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Heat Pumps

Our video shows  a customer talking about the air source heat pump we installed in her house in Worcestershire. The customer was happy with both the installation process and the performance of the heat pump system.

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Eco2Solar install two types of Heat Pump, all with essentially the same components. The only difference is the source of the heat from which the pumps draw.

  1. Air Source Heat Pump
  2. Ground Source Heat Pump

AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) absorb heat from the outside air, which can then be used for underfloor heating systems, warm air convectors, or to provide warm water for radiators or for the hot water supply.

AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS

How do ASHPs work?

Measuring performance:

ASHPs are measured by a Coefficient of Performance (CoP). This is a measure of the heat produced compared to the electricity required to run it. A standard CoP for an Air Source Heat Pump is around 2.5, when used in conjunction with underfloor heating (it is usually less when used with radiators). Simply put, CoP means that for every unit of electricity used to power the pump, 2.5 units of heat could be generated.

What are the benefits of installing an Air Source Heat Pump?

  • Reduction in fuel bills: because Air Source Heat Pumps run on electricity, there is no need to pay for gas, oil or solid fuels to heat your home. The emissions can be further reduced if the heat pump is powered by another renewable technology, such as Solar PV
  • No fuel deliveries required.
  • Can provide space heating and hot water.
  • Can significantly lower fuel bills, depending on what heating fuel you are replacing.
  • Can be easier to install than a ground source heat pump, but efficiencies are often lower.

Is an Air Source Heat Pump suitable for my home?

To determine whether an Air Source Heat Pump is right for your home, please consider these questions:

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  • Do you have somewhere to put it? You’ll need a space outside your house where a unit can be fitted to a wall or placed on the ground. It will need plenty of space around it to get a good flow of air. A sunny wall is ideal.
  • Is your home well insulated? Since air source heat pumps produce less heat than traditional boilers, it’s essential that your home is insulated and draught proofed well for the heating system to be effective.
  • What fuel will you be replacing? The system will pay for itself much more quickly if it’s replacing an electrical, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) or coal heating system than a gas or oil one.
  • What type of heating system will you use? Air source heat pumps perform much better with underfloor heating systems or warm air heating than radiator-based systems because of the lower water temperatures required.

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How much will it cost to install, and how much will it save me?

Cost

The cost to install a typical system, suitable for a detached home, ranges from about £5,000 to £9,000, including installation. This will vary depending on a number of factors – including the size of your home and how well insulated it is.

Savings

The savings you make will vary depending on many factors, some are outlined below. It is important that the system is controlled appropriately for your needs. Actual savings figures will depend on your exact fuel prices and property.

  • The heat distribution system: underfloor heating often provides greater efficiencies than radiators because the water doesn’t need to be heated to such a high temperature.
  • Fuel costs: you will still have to pay fuel bills with an Air Source Heat Pump because they are powered by electricity. The savings you achieve can be affected by the price of the fuel you are replacing and the price of the electricity for the heat pump. Due to the efficiency of the heat pump, the running costs are typically lower than a conventional boiler as for every unit of energy the pump costs to run, it will provide 2-3 units of useable heat back.
  • Efficiency of old and new system: the efficiency of the old heating system will affect how much you spent on heating bills previously. If the old heating system was inefficient heating bills could have been high and the difference between the new running costs and the old running costs will be greater, therefore providing a greater saving.
  • Temperature setting: It’s a good idea to set thermostats to around 18 to 21 degrees centigrade.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The RHI is a scheme that will see installers of Ground Source and Air Source Heat Pumps receive a premium rate for every unit of energy that their heat pump generates, tax free for 20 years. For more information on the RHI please follow this link:

GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS

Put simply, these pumps work by burying pipes or drilling a bore hole in the ground, usually your garden. The pipes extract heat from the ground, and channel this heat back to the house to power under floor heating, radiators and the hot water supply.

The temperature of the Earth beneath the surface stays constant throughout the year – even in winter – and therefore provides a continuous source of free heat.

How do Ground Source Heat Pumps work?

The length of the pipework is totally dependent on the space available in the garden, and the budget of each individual customer – the more pipe that is installed, the more heat it will generate.

