Utilise heat from the ground and air
Our advanced heat pump technology utilises the latent heat in outdoor air and the ground to provide cost effective and environmentally responsible heating. These pumps can be used as standalone units or they can be incorporated into your existing heating system as an additional source of heat.
Operating a heat pump saves valuable resources
In contrast to traditional heating appliances, heat pump systems harness renewable energy from the ground, sun, groundwater or air. They therefore reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, conserving valuable resources in the process. They also lower CO2 emissions that harm the environment.
Viessmann heat pumps hold a further advantage. Many of our solutions feature active and natural cooling functions.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps serve as a great alternative to conventional heating systems, as they enable you to generate your own heat and could help you to reduce both your energy bills and your carbon footprint. But what exactly are they and why should you choose one? Scroll down to read more and shop for Viessmann’s air source heat pumps.
What is an air source heat pump system?
An air source heat pump can be a low-carbon form of central heating that moves heat from a natural outdoor element, such as the air, into your home when used in conjunction with renewable energy sources. They can take heat from outside in temperatures as little as -15 degrees and convert it into usable heat, with the help of electricity, to provide you with underfloor heating or hot radiators.
These appliances work by generating heat from the environment using a similar principle to a refrigerator, only in reverse. A fridge works by extracting the warm air out of the appliance, therefore reducing the temperature. An air source heat pump instead uses the heat from outside and brings it into your home.
For this process to occur, a fan is required to draw air in and transfer it to a heat exchanger (or evaporator). Here, the refrigerant that contains the newly acquired heat is circulated and compressed using electricity to generate even more heat. This can then be transferred to the heating and hot water systems in your home.
Air source heat pumps have an outdoor unit that fits to the side of your home, and the size you require will depend on the size of your home, the number of people living there and your heating and hot water demands.
You can find out more about these appliances in our guide to understanding air source heat pumps.
Why choose an air source heat pump?
So, why is an air source heat pump right for you?
Thanks to the highly efficient design and the system’s efficiency, these solutions can generate heat even when the temperature outside is as low as -15°C. This dispels the myth that heat pumps are only effective in warmer climates and they can continue to gather warmth even when temperatures drop at night.
As well as providing heat during the colder months, air source heat pumps can serve as cooling systems during the summer, too. With an air source heat pump cooling system, you’ll benefit from a versatile solution that can help you to enjoy comfort at home throughout the year, and not just in winter.In addition, air source heat pumps can be easier to install than ground source heat pumps, particularly for retrofit, so if you’re concerned about messy installation work, you needn’t be. They also eliminate the need for fuel deliveries and storage, require minimal maintenance and have a long lifespan.
A summary of the advantages of an air source heat pump
- Free heat source available at any time of day
- Relatively low investment costs
- Expandable thanks to cascade function
- No official approval required
- Suitable for both new builds and modernisation projects
- Retrofitting possible
- Environmentally friendly
Ground Source Heat Pumps (Geothermal) Heating & Cooling
Using heat from the ground
Looking for alternatives to a gas boiler? You’ve likely heard the term ‘heat pumps’ used when researching alternative heating appliances, and you may be intrigued as to what a heat pump is and whether you should get one for your home. Well, Viessmann’s ground source heat pumps are a great way to heat your home in a more sustainable, green way.
What is a ground source heat pump?
A ground source heat pump is a more renewable, eco-friendly way of heating your home. Using geothermal collectors or geothermal probes and an electricity supply, they gather natural heat from the ground surrounding your property and use it to provide your home with heating and hot water. As ground temperatures stay fairly constant throughout summer and winter, they can work year round and even provide cooling in summer.
For most ground source heat pumps, there are two ways the natural heat can be accessed – either from open loop or closed loop circuits.
Within the closed loop category, there are two further variants – horizontal ground loops and vertical boreholes. All of Viessmann’s ground source heat pumps can be used in both open and closed circuits .
Ground source heating and cooling systems are becoming increasingly popular as people look for more environmentally friendly energy solutions for their homes. By harnessing natural, renewable resources, ground source heat pumps and cooling systems can help you cut your carbon footprint and bring your energy bills down. You could further reduce your home’s emissions by choosing a setup that allows the pump to be powered by other renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic solar panels.
What are the benefits of ground source heat pumps?
So many people are choosing to switch to heat pumps because of the benefits of this type of system. You can find some of these listed below.
- Environmentally friendly
Heat pumps can harness the natural heat in the ground to heat your home, using electricity to help them along a bit. This makes them more environmentally friendly than their gas counterparts, but it should still be noted that electricity can be created through burning fossil fuels. You can make your heat pump even more friendly to the environment by using it alongside solar panels or energy generated from other renewable sources.
- Energy efficient
Heat pumps are more efficient than gas boilers. In fact, it’s thought that whereas gas boilers are around 95 per cent efficient, heat pumps can be over 400 per cent efficient because for every unit of electricity used, around four units of heat are generated and used.
