If your house isn’t connected to a supply of gas, heat pumps are a fantastic way to keep your home warm and even drive your hot water system. But are they really a source of renewable energy? After all, the pumps have to be powered by electricity which may or may not come from a renewable energy source. Considering that they require an external, electric power supply, are these pumps really ‘green’? The answer is ‘yes’! Heat pumps truly do provide renewable energy, thereby reducing your home’s carbon footprint.
Heat pumps harvest natural thermal energy from outside your home and transfer it into your home as useable heat energy. It’s true that heat pumps are powered by electricity, but (unlike non-renewable heating systems) they use that electricity to move heat, instead of creating it. As a result, the amount of natural, renewable thermal energy they can bring into your home as heat far exceeds the amount of electrical energy they take to run. In fact, air source heat pumps have an efficiency rating of between 500% and 600%. That means they produce five to six times the amount of energy that they use up. Ground source heat pumps have an even higher efficiency rating. In short, heat pumps use a small amount of non-renewable energy in order to give you access to large amounts of renewable energy.
Because you would otherwise have to use another (possibly non-renewable) type of energy to heat your home, using a heat pump can reduce your carbon footprint significantly… and it can save you money in the long term! Naturally, powering a heat pump costs considerably less than heating your home by more traditional means. Installing a heat pump is quite capital-intensive, but even a costly ground source heat pump will help you save so much money that it can pay for itself within just five years.
If you want to heat your home using green, renewable energy, you should consider investing in a heat pump – they really do allow you to access the natural thermal energy all around you, using only a minimal amount of electric energy!