Installing a heat pump is a long-term investment, so it is important to understand the basics. The following will guide you through the three areas you need to consider when making your decision. With the right heat pump for your needs, you can look forward to many years of economical and sustainable heat and maximum indoor comfort.
As a buyer, you need to know how efficient a heat pump is. Most manufacturers present this information in terms of COP (Coefficient of Performance). This assesses the heat pump’s ability to supply heat, relative to the amount of electricity required to extract it.
However, measuring COP without calculating the energy consumption of all the components in the system (e.g. circulation pumps), doesn’t tell the whole story. A far more accurate measure of a heat pump’s performance is its annual efficiency. This incorporates heat demand during the warmest and coldest periods of the year, as well as hot water production. It also takes account of ambient internal temperature. Annual efficiency is unique to each heating system’s specific conditions and the preferred comfort level of the people who use the building.
Around 20% of the energy provided by a heat pump is used to produce hot water. The availability of hot water must be sufficient to meet the needs of the whole household, so you need to choose a sufficiently powerful heat pump.
Today, hot water production represents a growing share of a home’s energy needs. That is why it is important to maximise the annual efficiency of producing hot water. The hot water tank needs to refill quickly to ensure a consistent supply and to meet the needs of the entire household.
Because your heat pump will form part of your entire heating system, you need an installer who can take responsibility for the whole process. This includes choosing the appropriate resource, installing the heat pump and heat distribution system. For the best results, your system needs to be correctly designed, including choosing the appropriate type and size of heat pump. Accurate ’dimensioning’ will ensure that you always have plenty of heat and hot water. All heat pump systems should be designed, installed and commissioned by manufacturer approved, MCS accredited companies.