Heat pumps are hot right now, after the British government announced in its heating and building strategy that these low-carbon heating systems will play a key role in bringing us to zero by 2050.
We have received many questions about heat pumps, so we decided to answer some of the most common questions below.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is a low-carbon heating system that absorbs heat from outside and transfers it to your home. Heat pumps are suitable for many homes, and tens of thousands of heat pumps are now installed across the UK.
The British government expects millions of heat pumps to be installed in homes over the next 10 to 15 years to meet our net zero targets.
How expensive is it for me to install a heat pump?
The most common type of heat pump in the UK is the air-to-water heat pump, which costs around 000 7,000 to 000 13,000. This varies depending on the brand, model and size of the heat pump, the size of the property, the renovation of the existing home or property, and whether you need to change the way heat is distributed around your property.
A ground-to-water heat pump costs between 00 20,000 and 00 30,000, depending on the size of your property. The additional cost of installing a ground source heat pump is due to the outdoor work in the garden, where the “branches” or “points” must be installed. Like an air-to-water heat pump, the cost of a ground-to-water heat pump also depends on the brand and size of the model you choose, the size of the property, and whether additional items such as a radiator or floor need to be installed. Heating
If I do not have enough outdoor space, what are the alternatives?
Installing air-to-water heat pumps is easier and faster than ground-to-water heat pumps because they do not need to dig the ground for installation and do not take up much outdoor space. Or if the heat pump is not right for you, for example, if you do not have enough space for the heat pump, there are other renewable heating options that may work.
Solar water heating systems use solar panels called collectors that are installed on your roof. They collect the sun’s heat and use it to heat water stored in a hot water cylinder. A conventional boiler or submersible heater can be used to heat water or to supply hot water when solar energy is not available. You need about 4 to 5 square meters of roof space for solar panels that receive direct sunlight most of the day.
Biomass systems burn wood pellets, chips or logs to heat a single room or to power central heating boilers and hot water. While burning wood emits carbon dioxide, it is at a lower level than coal or oil, provided the fuel is supplied locally. If new plants and trees continue to grow instead of plants used for fuel, biomass is considered a sustainable option.
How loud is a heat pump?
Unless the heat pump is working very hard (for example, in very cold weather), you can expect the noise to be a similar volume to a fridge, if you were standing within a couple of meters. You could easily hold a normal conversation next to it, without raising your voice.
Will a heat pump save me money on my energy bills?
The running costs of a heat pump will depend on how your heat pump is designed and operated. Savings on your energy bill will also be affected by the system you are replacing. Costs will be affected by several factors, including:
If I had a heat pump installed and wanted to move, could I take it with me to my new home?
Unfortunately not, this would become part of your house or flat’s assets when you sell the property. But when you come to sell your home, having a heat pump installed will make it more attractive to potential buyers and it could increase the value of your property.
How much less carbon does a heat pump emit compared to other heating options?
Heat pumps are powered by electricity. The UK’s electricity is becoming increasingly low carbon, as more renewable sources are connected to the electricity grid, replacing existing gas and coal power stations. This makes a heat pump an extremely low carbon heating option, and increasingly so as our electricity grid further decarbonises.
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