If you live in an ‘off gas’ property, your options for heating used to be somewhat limited: electric night storage heaters, oil radiators or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) heaters. However, with the advent of new technology there is now another option, which is efficient and environmentally friendly – and this is the air source heat pump. Listed among renewable energies, it’s not been one that many people have heard about, until now.
Air source heat pumps work by absorbing the heat from the air outside, which can then be used in your home to work with radiators and underfloor heating systems. You can also use it to feed a hot water supply. They work rather like refrigerators in reverse, by extracting heat from the ambient atmosphere. They do need electricity to operate the pump, but as the heat they extract comes either from the ground or the air, it is constantly renewed naturally, and they can even function in temperatures as low as -15 degrees C.
There are several benefits to installing this type of heating. If you are replacing conventional electric heating, you can expect to see your fuel bill come down quite significantly. As this counts as a renewable energy source, there is also the possibility of earning some extra income as part of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive. You are also likely to be lowering your carbon emissions, which can only be a good thing and could have a positive impact on potential buyers should you ever look to sell your home. An air source heat pump can also heat both your water and your home if you wish, generally there is very little maintenance required, and obviously you will no longer need to have fuel delivered.
The output from a heat pump differs to the way in which gas and oil boilers work. Rather than blasting out higher temperatures, pumps work more efficiently, constantly putting out a lower heat over a longer period, aiming for a constant temperature rather than heating a building when needed, and they are particularly effective with underfloor heating.
So there you have it – ‘off gas’ homes are no longer lagging behind in terms of technology, they are leading the way!