Instead of burning fossil fuels to warm our homes, what if we could use naturally-occurring heat from the environment?
Introducing…the heat pump.
What is a heat pump?
Heat from the sun is constantly warming our planet. A heat pump is an electric central heating system that absorbs this solar heat either from the air, earth or water. The heat pump then uses a small amount of electricity to compress this heat into a suitably high temperature – ready to be used for space heating and hot water. You can find out more about how a heat pump works here.
Do heat pumps work in the UK?
You may be wondering if heat pumps can work effectively in the UK, taking our cold climate into account. In actual fact, they can absorb heat even in very cold conditions (as low as -20°C). They’re already found in many domestic applications throughout Europe, and in much colder climates than our own. In Sweden alone, 97% of new builds come with a heat pump system, and over 20% of all households already have heat pumps installed.
Green heating solutions
Heat pumps are considered one of the most efficient green heating systems available today. This is because they don’t give off any carbon emissions locally, and they’re capable of transferring over 4 times more thermal energy than they use in electricity. In more practical terms, this high efficiency could equate to a 75% reduction in heating bills (when switching from an electric heater).
What’s more, if you switch to a green energy provider, your system could effectively be running carbon neutral.
Are heat pumps worth the investment?
Providing it’s designed and installed correctly (check your installer is MCS-certified), a heat pump can be an effective heating system that’s both cheap to run and that’s good for the environment. Modern heat pumps can last as long as 25 years, and if they’re MCS-approved, you could be eligible for receiving payment from the government via the Renewable Heat Incentive. This could see a large proportion of the initial cost returned to you over a period of 7 years.