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Getting your home heat pump ready
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Getting your home heat pump ready
Installing measures to help reduce heat loss from your property will not only help make your home heat pump ready but it will greatly improve your home's efficiency

Preparing your home with energy-efficiency improvements and high levels of insulation is key to getting the best out of an air source heat pump. In this blog, Kevin Ellis, Grant UK’s Renewables Sales Manager, talks through the different measures you can install to help improve your home’s efficiency and get it ready for a heat pump.

Air source heat pumps work at low temperatures which are much lower than those of conventional heating systems like oil or gas boilers. Before you consider installing a heat pump, you will need to assess the state of the insulation of your home and you may need to improve it. Essentially, the heat loss through the walls, roof and floors needs to be minimised which in turn will mean that, when the property is heated to a lower temperature by a heat pump, there will be no issue. So, where to start…

Loft insulation
Loft insulation is an easy one to get started with. Ideally, to get the required u-value of 0.16W/m2k (a technical term and value which plays an important part of the planning phase for a heat pump installation), you need to lay 270mm of wool insulation in the loft. This is something homeowners can do themselves over a weekend at a cost of about £6 per m2 or, alternatively, you could use an outside company that could cost you around £11 to £15 per m2.

Wall insulation
If your home was built after 1935, the chances are it will more than likely have cavity walls and these are relatively simple to insulate. Cavity wall insulation involves the walls being drilled into and the insulation is injected within. This job does need to be carried out by a professional and should cost approximately £10 per m2 of wall. Meanwhile, for properties with solid walls, insulating these can be more of an issue but there are options available. These homes can either be clad with insulation on the outside or have insulation attached inside. Solid wall insulation procedures are more costly and can cost upwards of £15,000.

If you live in a property which was built since the late 1990s, the good news is it will already have more than adequate insulation. Therefore, installing a heat pump becomes an easy decision since these homes will retain more heat and are much better suited to low temperature heating systems. Current building regulations mean that homes built today are incredibly well insulated, allowing a heat pump to be the ideal heat source for such properties and helping the running costs to be significantly cheaper.

Double glazing
Installing double glazed windows is another measure which can help a home become ideally suited for a heat pump. Windows are an outlet for heat to escape a home so improving their insulation can greatly reduce a property’s heat loss. According to the Energy Saving Trust, by installing double glazing, a single-glazed detached home could save over £100 on their energy bills every year. In addition to the potential financial payback, installing double glazing can deliver several other benefits to your home which are well worth considering.

Enjoy all the benefits
Double glazing will increase the amount of heat that you can keep inside your home. Not only will this mean that your home feels warmer but you will not need to use as much heating either. Using less heat, by lowering demand and reducing room temperatures, will in turn reduce your home’s carbon footprint and will also result in a reduction of your energy bills.

Alongside the benefits of heat retention and energy saving, double glazing can also be beneficial in other ways. It can be an effective barrier against noise, reducing the amount of sound transmitted into the home, and it can also serve as deterrent against intruders, helping to heighten the security of your property (perhaps not a benefit often thought about when making the decision to fit double glazing, but an added benefit worth factoring in).

In summary
Reducing the energy and heat lost from your home is something worth considering whether or not you are thinking about installing a heat pump. Roof, wall and window insulation measures (which could be partly funded by the Government’s Green Homes Scheme) can add value to your home in more ways than one and they can help you make significant steps forward to improving the efficiency of your property. Such measures will, in turn, open your property up to an air source heat pump. Heat pumps are becoming an increasingly common feature within many new build homes and, by taking the right steps, your current home could also benefit from the latest, greener heating technologies as well.

Getting your home heat pump ready
Kevin Ellis
Renewable Sales Manager at Grant UK