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Implementing Heat Pumps in Various Home Types

implementing heat pumps in various home types

Heat pumps are changing how people heat and cool their homes, moving us away from fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions. Government initiatives are reducing the initial installation costs of heat pumps, so all homes can benefit from lower energy bills. 

The heat pump you choose ultimately depends on the size and style of your home. In this guide, we’ll explore the different heat pumps available and which property types they suit. 

The types of heat pumps available 

Heat pumps are innovative solutions that generate power from renewable energy sources. Despite our previous reliance on fossil fuels, the move towards clean energy means solar panels, heat pumps, and other solutions are replacing non-renewable power (CarbonBrief). 

All heat pumps utilise unused heat from the air, ground or water, storing it and transferring it into a property, but each works differently and has its benefits: 

  • Air-Source Heat Pumps: These heat pumps are suitable for all homes, as they use the air to generate power. 
  • Ground-Source Heat Pumps: Ground-source pumps utilise the earth’s temperatures to generate power. They’re installed underground and transfer energy through a pipe system. 
  • Water-Source Heat Pumps: If your property is near a water source, install a heat pump that transfers power through a pond, lake or river. 

When are heat pumps not a good idea?

Generally speaking, heat pumps are suitable for most homes in the UK—but there are some exceptions. Poorly insulated homes often struggle to retain heat, so your heat pump will work overtime to deliver energy. 

If you want to apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, not having adequate insulation might make you ineligible for the initiative, which means you’ll pay the full heat pump installation costs. 

Before thinking about a heat pump, it’s best to: 

  • Insulate Your Home: Most lost heat in properties is due to poorly insulated walls, but installing insulation means the heat pump will be more effective. 
  • Upgrade Your Windows: Double glazing prevents cold air from entering the windows and helps retain warm air. 
  • Repair Cracks and Gaps: You should also repair gaps or cracks in exterior brickwork and around the windows and doors. 

Things to think about before choosing a heat pump 

The government’s Electrification of Heat Project reveals that heat pumps are suitable for properties of all types, including mid-terraces, semi-detached, Victorian homes and flats. 

The research project determined that all property types can accommodate the pumps, meaning homeowners everywhere can take advantage of them. However, your home’s style and size will define which kind of heat pump you install. 

Here’s what you need to consider before installing a heat pump. 

How large is your garden?

how large is your garden

Ground-source heat pumps are popular because they generate power from the earth’s temperatures, which remain consistent. 

However, when installing these heat pumps, the company needs to dig at least one metre into the ground and lay pipes to transfer the power into your home. 

You’ll need a large enough garden to accommodate the system, with recommendations stating that horizontal systems require around 700 square metres. 

Vertical ground-source heat pump systems 

Smaller gardens can take advantage of vertical systems, which require less space as they drill boreholes to accommodate the system. 

However, installing a vertical ground-source heat pump costs around £30,000, leaving people with smaller outdoor spaces seeking more economical solutions.

Is your home near a water source?

is your home near a water source

As the name suggests, water-source heat pumps require an available lake, loch, river, stream or large pond that you have access to. For this reason, many home types aren’t compatible with water-source pumps. 

If you’re interested in water-source heat pumps, it’s best to contact a professional installation company. They’ll inspect the area and assess whether you can install one. 

Space requirements for water-source heat pumps 

Water-source heat pumps use underground piping systems which connect your property to the water source. While connecting properties with lakes and rivers that are further away isn’t impossible, it will be more expensive. 

The interior of your property will need to accommodate the hot water cylinder and the heat pump, which is equivalent to the size of a family refrigerator. 

Installing air-source heat pumps

installing air source heat pumps

In contrast to water and ground-source heat pumps, air-source heat pumps are ideal for most property types, as they’re more compact and don’t require underground installation. 

These pumps use an outdoor unit that gathers energy from the air and transfers it into your indoor unit, providing heating, hot water and cooling functions. 

Due to their convenience and compact size, these heat pumps are the most popular option for homeowners in the UK. 

Space requirements 

You’ll need sufficient outdoor space to install an air-source heat pump, but an exterior wall and your front or back garden are usually enough to accommodate them. 

A professional installation company will find the best position for your air-source pump and ensure sufficient clearance from openings such as windows and doors. 

Can flats use heat pumps?

Yes, they can. Air-source heat pumps can benefit flats, as the outdoor unit can provide power to apartments with indoor units installed—but the energy generated might not be sufficient to provide adequate heating for large blocks of flats. 

Ground-source heat pumps offer more consistency, but leasehold properties need permission from the management company. 

As heat pumps become more popular, more apartment blocks will likely install outdoor heat pumps, enabling property owners to purchase indoor units and reduce their energy bills. 

Interested in saving money and reducing your carbon footprint?

No matter what type of property you live in, heat pumps are a viable option for living more sustainably and cutting your energy bills. 

Yes, it’s easier for terraced, semi-detached and detached property owners to install them, but options are still available if you live in a flat. 

Along with the many government initiatives in place, we offer a range of convenient financing options for heat pumps. Our heating and solar plans let homeowners use clean energy without paying huge upfront costs. 

With professional support from a team of renewable energy experts and free services and repairs, you can make a positive change for the future without worrying about the present. 

Please contact us today for more information.

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