Sutterton, Boston like many rural villages based in Lincolnshire the main source of a home's heating and hot water energy is supplied from either oil or LPG. These energy sources are not only costly, inefficient and carbon emitting but requires storage and scheduled ordering with the added risk of running out. Without a gas network and the government's plan to ban gas boilers in new builds from 2025 coupled with the push for carbon neutrality by 2050 there needs to be an alternative energy source to supply villages like Sutterton not only for existing buildings but new builds too. The answer.... Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) or Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP).
An air source heat pump sits outside your home and looks quite similar to a standard air conditioning unit. In fact, the method of heat transfer for air conditioners is very similar, only in reverse.
Heat from the sun warms the air around us, which is then drawn into the heat pump unit by the fan. This heat is extracted from the air into the heat exchanger coil - the evaporator - and so the cycle begins. The fan is there to keep a constant flow of warm air coming into contact with the heat exchange.
A ground source heat pump uses the solar energy stored in the earth as the source of heat for the evaporator. It collects the heat through pipes laid underground known as a ground loop or ground array. A mixture of water and a special type of anti-freeze is then pumped through this network of pipes underground, absorbing the naturally-occurring heat below the frost line. The antifreeze-water mix then delivers the heat to the evaporator within the heat pump, and the same evaporation-compression process begins.
Taylor's Heating Engineers are fully qualified and certified to both specify and install heat pumps and provide a fully insured service.
Client, Mr English and his 5-bedroom detached house was built in the 2000's so adheres to modern building regulations for insulation however the heating system chosen at that time was oil.
"I no longer wanted the headache of playing the heating oil stock market, I would have to buy and store large quantities of oil when the prices were low and hope it lasts through the winter period when prices are significantly higher, with the added worry of running out."says English which is a typical strategy often employed by those using heating oil systems.
"Also, with part of the garage recently converted into a 5th bedroom [currently used as a home office] I no longer wanted the noise of the oil boiler in this new space."An ASHP is the perfect compact and silent solution which can be retrofitted into existing properties under permitted development.
"I wanted something compact and discreet that could package within my boundary with minimal disruption, for me an ASHP ticked all the boxes whilst doing my bit to decarbonises my home"remarks English.
To finance the installation Mr English turned towards two government schemes; Green Homes Grant (GHG) (now closed for new applicants) coupled with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which closes April 2022.
"These schemes were the tipping point for me as they essentially fund the entire upgrade, the GHG funded £5,000 upfront whilst the RHI makes regular quarterly payments for 7 years. When I factor in changing from oil to ASHP I'm about £2,000 better off after 7 years including the ASHP!"exclaimed English who has provided a cost breakdown calculation further on.
"The RHI is the way forward so I suggest anyone considering ASHP or GSHP to act now before the scheme closes as you'll be shocked by the financial benefits".
After joining the RHI scheme, you receive a quarterly tariff payment for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of renewable heat you produce. You get these payments for seven years. ... The amount you'll be paid per kWh of heat depends on the renewable technology you install, when you apply to receive RHI, and your home's EPC.
Originally built as 4-bedroom property with traditional radiators throughout English recently converted a section of the garage into a 5th bedroom. After our detailed analysis and heat loss calculations of the building and with further discussions around current and future requirements we proposed a 7kW Vallient aroTHERM plus coupled with a 190 litre uniTOWER plus and VRC 700 control unit.
Fitting the uniTOWER in the loft freed up additional space for a future bathroom renovation and packaging the ASHP in a pocket of the building kept the unit hidden yet efficient.
At the time of writing the heating system has not been utilised due to the summer period however Mr English has confirmed that to keep his 190l hot water tank at a continuous 50°C with a typical daily usage of 3 showers and 1 bath plus additional hot water demands costs £191 per year. With a prediction of £361 per year for the heating during the winter this makes his total renewable annual running cost £552. When compared to his actual oil consumption of £1,033 this yields a total yearly saving of £481*.
"I'm over the moon with the financials, I simply funded the cost on a 0% credit card and use the regular RHI payments to pay the minimal credit card bill, this upgrade hasn't actually cost me a penny, in fact I break even after 5 years and end up with £2,040 profit after the 7 years."
*Oil price 54p/litre @ 82% efficiency vs 11.2p/kWh @ 3.91SCoP
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"The guys at Taylors were very prompt, professional and have an excellent work ethic. A neat and tidy approach while working around our new-born as I continued to work from home, the disruption was minimal. I would highly recommend Taylors to anyone not just renewable installations" concludes English.
Heat source pumps are a form of renewable energy technology which take the warmth from the air or ground and use it to heat the home.
Air source heating systems heat water which is then circulated around the home via radiators or an underfloor heating system. They can also be used to heat water in a storage tank for the bathroom or kitchen.
Using various pieces of technology – namely an evaporator coil full of refrigerant fluid, a type of pump called a compressor and a heat exchanger - heat pumps absorb the warmth in the air outside and release this heat into air or water, which is then distributed around the home.
They can do this even when the temperature outside is very low. Fridges work in the same way, only in reverse. They use the same technology to draw heat out of the air in the fridge, which is why the space behind fridges feels warm.
Generally, a well-insulated home with high standards of air-tightness enables you to get the most out of your air source heat pump. This is because heat pumps are most effective in homes which warm up quickly and are good at keeping heat in.
Please be aware that air source heat pumps therefore aren't for every home. A technical survey by a qualified assessor is essential before installation as it could have a detrimental effect on your electric bills if your house isn't correctly insulated.
- Lower fuel bills, especially if you are replacing conventional electric, oil and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) heating
- Potential income through the UK government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
- Lower home carbon emissions
- Can heat your home as well as your water
- Minimal maintenance required
- Can be easier and cheaper to install than a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP).
Yes, Government grants are available through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The installation costs can be partially or fully recouped subject to survey.
Unfortunately, grants cannot be applied for retrospectively towards existing systems. Finance can also be provided for UK residents as well as interest free loans through the Energy Saving Trust.
We are a Business Solutions Partner with Vaillant who prides itself in delivering innovative, high performance and competitive systems with low running costs and emissions. The versatile product range is driven by advanced technology and designed specifically with customers in mind.
They manufacture a range of high-quality air source heat pumps for every home; self-contained units that only require water and electric connections. They are low maintenance, quiet to run and can be discreetly placed outside your property.