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In recent years, heat pump systems have grown in popularity in the UK and Europe. They are a more energy efficient heating and cooling alternative to burning fossil fuels such as gas and electricity, reducing the carbon emissions your home produces. If you are unfamiliar with heat pumps and not sure what all the hype is about, allow us to explain a few advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which type of system is the right option for you.

What are heat pumps?

There are two types, ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps. Air source are easier and less disruptive to install than ground source, but both have multiple pros and cons. Air source heat pumps work by extracting heat from outside and circulating it through your home using a compressor to pump hot water through your heating system – a little like how a fridge works. During the summer months it can be reversed to pump cooler air and act like an air conditioning unit. Air-to-water heat pumps use your central heating system to circulate heat and hot water, while air-to-air heat pumps use fans to circulate the air.

What are the advantages?

You can expect to see numerous benefits from installing a heat pump at your home, which include:

  • Overall, they are more environmentally friendly and have a lower carbon footprint than fossil fuel systems such as electric and gas boilers. This can be reduced even further by opting for your electricity to come from renewable sources such as photovoltaic panels or wind turbines
  • They can provide both heating and cooling with the one system. No more wishing you had an air conditioning unit during those hot summer months!
  • They can have a 20-year lifespan, giving you peace of mind without worrying about replacement or upgrades, so you can expect to save money on your energy bills for years to come.
  • They are more efficient than conventional oil or gas boilers
  • The efficient way in which they operate means the running costs of heat pumps are significantly less than other traditional forms of heating. This can help you to heat your home for less.
  • Certain heating systems store fuel and require regular delivery of fuel to power them. However, this is not necessary with heat pumps.
  • Installation of air source heat pumps is straightforward and can be completed within a matter of days.
  • Because of their initial installation costs and the impact they can have to reduce your energy bills, heat pumps will add significant value to your home in the medium to long term.

What are the disadvantages?

Before deciding if a heat pump is the best option for you, it is important to consider some of the issues you may encounter. These include:

  • You should expect high up-front costs, as this is the very latest heating technology and the installation process for certain types of heat pump can be difficult.
  • They require larger radiators to achieve the same level of heating, however, they are particularly compatible with underfloor heating systems.
  • Installation of ground source heat pumps can be difficult, as they require excavation and installation of pipework underground.
  • They can be somewhat noisy, a little like an air conditioner.
  • As with any type of heating system, in order to guarantee maximum energy efficiency your home should be properly insulated.
  • It is possible that you may need to submit a planning permission application before installing a heat pump at your home, although this will depend on your local authority. It is worth checking the Government’s Planning Portal.

Other things to consider

If you are considering installing an air source heat pump, it’s worth looking into the possibility of a government grant. You may be eligible for the government boiler upgrade scheme, which allows homeowners to apply for grants of up to £6,000 towards the installation of a heat pump in their home.

If you are considering installation of an air or ground source heat pump at your home, our team at JP Air Conditioning can help. We can manage the process to switch your home over to renewable energy as soon as possible and help cut your heating bills. To book in installation with us, call 020 8333 1191 or email to make an enquiry with us.

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