There are becoming more options available as Gas prices soar and the Government stop new installations of Gas boilers. New homes will be banned from installing new gas and oil boilers by 2025 and the government wants to see no new gas and oil boilers sold after 2035. So what are the options and what are the costs involved. Philip and Paul find out.
There are just a few choices you can make. Air /Ground source, hydrogen and district heating. Of these only one is really available. Many people think solar panels making electricity - but these are not the best for heating. They can be used as a power source for Air source pumps and powering other capture devices. The most effective seem to be
Solar Thermal Two types traditional air or water filled tubes. New alternatives are not necessarily placed in the sun but capture heat from the air. Ground Source Dig a deep hole and this means as deep as possible - at least 6metres deep
A ground source heat pump is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink(in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems Ground source heat pumps harvest heat absorbed at the Earth's surface from solar energy. The temperature in the ground below 6 metres (20 ft) is roughly equal to the mean annual air temperature around 9°C -11°C in the UK depending on location. This is the minimum distance the pipes should really be buried. It is not using geothermal energy.
Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air. Even when it is cold outside there is usually enough heat in the air to heat the house. Heat pumps supply more energy than they consume, by extracting heat from their surroundings. This heat can then be used to heat the house and this is generally by warm air convectors as sold by many of the companies out there in the business. An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C. Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need to use electricity to run but the heat they extract from the air is constantly being renewed by the sun naturally. Therefore the electricity is being used to power the pump not create the heat. Therefore it seems that you can get more out of the system than you put in. This is because the sun is providing the rest of the energy.
These systems do not provide enough energy to heat the house as they often work at a much lower temperature than conventional boilers but they do provide lower background heat, and the only real way of using this is to have loads of insulation.