Heat Pumps in Northern Ireland

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Do You Live in Northern Ireland and Need a Heat Pump?

If you come from Northern Ireland, this page will help you to further educate yourself on the topic of heat pumps, specific knowledge for the city and region of Belfast, and governmental application forms or information sheets. Furthermore, if you will feel sure enough after reading through our material (or mid-way through it), you are welcome to fill in our sig up form, which is located on all of our country page on the right side of the screen.

Read More: Information for Applying in Northern Ireland

Does Northern Ireland have Potential in terms of Heat Pumps?

In certain terms more than in others. Although you will be able to choose from three different types of heat pumps, they naturally all have certain advantages and disadvantages. Location will play a role in it, the geology of the prospect area, and a couple more details can diversify the equation of what to install in order to receive the best results. In the subsection below, we will go through the 3 main heat pump sections, and their subsections.

Heat Pumps in Northern Ireland


Air Source Heat Pumps

Their largest advantages include the simplicity of the whole system itself, as well as the installation costs for them. The reasons for being less expensive than other heat pump types are founded in the amount of time they are being actively used, installed, and produced. Their main disadvantage comes from the need of warm air in order to yield good results. Temperatures just above the freezing point are not well suited for a heat pump to work effectively for two reasons: Air to air heat pumps will usually transfer and slightly heat up air from the outside, thus wasting too much energy at lower outside temperatures; air to water heat pumps have the same basic problem. In their cases, water is being run through a pipe system, which also ends up in the heat pump, where it would be warmed up in processes together with the outside air. Therefore, air that is too cold would result in the heat pump wasting too much energy in the process. Northern Ireland has an advantage in terms of being directly influenced by the Gulf Stream and the mild climate it is being accompanied with, but a decision for or against a specific kind of heat pump should be made with an experienced and certified installer only.

Water Source Heat Pumps

Water-source heat pumps can be a valid alternative, but they do have very specific requirements, the main one being the availability of a water source like a lake you have legal access for construction to. A water-source heat pump functions in the same basic way any heat pump works. The first step for a setting up a water-source heat pump system is to estimate the resources you have at hand. A larger pond or decently-sized lake, access to the ocean and the sea bed (usually government property) work for this. A not too frequent alternative includes something that the city of Glasgow has in abundance: abandoned mine shafts, filled with water previously. As this water is not being affected by the seasons, the temperature stay on a constant level. In the second step, a pipe system will be drowned in the chosen waters. Usually, either water or a refrigerant liquid are run through the pipes, which will the experience heat exchange while running. The end part of the system will lead back to the heat pump, which will utilize the energy for a variety of applications.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

These heat pumps depend a lot on the available budget, geology, and the buildings and constructions on the piece of land they will be build upon. If there is not a lot of space available because of some other constructions already present (or yet to come), a vertically drilled open or closed loop heat pump system is usually being favored. The difference between open loop and closed loop heat pump systems is described in more detail on a specific page about types of ground source heat pumps, if you are interested in the details. This kind of heat pump is usually more expensive, as sometimes, boreholes of up to 120 meters depth are being drilled into the ground. The further down you go into  the ground, the more the temperature increases, thus having more potential geothermal energy to be harnessed.

Other ground-source heat pump systems are less expensive. Examples of those are heat pump systems with a horizontal, or radial/directional drilling technique. In the case of a horizontal heat pump, a lot of usable space has to be available, as the pipes will be put just underneath the surface of the ground, but over a wider area. A liquid refrigerant is then send through the pipe system. The temperature needed to heat up this refrigerant is quite below the freezing point of water.

The last ground-source heat pump system, resulting from radial/directional drilling, is used when there are too many buildings on the property as well, but it should be less expensive than a deep horizontally drilled heat pump. Otherwise, the heat pump works just the same as the other ones.

How Quickly Will It Reimburse, and How Long Does a Heat Pump Last?

A well set up heat pump will last for more than two decades as a minimum, longer running times are no problem. After 20 years, there will be the need to exchange some major parts of the heat pump; considering that the average reimbursement period for a family of four is in between 5 and 7 years, then making profit, this will not be among your worries for sure. Concerning warranties: certified heat pump producers usually offer around 5 to 10 years on labour and parts. If your heat pump would not be set up correctly, you would by far not use up this amount of time to see.

What Else Do I Need to Do in Order to Get a Heat Pump? 

If you feel that you would profit from a little more knowledge, you can keep reading on our page's content sections, or check out our blog, a plethora of heat pump-related topics is being focused on there. Otherwise, you can click onto the map for Belfast in order to find out some more specific information for the area, or you can fill out the form to the right and receive up to four free quotes from certified heat pump installers.

Read More: Heat Pump