Simply Plumbing Guide to Installing a Heat Pump
After a winter of high heating bills, many households are wondering ‘Should I install a heat pump?’. It’s quite a shift; for the past 50 years, gas central heating has been the unquestioned mode of heating for the majority of UK households. From 2025, though, gas reliant boilers will start to be phased out. We’re on the brink of major change, so Simply Plumbing has put together a guide to heat pump installation.
What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump sources warmth from the outside air, nearby water or the ground, and concentrates that warmth as it transfers it into your home. It uses much less electricity than a boiler, and no gas, so it is far cheaper to run. Heat pumps work even in very cold temperatures and are able to produce 3 or 4 times as much energy as they use.
Cost of Installing a Heat Pump
Heat pump installation isn’t cheap. It starts at around £10,000 and rises to £45,000 with air source heat pumps being the cheapest, and ground source heat pumps the most expensive.
The government Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) is designed to help with these costs for households in England and Wales, and it will run until 2025. The kind of financial help available is as follows:
- £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump
- £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler
- £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump
What are the Benefits of Installing a Heat Pump?
There are a number of benefits for heat pump households:
- Cheaper to Run. The energy efficiency of the heat pump system means that it’s cheaper to run in the long-term.
- DIY Maintenance. Regular DIY inspections will keep your system running efficiently. Professional maintenance is necessary every 4-5 years.
- Less Carbon Emissions. A heat pump will cut CO² emissions for your household significantly.
- A Safer Heating System. Fuel isn’t burnt in order to create heat using heat pumps, which makes the system safer to maintain and run in your home.
- A Durable Heating System. A heat pump will normally work efficiently for up to 15 years, on average.
- Air-Conditioning in Summer. The system that provides you with heat in the winter can also be used to cool your home throughout the summer.
Any Disadvantages of Heat Pump Installation?
Heat pumps solve many of the problems that gas boilers create, but not all. Before deciding whether or not a heat pump is right for you, it’s worth looking at the disadvantages of installing one:
- Installation is Expensive. The initial outlay is expensive, and the temptation is to wait to see if they come down in price.
- Heat Pump Installation is Complex. It requires research in order to determine what your household requirements are and how heat will transfer from outside to inside.
- Cold Weather Issues. Whilst a heat pump continues to work in cold weather, icy temperatures can have an impact on the amount of electricity used to generate heat.
- Not a Carbon Neutral Solution. Electricity is necessary to create warmth using heat pumps. There are still emissions, therefore, although less than with central heating.
- Planning Permission Needed. In order to install a heat pump, planning permission is required in England and Wales.
- Insulation Required For Full Efficiency. A house needs to be professionally insulated in order for a heat pump to work efficiently.
Different Types of Heat Pump
There are just 2 different types of heat pumps available at present:
1. Air Source Heat Pump
An air source heat pump moves heat from external air to water. The fluid then passes through a heat exchanger to a pump which increases the temperature. This is then used to warm the house via radiators or underfloor heating. The heated water can also be used stored for use in taps, baths, and showers.
2. Ground Source Heat Pump
This heating system extracts solar energy stored either in the ground or in water. It requires buried pipework comprising closed plastic polymer tubing with anti-freeze liquid flowing through them. The heated fluid is transferred to the house where the refrigerant is heated further and then used to heat the house.
About Simply Plumbing
We hope that we’ve helped to answer the question ‘Should I install a heat pump?’. Simply Plumbing is an independent Bedfordshire business with over 10 years of experience in Luton, Dunstable, and the South Beds region.
Since we began, we’ve built a reputation as local plumbing specialists that can be relied on to fix plumbing problems, clear blocked drains, or install bathroom fittings. This is because we don’t let our customers down, we always work to the highest professional standards, and we keep our prices affordable.
Need local plumbing services in Luton, Dunstable or Bedfordshire? Call Simply Plumbing straight away on 01582 250030