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Heat Pumps Fact File

You have probably heard about heat pumps, but how much do you know? It is a bit of a hot topic currently with the expectation that in the future, new installs of boilers will be banned, and we will all need to turn to alternative heating solutions such as heat pumps to keep our homes warm.


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What is a heat pump?

In its simplest form, a heat pump is a device that is used to warm the interior of a building by transferring thermal energy from a cooler space. There are various types of heat pumps including: air source, ground source, water source, solar-assisted, and exhaust air.

Heat pumps are a relatively new concept here in the UK although have been around for a while in colder countries, including those in Scandinavia. In effect, they operate in an opposite way to a fridge.


What are the advantages of heat pumps?

There are several reasons why the government are considering the need to switch to heat pumps in the future. Below are the main advantages of heat pumps over conventional heating systems such as boilers.

  • Reduced carbon emissions. They tend to have a high COP (Coefficient of Performance)
  • Longer lifespan on average (approx. 13 years)
  • Able to provide cooling in the summer months


What are the disadvantages of heat pumps?

We can’t have everything right? There are of course some disadvantages to heat pumps, and this is partly why the debate about heat pumps is ongoing. The main disadvantages are as follows:

  • Expensive purchase and installation costs due to increased complexities
  • Dramatically alters the appearance of the home (so much so, planning permission is required in Wales for air source models)
  • Extreme cold weather can damage the system. If ice builds up inside the unit, this can crush the heat pump coil and make the system ineffective.
  • They take a while to warm the home if the temperature drops quickly.


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As we look to the future, it is almost certain that we will be using alternative heating solutions. However, for now, boilers are still very much the popular option. Newer and more eco-friendly models are being released all the time allowing you to keep your home warm for a lower price and still help negate some of the environmental effects.

Looking to have a new energy efficient boiler installed into your home? Please head to our Contact page and fill out the online form or alternatively, you can call us directly on 020 8287 7194.

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