With the new Renewable Heat Incentive launched recently, I thought I would write a brief post about air source heat pumps. If you are thinking of replacing a boiler running on oil any time soon, then it would certainly be worth looking at replacing it with an air source heat pump. An engineer came to my house recently to service mine and told me that you can save as much as two thirds on your heating bill when compared to oil. This is certainly what we are experiencing but then we have the ideal conditions for it to be efficient. We live in a very well insulated new build home and the heat pump runs water through oversized radiators at low temperature. If your house is poorly insulated then you will need to run your ASHP at a higher temperature which will make it inefficient and expensive to run as otherwise the majority of heat will disappear through the walls before you feel it in your home. This is why oil fired radiators feel hot to touch, at least that way some of this heat will stay in your home! ASHP’s also run very well combined with underfloor heating as this works best at low temperature.
Therefore if you are thinking of installing a heat pump, it is best to ensure you have a well insulated house or refurbish to achieve this. With the right amount of insulation you will also qualify for the RHI fund that I wrote about in a previous post. With an average cost of £8000* to install a heat pump, you could recoup most of this over a 7 year period from the government.
*Heat Pumps the Great Debate;home building and renovating magazine; April 2014