How a Heat Pump Can Reduce Your Heating Bills

With the price of heating our homes this winter forecast to rise yet again, now is an excellent time to consider alternative heating solutions. A heat pump works in a similar way to an air conditioner, except that it can heat your home as well as cooling it. On a basic level, it works by extracting ambient heat from the ground or air and pumping it into your home. Under the right conditions, a heat pump can save somewhere between 40 and 60% when compared to a traditional electrical furnace.

Samsung ASHP Home

How heat is transferred throughout the house

Air source heat pumps take energy from the outside air and convert this into heat. By compressing a refrigerant, heat pumps are able to utilise even very low external temperatures to meet your heating needs. The heat is then pumped to radiators or underfloor heating systems around the house.

Ground source heat pumps extract heat from the ground, which has an average year-round temperature of 10⁰C. Heat is collected from the ground through a series of underground pipes, then the heat is transferred to a refrigerant and pumped around the home. Although ground source heat pumps are more effective than air source heat pumps, the extensive piping requirements means that they are often a better option for new-builds.

Which brand of heat pump should you choose?

There are a number of different brands on the market, and choosing the right one for your needs can be a challenge. Fortunately, here at Complete Renewables we have a wealth of experience with the major heat pump manufacturers and can help you make an informed decision.

Mitsubishi are high-quality manufacturers who build a robust pump with a lifespan of between fifteen to twenty years. It is designed to require less maintenance than a comparable gas furnace, and withstand temperatures of -25⁰C, should you live in a particularly cold area.

  • Dimplex

Dimplex produces air source heat pumps that consistently rank very highly in terms of efficiency. These pumps operate effectively at a temperature range of -25⁰C to 35⁰C. They can provide heating and hot water as necessary, and are easy to install. Another advantage of this kind of pump is that their operating noise is kept to a minimum level.

Samsung is another brand that we are very happy to work with, and they have been a popular choice with many customers this year. It’s main selling points are hassle free maintenance and excellent pricing. Due to Samsung’s aggressive move into the marketplace, we were recently able to install a Samsung Air Source heat pump in Essex for under £4,500.

  • Vaillant

Specialists in air-to-water and ground source heat pumps, Vaillant’s models create no harmful emissions and use minimal electricity. For every 1kW used to run the system, an air-to-water heat pump can produce 4kW of heat for your home. Like most heat pumps, Vaillant models heat newer buildings more effectively than older ones, so the newer your home is, the better value for money.

Earn an average of £2,800 per year with the Renewable Heat Incentive

Another excellent advantage to renewable energy heating is the government payments, known as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), that you will receive per unit of renewable heat generated by your system. You can read about the RHI on the Energy Saving Trust website, or on the government’s website. At the current rate of 18.8p per kWh, an average home with a ground source heat pump can expect to receive £2,800 per year for the first seven years through quarterly RHI payments.

Should you like further information on a particular brand, or an estimate on the RHI values for your home, you can give us a call on 01621 827015.

solar panels

5 of the Best Solar-Powered Gadgets

How much energy does it take to power those gadgets we use so often? According to the New Scientist, high-tech gadgets account for 15% of the home’s energy use, while used batteries leak toxic substances into the groundwater supply. We’ve compiled a list of the five best green gadgets, so that you can continue to enjoy the finer things in life without worrying about damaging the environment.

1. A Green Smartphone

Smartphones are great for staying connected but not so fantastic for the environment, especially if we’ve gotten into the habit of buying a new one each year. Not only does the constant recharging take it’s toll on your energy bill, but a concoction of toxic materials, including arsenic, PVC and lead, are used in the manufacturing process.

The Sony Xperia P is one of the greenest mobiles on the market right now. A handful of the most toxic chemicals have been cut down or eliminated from the manufacturing process, and the phone itself uses energy more efficiently than it’s competitors. While it isn’t solar-powered, you can further add to the phone’s green credentials by investing in a solar energy battery charger.

2. A Solar-powered Refrigerator

Considering upgrading your appliances this Christmas? NASA developed the SunDanzer Solar Refrigerator to reach the same low temperature as a regular fridge, without relying on the national grid. Simply hook it up to your existing solar panel system and enjoy a cool beer. It needs five hours of direct sunlight to charge for the whole day, but it can store excess energy for up to a week and comes equipped with a back-up battery too.

3. A ‘Next Generation’ Solar-panelled Radio

The Christmas tunes that you hear every year might not have changed in decades, but the devices playing them certainly have! You can unplug your Roberts SolarDAB Portable Radio and take it with you wherever you go. A solar panel mounted on top of the radio powers and charges the device for up to twenty hours, so you can enjoy your favourite radio show and never miss a minute due to dead batteries. Comes complete with an LED solar and battery indicator.

4. A Solar Energy Battery Charger

If you have a feeling that Father Christmas might be particularly generous with gadgets this year, then this is the product you need to keep batteries from going flat. Rechargeable batteries just got greener with the Solio Solar-powered Battery Charger. Reusing batteries prevents toxic chemicals from polluting landfills and tainting our groundwater supplies. It’s marketed as ‘made for iPhone,’ but you can use it to charge any of your devices, including mp3 player, smartphone and camera.

5. A Solar Robot for the Young and Young at Heart

This simple robotics kit for children – and those of us who never wanted to grow up – can be made into six different toys. Build a solar-powered windmill, helicopter, aeroplane, car, dog and even a steamboat. It’s made from recyclable parts, and the robot can alternatively be powered by a 60 watt light bulb on rainy days.

Want to do your part for the environment without compromising your lifestyle or your bank balance? Call us on 01621 827015 to find out more.

Image Credit: @flckr