Heat Pump Installation: What You Need to Know, Explained

06 October 2021

For years now, gas boilers have dominated the home heating market. However, recently that trend is set to change. 

Heat Pumps are their more environmentally friendly counterparts, and they have seen a surge in popularity as the more sustainable option, as they generate more energy than they use.

And with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) extended for another year last month, there’s never been a better time to explore renewable sources of heat for your home.

We’ll be answering the most frequently asked questions around Heat Pump Installation, including:

  • How is a heat pump installed?
  • How do I choose the best heat pump for my home?
  • What grants or funding are available to support heat pump installation?

The first steps to installing your heat pump

There are two main types of heat pump: air source and ground source. Before you can choose which would best suit your needs, there are several things you need to consider. 

The first is how your home is performing in terms of energy usage - we recommend getting an Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC. The EPC will provide you with:

  • An energy performance rating from A to G, and is valid for ten years
  • Information about your energy use and costs
  • Recommendations of how to reduce your energy usage and costs.

You’ll also need to evaluate how well your home is insulated. As heat pumps produce heat at a lower and more constant temperature compared to boilers, insulation is incredibly important to ensure the heat generated stays where it should.

How do I choose the best Heat Pump for my home?

Once you have this information, you can begin to decide which heat pump is best for your home. Generally speaking, air source heat pumps are easier to install, yet slightly less efficient. 

Air source heat pumps can either be mounted to exterior walls, or sit on the ground. You’ll need a good amount of space around external walls - a safe place away from heavy rain and winds, and roughly 2 metres of space.The insulation also requires inside space to be connected to your existing heating system.

Ground source heat pumps are a bit more complex, as they require space and, potentially, heavy machinery to install. Although planning permission isn’t needed, space is required to lay the pipes - and if you live in a listed building or a conservation area, you’ll need to check first. 

If you have sufficient space in your garden, then horizontal ground pipes can derive enough heat from the ground. Failing that, a 100m deep bore hole can be dug if you have a smaller area.

Both air source and ground source heat pumps will:

  • Lower fuel bills
  • Cut your carbon emissions
  • Heat your home and hot water

To discuss which one is best for you in more detail, please contact a member of our team.

What grants or funding are available for Heat Pump Installation?

To assist and help offset the cost of heat pump installation, the Renewable Heat Incentive is a government financial incentive that you may be eligible for. 

Through the scheme, homes and businesses receive quarterly payments for seven years for the amount of clean, green renewable heat it’s estimated their system produces. You can find out which scheme (Domestic or Non-Domestic) you need to apply for by heading to the ofgem website.

It’s a financial incentive for people to use renewable heat generation methods, and it's currently set at a tariff rate of 7.3p/kWh. 

The exact amount of funding you receive will depend on the energy usage of your heat pump. You have until before midnight at the end of 31 March 2022 to apply to the scheme.

A typical home uses around 20,000kWh every year - which equates to approximately £7000 in payments over a seven-year period – which is a considerable amount when combined with the money additionally saved on bills. 

Combine this saving with the knowledge that installing a renewable heat source is helping lower your carbon footprint and save the planet - and there’s never been a clearer incentive to get in touch with our team about installation.

For more information on air and ground source heat pumps, please chat to one of our team today.

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