Heat pumps are suitable for almost all homes and may also reduce your energy bills, depending on the system you are replacing.
A heat pump captures heat from outside and moves it into your home. It uses electricity to do this, but the heat energy delivered to your home is much more than the electrical energy used to power the system.
Electricity is becoming increasingly low carbon, as more renewable sources are connected to the electricity grid, replacing existing gas and coal power stations. This makes a heat pump an extremely low carbon heating option, and increasingly so as our electricity grid further decarbonises.
Tens of thousands of heat pumps have already been installed across the UK, and over 1.5 million heat pumps were installed across Europe in 2020 alone. The UK Government expects that millions of heat pumps will need to be installed in homes over the next 10-15 years to meet our net zero targets.
You can read more information about how a heat pump works here or explore case studies showcasing the experiences of those who have installed a heat pump.
If you’re in Scotland, you can also use the Green Homes Networkto read case studies of homeowners who’ve already switched to low carbon heating.
What is an air source heat pump?
An air source heat pump, sometimes referred to as an air-to-water source heat pump, transfers heat from the outside air to water, which heats your rooms via radiators or underfloor heating. It can also heat water stored in a hot water cylinder for your hot taps, showers and baths.
Heat from the air is absorbed into a fluid. This fluid then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump, which raises the temperature and then transfers that heat to water.
For further information on how a heat pump works, including details on typical savings, system design and control, see this in depth guide to heat pumps from The Energy Saving Trust.
What is a ground source heat pump?
A ground source heat pump, sometimes referred to as a ground-to-water heat pump, transfers heat from the ground outside your home to heat your radiators or underfloor heating. It can also heat water stored in a hot water cylinder for your hot taps and showers.
Thermal transfer fluid (TTF), a mixture of water and antifreeze (sometimes known as ‘brine’) flows around a loop of pipe, buried in your garden or outdoor space. This loop could either be a long or coiled pipe buried in trenches, or a long loop (called a ‘probe’) inserted into a borehole with a diameter or around 180mm.
Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid, which then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. This raises the temperature of the fluid and then transfers that heat to water.
For further information on how a heat pump works, including details on typical savings, system design and control, see this in depth guide to heat pumps.
For other types of heat pumps, take a look at this