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/