This article is based on researches made in the UK and information found on www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
Homeowners today have a choice: to continue doing the same things they have been doing for years when it comes to their energy sources, or to make a change for the better. But, for many of us, the choice is clear: switching to a more sustainable source of energy offers an effective solution, not just for our pockets, but for the environment as well.
In line with this, more homeowners are opting to have heat pumps installed. A heat pump offers a sustainable alternative to your traditional electrical, gas, or oil heating system. But since having a heat pump is a substantial financial decision, it pays to know all that you can about it, especially when it comes to its green benefits and other advantages.
image via Wikimedia
Things to remember about heat pumps
If you have an under-floor heating system, a heat pump is an ideal choice. But if you do not have an existing under-floor heating system, bigger radiators will do as well. The reason for this is simple: the temperature which a heat pump generates is not as high compared to a traditional boiler, so it needs a bigger surface so your home can be comfortably warm. Of course, a heat pump can work with your existing radiators but you may find that you need to leave the heating on longer. Also, before you have a heat pump installed, regardless of whether it’s an air source heat pump or a ground source heat pump, you may want to improve your home’s insulation, if it isn’t properly insulated yet. A home which is draught-proofed and with good insulation works better with a heat pump as you will be able to better optimise the heat that the pump generates.
The cost – and savings – of heat pumps
The installation cost of an air source heat pump can range from £7,000 to £14,000, while a ground source heat pump will cost you between £11,000 and £15,000 plus additional costs to install depending on your available land. The difference in price reflects the amount of work for installation: air source heat pumps simply need an outside unit fitted and connected whereas a ground source heat pump needs a coil of pipes buried underground. But with a heat pump, you can recover your expenditure easily through a reduction in your energy bill. A typical air source heat pump installed for the average detached home with four bedrooms can save you from between £545 – £880 per year if you are replacing an oil-based system, and from £550 to £1,060 annually if you are replacing a system running on electricity. With a ground source heat pump, you can save from between £650 – £1,035 per year if replacing an oil-based system, and from £1,265 to £2,000 if replacing an electric system. Additionally, you can earn a payout from the government with an ASHP ranging from £805 – £1,280 every year and with a GSHP from between £2,325 – £3,690 annually, thanks to the RHI incentive.
Heat pumps: the green aspect
This is where we come to the overall environmental-friendliness of heat pumps. First of all, a heat pump produces less carbon dioxide than a traditional heating system, because it makes use of a natural and completely renewable heat source: the air or the ground. As such, it can help you reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact. Bear in mind that the amount of carbon dioxide you save will depend on whatever fuel source is being replaced, but it all amounts to the same thing: whichever way you look at it, your carbon footprint will still be significantly lessened.
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