Having dealt with literally thousands of ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps, the heat pump community have heard all manner of myths surrounding heat pumps ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.
We recognise how confusing it must be for people considering heat pumps to distinguish between fact and fiction so we’ve compiled a list of heat pump misconceptions to demonstrate what you might hear and what is actually correct.
“Heat Pumps do not work with radiators”
This is one of the most common heat pump misconceptions but certainly for correctly sized and installed heat pumps this is not the case. Heat pumps can work perfectly well with radiators and can also be integrated with underfloor heating systems too.
It’s possible to achieve flow temperatures of 65˚C via heat pumps but to ensure the lowest possible running cost, experts recommend where possible, to increase the surface area of the radiators by around 30%. This usually isn’t a problem as most radiator systems are naturally oversized anyway.
“Heat Pumps need a back up boiler as they can’t provide all my heating and hot water on their own”
This simply isn’t true and is another favourite on the list of heat pump misconceptions. Heat pumps will supply 100% of your hot water needs and 100% of your heating needs 100% of the time. What’s more, depending on whether you’re installing air source heat pumps or ground source heat pumps, the efficiency rate is between 300% and 400% respectively compared to just 75% to 85% for a fossil fuel boiler.
“I don’t have enough land area for the pipe work”
One of the most common heat pump misconceptions occurs in relation to the amount of space required for the groundworks for heat pumps. In the case of ground source heat pumps, a reasonable amount of land is required for the traditional ground loop or ‘Slinky’ system of pipes as it is also known. However, where the available land is very small, boreholes for heat pumps could be an option although this is admittedly more expensive.
The space requirements are much less restrictive for air source heat pumps although there are regulations surrounding placement of the units which your professional installer will discuss with you when compiling your quotation.
“Heat Pumps can’t get my domestic hot water to a high enough temperature”
Most people have a bath or shower with a water temperature between 39˚C and 44˚C. It’s possible to achieve a stored temperature of over 60˚C (although not all manufacturers can achieve this) which is certainly hot enough for all standard domestic needs and puts to bed just another example of the heat pump misconceptions you might encounter.
“Heat Pumps are only suitable for new build and not existing properties”
This statement can also be found on many a list of heat pump misconceptions. Like any heating system, heat pumps are more efficient in well insulated new build houses where they are often combined with underfloor heating systems to make full use of all the available space within the property. However, heat pumps are also a perfectly good option for existing housing stock. Over the years we have successfully retrofitted hundreds of ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps helping owners save substantially on their fuel costs and in some cases to escape fuel poverty.
“Heat Pumps; they don’t really work do they?”
They absolutely do! The advantages of heat pumps are there for all to see for those prepared to invest the time and money to find out for themselves and not believe propaganda issued by greedy fossil fuel energy companies.