How do heat pumps work?
Air source heat pumps takes heat from the air outside in the same way that a refrigerator takes heat from its inside. If you put your hand behind a fridge you will feel the warm air which is a product of the refrigeration process and it is just the opposite with a heat pump, you would feel it emitting cool air as a product of the heat generation. This air source heat generation is used to heat radiators, convectors, underfloor heating and hot water in your property.
Ground source heat pumps, (GSHPs) use pipes which are buried outside your property to extract heat from the ground by circulating water and anti-freeze around the pipes. This water absorbs heat from the ground which then passes through a heat exchanger in to the pump to power your hot water and your heating system, for example radiators or convectors.
What are the benefits of installing a ground or air source heat pump?
Although a heat pump does require electricity to run they are far more efficient than most boilers and traditional electric heating systems and as the heat they take from the ground or from the air is constantly replaced heat pumps are classed as a renewable energy source. Because of this they qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which is the government’s incentive to encourage the uptake of renewable technology to reduce carbon emissions whilst heating our homes and businesses.
As well as the environmental benefits a heat pump will often reduce your fuel bills if you are currently using an electric or oil fired heating system. Once a heat pump is installed it requires very little maintenance and does not require the delivery and storage of fuel in the same way that a coal, oil or biomass boiler would.