If you're interested in becoming more environmentally friendly with regard to your home heating system, then you may be interested to read my first in a series of blog posts about renewable energy.
This month: Air Source Heat Pumps
We are on the verge of seeing a future where almost all of our electricity comes from renewable energy. According to Friends Of The Earth, in just 6 years the UK increased its renewable electricity output from 7% to 25% and technology is developing and costs are falling at lightning pace, paving the way for a (much-needed) more sustainable planet.
With all eyes on climate change issues, it's no surprise that more and more people are considering an alternative heating system for their home.
A report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says that from 2025 at the latest, no new homes should be connected to the gas grid – with super-efficient homes heated using low-carbon energy instead. Traditional gas boilers are to be phased out in new builds, so what's the alternative? Here's one way forward.....
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) absorb heat from the outside air which can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home.
How does an air source heat pump work?
It's hard to imagine ASHPs working when it's minus 5 outside. However, these pumps can extract heat from the air even when the temperature falls as low as -15° C.
An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. Heat from the air is absorbed at low temperature into a fluid. This fluid then passes through a compressor where its temperature is increased and transfers its higher temperature heat to the heating and hot water circuits of the house.
Air source heat pumps do have some impact on the environment but only in as much as they need electricity to run. However the heat they extract from the air is constantly being renewed naturally, using a lot less power than a traditional boiler.
What are the benefits of air source heat pumps?
What about emissions?
The heating of the country's homes accounts for the largest proportion of UK's greenhouse gas emissions: a staggering 37%. Whilst conventional boilers are significantly more efficient and planet-friendly then they've ever been, there's still a way to go in cutting down our household carbon footprint.
Emissions from grid electricity have almost halved over the last 20 years and according to predictions from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as technology advances at a huge rate of knots, electricity will become greener than oil, LPG and even natural gas per kWh of heat within five years.
Energy Saving Trust claim that typical emissions associated with heat pumps could mean a drop of more than 60% in emissions when compared to storage heaters or oil fired boilers.
Is a Heat Pump Right For Me?
Not all homes can be retro-fitted with a heat pump but a good installer can advise you. Carters Plumbing and Heating is an approved installer of Snugg Systems Ltd who guide their clients through the whole process from initial advice through to design, installation and aftercare, with the following service:
Get Paid for Installing Your Heat Pump
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (Domestic RHI) is a government financial incentive to promote the use of renewable heat. People who join the scheme and stick to its rules receive quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat it’s estimated their system produces.
I will cover this subject in more detail in my next blog post.
Do I Need Planning Permission?
No, the installation of an air source heat pump on domestic premises is considered to be permitted development. There are certain rules and regulations that need to be adhered to but your installer will take care of that.
Disadvantage of Heat Pumps
* Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) standards make sure installers meet a quality mark and demonstrate compliance to industry standards. The microgeneration installation standard outlines the requirements for MCS installers undertaking the supply, design, installation, set to work, commissioning, and handover of microgeneration heat pump systems.
If you'd like more information about air source heat pumps
please feel free to contact me
Gas Safe Register No 567589
Snugg Systems Ltd Member No: 007 (yep, 007!)
With 20 years experience under my belt and the fact I keep up-to-date with the latest technology, I like to think I know a thing or two about plumbing and heating.