Rebecca D’Souza : 5 Reasons Why Heat Pumps Should Be Part of Your Home Renovation Plan in 2016

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In recent years, heat pumps have become a popular option with homeowners because of the many cost and energy-saving advantages they offer. The two most popular types of heat pumps are air source and ground source heat pumps.

Air source heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air and converting it to a higher temperature.  They are usually placed outside at the back or side of a property. Ground source heat pumps harness natural heat from the ground, which is absorbed at low temperatures into a fluid inside a network of water pipes buried underground. The heat pump then increases the temperature to heat the water, which supplies your home with heating and hot water.

Renovating a property and turning it into a home can be an exciting, time-consuming and challenging experience.  Choosing the right heating system for your needs is essential to a home renovation project and taking the time to research the options available can save you thousands in the long-term and even add to the value of your home.

Here are 5 reasons to consider a geothermal or air source heat pump as part of your home renovation in 2016.

Cut down your electricity bills

Heat pumps can save you anywhere between 30 and 40 percent or more on your utility bills if you are replacing an electric, oil, LPG or coal system, rather than gas.  According to the Energy Saving Trust an average performing air source heat pump in an average four bedroom detached home could save up to £1,295 a year if it is used to replace electric heating (old storage heaters), between £1,200 and £1,805 a year if replacing LPG (non-condensing) and up to £555 a year if replacing oil (non-condensing). A typical ground source heat pump could net you savings between £410 and £2,000 a year.

The time it takes to reclaim the cost of the system in energy savings will depend on a number of factors including how efficiently your system works, the type of system you are replacing, how you will be using the heat generated from the pump. Other variables like having a well-insulated house so that the heat generated by your heat pump doesn’t escape easily should also be taken into account.

Once in place, heat pumps usually require very little maintenance to ensure that they keep running at their optimal performance. However, neglecting this task can lead to diminished efficiency in output over time.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Heat pumps are not a true renewable technology because they run on electricity. Nevertheless, they are a very efficient way to use electricity and can help to reduce your carbon emissions. This makes them a much eco-friendlier way of improving the energy efficiency of your home compared with traditional heating and air units.  According to the Energy Saving Trust, heat pumps with mid-range efficiency use a third of the energy needed in an average oil or gas boiler to produce the same amount of heat.

Another point to consider is that heat pumps do not need a combustion process to operate, which means they don’t produce the same levels of pollution as gas or wood burners.

Add value to your home

Given the investment involved in installing a heat pump, one of the key questions homeowners often ask is will it add value to my property? A government study in 2013 showed that increasing your home’s EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) from band G to E, or from D to B, could increase its value by more than £16,000. It went on to suggest that the energy efficiency of a property does influence the sale price of homes in England.  Air conditioned and heated homes have an increased value and heat pumps carry out both of these roles for a fraction of the operational cost.

Be comfortable throughout the year

Heat pumps provide heating, cooling and dehumidifying. They are a smart alternative to air conditioning units and function in very much the same way for cooling, which is ideal for the hot summer days.  However, in cooler months when heat is required, they reverse operation to provide warmth for your home. As an added bonus, heat pumps also retain moisture in the air unlike air conditioners and traditional heating systems that will typically push dry air into the home. With electric heating pumps, existing air is circulated around the home without removing any moisture, which means homeowners will not need humidifiers to compensate for the dry air caused by a HVAC system.

Improved safety

With no hot surfaces or burning embers to worry about, heat pumps provide families with small children or households with pets, peace of mind. This is because heat pumps offer flameless warmth and can be left unattended.

Rebecca D’Souza 

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