Here are some common questions and answers regarding Air Source Heat Pumps
Will I save money by fitting an Air Source Heat Pump?
From data provided by BRE testing (the UK’s leading centre for independent advice for the built environment) and from case study analysis running costs can be significantly reduced over conventional fossil fuel systems and direct electric systems. Savings are subject to how your overall system performs. Performance will be affected by the level of insulation and build type as well as the system design, including the appropriate selection of heating system components such as the hot water cylinder, thermal efficiency of radiators, pipework and underfloor systems and the external physical location of the Heat Pump(s).
Can I reduce my Carbon footprint by using Ecodan?
Carbon footprint is a measure of carbon emissions based on energy consumption per kWhr and fuel type used i.e. direct electric/oil/lpg/gas or electric heat pump. Depending on which fuel type you replace and the type and efficiency of the system being removed, a Heat Pump can save up to 50% of the average yearly CO2
What is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)?
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a UK Government Scheme set up to encourage uptake of renewable heat technologies such as heat pumps among homeowners, communities and business through the provision of financial incentives. The UK Government expects the RHI to make a significant contribution towards their 2020 ambition of achieving 12% of heating from renewable sources.
The Government’s calculator can be used to estimate how much RHI income your installation could generate.
What sort of properties are suitable for an air source heat pump?
Air source heat pumps are a suitable complete or partial solution for the majority of existing buildings and houses as well as new builds. Most properties that can achieve a reasonable level of thermal insulation could be suitable for an air source heat pump.
There may be instances where the fabric of the building can be improved to achieve the highest levels of efficiency from the heat pump. For example where the property can be updated with the basic thermal improvements i.e. cavity wall installation, loft insulation and double glazing this should be considered if not already installed.
The air source heat pump then needs to be able to meet the maximum heat demand of the property under its maximum (coldest) conditions. Accredited Installers for the domestic market and consultants for the commercial properties can all assist with heat loss calculations to ensure the heat pump matches the building load.
How much space do I need for an Air Source Heat Pump?
The Mitsubishi Air Source Heat Pump comes in a range of capacities from 4kW to 43kW and therefore has different requirements dependant on the units selected. An average domestic unit is approximately 950mm tall by 950mm wide and has a depth of 330mm. Sufficient ventilation space is required at the front of the unit (1m) and at the back of the unit (250mm).
Do Air Source Heat Pumps Make Noise?
Some heat pumps make more noise than others. Older technology such as those with fixed speed compressors are relatively noisy compared to the new generation of inverter driven heat pumps. Mitsubishi Ecodan is market leading, 45dBa for the 5kW model at 1 metre.
Do I need planning permission?
In England and Scotland air source heat pumps may be considered Permitted Development, in which case you will not need planning permission, but the criteria is complex so it is always a good idea to check with your local planning office. Air source heat pump installations in Wales and Northern Ireland require planning permission.
What capacity Heat Pumps can you provide, and what electrical power do I need?
Mitsubishi Ecodan can provide 4kW to 688kW of heating load which is either achieved from single units or multiple units banked together for larger applications. The units designed for the domestic market only require single phase power although a 3-phase system on the 14kW system is available. The larger systems primarily for the commercial market will require 3-phase power.
Will Heat Pumps work with my existing radiators?
New build properties will have the radiators correctly sized for most heat pumps. For retrofit applications in newer building and homes, existing radiators are likely to be of suitable size and performance to cope with the lower flow temperatures provided from an Air Source Heat Pump. In older buildings and homes with older radiators this may not be the case. In all installations Mitsubishi Electric would recommend checking design of all radiators.
How can I ensure my heat pump has been installed correctly?
The following items are crucial for a satisfactory installation and your Accredited Installer (such as Caplor Energy) should be aware of these:
- Unit Location
- Pipe work Insulation
- Anti Vibration Mounts
- Anti Vibration Connections (flexible hose, supplied loose)
- Consideration in retrofit situations
- Frost Protection of system
- Condensate removal
What are the maintenance processes and costs?
The packaged Mitsubishi Ecodan comes as a factory sealed unit (similar to the domestic fridge) and hence requires very little long term attention. We suggest that there is a yearly clean up of any build up of leaves or debris from behind the unit and that the coil is washed annually.
An annual service by a Heating Partner (such as Caplor Energy) is required every 12 months to ensure the unit is performing efficiently and to comply with Renewable Heat Incentive conditions.