Heat pumps are connected to your existing central heating system and used to provide both central heating and hot water. They are able to extract the heat from either the ground, air or water. The system run on electricity but the price you pay in electricity vs conventional fossil fuels can be up to 50% less.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Heating from Thin Air
Air source heat pumps are reverse air conditioning units. They will take in outside air and through a process involving compression, extract heat to provide central heating and hot water.
Location - what looks like an air conditioning unit will sit on the outside of your property and a super insulated hot water cylinder will be placed on the inside.
Quiet - Air source heat pumps create a quiet wiring outside the property similar to an air conditioning unit.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
heat from the ground
Ground source heat pumps extract heat from below the ground and use a process of compression to produce heating and hot water. The heat is extracted via an array of underground pipes that sit around 1m below the ground.
Location - Pipes buried under the ground near to the property and a unit will go within the property.
Virtually Silent - With proper vibration proofing the unit within the property will operate virtually silently
Water Tank - Both air and ground source heat pumps will store hot water in a super insulated tank within the property.
Different to conventional boilers
Since heat pump work most efficiently when heating water to about 50 degrees (compared to a conventional boiler at 70), the way that you heat your house will be slightly different.
Central heating - You will need to keep your heating on for longer each day to achieve the same temperatures and some smaller radiators may need replacing with larger ones. In general customers prefer the more constant heat that a heat pump produces compared to a conventional boiler which is turned on in the morning and evening.
Hot water - A hot bath is about 40 degrees and so 50 degree water is more than capable of providing bathing water. You will need to have a larger tank since you will need to use more of the hot tap.