Installing a typical system costs around £9,000 to £14,000. Running costs will vary depending on a number of factors including the size of your home, how well insulated it is and what room temperatures you are aiming to achieve.
How much you can save will depend on what system you use now, as well as what you are replacing it with. Your savings will be affected by:
• Your heat distribution system
If you have the opportunity, underfloor heating can be more efficient than radiators because the water doesn’t need to be so hot. If underfloor heating isn’t possible, use the largest radiators you can. • Your fuel costs
You will still have to pay fuel bills with a heat pump because it is powered by electricity, but you will save on the fuel you are replacing. • Your old heating system
If your old heating system was inefficient, you are more likely to see lower running costs with a new heat pump. • Water heating
Heat pumps can provide hot water via a High gain hot water cylinder using a larger coil, this is more efficient than a standard hot water cylinder. • Using controls
Learn how to control the system so you can get the most out of it. You will probably need to set the heating to come on for longer hours, but you might be able to set the thermostat lower and still feel comfortable. Your installer will explain to you how to control the system so you can use it most effectively.
From 1 December 2011 the installation of an air source heat pump on domestic premises is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, provided ALL the limits and conditions listed below are met. These permitted development rights apply to the installation, alteration or replacement of an air source heat pump on a house or block of flats, or within the curtilage (garden or grounds) of a house or block of flats, including on a building within that curtilage. A block of flats must consist wholly of flats (e.g. should not also contain commercial premises).
Limits to be met:
• Development is permitted only if the air source heat pump installation complies with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme Planning Standards (MCS 020) or equivalent standards. Read more about the scheme. • The volume of the air source heat pump’s outdoor compressor unit (including housing) must not exceed 0.6 cubic metres. • Only the first installation of an air source heat pump would be permitted development, and only if there is no existing wind turbine on a building or within the curtilage of that property. Additional wind turbines or air source heat pumps at the same property requires an application for planning permission. • All parts of the air source heat pump must be at least one metre from the property boundary. • Installations on pitched roofs are not permitted development. If installed on a flat roof all parts of the air source heat pump must be at least one metre from the external edge of that roof. • Permitted development rights do not apply for installations within the curtilage of a Listed Building or within a site designated as a Scheduled Monument. • On land within a Conservation Area or World Heritage Site the air source heat pump must not be installed on a wall or roof which fronts a highway or be nearer to any highway which bounds the property than any part of the building. • On land that is not within a Conservation Area or World Heritage Site, the air source heat pump must not be installed on a wall if that wall fronts a highway and any part of that wall is above the level of the ground storey.
In addition, the following conditions must also be met. The air source heat pump must be:
• used solely for heating purposes. • removed as soon as reasonably practicable when it is no longer needed for microgeneration. • sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building and its effect on the amenity of the area.
You may wish to discuss with the Local Planning Authority for your area whether all of these limits and conditions will be met. (https://www.planningportal.co.uk/ )
Heat pump systems typically come with a warranty of two to three years. Workmanship warranties for heat pumps can last for up to 10 years, for example through CPA (Consumer Protection association) Many manufacturers also offer options for warranty extensions for a fee. You can expect them to operate for 20 years or more, however they do require regular scheduled maintenance. A yearly check by you and a more detailed check by a professional installer every three to five years should be sufficient. The installer should leave written details of any maintenance checks you should undertake to ensure everything is working properly. Consult with your supplier for exact maintenance requirements before you commit to installing a heat pump. You are likely to be advised to carry out a yearly check that the air inlet grill and evaporator are free of leaves or other debris. Any plants that have started to grow near the heat pump unit will also need to be removed. You may also be advised by your installer to check the central heating pressure gauge in your house from time to time. If so, you should be shown how to do this. To prevent the heat pump from freezing in cold winter weather anti-freeze is used. Levels of anti-freeze and its concentration is one of the things that a professional installer will check when he comes to service your heat pump. If your heat pump has external refrigeration pipes, (very unusual for a domestic system) these will need to be serviced annually by a refrigeration engineer.
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