SCOP is the efficiency of the heat pump in a year. When the heat pump is operating at a higher temperature, the efficiency will decrease significantly in the winter months, and it will be more efficient during the spring and autumn months when it can operate at a lower temperature.
While high temperature heat pumps are capable of heating 65 or 80 degrees, that's not to say they should operate at that temperature. The higher the temperature, the lower the efficiency. Heating systems should be designed as practical as possible to run as low as possible and only rely on maximum temperatures when absolutely necessary.
How to find a high-quality heat pump?
There are many manufacturers and brands of high temperature heat pumps. We are a professional manufacturer. We have high quality heat pumps. If you are considering a new heat pump, you can contact us.