The Reality of Heating Our Homes in the Future...

On the heating front, things have never been more interesting in the UK heating industry. Renewables are becoming more important by the day. The decision to ban the use of fossil fuel heating systems in new build homes from 2025 was the first serious change that made us all sit up and take notice.

The possibility of fossil fuelled heating being banned even in replacement heating systems from 2035 seems likely if not earlier.

It seems hugely sensible that in the circumstances we move towards a proven technology that uses renewable energy and which is already being installed extensively in mainland Europe, Scandinavia and in Canada. Heat pumps use latent heat from the air or the ground or from water – available in huge quantities and won’t run out.

But at least we have workable and practical products to install. Air to Water Heat Pump (AWHP) systems – monoblocs or splits - present a variety of proven energy-saving options for a home’s heating and hot water system.

The terms ‘Split’ and ‘Monobloc’ refer to how the system is required to be set up in a home. A Monobloc is a bit like a combi boiler and is literally a ‘single block’ system, where the heat pump has all of its components - apart from the hot water cylinder which is installed inside the property - located inside a heat pump unit situated outside the home.

A Split heat pump unit has both an outside unit which incorporates the heat exchanger and refrigerant and an internal unit which sits inside the property, usually in a utility or boiler room.

Most homes in the UK are ideal for a Monobloc air to water heat pump. A Split system is an option generally for more complex installations and it can be installed up to 30m away from the home, which gives far more installation flexibility.

These ASHP systems don’t produce water as hot as a traditional boiler will, as they generally only reach around 50°C at a maximum. But unlike the hot water produced by boilers they don’t need anything like as much cold water added to cool down the hot water for safe bathing and showering. And of course, many washing machines and dishwashers now operate effectively using colder water supplies. Air source heat pumps are perfectly suited to new build and existing homes that are well insulated. To be at their most effective, they operate well with either larger capacity – possibly K3 design - radiators or a higher number of radiators and or underfloor heating.

A COP of 3 can be relatively easily achieved by an AWHP and 4 or above is possible for very well-designed systems. It’s possible to achieve a COP of around 4.5 from an LG Therma V system. We know that when heat pumps under-perform below these levels, it is often the result of poor design, installation and maintenance.

Heat pump technology is tried and tested and proven technology. Combined with other renewable technologies, such as solar, the genuine opportunities to switch from fossil fuelled homes to renewable driven systems is becoming a reality.

For more information on the LG Therma V range head for the website below.

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