Escaping the Grid – Heating Your Home with Heat Pumps

When you think of renewable and sustainable sources of energy you probably think of solar, hydro, and wind power. And while these are great ways to heat you’re home, they’re not cheap and they’re not always practical – who wants a wind turbine in their back garden?!

If you’re looking to improve the energy efficiency of your home, there is one, unobtrusive method that will help you heat your home, save the planet, and save money. Air source and ground source heat pumps can be used to heat you home effectively and efficiently.

Air source heat pumps work by absorbing heat from the outside air; much in the same way a fridge extracts heat from its inside. Even if the temperature outside is -15° C, these pumps can still heat your home.

Ground source heat pumps heat your home via pipes buried in the garden. These circulate a mixture of water and antifreeze around the pipe, absorbing the heat from the ground. This is then passed through a heat exchanger and then into your house. Underground temperature remains constant, so you can rely on your ground source pump all year.

Now you know how they work, you probably want to know why you should invest your cash in them. Here are a number of the key benefits of heating your home in this way:

The benefits of heat pumps

Unlike traditional gas and oil boilers, both varieties of heat pump deliver heat to your home at a lower temperature over a longer timeframe. They are extremely reliable – even in the winter months – even if your radiators don’t feel as hot to the touch. The benefits of these heat pumps include:

  • They can lower your fuel bills, especially when used as a replacement for conventional electric heating
  • They can lower your home’s carbon emissions
  • They’re a source of renewable and sustainable energy; this would add value to your home should you wish to sell
  • Homes that are ‘off the grid’ don’t need fuel deliveries
  • They can heat your home as well as providing you with hot water

Air source pumps are generally easier to install that ground source pumps, even though ground source pumps are seen to be more efficient. Air source pumps need very little maintenance, making them a really reliable way to heat your home.

Are there any downsides?

Switching to one of these heat pumps has considerable benefits for you – and your wallet. However, making the change to one of these pumps will often require planning permission. While they don’t require regular maintenance, the fitting of these pumps may be a little intrusive.

As with many ‘green’ energy initiatives, heat pumps come with a rather large price tag – you could pay up to £17,000 to have a system fitted. Again, costs are dependent on the complexity of the system you opt for, which model of pump, the size of your home, and a number of other factors. Despite this initial cost though, it won’t be long before you see a return on your investment.

If you’ve been thinking of escaping the grid, or are looking for an alternative way to heat your already off-the-grid property, heat pumps could be a great choice. Do your research, shop around for deals, and make the most of heating your home with air and ground source pumps.

Auriga Services is a UK based charitable trust, offering advice and help to homeowners struggling to pay their energy bills. To find out more, visit their website.

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