What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump transfers heat energy from a heat source to a heat sink. Heat pumps absorb heat from a cold space and release it to a warmer one. A heat pump uses a small amount of electrical power to accomplish this.
A heat pump is made of 4 components:
- Compressor (Compress)
- Condenser (Liquify)
- Expansion Valve (Expand)
- Evaporator (Evaporate)
Air conditioners and freezers are familiar examples of heat pumps. The term heat pump typically applies to devices used to provide space heating. A heat pump works in the opposite direction to an air conditioning unit.
Different Types of Heat Pump
- Water to Water (Ground Source): Heat from a water source (Lake, River, etc.) is transferred to hot water via radiators or underfloor heating.
- Ground to Water (Ground Source): Heat from underground is transferred to hot water via radiators or underfloor heating.
- Air to Water (Air Source): Heat from outside air is transferred to hot water via radiators or underfloor heating.
- Air to Air (Air Source): Heat from outside air is transferred to hot air via supply air ducts.
How is a Heat Pump different to a Gas boiler?
Heat pumps and boilers perform the same task, they heat our homes and provide hot water however they operate slightly different. A heat pump is like a system boiler because it provides central heating to radiators / underfloor heating and hot water.
Air Source Heat Pump Gas Boiler
Key Differences between a Heat Pump and Gas Boiler
How Much does a Heat Pump Cost to Run?
Like any heating system, the operating costs depend on what you are heating, for how long and the price of fuel.
The Energy Efficiency of your home can have a huge effect on how much energy you require to heat the building. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your home will give you an indication of the efficiency and heating requirement.
If we take a typical 3-bedroom semi-detached house built in the 1970’s, with reasonable efficiency (EPC D or C) measures and a family of 4 living here we could expect heating costs to look like this:
How Much does a Heat Pump Cost to Install?
Heat pumps can be expensive to install however the install costs are reduced by the following:
- Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI): This government backed scheme will pay for the cost of your heat pump installation over 7 years as well as cover any maintenance costs.
- Typical payments are:
Ground Source Heat Pump: ~£30,000 paid over 7 years
Air Source Heat Pump: ~£11,000 paid over 7 years
- For more information on the RHI Click Here
- Operating Savings & Lifespan: Heat Pumps run at a lower operating cost than most boiler types and have a longer service life saving money.
- Free Installation: Some heat pump installers will cover the cost of the installation and in return will take the 7 years of RHI payments.
- Heat Pump Loan: A loan can cover the initially cost of the installation and the RHI payments can be used to cover the cost of the loan each month.
Install costs for a typical 3-bedroom semi-detached house built in the 1970’s:
How can Mantis Energy Help?
Heat pumps are not suitable for every home and in some cases can be a poor investment (High install costs to make the heat pump work efficiently).
If you are considering any energy efficiency or renewable energy retrofit, Mantis Energy provide independent advice on various measures and technologies.
Click Here to find out more about Mantis Energy and the Services We Offer.