What is a Heat Pump?
A Heat Pump extracts heat from the air or ground and boosts it through an evaporation and condensation cycle to a temperature selected for use in the home’s heating and/or hot water system.
Can a heat pump provide all of my heating and hot water requirements?
Yes, as long as the heat pump and heating and hot water distribution system are properly specified even very large homes and commercial buildings do not need additional boiler back up.
In summer can I heat my swimming pool with a heat pump?
Yes, both air and ground source heat pumps can be used to heat swimming pools.
Can a heat pump be used to cool my home in the summer?
Yes, the heat pump does not generate heat but transfers it from one place to another. Therefore heat pumps can provide cooling by reversing the cycle. This has an added advantage of replenishing the heat in the ground where it is stored ready for use the following winter completing the cycle. In the case of Ground Source Heating the pump can be used for cooling however, if you are signed up to the RHI you would not receive payments for cooling.
Do Heat Pumps work efficiently in the UK?
Yes, heat pumps have been shown to work down to temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius. In the UK even in the middle of winter heat pumps can still extract heat energy from the air or ground. Just a few meters below the surface, the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature of between 8 – 12 degrees Celsius.
How efficient are heat pumps?
Although the heat pump requires energy to run for every unit of electricity used, up to 3-4 units of heat energy are produced. The efficiency of all heat pumps is affected by seasonal temperature fluctuations. The industry standard seasonal CoP for Ground source heat pumps is 3.2. For an air source heat pump the seasonal CoP approved by the Governments Standard Assessment Procedure or SAP (2005) is 2.5 however manufacturers claim that modern heat pumps can produce up to five units.
How do running costs compare with conventional alternatives?
In a modern well insulated house, heat pumps can offer very high efficiency and moderate running costs. The majority of British homes currently use gas or oil to provide their heating and hot water. However, as reserves of fossil fuels are depleted so the cost of heating our homes has increased.
What financial incentives are there for installing a Heat Pump?
The Renewable Heat Incentive for commercial applicants is available for ground source heat pumps and air to water heat pumps. The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is now available for both ground and air source heat pumps.
How do I know if my installation will be eligible for the these incentives?
For an installation to be eligible both the product and the installer must be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited.
For how long is the Renewable Heat Incentive paid and are payments guaranteed?
The Commercial RHI is guaranteed for 20 years once the applicant is approved. Payments are made on a quarterly basis on a metered installation. The Domestic RHI is guaranteed for 7 years and is paid on the same basis.
How long will it take to recoup the installation cost?
This largely depends on the fuel being replaced. Heating your home with a ground or air source heat pump means that up to 75% of the energy used to heat your home is from a free and inexhaustible source which is unaffected by energy price rises.
Do Heat Pumps require planning permission?
Ground and air source heat pumps can require planning permission; if this is required the Duncan Renewables team will be willing to go through this with you.
Do heat pumps work in winter?
Yes, air and ground source heat pumps will still have high output even down to -25 degrees external temperature.
How long will an installation take?
Air source heat pump installations may take 2-3 days. Ground Source heat systems can take longer depending on the required design.
Can air source heat pumps be fitted indoors?
A good air flow is essential for air source heat pumps, so outdoor will be the best option.
How much noise do Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps generate?
Noise generated by the heat pumps is minimal with high levels of sound proofing and fan oscillation technologies incorporated into the heat pumps design making them whisper quiet.
Do Heat Pumps work all year round?
The system performs down to air temperatures of -10°c which means that they are more than suitable for installations within the UK. Hot water and Heating can be provided 365 days a year. In properties with larger heat demand, boilers or multi fuel burners can be successfully integrated.
Can under floor heating be used with a heat pump?
Yes under floor heating, radiators or a mix of both for heat distribution in your building. In commercial buildings, air distributed systems can be used.
How is the pump powered?
The Air and Ground source heat pumps are driven by electricity, with more heat energy produced than energy required for running the pump.
Which is more cost effective – a ground or air source heat pump?
Ground source heat pumps tend to be more expensive to install than an air source system because of the extensive ground work required, however they offer greater year-round energy efficiency.
Am I at risk of legionella-related illness with a heat pump?
Legionella bacteria cannot survive at temperatures over 60 degrees. Normal control systems and immersion heater integration will raise the temperature of the hot water cylinder to over 60 degrees periodically to pasteurise the tank. To save electricity this can be programmed within the heat pumps to only come on for a short period of time.