While the debate rages on about which boiler is better for domestic users, gas or electric, there is another contender that is starting to gain popularity. Heat pumps Scotland are a new way for people living in the UK to efficiently heat their home. They are very common in parts of the world where natural gas is not piped into peoples homes. They are electrically powered and are therefore very efficient, more so than all of its rivals.
How Do Heat Pumps Scotland Work?
Heat pumps work by ‘pumping’ heat from one place to another using a compressor and a circulating structure of liquid or gas refrigerant. Heat is extracted from outside sources and then pumped indoors. They basically do the opposite of what a fridge does using similar technology. Furthermore, in the summer, they can be reversed to provide cool air and they then act exactly like an air conditioner. This makes them extremely versatile as a stand alone unit, one of the reasons more and more people are choosing to opt for an energy-efficient heat pump in Scotland.
Heat pumps are considered to the be the most efficient alternative to fuel, oil and electric systems. With gas boilers attainting around 90% efficiency on average, and gas furnaces reaching 98% efficiency, we can see that there is still room for improvement. The problem is these sources are still using fossil fuels and cannot be considered a long term solution because of this. Electrically powered heating sources are generally more efficient than gas powered ones, however the generation of electricity still relies on fossil fuels. This means that the electric heating methods still have an impact on CO2 in the atmosphere, and looking to the future we need a sustainable solution for electric boilers and heat pumps to become the most efficient mainstream method.
Are Heat Pumps Worth It?
A properly designed heat pump system can achieve more than 300% efficiency. This is a great figure when compared to tradition heating methods, but is it worth it? Well, one of the main advantages is the reduced running costs that they offer. It goes without saying that the more energy efficient a heat source is, the greater the savings will be. The main factor that goes against this is the upfront cost of the installation of the system. They are relatively complex and require specialist installation, and the total cost to install a heat pump system in the UK can cost anywhere from £10,000 to £20,000. If we look at this alongside the potential savings of around £1,400 a year, then the installation starts to make sense.
Installing a Heat Pump
The installation of a heat pump is done in two main ways. These are ground source heat pump installation and air source installation. Ground source means that the pump takes heat from the ground, and therefore an area is usually required to be dug up so that pipes can be laid for the system to pump from. Air source heat pumps pull heat from the air outside and use the compressors to heat it up to a warm temperature that is pumped around the home.