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A ground source heat pump uses the earth under a building as a heat sink or heat source. Although the air temperature can change dramatically depending on the season, there are relatively few fluctuations underground.
A ground source heat pump sends a special coolant underground to absorb heat. This liquid then heats the water for use in a radiator system or the air in central air conditioning systems.
The third most common – and least efficient – type of heat pump is an extract air heat pump. These use the hot air coming out of a building as a heat source for radiators or water.
What are the advantages of a heat pump?
Heat pumps are most often referred to as a green alternative to gas boilers which use fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases.
They sure are, but the benefits extend beyond that too. For starters, they are much cheaper to operate and maintain once configured. Thanks to their energy efficiency, they could save households up to £ 1,000 a year on their bills.
Heat pumps also require less maintenance than traditional boilers and tend to have a longer lifespan.
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What are the disadvantages of a heat pump?
For many years, the initial cost of a heat pump was the main obstacle to its use. The units themselves and the cost of installation have far exceeded traditional gas or immersion boilers, but that is set to change.
Some questions were also raised about the true eco-certificates for heat pumps.
Some of the fluids used for heat transfer are considered unsustainable, while heat pumps also depend on electricity to operate.
If the source of electricity is not renewable, it means that carbon emissions are still being produced to make it work.
How much does it cost to install a heat pump?
The government voucher program will see homeowners receive £ 5,000 towards the cost of installing the heat pumps.
An energy company, Octopus Energy, estimated that this would mean that homeowners would contribute around £ 2,500 towards the initial cost of installing a heat pump – roughly the cost of a new boiler.
However, homes with low energy efficiency will likely need an upgrade to their insulation before they can install a heat pump.
The new program will work alongside funding programs such as the Social Housing Decarbonization Fund and the Housing Upgrade Grant, which aim to help low-income and vulnerable households with the cost of installing measures. low carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.
How can I access the plan?
Homeowners’ grants of £ 5,000 will be available from April 2022.
It is not yet clear whether the subsidy will be available only for the installation of heat pumps – with the government saying the subsidies will be available to encourage the installation of “more efficient low carbon heating systems”
Further information on how to apply for a grant will be provided closer to the program opening date.