Energy available from the air or from the ground around you can be utilised by a heat pump system to provide all your heating and domestic hot water requirements.
If land is available next to your property you could go for loops of pipe buried one metre down, or placed at the bottom of a lake if one is available. If space is limited, the pipes can be installed vertically in bore holes or you could opt for an air source system.
Heat pumps can be connected to under-floor heating pipework or appropriately sized radiators. Heat is supplied in a gradual and continuous manner, taking into account the current outdoor temperature to provide just the right amount of heat to keep your house at a comfortable temperature throughout the year.
At the heart of any heat pump is a refrigeration system which picks up heat energy from the environment at one temperature and delivers it at a higher temperature to your central heating and domestic hot water cylinder.
Sue and Joe Watmore have a Danfoss Air Source Heat Pump system, installed by Coefficient Renewable Heating Solutions. Their home, dating largely from the 1800s, is a former pub which sits in the centre of a small peak district village.
Sue explained that getting the heat pumps was really exciting – "such a relief to be free of oil which was costing us a fortune and ordering it was something else to have to think about. Now our whole house is lovely and warm and we have loads of hot water. We use a small, reasonably priced green electricity provider and are very happy to do our bit and have a small carbon footprint."Note that from this year, the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme for domestic properties will provide a quarterly payout, for seven years, which will offset the investment in this type of heating technology.