What to consider when installing a heat pump?

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The demand for heat pumps continues to grow, and the appetite for this type of technology is set to remain with the Renewable Heat Incentive still available.

Providing heating and hot water via a heat pump is a cost effective solution and is becoming increasingly popular in both new build and retrofit properties.

How does a heat pump work?

Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) absorb heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home.

An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C. Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the ground, air, or water is constantly being renewed naturally.

Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) use pipes which are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.

A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop, which is buried in your garden. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year.

The length of the ground loop depends on the size of your home and the amount of heat you need. Longer loops can draw more heat from the ground, but need more space to be buried in. If space is limited, a vertical borehole can be drilled instead.

If you would like further information about renewable energy, you can visit the energy saving trust website here

There are several influencing factors to consider when choosing a suitable product.

How well insulated is your property?

The level of insulation you have within your property will impact on the heat load of the building. This information will already be available in the property designs if you have a new property. However, if a property is older, a heating survey will be needed to establish the maximum amount of heat it will require. A poor insulated property will require a larger capacity heat pump.

How will the heat be distributed?

How the heat will be distributed is also an important consideration, as different heat emitters require different flow temperatures.
The ideal heat distribution method has a low flow temperature, which makes Underfloor heating an ideal choice. If radiators are used, it is important they are correctly sized to optimise the systems performance.

Sizing of the heat pump should follow MCS guidelines. This means the heat pump needs to be sized for 100% of the heating load without the use of in-built immersion heaters and fitted by an MCS accredited installer.

Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is a nationally recognised quality assurance scheme, supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which certifies microgeneration technologies used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources.

R A Brown Heating Services is an MCS accredited installer and has an experienced team, with an in-house technical designer available to design a fully optimised energy efficient system tailored to your personal circumstances.

For an appointment to visit our showroom to discuss how a heat pump could meet your specific property requirements, call 01603 898904.