If you are concerned about the amount of CO2 your home generates, you might want to think about installing either an air-source or a ground-source heat pump. These pumps use available warmth and boost it to a higher temperature so that it can be used to heat your home. They do rely on electricity to work, but can produce more heat than the electrical energy they use.
Both air and ground source heat pumps are eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive’s Premium Payment Scheme, which means that you can a get a grant to help cover the costs of installation.
Air Source Heat Pumps
These look rather like the air conditioning units that sit outside a home. They take air and absorb it into a fluid. This is then moved through a compressor where it is heated up and passed on to your home’s heating system.Air source pumps provide a steady amount of heat over long periods of time, but you will find that it takes a little longer to heat your home than with a boiler and your radiators won’t be quite as hot to the touch. They do perform very well with underfloor heating systems.
There are many benefits to having an air source heat pump, but it depends which type of fuel you will be using it to replace. Air source heat pumps are more effective as a replacement for electricity or coal systems than gas. If you are replacing an electrical heating system, your air source heat pump may save you as much as £380 per year.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
These pumps take heat from under the ground via pipes which are buried in your garden. Beneath the surface the ground actually stays at a fairly constant temperature, so a ground source heat pump is able to provide warmth throughout the year.They work by pumping water through a loop which absorbs naturally occurring heat from the ground. This is then compressed and transferred to your heating system.
As with air source, these heat pumps are good for underfloor heating and are particularly effective at replacing electrical heating systems.
How much does a heat pump cost?
It is relatively easy to get an air source heat pump installed, but you must have a space outside in which to put it. In 2013, the average cost for installing an air source heat pump was between £6,000 and £10,000.
Ground source heat pumps require more work to install and are therefore more expensive – between £9,000 and £17,000. However, you will be able to receive a larger grant for installing a ground source heat pump from the Renewable Heat Incentive Premium Payment Scheme.
Remember to get more than one quote in order to find the best available price.
For up to date information on the savings you can make with a heat pump, visit the Energy Savings Trust website.