Heat Pump Questions Answered
WILL A HEAT PUMP BE COMPATIBLE WITH MY EXISTING SYSTEM?
Heat pumps are compatible with both radiator and under floor heating systems. They are at their most efficient when the emitter system is designed to work at as low a flow temperature as possible, which may mean that some of your existing radiators have to be upgraded to maximise the efficiency of the unit – this is all picked up at the survey stage.
WHAT IF I’M ON MAINS GAS?
Heat pumps may not be the best option for homes using mains gas if the intention is financial savings. If, however you are on mains gas but wish to heat your home using an eco-friendly solution then heat pumps are a fantastic option and additionally create a more comfortable living atmosphere than conventional boilers. The system will pay for itself rapidly if it’s replacing an electric, oil, solid fuel or LPG heating system.
For our advice on replacing a Gas Boiler with a Heat Pump, see HERE
WHAT MAINTENANCE IS REQUIRED?
Heat pump systems simply require an annual service.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS WITH HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS?
Any issues are often from poor specification of the components of the system – these come from the pump being undersized with regards to the property, or constantly having to run at high flow temperatures due to the heating emitters being poorly specified. The results of these are a cold house, high bills or both. With ground source heat pumps undersized ground collectors can also be a problem. The sizing and specification is paramount in order to have an efficient heating system – with hundreds of successful projects under our belt you can rest assured this would not be a problem!
HOW MUCH WILL MY ELECTRICITY BILL CHANGE WITH A HEAT PUMP?
This will vary from property to property. Typically, we determine an approximate saving compared to your current source of fuel – Oil or LPG users can see anywhere from 40-60% saving on their yearly heating costs. Electric boiler households can see savings as high as 70%!
CAN I USE A HEAT PUMP TO SUPPLEMENT OTHER FORMS OF HEATING?
Heat pumps are often purchased to supplement existing heating systems, but once installed they usually become the primary heat source, and the existing system becomes the supplement. They can be used together with conventional electric, gas or oil-fired boilers when integrated to an existing heating and hot water system known as a hybrid or bi-valent system.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO PRODUCE DOMESTIC HOT WATER OR ARE HEAT PUMPS FOR SPACE HEATING ONLY?
Yes, absolutely heat pumps can provide hot water as well as space heating. The heat pump ‘pre-heats’ hot water up to 55degC, there after an integrated immersion heater (within the cylinder) boosts stored water temperatures to 58-60degC. In compliance with current water regulations, the system controller has a feature where the stored water temperature is lifted above 60degC, once a week, for legionella/disinfection purposes.
HOW NOISY ARE AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS?
All heat pumps resonate some form of noise due to the circulating fan drawing ambient air into the system. All heat pump manufacturers of the systems we install have developed their fan motor technology to such an extent that the decibel output is minimal.
HOW MUCH LAND DO I NEED FOR A GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP?
A typical horizontal trench system requires upwards of 800 square metres. A vertical, ‘borehole’, system needs enough space for the drilling rig to access the site (circa 2.4m), with the boreholes themselves only around 20 centimetres wide. If multiple boreholes are needed, these are placed 6 – 8 metres apart.