Air source heat pumps

Air source heat pumps absorb the heat from the outside air, this heat can then be used to heat radiators, under-floor heating systems or warm air convector heaters and hot water in your home.

An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in a similar way that a fridge extracts heat from the inside and can get heat even when the temperature is as low as -15°C.

Heat pumps do have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to operate but the heat that they extract from the ground, air or water is being constantly renewed naturally.

Benefits of Air Source Heat Pumps

  • Lower fuel bills especially if you are replacing conventional electric heating.
  • Potential income through the UK Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • No fuel delivery is needed
  • Can be easier to install than a ground source heat pump

Unlike gas and oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods of time so during the winter they may need to be constantly on to heat your home efficiently.  You will also notice that the radiators do not feel as hot to the touch as they may do with when using a gas or oil boiler.

 

Ground source heat pumps

Ground source heat pumps use pipes that are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground.  This heat can be used to heat radiators, under-floor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.

A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and anti-freeze around a loop of pipe called a ground loop which is buried in your garden.  Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid which then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump.  The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface so the heat pump can be used throughout the year.

The length of loop depends upon the size of your church and the amount of heat you need.  Longer loops can draw more heat from the ground but ned more space to be buried in.  If space is limited a vertical borehole can be drilled instead.

The benefits of ground source heat pumps are:

  • Possible lower fuel bills especially if you replace conventional electric heating.
  • Could provide you with income through the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • Could lower carbon emissions depending upon which fuel you are replacing.
  • No fuel deliveries needed.
  • Minimal maintenance required

Air source heat pumps are usually easier to install than a ground source heat pump as they do not need any trenches or drilling but often they are less efficient than a ground source heat pump.

Unlike gas and oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods of time so during the winter they may need to be constantly on to heat your home efficiently.  You will also notice that the radiators do not feel as hot to the touch as they may do with when using a gas or oil boiler.