Air and ground source heat pumps are steadily gaining popularity but one question that keeps popping up is, Is it worthwhile to install a heat pump? In other words: are heat pumps a cost-effective investment? to figure out this question, let's explain something first:
1 How does the heat pump produce heat?
Heat pumps use solar heat that has been absorbed by the ground or air, which is transferred (pumped) and used to heat up residential or commercial buildings. Heat pumps are also effective for heating water. The technology used is similar to that of a refrigerator only this time the end result is heat instead of cold air. In the case of a ground source heat pump, the energy comes from passing a glycol/water mix through pipework buried in the ground. The temperature of the earth tends to be very stable 1m deep, and there is minimal variation in this temperature across the seasons. The fluid in the pipework absorbs energy from its surroundings and delivers this to the heat pump within the property, where it is used in the process described in the earlier paragraph. After the energy has been given off to the heat pump the cooled fluid passes back into the pipework to collect more heat. Whilst the process within the air source heat pump is identical to the ground source heat pump, the initial heat collection method is different. Instead, an air handling unit is installed outside. Air is drawn over the fins of the evaporator and energy contained in the air is transferred to the refrigerant. Cooled air is discharged from the front of the air handling unit, which is why there shouldn’t be any obstruction within 3 metres, to allow good aircirculation all around the unit.
2 How to measure the efficiency of heat pumps?
The standard performance of a heat pump is normally measured by its Co-efficient of Performance (COP). This is the ratio of heat produced per every unit of electricity consumed while pumping that heat. Therefore, a heat pump’s efficiency is measured by how high this ratio is. This is simply because a higher COP value translates to
relatively more efficient heat delivery. For instance, for you to get 3kWh of heat for every 1kWh of electricity used to operate the heat pump, you would need a COP value of no less than 3. This could be physically calculated by attaching electrical meters to the heat pump and heat meters onto the flow and return pipework. However you can check the stated COP of each heat pump by going on line to the MCS website,
where you will find values for SCOP at every degree between 35˚C and 55˚C. As it takes more electrical energy to get to 40˚C than it does to get to 35˚C, this is reflected in the lower efficiency figure. When this is understood it helps explain why underfloor heating is such a good match for ground and air source heat pumps.
3 How much will i spend for a heat pump?
Before giving the cost, let's focus on the datas NEW ENERGY group gathered from our objects in Beijing.
Normally the cost for a heat pump is 2000USD to 8000USD, with 15 years lifespan, we surely believe that heating by heat pump is the most economic way.
3 How to installa a heat pump in a house?
The installation for a heat pump is not easy, it ranges among different kinds of house, before installation, we need to design the program according to your house,which the heat pump seller should do, then it is the installation, which should be handled by professionals.
4 Will The Heat Pump Heat My Water Too?
Yes, it can. Apart from being used to supply natural underfloor heating to homes and offices, heat pumps can also be used to heat up hot water systems. A heat pump can increase water temperature to around 50˚C without the support of direct electric immersion heaters. If this sounds less than the temperature produced by a fossil fuel burning boiler bear in mind that water much above 40˚C is uncomfortable to bathe in. To compensate for the lower storage temperature, the volume of stored water is normally increased. Your installer will recommend a suitable Domestic Hot Water cylinder (DHW) that will meet the minimum needs of your property. That said, you should discuss any extraordinary DHW demands you have that might mean a higher volume of water is needed. Your installer will then provide options for larger cylinders, it is a fact that heat pumps are at their least efficient when producing heat for hot water, and your installer should demonstrate the additional annual costs of heating and maintaining the larger volume of water.
5 Is it Worth Investing in a Heat Pump?
Heat pumps, both ground and air source, have their respective benefits and advantages. Their cost-benefit ratio is first and foremost determined by the kind of system they replace. Energy saving is a top priority as most home and business owners look to save as much in energy bills. But that notwithstanding, there are other crucial factors that should be considered by consumers who to maximise the cost-benefit ratio. Using an expert installer is extremely important when planning to install any of the two
types of heat pumps.The right system for your home or office is also another important factor to consider. Only an expert is able to recommend a suitable heating system that fits your needs.It is worth noting that heat pumps are a major investment. It is, therefore, advisable to be extra careful when buying and installing such a system. Do not rush into it. Take the time to find the right heat pump for your space and the right heat pump installation expert in Glasgow or Edinburgh.