Are you thinking of getting an air source heat pump or ground source heat pump for your home? Maybe using the Green Homes Grant that was announced in August 2020? Or maybe you would like to heat your business premises with a heat pump?
A heat pump is like a fridge in reverse:
- an air source heat pump uses electricity to remove heat from the air outside, and brings it into your building;
- a ground source heat pump uses electricity to remove heat from the ground outside, and brings it into your building.
This video from the USA will take you through the science if you need to know.
Here are my top tips for heat pumps
- Your building needs to be very well insulated. The roof and walls need to be insulated to at least the standard of the 2010 building regulations. It’s best to insulate the floor too, if possible. If your building isn’t adequately insulated then the excessive heat loss means that a heat pump could end up being too expensive to run.
- Check whether the heat pump you are considering is capable of providing hot water for washing, as well as space heating. If it isn’t, then you will need a secondary source of hot water, such as an immersion heater.
- Get the best heating controls that you can. Smart, zoned heating controls give you maximum control over heating your building, and maximum energy savings.
- Heat pumps are most economical when they are replacing expensive fuels such as heating oil and electricity. Switching from heating oil or electric radiators to a heat pump also gives the highest savings in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Make sure you shop around for the best electricity tariff to keep your fuel costs as low as possible. Some suppliers, such as Octopus Energy, are now offering Agile tariffs through a smart meter, which are advantageous for people with heat pumps.
- Make sure your proposed installer has relevant accreditations such as Trust Mark and MCS Certified.
- Heat pumps are best as part of a whole-house approach to energy saving. Make sure you take independent advice on how you can maximise energy savings in the whole building. It’s advisable to take independent advice on choosing which heat pump is best for your home, and which installer to use.
- If you need independent advice on heat pumps, or any aspect of energy saving in your home, then check out my advice packages for householder. Businesses please click here.