Heat Pumps

A familiy looking at a heat pump, from Global Energy Systems from https://pixabay.com//

For anyone lucky enough to be in the position of choosing their next central heating system, there is really only one reason not to go with a heat pump assuming you have the money up-front – it’s difficult to find an installation engineer who will really provide top advice and do an excellent job.

As is usual in our post-truth society thanks to social media supplanting professional news sources, there is a huge amount of misinformation out there being promoted by those who stand to lose out in the transition away from gas. Here are some interesting facts:

  • heat pumps are more efficient than gas and often cost less to run
  • heat pumps are everywhere – another name is “air conditioning”. Keeping us warm in winter and cool in summer, lots of air conditioning units are just air source heat pumps.
  • because it will pump out the heat really quickly and heat up a cold house as quickly as possible, heating engineers routinely recommend unnecessarily high flow temperatures which cause the boilers to break down quicker. Ideally a condensing boiler should run with compensation control enabled, rather than on/off switching with too-high flow temperatures. This will save a lot of gas as well as be gentler your boiler without being colder except when it comes on.
  • heat pumps only need servicing by an engineer once every 3 years, compared to annually for gas boilers, although warranties still stipulate annual heat pump inspections
  • hydrogen will never replace gas in the mains now, it has finally been determined
  • heat pump noise is equivalent to gas boiler noise
  • heat pumps work well in the cold. They are very popular in Sweden

St Luke’s church in West Holloway installed a substantial heat pump this year, 2023. The main challenge was finding the engineer to do the job. As the roll-out of heat pumps across the nation gathers pace, this should become easier.

Here’s the award-winning renewables podcast of the engineer who verified most of this information for me (Nathan Gambling) – if you love the technical side of it, the numbers and the nitty-gritty, this is for you: https://betatalk.buzzsprout.com/

By Adam Hardy

Zoologist at heart. Environmentalist by necessity. Stage hand, financial trader, secretary, card payments designer, software developer, fossil fuel big data warehouse consultant. Amateur psychologist. Now climate change salvage engineer.