Heat pumps

We’ve all heard the news that by 2035 our traditional gas boilers will no longer be for sale and that we’ll need to choose a heat pump if we need to replace a boiler. But what are heat pumps? Here’s some key info.

Heat pumps in one (long!) sentence 

Unlike traditional gas boilers, heat pumps are electrically powered and absorb heat from the air, ground or water around a building and pass the heat over tubes containing refrigerant fluids.  

Why is electricity better than gas? 

There are more renewable sources of electricity like solar and wind so it’s becoming increasingly low carbon which is much better for the environment. 

Will it be cheaper to run? 

There isn’t a clear cut answer on this one as there are so many factors involved including what you’re replacing, the type of pump you install, the design of your heating system and the electricity tariff that you’re on. 

Can I use a heat pump with my current heating system? 

Heat pumps work best with underfloor heating but if you have radiators you can still install one but you may have to replace radiators for ones with bigger surface areas.  Heat pumps generally pass the water to radiators at 45°C degrees unlike traditional boilers which are at 75°C so the bigger surface area (along with good insulation)  will mean you're getting the heat that you’re used to. 

Where will a heat pump be fitted? 

The heat pump is about 1 metre x 1 metre. It will need to go outside your property and at least 1 metre from your neighbours. You’ll also need to have a hot water cylinder in your home - which you may not have at the moment if you have a combi boiler. 

What’s the cost to install a heat pump? 

The cost can be between £6,000 and £18,000 depending on the size of your home but with the £5,000 government subsidy announced in October it brings the cost down closer to that of a traditional boiler. 

Sources: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home/heating-your-home/heat-pumps/

https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/in-depth-guide-to-heat-pumps/  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-57159056 

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