Heat pumps use environmental energy to generate heating and hot water for your home. Heat pumps extract thermal energy (heat) from the air, ground or a local water source - such as a river, which is then converted by a heat pump to generate heating and hot water for your home.
What are the advantages of a heat pump system?
Incorporating heat pump technology into your home is one of the most economical, effective and environmentally-friendly ways to cover your heating and hot water needs. As the main source of heat generation comes from the environment itself, the amount of energy required to generate the necessary heating for your home is vastly reduced compared to other methods. Here are some of the benefits of using a heat pump system in your home:
- Low running costs, which can help reduce energy bills
- Homeowners could benefit from Government incentives, such as the RHI scheme
- Removes the need for fuel to be delivered and stored at home, which is common in homes that are in off-gas areas and rely on alternative fuels, such as oil
- Heat pumps produce no emissions and are much more environmentally-friendly than traditional heating systems
- They operate efficiently even in cold temperatures. Just 25% of the energy used by a heat pump is provided by electricity, with the remaining 75% being generated by the environment through the ground, water or air (depending on your type of heat pump system)
- The utilisation of natural energy sources means the approach to heating and hot water production is particularly sustainable
- Emissions free
- Incredibly quiet during operation
- Heat pumps work well with both underfloor heating and radiators with low surface temperatures
- Can be used as part of a climate controlled system within the home
- Simple and robust technology with low maintenance and a long service life
How does a heat pump work?
Heat pumps operate by collecting heat through an external collector system - pipes containing liquid filled with anti-freeze - to transfer heat from the ambient temperature. Due to the composition of the liquid, it will always be a lower temperature than outdoors, meaning the heat is transferred into the liquid. It is then passed through to the second cycle, where heat is absorbed into refrigerant and turned into vapour. Once it reaches the compressor, that is turned into steam, raising the temperature to a level usable in your home. We have created a video to showcase this process in action below.
Types of heat pumps
There are multiple types of heat pumps that can be used and the best one will likely depend on your home location and surrounding environment. Heat pumps can use air, ground or water sources to generate hot water and heating for your home.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps use the external temperature to extract heat and are the most common type of heat pumps, suitable for use even in apartment and flat situations off the ground floor. Some electricity energy is required to allow this, though it is only around 25% of the total energy used during the process. Air source heat pumps will operate in low temperatures too.
Learn more about air source heat pumps.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Ground source heat pumps use a system embedded into the ground to extract heat. For this reason, your home does need the necessary land to allow installation of either a ground array or borehole system. Installed systems are not noticeable once completed. Some electricity energy is required to allow this, though it is only around 25% of the total energy used during the process.
Learn more about ground source heat pumps.
Water Source Heat Pumps
Water source heat pumps use a system embedded in a water source to extract heat. Water source heat pumps often provide the most reliable source of hot water and heating in homes, thanks to the consistent water temperatures outside. Additionally, installed water source systems are the most low-profile and are best used in instances where visuals must be preserved at all costs. Some electricity energy is required to allow this, though it is only around 25% of the total energy used during the process.
Learn more about water source heat pumps.
Vaillant heat pumps are some of the quietest on the market. The low noise levels mean that the outdoor unit for a Vaillant heat pump can be easily installed even in built-up areas like townhouse complexes and terraced housing estates, where strict noise control regulations may be in force.
'Listen' to the silence for yourself