With Global warming accelerating, people are searching for new ways to heat their homes while using less energy.
Most people want to do the right thing and reduce their own carbon footprint.
One option that has been suggested to them is a heat pump. But do heat pumps really use less electricity?
In this article, we will explore the answer to that question.
Heat pumps are electrically powered devices that transfer heat from one place to another.
They work by using a small amount of electricity to move heat from the ground or air into your home.
This is why they are sometimes called “air-source” or “ground-source” heat pumps.
The average household in the United Kingdom consumes 3,100KWh of electricity each year, which is 3,100,000Wh.
The average yearly electrical consumption for a residential utility customer in the United States was 10,715 kilowatt-hours (kWh), or 893 kWh on a monthly basis.
A heat pump with a CoP of three would use 4,000 kWh of electricity annually to generate the same amount of heat as a standard boiler.
How Does An Air Source Heat Pump Work?
The air source heat pump runs on electricity and absorbs heat from the surroundings and transfers it to a fluid refrigerant at a low temperature.
The liquid is compressed by means of electricity. It then returns to its liquid form, releasing the energy that was trapped in it. Heat is then delivered to your radiators or underfloor heating systems.
Advantages and benefits of air source heat pumps
- Low Carbon Footprint.
- Save Money on Energy Bills.
- Eligible for the Green Homes Grant.
- Reduced Maintenance Costs.
- Can Be Used for Heating and Cooling.
- Can Be Used for Space Heating and Hot Water.
- High Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP).
- Easy Installation Process.
- Low Maintenance.
How much electricity does an air source heat pump use?
An air-source heat pump produces 3 kWh of heat for every 1 kWh of electricity consumed.
The typical yearly energy need for a home in the United Kingdom is 12,000 kWh. At £520 per year in heating expenses, you’ll pay £4,000 over its useful life.
In general, a heat pump’s power consumption is anywhere from 802 watts to 5,102 watts (that is between 0,802 kWh to 5.102 kWh per hour).
How Does A Ground Source Heat Pump Work?
The ground source heat pump extracts heat from the earth by utilizing liquid. The fluid is compressed and raised to a higher temperature using electricity.
Heat is transmitted to radiators or underfloor heating, with the remainder stored in a hot water cylinder. Showers, baths, and tap water can all be produced from the stored hot water.
Advantages and benefits of ground source heat pumps
- Low running costs.
- Low carbon heating.
- Provides cooling and heating.
- Eligible for grants.
- Constant and inexhaustible.
- Virtually silent.
- Increases property value.
How much electricity does a ground source heat pump use?
Ground source heat pumps can generate 3 to 4 kW of heat for each 1 kW of power they consume.
The Seasonal Coefficient of Performance (SCOP) for ground source heat pumps is usually between 3 and 4.
Ground source and air source heat pumps can save you a lot of money over traditional heating systems since they have such low operating expenses.
A ground source heat pump, for example, may reduce energy bills by at least 26% when compared to a new gas boiler.
So, are Electric Heat Pumps Expensive to Run?
No, not at all. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that it costs around 4.65p per kWh to heat your home with gas, 4.82p per kWh for oil, 7.70p per kWh for LPG, and about 20.06p per kWh with standard electric heaters. However, compare this to a typical air source heat pump that may cost you in the region of 5.73p per kWh to run.
So the differences aren’t really that different, are they?
In fact, you may even find that an air source heat pump is cheaper to run than your existing gas or oil boiler based on how often you need to change a gas boiler’s filter.
How To Lower Your Electric Bill With A Heat Pump?
The efficiency of a heat pump is measured using CoP. The CoP is the ratio of the amount of heat output from the heat pump to the amount of electricity used to run it.
A higher CoP means that the heat pump is more efficient and will use less electricity.
There are four main ways to increase the efficiency of your heat pump and lower your electric bill:
1. Use a Programmable Thermostat:
A programmable thermostat will help you better control the temperature in your home, which can lead to increased efficiency and lower energy bills.
The heat pump requires more power when it is turned on and off frequently in response to changes in temperature.
When the same temperature is maintained, it uses less energy.
Set the thermostat to a particular temperature and don’t change it unless absolutely necessary.
It’s worth mentioning that if you decrease your thermostat by one degree, you may save 2.5 percent on your energy bills, so for example, you might set it to 20°C from 21°C instead of 21°C from 22°C.
2. Install a High-Efficiency Heat Pump:
Installing a high-efficiency heat pump will also help increase efficiency and lower your electric bill.
3. Maintain Your Heat Pump Regularly:
Regular maintenance on your heat pump will help ensure that it is running at its peak efficiency and will help prolong the life of the heat pump.
4. Check the water heating temperature:
If this is set too high, your heat pump will have to work harder to raise the water to the proper temperature.
You can reduce the water’s temperature to 40°C or less. This would still be adequate for heating your home in an effective manner.
5. Educate Your Family about conserving Energy:
If everyone in your family knows about conserving energy, they can help by turning off lights when they leave a room and being mindful of the temperature settings on the thermostat.
6. Consider Adding Insulation to Your Home:
Adding insulation to your home is one of the best ways to increase efficiency and lower your electric bill.
By keeping the heat in during the winter and cool air in during the summer, you can reduce the amount of work your heat pump has to do, which will lead to lower energy bills.
As you can see heat pumps do not use a lot of electricity and are cheaper to run than traditional heating systems in the long run.
This is down to the fact that you won’t need to replace your heat pump anywhere near the number of times you would replace a gas boiler and the maintenance is much lower.
As the world transitions to a more sustainable energy future, heat pumps will play a big role in helping to lower our carbon footprint.
If you are thinking of switching to a heat pump, make sure to do your research and consult with a professional to find the best option for your home.