Energy bills have been a hot topic of conversation recently – and analysts have predicted a rise of up to 30% on gas bills in the next 12 months. With the ongoing discussion around global warming, and 85% of UK homes using fossil fuel driven gas boilers for their home heating, it’s understandable that some families are looking to change the way they heat their house.
One alternative that is growing in popularity is the heat pump – but it may not be suitable for everyone.
Lazard are expert plumbers in Hornchurch and in this article we look at some of the pros and cons of heat pump installation.
What are heat pumps?
Heat pumps are an alternative to the gas powered boiler. They are powered by electricity, and work in a similar way to a refrigerator – but in reverse. Extracting warmth from the outside air, the ground, or a nearby water source they then concentrate that heat and transfer it into the home. They tend to look like a standard air-conditioning unit.
There are several types of heat pumps that draw heat from different sources. Air source, ground source and water source heat pumps are all options when it comes to changing your heating.
The air source pump, for example, absorbs heat from the air into a liquid refrigerant at a low temperature. The electric powered pump then compresses the liquid to increase the temperature and sends the heat to your radiator or underfloor heating. The remaining heat can be stored in a hot water cylinder, to be used for showers, baths and taps.
What are the benefits of installing a heat pump?
While the pump uses electricity to run, it typically uses less electrical energy than the heat it produces, making it an energy-efficient way to warm your home, costing less than a gas powered boiler in some circumstances.
While heat pumps are typically more expensive to install than the standard gas boiler, many types will qualify for government grants over the next three years as part of the UK Government’s plan to cut Britain’s reliance on fossil fuel heating.
A properly installed heat pump can keep temperatures comfortable even in the coldest weather. They are designed to keep indoor spaces at a steady temperature with gentle top-ups through the day, rather than ramping up quickly with a quick blast of fossil fuels like a traditional gas boiler.
Equally, despite the reputation heat pumps have gained for being noisy, modern heat pumps make no more noise than a fridge.
Will heat pumps replace boilers?
Despite their benefits, heat pumps are not ideal for every home. They work best in homes with properly insulated windows, walls and roofs. This makes them a great choice for new-build homes. However, it’s a mistake to assume that every older household should consider retroactively installing heat pumps and pulling out all of their gas boilers.
Gas boilers do have a place in heating homes that require a more intense blast of heat – and looking to the future, there’s even a lot of scope for sustainably produced green gas that could power these more efficiently and sustainably.
Heat pumps also require a lot of outdoor space – either in a borehole for ground source pumps, or directly outside your home if you don’t have the space for this.
How do I know if a heat pump is right for me?
Heat pumps can be a great choice, depending on your type of home. However, it is a complicated decision that can be costly to get wrong – so it’s worth doing your research.
Lazard can help you. Whether you’re looking into cheaper or more energy efficient ways of heating your home, or you need to upgrade your current boiler, we can go through the options and look at what heating source will work best for your home and your budget.
We’re experts in installing heat pumps and boilers, as well as ongoing maintenance.
For complete peace of mind home plumbing solutions, contact our friendly team in Hornchurch, Essex on 01708 502 346 or click here to fill out a contact form.
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