We are all looking for new ways to make our homes energy saving and lives greener and more efficient, and year on year the renewable energy industry grows saving homeowners hundreds of pounds a year, while saving our environment from fossil fuels and other carbon producing ways to generate energy.
There are many renewable options available, but one of the most attractive options for homeowners is heat pumps.
There are two main types. Ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps. They work by transferring the heat found in the ground or the air and using it within your home to produce heat and hot water. Radiators, fans and your underfloor heating system can all be heated this way. What you heat depends on whether you choose an air to air or air to water heat pump. Air source heat pumps can work in colder weather and can extract heat from the air as low as 20 degrees c.
Before you look for quotes it is important to consider the different types available and which your property or business will benefit from. As mentioned above, there are two main types, air source and ground source also known as geothermal:
Let’s look closer at geothermal heat pumps, these systems take their heat from within the ground. Heat pumps can be installed in many ways and that depends on your property and the space you have. The heat is absorbed into a liquid and is passed through the pipes laid underground and then is sent back to heat your home.
Air source heat pumps work by passing heat from the air through a fluid and into a compressor, the air is then heated to a higher temperature and can be used for not only heating via fans but also hot water.
Heat pumps can also be air to air or air to water, air to air heats a property via a fan/air conditioning unit where as air to water will heat your radiators, water and underfloor heating. Air to air heat pumps cannot heat your hot water and are usually more expensive to run than having central heating as they do require electricity to work, however they do provide heat quicker than central heating would and can provide cool air too.
If you want to install heat pumps on your existing property, the cost is going to be higher than if you plan on building a new property and install them during the process. They need regular servicing, once a year but the cost of this is low and the heat pumps themselves are reliable. They should be regularly checked to maintain efficiency.
Air source heat pumps will cost in the range of £3,000 to £10,000 pounds and ground source heat pumps from £12,000 to £30,000. This will depend on the size of the system and the work needed as the ground around your home will need to be dug up to house the pipes. Many different systems are available and what is best depends on what you require it for.
Whilst the initial costs are high, heat pumps can recoup these costs in a few years. Low running cost and lower energy bills as well as high efficiency mean you will be saving money as soon as it is installed.
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Subsidies are available for heat pump projects.
Firstly, there is the RHI scheme or the renewable heat incentive RHI. This scheme is an incentive for using renewable ways to heat domestic properties. You will receive the RHI payment for 7 years and it is for anyone using a renewable heating source. Visit Ofgem for more information on the RHI.
Secondly there is the non-domestic RHI which applies to business and industry and operates on the same principle; however, the cost will differ. Ofgem will tell you the information you need to know about this scheme.
Planning permission is not usually required for ground source heat pumps, the exception being if you live in a conservation area, the pipes will be installed underground and won’t be seen. However, air source heat pumps will require planning permission and it is always wise to check with your local authority their requirements for both.
It is important to compare quotes for heat pumps and include all the relevant information to receive the best quote. Include all property information and the kind of heat pump you require as well as any money you will receive from the RHI.
You can visit our guide to heat pumps information and we can then provide you with quotes and find local installers near you.
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