Here at R D Guest Plumbing and Heating we like to promote renewable energy products due to their low co2 emissions and money saving properties when compared to fossil fuel heating, especially electric or oil.
Before considering either an Air or Ground source heat pump, you must first look at how well your home is insulated, if you have recently bought your house you will have a SAP Rating which will tell you how good or bad your insulation is, otherwise look in your loft to check it has a depth of 300mm or more, you have double glazed windows/ draft proofing and cavity wall insulation. We then have to carry out heat loss calculations so as to correctly size your heat pump and heat emitters (radiators under floor heating) so that it works at its optimum efficiency.
Once this has been carried, it’s time to look at what would suit your property best, the choices being –
- Air to Air Heat Pump
- Air to Water Heat Pump
- Ground Source Heat Pump
Air to Air
An Air to Air heat pump is an all-in one heating and cooling system that’s designed to provide year round comfort.
Outside air, even on cold days contains latent heat which can be converted to provide environmentally-friendly, low cost heating for a wide range domestic and commercial properties. Using a similar principle the refrigerator, but in reverse, outside air is drawn into the external unit where it meets a liquid refrigerant. The refrigerant absorbs free energy from the air and turns into a gas.
This gas is compressed to form a high temperature gas which is then converted by the indoor unit into warm air to heat the property. It is an extremely efficient process which could produce up to 5 times more heat than the electrical it uses and, as an added benefit, this operating process can be reversed in the warmer months to provide cooling air.
Air to Water
Even cold air is full of energy and air source heat pumps use the freely available heat in the ambient air to provide efficient heating and hot water at air temperatures as low as -25C. Because the source of heat – the air – is abundantly available all around us, air source heat pumps have the advantage of low installation costs and minimal space requirements, making them ideal for new build or retro fit applications, especially when space is limited.
Suitable for either indoor or outdoor installation, air source heat pumps can be used for heating, cooling and to produce domestic hot water and with the relatively mild winter temperatures in the UK, can achieve seasonal co-efficients of performance comparable with ground source meaning excellent levels of performance can be achieved through the year. We have found the Mitsubishi Ecodan range to be an excellent product with different KW outputs for every heating installation.
The earth stores an enormous amount of solar energy from both solar radiation and rainfall, ground source heat pumps extract this freely available energy to provide low cost, low carbon, high efficiency heating and hot water.
To extract the energy, ground source heat pumps use collectors filled with a mix of water and antifreeze buried in the earth, either horizontally – if a large earth land area is available; or vertically in a borehole where land space is limited. Although more costly to install, with consistent temperatures below the surface of the earth throughout the year, ground source heat pumps deliver high levels of efficiency all year round irrespective of seasonal variations in air temperature.
Quotes for Ground source heat pumps carry a charge due to the amount of work required in sizing and planning.
The Air and Ground Source units have to be coupled with an Unvented Hot water cylinder for hot water requirements.