Advantages They were local to me, very knowledgeable and helpful.
Having worked in the building industry for most of my life I do like to keep up with modern developments. As energy costs rise I think it is important to develop more efficient systems and some time ago I started looking at the options that might be available when the time came to replace my old oil fired heating system. I live in an area with no gas supply and I had an oil boiler situated on an outside wall but over the years the costs of heating oil have risen very steeply so I really wanted to use something else if possible. LPG was an option but like oil prices the costs of LPG have risen so I discounted that which really only left me with a choice between solid fuel (wood or coal) or electricity.I am aware that there have been major advances in heating design in recent years and I got chatting to a design engineer I know about the options. He spoke very positively about heat pumps and how they were being used more often these days in domestic dwellings. I had heard of ground source heat pumps before but wasn't aware of the developments in Air Source Heat Pumps until he started telling me all about them and the advantages of them.
I resolved to find out more and did a considerable amount of research on the internet about how they work and the comparative costs against other fuel types and began to believe that they represented a realistic alternative for me. Basically an air source heat pump is like a large air conditioning unit in reverse. It draws in air and extracts the heat from it which it uses to provide heat for the home. It appears that because the refrigerant used within the units has a very low boiling point that Air Source Heat Pumps can work effectively in temperatures down to -15 degrees C so a British Winter shouldn't present an obstacle. Air source heat pumps are also much more efficient than other types of heating as for each kilowatt of energy used you get 3 to 4 kilowatts of heat whereas for most other types of heating you just get 1 kilowatt back!Not long after I had done the research I met an ex colleague in the supermarket and she asked me if I knew anything about Air Source Heat Pumps as she and her husband were looking for a new heating system to replace their storage heaters. I was able to relate what I knew and she told me that her Local Authority were installing Air Source heat Pumps in their Council Houses in her village. Subsequently she got a price from the same contractor the Council were using and had her heating renewed.
Needless to say I was interested to find out how things worked out so last Winter, when we had a temperature locally of -11 degrees C overnight I called round to see the results. Her home was lovely and warm - much warmer than mine - and she and her husband were delighted. I saw her again in the Spring and she reported that the running costs were considerably lower that her storage heaters had been and the comfort levels were very satisfactory. I was hooked and decided to get some quotes to replace my system.
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