Heat pumps: How much do they cost and how do they work?

Is a heat pump right for you?

10/19/2021 8:27:00 PM

Is a heat pump right for you?

The government wants people to replace gas boilers with heat pumps.

AlamyThe government is to offer £5,000 to people in England and Wales to replace their gas boilers with heat pumps.It is part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.What do heat pumps cost and what is the deal?Heat pumps are quite costly - between £6,000 and £18,000, depending on the type and the size of your home.

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The £5,000 subsidy - available from next April - will bring the price closer to that of installing a new gas boiler.Currently, gas heating accounts for 21% of the UK's carbon emissions.No new gas boilers will be sold after 2035.How does a heat pump work?

A heat pump is an electrically powered device that absorbs heat from the air, ground or water around a building.For example, air-source pumps suck in outdoor air and pass it over tubes containing refrigerant fluids to produce heat.Will it be cheaper to run than a gas boiler? headtopics.com

Right now, given the soaring price of gas, it's possible, but it's not clear whether heat pumps will be cheaper to run in the long run.The government says it will look at measures to ensure heat pumps are no more expensive to run than a gas boiler.

What the COP26 climate summit could mean for us allCan I install a heat pump at my home?It's easiest to put them in new builds, but older homes can also be fitted with heat pumps.Most domestic heat pumps will extract heat from the air.A box of about one metre by one metre needs to be outside (close to or attached to the property) to draw in air.

It should be at least one metre from your neighbour's property so they will not be able to hear it, although it shouldn't be much louder than your fridge.You also need space inside for a heat pump unit and hot water cylinder. The unit will be about the size of a gas boiler - while the cylinder depends on the size of the home.

A ground source heat pump needs much more space outside: either a bore hole as much as 100m deep; or a horizontal system dug into the ground over a large area.What are the drawbacks?Installation can be difficult and expensive - you may need bigger radiators or to dig into floors. headtopics.com

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And the high levels of insulation needed aren't always possible in older, solid-walled homes common across the UK.Engineers who are trained in installing and servicing heat pumps are - for the moment, anyway - harder to find.And it is unclear whether people renting their homes will have a way to insist on them being warmed by heat pumps.

Is the government doing enough?The government has set itself a target of installing 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028.However, only £450m is being set aside for the new subsidies over three years. This will cover a maximum of 90,000 boilers.Environmental campaigners Greenpeace also say that gas boilers should be phased out much earlier than 2035.

Will there be alternatives to heat pumps?District heatingEnergy giant Vattenfall is planning a network of hot water pipes in south-east London that could benefit up to half a million homes, businesses, and public buildings.Heat will be produced from burning waste, which is controversial. In other places it may come from heat pumps sunk into rivers and the sea.

HydrogenBig gas companies are keen on the use of hydrogen, because it could continue to flow through their pipes to many homes.The government is pioneering trials of hydrogen heating, with a series of pilots before the end of the decade,But there are huge challenges to producing low carbon hydrogen and it's a technology in its infancy. headtopics.com

Read more: BBC News (UK) »

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I'm in social housing 20 years before my coal fire was replaced to a valiant boiler for 15 years serviced every 11 months it been a joy. As on South coast we never get winter fuel bonus. Only have cooker and boiler on gas No We had this on our house in the States. Loved it and was economical to run. 🤦‍♀️I just have to 🤔 how it works in Scotland - We don’t have any hot air to be converted in summer never mind the winter 🥶!🤷‍♀️🤣🤣

No Government is abusing the climate situation to do what it always does, Give handouts to people who don't need them (home owners £5K grant towards one) while it takes £20 a week away from some of the most vulnerable in society. Not levelling up, punching down. 5k is not enough! Might get you a heat pump and a few rads but the rest of the materials and Labour will be missing!

£5,000 grants unveiled to support home heat pump installationFunding comes as part of government’s heat and buildings strategy, but campaigners say plan lacks ambition My encounter with Geoffreypreud actually change my life and for that I'll keep upgrading people for his good job thanks once again Geoffrey Pathetic and totally useless. All good for the ToxicTories in the south with huge gardens who could afford the switch in the first place. What about grants to help people switch from gas to electric boilers! Will these grants only be available to those receiving x,y & z benefits? So if you’re not entitled to any benefits & only just managing to pay for everything, with nothing saved at the end of the month, will you not be eligible- as is usually the case?

Opinion: Boilers will be replaced by heat pumps, but it’s a marathon, not a sprintThe entire developed world is making the switch but there is a huge argument for doing so in a measured, step-by-step manner, writes Hamish McRae

What are heat pumps and why is the UK government pushing them?Their use could help the UK meet its climate targets, but there are concerns over high installation and running costs These are the main heat source along with fires here in New Zealand, we have the big floor standing type and it only works to take the chill off the main living area in the morning or on a cool summer evening, won't heat a whole house. You people. Any green initiative in your eyes is either not enough, potentially corrupt, misguided, too difficult, too exclusive... I don't see any solutions here. What do you actually want? 'could'?

Who is eligible for the £5,000 heat pump grant and how can you apply?The funding will be available to 90,000 households

Heat pump grants: Boiler upgrade scheme will see households able to apply for £5,000 grant to replace gas boilers'We have to listen to the scientists' Boris Johnson says climate change poses 'a threat to our way of life that is ultimately far worse than COVID' and that 'we need urgent government action, but we must mobilise the markets' Read more: Further embracing capitalism will not solve the ClimateEmergency because capitalism is the main cause. A massive social and political transformation is needed to do that. He did that...but he took the ultimate decision to delay locking down... Lies lies lies.

Heat pump grants: Boiler upgrade scheme will see households able to apply for £5,000 grant to replace gas boilers'We have to listen to the scientists' Boris Johnson says climate change poses 'a threat to our way of life that is ultimately far worse than COVID' and that 'we need urgent government action, but we must mobilise the markets' Read more: Further embracing capitalism will not solve the ClimateEmergency because capitalism is the main cause. A massive social and political transformation is needed to do that. He did that...but he took the ultimate decision to delay locking down... Lies lies lies.