In the Know: Heat Pumps – your questions answered

With all the headlines about the government’s plans to replace sales of gas boilers with heat pumps by 2035 you may be wondering among other questions – what even is a heat pump?

At Gregor heating we have been working with heat pumps for a while and have a good understanding how they benefit homes, so thought it would be helpful to answer some frequently asked questions we get from customers for you. We sat down with Senior Operations Surveyor Paul Matthews to have him explain everything you need to know regarding heat pumps:

How does it work?

A heat pump works on similar principles to the way a domestic fridge works.

A water and glycol mixture is pumped around the collector circuit and causes the refrigerant in the evaporator to turn to gas. This refrigerant passes through the compressor, causing the temperature to rise significantly.

The hot gas moves to the condenser where it condenses and the latent energy is released into the heating circuit.

Do heat pumps still work in cold weather?

The rated outdoor temperature is the lowest temperature that the heat pump can still provide adequate heating for your home. Heat pumps operate by pulling in heat from the outside air, so as the air outside gets colder, the heat pump must work harder to extract heat from the air and move it into your home.

While most efficient heat pump models can function efficiently in temperatures as low as -27 degrees celsius, it is a good idea to have a backup heating source for those unusually cold days where a heat pump loses its advantage in heating efficiency.

Are air source heat pumps noisy?

They operate at about 45 db, see chart below for comparison:

What is the cost of installing a heat pump in the UK?

About £7000 to £15000 for a full installation

How much does a heat pump cost to run?

The air source heat pump running cost is much lower than the cost of running an oil boiler. Although electricity is more expensive than oil, air source heat pumps produce four times the energy that they consume. Therefore your energy goes much further. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save between £460 to £545 per year by replacing your oil boiler with an air source heat pump.

They are about £225 more expensive to run over natural gas.

If you have further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.