With the changes made to government legislation here in the UK in 2006, you can now tap into a ‘free’ source of heat for your home. All you need is an air source heat pump (ASHP) and 75% of all your heating requirements can be obtained from a renewable source.
What is this free source of heat energy?
The latent heat energy which is stored in the ambient environment can be converted at low cost to heat interior spaces, such as offices, homes and industrial spaces. Any environment which is above absolute zero contains latent heat.
ASHPs work pretty much like a fridge; one fan and a heat exchanger is fitted on the outside of a building, its partner fitted inside the property. Working like a fridge the latent heat is extracted from the outside ambient environment by way of refrigerant gas circulating through a closed system.
As air is forced over the heat exchanger via the fan unit the refrigerant gas heats up and is pumped into the interior unit via a connecting set of pipes. The interior unit, working in tandem but in the opposite way extracts the heat from the refrigerant gases. It is that heat which is used to heat the interior of the property.
The only cost you will incur is when you buy the ASHP units and the installation costs charged by a trained fitter. However, costs of heat pumps are at their lowest ever; air source heat pumps in Norfolk are no different to the cost of an ASHP in London, Glasgow or Devon to mention a few examples.
The legislation change in 2006 has encouraged manufacturers to increase their production of units which are now available for domestic premises. As prices have rapidly fallen, more and more homeowners and owners of businesses are realising the true potential of heating with ASHP systems.
ASHPs are 3 – 5 times more efficient than traditional heating boilers which are powered by gas, oil or solid fuel. ASHPs deliver four times more heating energy than energy consumed in operation (electricity).
Dependency on utility companies (gas suppliers, etc.) is negated. One energy source (electricity) is all that is needed to power and heat a home, office or industrial space.
Of course, the more efficient the insulating properties of a building the better is the return on investment. Insulating doors, windows, walls and loft space is merely an extension of a clean and/or renewable energy policy.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net / criminalatt