Heat Pumps

In a world of increasing energy prices and climate change, now more than ever we all need to look at ways of utilizing heating technologies that are cost effective, long term sustainable and are not dependant on the use of fossil fuels.

Heat pumps provide the energy efficient, environmentally sound heating solution of the future. They’re silent, fully automatic and maintenance-free and there’s no need to regularly buy oil, or worry about annual safety inspections. The life expectancy of a heat pump is typically 20 – 25 years, twice that of a boiler. Drawing heat from the inexhaustible solar energy stored in the earth, the ambient air or water, heat pumps use collectors buried either vertically or horizontally in the ground. As a heat pump is a ‘cold’ heating medium, there is also no combustion so there’s no risk of fire. Nor is there any risk of gas leak or spillage, making heat pumps one of the safest heating systems available today.

Heat pumps use refrigeration technology to extract the sun’s energy from the environment and raise it to a temperature suitable for heating use. This system works even at sub zero temperatures as low as -25oC.

There are three different types of heat pump available;

Ground Source
With stable temperatures beneath the earth all year round these pumps extract heat from the ground via ground heat collectors buried into the earth to provide high levels of efficiency for space and water heating all year long. The range of configurations available for this product means that it is equally well suited for the domestic and commercial market alike.

Air source
These heat pumps utilize air from outside as an energy source and can operate at temperatures ranging from 35oC to -25oC. Air source heat pumps have low installation costs and require minimal space and they can be installed internally or externally depending on space and preference. Notably they are probably the best kind of heat pump to consider for swimming pool heating since the high ambient temperatures of the summer provide the most efficient method of energy delivery when the pool is most frequently in use.

These extract thermal energy from underground water. So long as a quality supply is readily available then these heat pumps are by far the most efficient source of heat and are suited for either domestic or commercial applications. You will need to have consent from the environment agency to extract and discharge water from/to the water course prior to installing this type of heat pump.

Heat pumps can be installed in new builds, existing property, commercial developments, schools and businesses for both heating (including underfloor heating systems) and cooling the internal environment, hot water and swimming pools.

By making use of this freely available, inexhaustible solar energy they not only reduce the impact on the environment but also help to significantly reduce energy bills. Heat pumps are unrivalled for economy due to their lower operating costs in comparison to other heating systems. And because the majority of the energy is free from the environment, heat pumps are unaffected by sudden rises in gas or oil prices. Not only are operating costs reduced but since heat pumps extract as much as 75% of their heating energy from the environment, a building’s CO² emissions can be reduced by up to 50% compared with standard gas central heating systems, contributing a significant reduction in the emission of this greenhouse gas. This is a considerable benefit to consider particularly in meeting the latest Building Regulations ‘Part L’ compliance criteria, which has raised the minimum levels of CO2 emissions standards for new buildings and, the increasingly stringent requirements that planning authorities now have for minimum contributions to come from renewable energy.

For more information on heat pumps you can click on the links below:

. Energy Saving Light Bulbs
. Heat Pumps
. Heating Controls
How you can make a difference
. Energy Saving Tips

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