Top 23 FAQs About Heat Pumps
1. What Is a Heat Pump, and How Does It Work?
Heat pumps are devices that move hot air from one place to another in order to heat the building in the winter, and for cooling in the summer. The process works even at low temperatures, since there is always heat to be sourced. Read more about the functioning of air source heat pumps.
2. How Many Types of Heat Pumps Exist and Which Are They?
There are two main types of heat pumps: air source heat pumps that take the heat from the air, and ground source heat pumps that extract it from the ground where the temperature is quite constant, regardless of the temperature above the ground.
3. What Is a Ductless System?
The name explains itself as this system doesn't require air pipes. It consists of some outdoor and indoor units called heads that allow the air blowing, and are fixed in the wall as bathroom fans. Each of the splits is independent and can be turned on or off at need.
4. When Installing a Heat Pump, Do I Still Need the Old Heaters or Furnace?
Heat pumps provide you with a fair amount of warmth, but it is advisable to keep other heating sources in case the temperature drops, or in places where the heads are not enough. An important factor when deciding on which device to use is laid out in the building regulations.
5. How Is Heat Pump Installed, and How Long Does It Take?
Usually, the process is completed within 3 days, as you need to install an outdoor unit and an indoor one in place of the device previously used. For a ductless system, it may take just one day while it takes longer for ground source heat pumps, especially if you need to dig a borehole.
6. How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?
Depending on the complexity of the system, the price can range from £7,000 to £40,000. It is not easy to forecast the exact price for it, as there are many details to consider. You can find more detailed info about the cost of ground source heat pumps, or how much water source heat pumps cost on our site.
7. What Are the Incentives for Buying Heat Pumps?
The English government is very committed to reduce greenhouse emissions and the negative effects of climate changes, so it has launched many programmes to convince English citizens and companies to turn green. You can have a closer look at their different policies by reading Find a Green Tariff Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and specific knowledge about Renewable Heat Incentive.
8. How Long Will a Heat Pump Last?
The average lifespan of a heat pump is 15 to 20 years if they are constantly being monitored and preventive maintenance is performed.
9. What kind of Maintenance Does a Heat Pump Need?
There is some maintenance that the owner can do himself It includes keeping the whole apparatus clean while the condition of some technical parts needs to be checked by a skilled technician. It is advisable to have the device checked every year in order to keep track of possible issues that could arise.
10. Can I Use the Heat Pump 24 Hours a Day?
It is unnecessary and very expensive to have the heating running all day long, it is much more convenient to have it on only when needed. If the house is well insulated, you only need a few hours until you achieve the desired temperature level and the heat pump works more effectively.
The time needed to achieve the temperature varies with the amount of heat needed and that lost in case of non optimal insulation so that it takes more time and energy to heat up the area. Naturally, the amount of time you use your heat pump will affect the running cost of your heat pump, too.
11. Can I Programme a Heat Pump to Operate Automatically?
Yes it is possible as most of the devices can be set to work only at defined times.
12. If I Turn the Heat Pump on High, Will the Room Heat up Faster?
It is not useful and unproductive to use the heat pump as a normal radiator. When it is set to a high temperature, the device is put under strain as it tries to absorb the heat from the air needed to reach such a high temperature. It is much more efficient to set the temperature to the required level and let it become warm: it will be faster and it will save energy.
13. How To Choose the Right Size Heat Pump?
This is an important choice as it could increase your costs dramatically, and decrease the performance. When thinking about the optimal size of the device, it might be useful to consider building insulation and orientation in order to consider the amount of heat that might be dispersed. You need to also consider the size of the place you need to heat and the average temperature in winter, since at lower temperatures it is harder for the heat pump to extract heat and work.
14. Does a Heat Pump Prevent Condensation?
Yes. The heat pump dehumidifies in cooling mode and in the heating mode, such a function is not needed as the water circulating through the pipes removes the humidity.
15. How Frequently Do I Need to Clean the Heat Pump?
The more often you clean the heat pump, the better the performance is reducing inefficiencies and power squandering. It is advisable to make sure that no dust, leaves, or other materials clang up the ducts, and to clean the apparatus every two weeks.
16. Do Heat Pumps Exchange Heat With the Outside?
Yes. The heat exchange allows the system to work. The heat pump extracts heat from the outside through an outdoor heat exchanger coil and it transfers it into the system ducts through an indoor heat exchanger coil.
17. Why Does Steam Come Out of the Heat Pump on Cold Days?
There is nothing to worry about as this means that the heat pump is in the defrost cycle. The outdoor fan stops to increase the temperature and ease the ice melting while the heat pump switches to the conditioning mode, acting as a condenser.
18. How Deep Should the Collector Between the Borehole and the House Be?
The collector should be at least 1 meter deep and it should link the house and the borehole, and each of the pipes buried under the ground should be isolated and kept separate from each other.
19. Does Heat in my Borehole Run Out?
The ground acts as a huge collector of the heat coming from the sun and through it, the water brings new heat to the borehole.
20. How Efficient Is a Ground Source Heat Pump System?
They are quite efficient as they can access heat even at lower temperature. They allow consistent savings and replace harmful and expensive fuels. You might be interested in reading more about the advantages of investing in ground source heat pumps.
21. Are Heat Pumps Noisy?
No, heat pumps are not more noisy than a boiler and many other appliances we use in our everyday life. Receive more info about noise produced by heat pumps here.
22. Are Heat Pumps Environmentally Friendly?
Yes, it is provided that the house is well insulated and the system works well.
23. Do I Need a Big Space to Install a Ground Source Heat Pump?
You need space to dig the hole to bury the pipes. Usually, the hole needs to be minimum 120 mm large and at least 60 meters deep. As a general rule, the space for the hole needs to be twice the size of the property to be heated.