- Provide cooling as well as heating
Unlike a boiler, which only has the ability to heat your home, a heat pump system can cool your home, too, by working in reverse.
- Eligible for grants
Homes that have a heat pump installed are eligible for the boiler upgrade scheme (BUS).
- Reduce energy bills
While electricity does cost more than gas, we’ve previously calculated that a heat pump could actually cost less to run each year than a gas boiler, so you can reduce your annual heating bill.
- Come with a warranty
All Viessmann’s heat pumps come with a standard warranty of two years, however this can also be extended if installed by a registered Viessmann installer.
- Work even at low temperatures
If you’re concerned that a heat pump can’t generate enough heat when outside temperatures dip below zero, don’t worry. They can gather heat even when it’s as low as -20 ℃ outside, so more than adequate for the UK climate.
- Low maintenance
Heat pumps are easy to run, don’t rely on any fuel deliveries and just require an annual service to ensure they’re working safely and efficiently.
Given these advantages, it’s not hard to understand why this technology continues to grow in popularity across the UK.
How does a ground source heat pump work?
As mentioned, a ground source heat pump gathers heat from outside and brings it into your home. It does this via pipes that are filled with a heat transfer fluid and laid in the ground. This heat is then transferred to a refrigerant which boils at a low temperature evaporating to a gas.
The gas can now be compressed to increase its temperature even more, raising it to a level where it can be used to heat your home. This is done in the condenser heat exchanger. As the gas heats the water, it cools down, causing it to condense back into a liquid refrigerant. The whole process then starts again.
Viessmann’s heat pumps and geothermal cooling systems use the most advanced technology to make the appliance work as quietly as possible, while also optimising its lifespan.
A ground source heat pump takes its heat from the ground. Pipes are laid under the ground or via a borehole surrounding your home and a solution of water and antifreeze flows through them. It is this solution that transfers the heat from the ground and begins the process above.
If you have a substantial amount of water around your property, such as a large pond or lake, you may be able to use a water source heat pump to supply your home with hot water. Just like in an air source system, pipes containing the antifreeze solution can be laid directly in the water source. However, it’s important that the volume of water is large enough. As the solution in the pipes absorbs heat from its environment, the water temperature can drop, causing it to freeze. This shouldn’t happen if the volume of water is big enough for the size of your home.
Even if you live in a cold climate, heat pumps can be used when the ground or air is as
low as -15 °C.
How are heat pumps installed?
Before you undertake a heat pump installation, a suitably qualified engineer will come out to the property to check that the site and property is satisfactory. To qualify for government RHI funding in the UK you will need an MCS report (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) They may need to assess the amount of insulation you have, as this could impact the size of your heat pump. To do this, they may require access inside your house and the loft. If you’re having a water source heat pump installed, they will want to check the water on your land too.
An air source heat pump is relatively easy to install, as long as there’s a suitable place to put the outdoor unit. An outdoor unit will be installed and cables and heating pipes will be put through the wall to connect it to the heating system.
A ground source heat pump is usually more expensive to install because of the additional labour. The ground will need to be dug or drilled so that the pipes or bore holes can be inserted. You will need to ensure that you have good access for diggers and other large pieces of equipment, as well as the right amount of space to lay the pipes – the bigger the home, the more pipework will need to be laid. The job would need to be planned, but once the pipes are laid, they can stay there for a long time without needing to be accessed.
Are heat pumps worth the cost?
As the UK works towards reducing its carbon footprint and increasing its use of renewable energy, more people are looking to invest in a heat pump. Things to consider when purchasing are :
- The installation cost
- Electricity usage
Both of these things should be looked at realistically so that you can work out the annual cost compared to that of a gas boiler.
It’s worth noting that the installation of the heat pump only needs to be done once – when the pipework is in place, it’s only the heat pump units that need to be replaced in the future. This means that a replacement heat pump could cost considerably less.
Some people may think that heat pumps use a lot of electricity too, however, bear in mind your gas bill would drastically reduce and it is more important to think about total energy usage and costs.
Do you really save money with a heat pump?
We have previously calculated that the average heat pump will use around 4,000 kWh of electricity per year. At a cost of around 14 pence per kWh, your heat pump can run for £560 per year (based on COP of 4) which is less than a gas boiler. Together with the government grant scheme this can make the cost of heat pump ownership cheaper than that of a standard gas boiler. Unlike a boiler, a heat pump can run on renewable energy, such as solar energy provided by solar panels. This means that you could greatly reduce your electricity consumption from the National Grid – as you would be generating some of your own power on site.
You can also claim money back from the government using their Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. If your installation qualifies for the scheme, you could receive yearly payments of up to £1,000 for seven years. This additional payment could contribute towards the installation costs of your heat pump system. To qualify for RHI both your heat pump and installer must be MCS approved.