What are heat pumps?
Heat pumps extract available heat from a natural source such as the ground or air and release it in another location at a higher temperature. Heat pumps can be used to heat your home or hot water. There are different types of heat pumps that can take heat from the ground, the air or from water - known as ground source, air source and water source respectively.
Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run but the heat they extract is from a renewable source. This makes them much more efficient than other electrical heating options. Typically you only need one unit of electricity to deliver three or more units of heat with a well designed heat pump system.
How do heat pumps work?
Heat naturally flows from a warmer place to a cooler place. Heat pumps use conventional refrigeration to absorb heat from one source and transfer it to another source and raise it to a temperature suitable for space heating and hot water. In heating applications, heat is removed from ambient air or from water, soil or bedrock using a heat ‘collection loop’ and delivered to where it is needed, usually into the heating and hot water systems of the house.
What are the key benefits of heat pumps?
Heat pumps are well established in other EU countries and are becoming more popular in the UK. As well as the lower running costs and reduced carbon dioxide emissions heat pumps have other benefits. Heat pumps can be incorporated into many UK homes. They are ideally suited to newer highly insulated properties and are not always suitable for flats. Once installed and connected to the heating and hot water circuits they are fully automatic. Heat pumps are also easily integrated with solar hot water systems to provide a comprehensive heating and hot water system. The collection loop for ground source heat pumps can be installed horizontally or vertically into the ground. Water source heat pumps need a source of water such as a lake, river or stream and air source heat pumps simply need unrestricted access to outside air. Heat pumps provide effective heating and are suitable for almost every type of house or building.
- Reducing your fuel bills, especially if you replace conventional electric heating
- Possibility of providing you with an income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive
- Lowering your carbon emissions
- Doesn't need fuel deliveries
- Can heat your home and provide hot water
- Needs little maintenance