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Last updated: 22 August 2019

Heat Pump or No Heat Pump: That´s the Question

What You Should Know Before Investing in a Heat Pump

Heat pumps are increasingly used as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fuel powered heating. The English government promotes their installation and modern improvements enabled  air source heat pumps to work almost as efficiently as ground source heat pumps.

Here we list some factors you should consider before buying a heat pump and also some pros and cons of switching to this source of energy.

What To Check Before Buying a Heat Pump?

Meter5Size of the Appliance

You need to be sure that you are choosing the most efficient option and that you will have the required heat even with frigid temperatures. A big device requires a higher investment cost but has lower running costs, and the opposite scenario applies for a small device.

A3 Coefficient of Performance (COP) For the Different Heat Pumps Available

As underlined in the post dealing with performance measures, COP index measures how many units of heat are produced with one unit of electricity. However, one needs to be careful about these values as they are not absolute but they are relative to external conditions such as the difference between the temperature inside and outside the building, the insulation and the weather conditions. Another parameter to consider is the annual efficiency, which is the average performance of the heat pump during the year.

Pipes1Insulation

Heat pumps work better in buildings with good insulation ,as a result the air produced is not dispersed. Therefore, you should check how well insulated your house is, and try to do the necessary modifications to make it as good as possible so that you don’t have heat loss once the heat pump is installed.This way you will be optimizing your use of energy.

Read more: Insulation - Why Is It Important?

RadiantWeather Conditions

As we discussed before, the temperature is an important variable to consider in order to make an efficient decision. If the temperature never drops below 40 F, a household would be better off using a heat pump rather than a furnace. On the other hand, you may need other heating sources to support the heat pump at lower temperatures.

Calendar 68Life Span

Heat Pumps serve the double function of heating and cooling so they are usually worn out faster than a central air conditioning unit that is used only seasonally. In order to assess the real value of the investment, it is important to consider the use you will give to the appliance and its expected durability.

Pounds2Overall Costs and Benefits

Before switching to heat pumps, you may consider the system you are currently using and the benefits arising from the shift. It does not make sense to invest a considerable amount of money if there is no corresponding payoff.

What About The Pros And Cons?

There are many advantages regarding the adoption of heat pumps and they seem to outweigh the downsides of doing so. The reason is that the arguments for adopting heat pumps are more important than the disadvantages that are mainly costs that are worth bearing for the desired outcome. The massive amount of money to be paid upfront can be recovered with the lower bills to be paid, if the weather conditions are not extreme, the performance may be lower. The analysis is suggesting a positive return when investing in such devices, but careful analysis of the other preliminary factors we listed above is needed in order to make sure that the technology fits the needs of the household and it can operate at full efficiency, paying off the initial investment.

Read more: What are the Benefits of Switching to Heat Pumps?