The truth is, absolutely anyone can install a heat pump. From a small terrace flat to a luxurious mansion, heat pumps can benefit absolutely everyone.
We have done plenty of installs in our time, and the great thing is that no house or customer is the same.
From the oldest, draughtiest house to the newest barn conversions or smallest flats, there is an option for everyone.
If you decide to get a heat pump and take advantage of the current government subsidy (RHI – renewable heat incentive), you could potentially reduce your energy bill by an incredible 40-50%.
Traditionally, we tend to get most of our customers switching over from oil as this enables them to save the most money and reduce their carbon footprin. However, customers switching from mains gas also have the potential to save on energy costs, and an additional benefit they experience is having a clean source of energy.
So, in reality, there is no ‘perfect’ customer, as each one will be different. The RHI exists to be helpful for anyone that wants to venture into a cleaner and incredibly effective and efficient source of heat for their house. So, if you think about it, who wouldn’t want to potentially save hundreds of pounds whilst exponentially reducing their carbon footprint if they have the chance?!
Because heat pumps don’t directly use combustion when generating heat, there aren’t any carbon emissions. The only carbon emissions experienced in the use of heat pumps are at the point of electricity production. Even then, the amount of electricity used to run the compressor is very little.
Air source heat pumps also use either R32 or R410A refrigerant, whose release does not harm the ozone layer. When it comes to the heating and cooling of your home, heat pumps are the most eco-friendly option in the market at the moment.
There are two ways to lay ground collector pipe in order to collect heat from the ground:
The pipe is laid down in trenches at least 1.2 m deep. This can either be in slit trenches as single pipes or in open trenches which are 1m wide, allowing the pipe to run down one side and loop back to run down the other side. These trenches may run from anywhere between 50m to 200m depending on the space available.
Here the pipe is fed vertically into a borehole. Boreholes are created by a large rotary drilling rigs which bore down into the ground vertically. They typically have diameters of 6 inches and can reach depths of up to 120 m depending on the heat requirements of the property and lithology present.
If you are interested in how we calculate how much borehole or trenching is required please refer to our ‘sizing ground loops for ground source heat pumps’ guide.
Which method you choose is ultimately dictated by the space that is available. Where there is significant space (at least half an acre, which is more than most people would think!) trenches is the favourable option as it is much cheaper than boreholes, keeping the cost of the installation down. Where space is premium or restricted, boreholes are required.
Here are some other pros and cons to each method to consider
Necessitates a small portion of ground area Less pipework is required Systems on boreholes can reach very high efficiency Ground which it is exchanging heat with has relative constant parameters, therefore even in winter efficiencies remain high More likely to benefit from ground water influence
Con – More significant initial investment
Lower installation costs Less specialist equipment meaning customers are often able to dig their own trenches Smaller environmental impact
Con – more variable performance due to seasonal exposure and presence of water saturation fluctuations
Some benefits common to both system
Post-install both systems will be unnoticeable and can be planted over, covered or tarmacked. The ground loop is MDPE, expected to last up to 100 years. Subsidised by the government