Air source heat pumps
Air source heat pumps use a fan to absorb heat from the outside air at low temperature into a fluid. A heat pump compressor then increases the temperature of the fluid and transfers the higher temperature into the heating system of the house. Once the heat has been used, the cooler fluid circulates back to the unit outside to start the cycle again.
The fan and the compressor both use a small amount of electricity but this energy is magnified by the heat from the outside atmosphere. This is referred to as the co-efficient of performance or COP of the heat pump; for example, a heat pump with a COP of 4 will produce 4 units of heat for every 1 unit of electricity it uses. This means it is 4 times more efficient than a traditional electric system.
What are the benefits? As well as providing you with a new, state of the art heating system in your home, heat pumps have several benefits over traditional heating systems, these include:
- Reduction of energy bills by up to 60%;
- Benefits from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI);
- Air Source Heat Pumps generally require less maintenance than a traditional boiler;
- In most cases, installation onto existing heating systems is possible, provided insulation levels are adequate;
- Reduction in your fuel bills: a typical saving is 30% over a gas system and 50% over LPG and oil;
- Lowering your CO2 emissions, making your home more environmentally-friendly;
- No fuel deliveries are required;.
- Air source heat pumps are less expensive and easier to install than ground source heat pumps;
- Air source heat pumps require very little maintenance, being referred to as a ‘fit and forget’ system.
Air source heat pumps use electricity to produce heat. Typically with an outside air temperature of 7 degrees, for each kilowatt of electrical energy used a heat pump will produce an extra 3 kilowatts, producing 4 kilowatts of useful energy, making the process 400% efficient. Basically 4 for the price of 1.
Ground source heat pumps
Ground source heat pumps collect energy stored in the earth and use it to heat water in a cylinder for distribution to taps, appliances and radiators. This is one of the most advanced technologies available for home heating and hot water. As the earth ”stores” low temperature heat energy, it is an extremely reliable and constant energy source; it creates no harmful emissions and uses a very small amount of electricity.
Ground source heat pumps are extremely energy-efficient. Every unit of electricity used to drive the pump and compressor will produce 3- 4 units of heat – a substantial increase of heating energy of at least 300%. In addition, ,CO2 emissions when compared to a fossil fuel, like gas, show reductions of over 40%.
As well as reducing CO2 emissions and substantially helping users to reduce their carbon footprint, ground source heat pumps are extremely cost-effective, and tend to have the lowest running costs of all other space heating systems. This of course results in lower energy bills for users.
How Do Heat Pumps Work? Ground source heat pumps work kind of like a fridge in reverse: instead of extracting heat to produce a chilled environment, a heat pump extracts the cold to produce heat. Looped pipes are buried under the ground and capture the solar energy stored in the ground itself. The captured energy is then converted into heat which can be used for several different heating solutions like:
- Underfloor heating
- Conventional central heating using radiators
- Hot water
Ground Source Heat Pumps are most efficient and cost effective when used for background heating like an underfloor heating system, as this requires a lower input heat than that needed for conventional radiator heating or domestic hot water. An underfloor heating system generally requires a relatively low flow temperature of 35 degrees Celsius, which will have an efficiency level of around 400%. However, a conventional radiator system requires a much higher flow temperature of at least 50 degrees Celsius; this reduces efficiency to under 300%, resulting in higher running costs & fuel bills.
Please get in touch with HPG Solutions for further advice about environmentally-friendly heat pumps – and how we may help you with solutions.