Heat pumps are set to play a major role in combatting carbon emissions, meaning housebuilders will need to install many more of them. Here, we look at some of the options available.
Are they the panacea to our carbon crisis? Not in isolation, certainly, but they do offer the energy saving potential that modern designed homes deserve. The Committee on Climate Change has said that 19 million Air Source Heat Pumps will need to have been installed by 2050, meaning housebuilders and property developers will be at the forefront of their roll out. Here, we take a look at the more common air source heat pumps.
The external units that are most conspicuous components of ASHPs are mostly associated in the mind of British home buyer with industrial units and Spanish hotels, which might not exactly be the aesthetic you’re trying to create with your development.
There is always the option of hiding the unit away unseen, however companies are beginning to beautify the pumps themselves. Take Daikin’s Altherma 3 M for instance, which hides the fan behind a stylish black horizontal grille. With its strong lines and block colouring, the unit goes some way to actually adding to the design of a property rather than being merely tolerated.
The move towards heat pumps is driven exclusively by a desire to reduce fuel consumption, which will lower fuel bills for homeowners and help save the planet by reducing carbon emissions. These positives, however, won’t mean much if the negatives infringe upon the comfort of the home owner.
Many people will associate ASHPs with noise, and the thought of a constant disturbance could be enough to put some home buyers off. There is a lot of unjust prejudice in this area, of course (not to mention the hundreds of other sources of noise that no one complains about), but some manufacturers are addressing the issue in order to reassure buyers. Grant’s Aerona3 R32 range features Quiet Mark accredited units, with the 13kW unit emitting less than 50dB of noise.
Easy to install
Much the same as a traditional gas boiler, these are highly technical systems which require a great deal of know-how to install. Furthermore, their efficient use depends on correct installation and set-up.
One of the barriers the Government anticipates to the widespread proliferation of heat pumps is a lack of skilled installers. With that in mind, LG Electronics’ Therma V Monobloc can be installed without the need of having any F-Gas qualifications. The firm is offering a training course to potential installers of the unit.
With so many homes expected to be heated by air source heat pumps over the next 30 years, compact and affordable products will play a large role in the market. Blocks of flats and smaller houses naturally have different needs from large properties and space considerations can become highly important.
Viessmann’s Vitocal 100-A heat pump is the firm’s most compact and affordable solution to date. The lower cost and tighter footprint coupled with the ongoing reduction in fuel costs mean that heat pumps are now suitable options for affordable housing too.
Each of the heat pumps showcased here run on environmentally-friendly R32 refrigerant. This recent innovation in the world of refrigerants is a more efficient heat carrier than previous examples, and could provide savings of 10% on electricity bills.
What’s more, the refrigerant can now be used in Monobloc installations, rather than just split installations. This means that apart from the hot water cylinder, the entire system is contained within the unit outside.