What do you know about heat pumps?
Posted on 11th December 2023
A quarter believed ‘heat pumps are less efficient than gas boilers’. In fact, heat pumps are, on average, three to four times more efficient than a typical gas boiler.
There was also confusion about:
Running costs. Almost a quarter of people surveyed thought it cost more to run an electric heat pump. However, thanks to their efficiency heat pumps usually reduce running costs even allowing for the higher price of electricity compared to gas.
Noise. Almost a quarter thought electric heat pumps were noisy. However, their maximum noise output is usually around 42 to 45dB which is about the same as a fridge and slightly quieter than a gas boiler.
Use in older homes. Two out of 10 people didn’t think heat pumps would be suitable for older properties. However, reports have shown they are suitable for all types of housing.
Use at low temperatures. More than one in 10 people think heat pumps don’t work well when outdoor temperatures are low. However, millions of homes in Scandinavian countries, where temperatures regularly fall to -15ºC or -20ºC, use heat pumps.
Underfloor heating. More than one in 10 people also believe underfloor heating is a requirement if you use a heat pump. In fact, heat pumps can work well with the right type of radiator.
Some heat pump providers offer remote monitoring. In many cases they can identify a problem before you know it exists to keep things running effectively.
Why people resist heat pumps
Installing heat pumps instead of gas boilers is one of the ways the government aims to meet carbon net zero goals by 2050. This would involve installing 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028.
Heat pumps use the same technology as refrigerators, which is well-established and we wouldn’t want to live without it. They can convert one unit of electricity into three or more units of heat. They absorb heat from outside air and transfer it to pumped water for central heating systems. They can also work in reverse, providing cooling as well as heating. However, they are more complex than traditional gas boilers and if they aren’t properly specified they can underperform.
The heated water is typically a lower temperature than provided by gas boilers. Less efficient high temperature heat pumps are possible alternatives or replacement pipes and radiators designed to work at lower temperatures.
As a solution which includes other overall improvements to energy efficiency for your home electric heat pumps are worth considering.
Another energy-saving measure we recommend is LED lighting combined with sensors or timers.
Please get in touch if you would like to know more about your LED lighting options.
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