- The government is giving homes a £5,000 grant to install heat pumps
- It is hoped that this will encourage some households to move away from gas boilers.
- We reveal everything you need to know about energy saving devices
The gas boilers are outside and the heat pumps are inside. This is the message Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave this week as he urged us to green our homes.
A £5,000 government grant will be available from April next year to encourage homeowners to install more efficient, low-carbon heating systems, for example, air source heat pumps that reduce the carbon emissions of heating UK homes. can cut.
However, the move has been criticized by experts, who say the plans do not go far enough that the subsidy is enough to cover only 90,000 pumps.
To find out whether heat pumps might be an option for your home, and how much it will cost money, we’ve answered your top ten questions about energy saving appliances below, with the help of industry experts. went.
Heat pumps can be used in place of gas boilers to heat homes and cut emissions
The money comes through a new £450million three-year boiler upgrade scheme that aims to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels and reduce the risk of global price spikes.
It follows the government’s goal to stop installing new gas boilers by 2035 and comes weeks ahead of the COP, a United Nations climate change conference where countries will discuss how to tackle climate issues.
Others are arguing that for the same cost, half a million homes could have loft insulation installed that would remove more carbon emissions and save homes more money.
1) What is a heat pump and how does it work?
There are two main types of heat pumps: an air source heat pump and a ground source heat pump.
Unlike boilers, heat pumps do not burn fuel to produce heat, they transfer thermal energy from one location to another.
An air source heat pump looks like an air conditioning unit that sits on the outside of the home. They come with a fan unit that brings in air from outside the house. It moves on a heat exchange surface, due to the heat a particular refrigerant liquid evaporates and turns into gas. It compresses, increases the pressure and raises the temperature and produces hot water.
Hot water needs to be stored in a water cylinder indoors, where it can supply radiators, faucets and showers.
The system runs on electricity and the two units are connected by copper pipework.
Ground source heat pumps use pipes that are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground.
This heat can be used to heat radiators, under-floor or warm air heating systems, and hot water in your home.
Government wants homes to move from gas boilers to green heat pump sources
2) What is the government’s new scheme offering?
A new £5,000 grant will be available starting April next year to encourage homeowners to install more efficient heating systems such as heat pumps.
The government says this means those who want to install a heat pump will have to pay the same amount as if they were installing a conventional gas boiler.
However, the subsidy will only cover 90,000 heat pumps, which experts argue is just a drop in the ocean compared to what needs to be changed to meet the net zero targets.
The government has previously said that no new gas boilers will be installed from 2035
3) How expensive is one to get fitted and how long does it take to install one?
According to data from Uswitch, it can cost between £8,000 and £14,000 to install an air source heat pump.
The exact price will vary depending on the brand, model and size of the heat pump, the size of the property, whether your home is a new-build or an existing property, as well as whether or not you need to change the way you distribute heat. . own property.
Air source pumps can take a few days to install, but they are quicker than ground source options because they don’t require any land to dig.
Meanwhile, ground source heat pumps are usually more expensive than alternatives, with systems costing from £15,000 to £30,000.
However, they are considered more efficient, especially when needed most on chilly nights.
When installing, drilling may take two days while other parts of the installation may take up to four days.
Renewable heat incentive payments, which the government hands out to people with renewable energy heaters, are also higher for ground source heat pumps than for air source heat pumps, meaning you can save more over the long term if you opt for the former. Huh.
By comparison, gas boilers typically cost between £1,800 and £3,500.
Air source heat pumps absorb heat from outside air into a fluid at low temperatures to heat your home and hot water
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4) How much space will I need to install the heat pump?
The external space required for the air space heat pump is not large, the device is generally not larger than the washing machine.
A ground source heat pump requires more than you would with access to a drilling machine to make a borehole or two.
5) What are the other energy saving options?
If a heat pump isn’t a good fit for your home, or it won’t heat your property on its own and you still want to reduce your carbon footprint, there are other renewable heating systems that may be a better option.
A hybrid system combines a conventional boiler with a heat pump, with the system switching between the two depending on which is most efficient.
For example, during the winter the boiler may need to do more work to generate water at a higher temperature, and during the summer the heat pump will produce hot water.
Solar thermal panels are a good example of this. They can be installed on the roof of a property where they…