The UK government is championing the heat pump, recently announcing that their aim is to have 1.2 million heat pumps up and running by the end of 2020 to help it to meet the international green target.

But what are the advantages of this new leader in heating technology?

Despite being around for a number of years, the heat pump seems to have hidden behind the solar panel and wind turbine in terms of hitting the market with a bang and has not had the attention it really deserves. However, this is all about to change – especially with the government giving themselves such an ambitious target.

What exactly are Heat Pumps?

Heat pumps use natural heat from the environment to produce energy that can be used to heat homes or water. Although they need a small amount of electricity in order to run, the energy output far exceeds the energy used, making them a very sustainable way of heating our homes.

There are two different types of heat pumps available to home and business owners, firstly the ground source heat pump which extracts energy from the ground, and secondly an air source heat pump which takes heat from the air.

Both types of heat pumps work in a very similar way. The installation of a ground source heat pump involves placing coils of piping underground and the liquid inside is warmed by the ground temperature. This liquid is then compressed and raised to a higher temperature to allow it to heat water which can be used in the heating system of a house. This method of compressing liquid is exactly the same in the case of an air source heat pump but it takes heat from the air, acting as a back to front fridge which allows the fluid to be heated.

How can heat pumps reduce my carbon footprint?

The answer to this question is quite simple, after the installation of a heat pump, the amount of fuel you use to heat your home will instantly reduce as you will be able to use the energy from your heat pumps to heat your home and also to heat water.

What happens if it is cold?

This question is obviously a major concern to those thinking about installing a heat pump into their home. However, you don’t need to be concerned as heat pumps are almost guaranteed to work 365 days a year – air source heat pumps can still supply energy when the temperature drops to -15 degrees outside and the ground temperature rarely changes, making ground source heat pumps a very stable resource.

The other advantage…

There is, of course, an initial cost to heat pumps but the good news is that in the long run they will certainly save you money. With oil and gas prices forever on the rise, the news that you could reduce your fuel bill must be music to the ears. Another top tip is to look out for subsidies and grants which may well ease the initial costs.

Thanks to Rebecca Field who writes on behalf of RA Brown, a specialist heating company installing heat pumps in Norfolk and across East Anglia.

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