Heat Pumps

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps offer a highly efficient and environmentally friendly way of heating your home through radiators or underfloor heating. We only work with the best quality systems from the top manufacturers to ensure longevity, value for money and excellent aftercare service. Generally recognised as the leaders in the industry, Daikin, Panasonic and Mitsubishi all offer top quality heatpumps that H2-ecO are proud to supply, install and maintain.

 

Heat Pumps – What Are they and how do they work?
Air source heat pumps work by absorbing the heat from the air outside, this heat can then be used to heat your home through radiators, underfloor heating or warm air convectors. Heat pumps can also provide hot water when combined with a cylinder.

Basically, heat pumps work like fridges but in reverse. Warmth can be extracted from the air even in temperatures as low as -15°C. They require electricity to run but are an incredibly efficient way to heat your home. The heat pumps that we supply are capable of producing up to 4 units of heat for every unit of electricity consumed. This makes them very cost effective to run and also a perfect partner to Photovoltaic Electricity generation, where the heat pump demand can be offset by the power generated at the property.

Heat pumps are ideally suited for new-builds or renovation projects but are also a suitable solution for retrofit situations, though the house insulation levels and heat emitter design may require more careful consideration.

Heatpumps are very efficient and reliable compared to fossil fuel heating systems.

For self builders and retrofit customers, the governments RHI incentive can offset the difference in cost between a good fossil fuel heating system and a heatpump over a 7 year period, leaving an efficient, eco-friendly heating system for the future. For property developers, the ability to avoid needing to dig in oil tanks or pay for a mains gas connection to the property will often offset the additional cost of a heatpump system and leave purchasers with a highly efficient, reliable heating system.

With heatpump heating, a property will not typically need a mains gas connection which can save over £100 per annum just in gas standing charges.

The key with all heatpump solutions is to get the design right initially and then install it correctly with attention to the specifics of heatpump heating system requirements. A general guide is that ground source heatpumps cost around double that of an airsource heatpump – installed.

To find out more about heat pumps, the process of installation and to obtain a quote, please feel free to call or email.

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Different types of Heat Pump

Air source

This is the most common design of heatpump in use in the UK as it is relatively easy to find a suitable location for the external unit (which looks a bit like an airconditioning unit) and it has the least expensive up-front cost. It uses a fan to blow external air across a heat exchanger that extracts heat from the air as it passes through.

Over the last few years, their efficiency has improved dramatically and modern units are capable of seasonal coefficients of production in excess of 4.3.

All heatpumps ware only capable of producing Domestic Hot water with the use of a hot water storage cylinder.

They come in 3 main layouts and 2 main temperature ranges:

Layouts:

Split
These systems use refrigerant pipes to link an internal and external unit. The refrigerant pipes move heat from outside to inside and transfer it into the water pipes used for central heating or Hot water cylinder via a “hydrobox” which is visually similar to a wall hung fossil fuel gas boiler. These systems are typically the most efficient design and have the smallest external units.

Monoblock
These combine the functions of the external unit and hydrobox into a single external unit. The heat they extract from the air is transferred to water inside the monoblock itself and is sent into the property via water pipes. There are still some components required inside the property but they generally require less internal space than a split system. The external unit is usually larger than a split system unit and the efficiencies are usually slightly lower. As there is water in the external unit, the entire heating system needs to be treated with glycol antifreeze which adds cost and actually reduces the heat carrying capacity of the heating system. The main reason for their popularity is that the installer does not have to be certified to use refrigerant.

Hydro-split
These combine the benefits of a split system with the ability to use larger quantities of newer generation refrigerants. There is both an external unit and a hydrobox but the heat is transferred by a water circuit. They are typically used for system designs above 8kW that require larger quantities of refrigerant.

Temperatures

“Low temperature heatpumps”
Low temperature heatpumps are typically capable of producing warm water at upto around 50 to 55 degrees C. They are capable of running central heating systems upto around 50 degrees Flow but are significantly more efficient if running at 35 to 40 degrees Flow. They are capable of producing Domestic Hot water at 48 degrees C in the cylinder which is acceptable for normal daily use. They do require the assistance of a direct electric immersion heater for a weekly 60 degree C legionnaires purge. They are perfectly matched with underfloor heating but can also work well with suitably sized radiators or fan convectors.

“High temperature heatpumps”
There are several methods of achieving higher temperatures with heatpump technologies:

  • Different refrigerants can be used in a single compressor that tend to be less efficient overall but allow higher temperatures to be achieved,
  • Heatpumps using 2 compressors with different refrigerants can be used, one optimised to generate lower temperatures and one optimised to lift those lower temperatures to higher temperatures. Tese use 2 compressors so are less efficient than single stage units.
  • Very modern units like the Daikin HT hydro-split that uses a new design of compressor to allow very efficient production of heat at lower temperatures but are still capable of producing higher temperatures relatively efficiently. These units can produce legionnaires purge hot water cycles without the use of an immersion heater yet are as efficient as most low temperature units when running at lower temperatures.

Ground Source

These units use an indoor unit that is functionally the same as an air-source heatpump without the fan but uses heat that is extracted from the ground in a number of ways:

  • Shallow dig pipe loops using trenches to bury glycol filled pipes that extract low level heat from the ground which then transfers to the internal unit heatpump to increase the temperature of the water on the heating side of the system. A very rough rule of thumb is that the external area required is double the indoor area to be heated.
  • Boreholes can be used where external space is limited, Boreholes are bored into the ground down to c. 100m . The number required varies according to demand and geology but they are expensive to achieve due to the specialised boring equipment required.

Water-source

Water source heatpumps are basically the same units as used for ground source but instead of using pipe loops buried in the ground or placed in boreholes, they are placed in a body of water.

In some cases, water can be extracted from a source and be run through a heat exchanger but this tends to require more ongoing maintenance and filter cleaning.

Efficiencies can be even higher than ground source as water is a very efficient conductor of heat but the locations where they are viable are limited.

See it in action

H2 Eco is an approved Daikin installer, check out the video of the latest Daikin Altherma air-to-water heat pump delivering heating, cooling and instant hot water.

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Servicing
Renewables Servicing

Servicing, maintenance & repair

Heat pumps are required to be serviced annually in order to qualify for the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive). Even non-RHI systems should be serviced every year to maintain manufacturer’s warranties and to ensure ongoing optimum performance. We are qualified heat pump service engineers and can work on units that we have installed or have been previously set-up by other companies.

Annual Heat Pump Servicing

Price:  £150 plus 45p per mile travel expenses

Heat Pump Repairs

Price: £150 for an initial trouble shoot inspection for up to 1 hour plus plus 45p per mile travel expenses. Additional hours charged at £42 per hour

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