Air Source Heat Pumps

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, we talk 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 as 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.

What is an air source heat pump?

An air source heat pump is a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuel heating - an air source heat pump transfers heat energy in the outside air and converts it into useable energy to heat your home via radiators or underfloor heating (we explain more about how an air source heat pump works here). 

How would an air source heat pump work in my home?

Over the last few years, air source heat pumps have become increasingly popular because they are an efficient and renewable heating solution. Energy efficient air source heat pumps can help homes not only reduce their carbon footprints by moving away from fossil fuels but they can reliably fulfil a home's heating and hot water requirements. Heat pumps are more sustainable and eco-friendly than traditional boiler appliances because they do not rely on the burning of fossil fuels and more and more electricity providers are generating electricity with renewable technology as well. 

At Grant, we are proud to supply award-winning air source heat pumps that combine quality build with efficient operation. To find out first hand what it is like to live with a Grant air source heat pump, take a look at our YouTube video here.

What size air source heat pump do I need?

There are many different factors to consider when choosing the right size of air source heat pump for your property and it is important that the design and specification of your new heating system is carried out by a competent heating engineer. Here are some of the factors which will influence the choice of heat pump output selected for a home:

  • Building size – the size of a property can play a role in identifying the required output capacity because large spaces will need a larger size of heat pump (such as a 17kW output heat pump) that can sufficiently meet the household's requirements. Meanwhile, smaller properties usually require a heat pump with a smaller output. 
  • Insulation – heat loss from a property will affect the size of heat pump required and properties with larger heat losses will require heat pumps with larger outputs. 
  • Local climate – the typical climate of the local area can affect the performance of the ASHP. Areas with extreme lower temperatures might require a higher output model to ensure that a household's heating requirements can be achieved.

Discover Grant's Aerona³ R32 air source heat pump range and click here to download the specifications of these heat pump models.

What do I need to do to my home to make it suitable for a heat pump?

As mentioned above, you will need to assess your home's current insulation and heat loss. If your home requires additional insulation, you could look at one or more of the following:

  • cavity wall insulation
  • loft insulation
  • double or triple glazing windows

Effectiveness of a heat pump in a poorly insulated house

Not having a well insulated home before installing a heat pump can impact the performance of your new low temperature heating system. A poorly insulated home will allow heat to escape easily, making it difficult for a heat pump to maintain the desired temperature inside. Consequently, the heat pump may have to work harder which can result in higher energy bills if the heat pump is unable to operate at its optimum efficiency. Furthermore, poor insulation can lead to draughts and cold spots. Therefore, it is important to ensure your home is well insulated to help maximise your new heat pump's efficiency and effectiveness. 

How to correctly insulate your home

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).

The benefits of insulating for an energy efficient home

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 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 your home with a Grant Air Source Heat Pump today

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. At Grant, we supply a range of air source heat pumps that vary in output. Whether you are after a 6kW air source heat pump, 10kW air source heat pump, 13kW air source heat pump or 17kW air source heat pump, we have a solution. We can also help you find air source heat pump installers that specialise in Grant products, installing heat pumps as well as ancillary ranges such as hot water cylinders, solar thermal systems and heat emitters. With different options out there, it can be difficult to identify which is the right one for you. Simply get in touch with our team today and we can provide you with expert advice.

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