Normally the loop will be laid flat, dug into trenches across the garden. However, if there is insufficient space in the garden, it is also possible to dig bore holes to lay the pipe into. These holes can be up to 100 metres deep for domestic homes.

Heat pumps do require some electricity to run, in order to pump the fluid around the pipes; however, there is a constant supply of heat within the ground to make the power usage worthwhile. It is possible to integrate a heat pump with a Solar PV system that will power the heat pump with no impact on the environment and zero carbon emissions.

Ground Source Heat Pump Efficiency

The efficiency of Ground Source Heat Pumps is measured using “Co-efficiency of Performance” measurement. This calculates the amount of power generated by the system, and relates it to the electrical demand required to power it. A typical CoP for a Ground Source Heat Pump is 3.2 if used with underfloor heating (this figure drops slightly if the power is used for radiators). This means that for every unit of electricity used to power the system, 3.2 units of heating power will be generated.

What are the benefits of Ground Source Heat Pumps?

  • Reduce your CO2 emissions: A ground source heat pump can save approximately 540kg of CO2 per year when replacing a conventional oil boiler. It is possible to further reduce emissions if the system is powered by another renewable source of energy such as Solar PV
  • No fuel deliveries required
  • Has the potential to provide space heating and hot water
  • Significantly lower fuel bills, depending on the existing method of heating used
  • “Fit and Forget” installation – designed to be very low maintenance. Once installed, the system can be left alone to do its job with no attention necessary!

Is a Ground Source Heat Pump right for my home?

Please consider the following questions to determine whether a Ground Source Heat Pump would be suitable for your property?

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  1. Is your garden suitable for a ground loop? Size is not a necessity, although it does help. The ground needs to be suitable for digging trenches and/or boreholes, and needs to accessible to large machinery.
  2. Is your home well insulated? Because heat pumps produce a lower temperature heat than traditional boilers, it is essential that your home is properly insulated and draught-proofed. This will make the system more effective, as well as smaller and cheaper to install!
  3. What type of fuel does it replace? If the heat pump is replacing an electric, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), oil or coal system, it will pay for itself quickly. However, if it is replacing a newer, more efficient heating system, the savings will be smaller.
  4. What type of heating system will you use? A heat pump is much more efficient if it is powering underfloor heating systems or low temperature fan convectors (warm air heating), than if it is powering radiator-based systems because of the lower water temperatures required.

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Cost

The cost of installing a typically sized system ranges from about £7,000 to £13,000. The running costs for a year, where all hot water and space heating can be provided by the system are likely to be around £650 per year. This will depend on a number of factors – including the size of your home and how well insulated it is, therefore this cannot be taken as an accurate indication of cost or savings. A Solar PV system can contribute to the running costs of a heat pump.

Savings

The savings that a Ground Source Heat Pump will provide are dependent on many factors(outlined below). Due to each system being unique, the savings will reflect this.

  • Heat Distribution System: underfloor heating offers higher efficiencies compared to radiators. This is because the water doesn’t need to be heated to such a high temperature.
  • Fuel Costs: You will still have to pay fuel bills with a Ground Source Heat Pump, as the pump is powered by electricity. The savings are affected the price of the fuel you are replacing, and the price of the electricity used to power the pump.
  • Efficiency of old and new system: If your previous heating system was inefficient, then fuel bills will be higher. Therefore, the savings made by switching to a more efficient Ground Source Heat Pump will be much greater, due to running costs being much lower.
  • Provision of hot water and space heating? If the system is providing hot water as well as heating, the system efficiency will be lower, therefore increasing running costs, and decreasing savings.
  • Temperature setting: It is a good idea to set thermostats to around 18 to 21 degrees.

To further reduce your homes CO2 emissions, you may want to consider installing a Solar PV to help power the Ground Source Heat Pump. Another consideration might be to install a Solar Thermal system, to help contribute to your hot water demands.Eco2Solar can install a system which integrates all three systems, or two of them, in order for you to get the best value for money.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The RHI is a scheme that will see installers of Ground Source and Air Source Heat Pumps receive a premium rate for every unit of energy that their heat pump generates, tax free for 20 years. For more information on the RHI please click here.

Contact us for more information