Heat-pumps are electrical devices which convert energy from the air outside of your home into useful heat, in the same way a fridge extracts heat from its inside. In well insulated houses they are very economical to run. They are an extremely efficient alternative to oil, gas, solid fuel and electric home heating systems.
Different types of heat pump systems draw heat from different sources: air, water or the ground. Heat generated is released via radiators, underfloor heating or warm air. All heat pump systems, excluding those providing warm air to the home, can supply all of the hot water needed for baths, showers and sinks.
These are the 3 most common type of heat pumps
The most common heat pump systems extract heat from external air, typically using an outside unit. These heat pump systems do not require underground piping to source heat and so can be cheaper and easier to install compared to ground source heat pump systems. The most popular heat pumps are air to water heat pumps.
A ground-source heat pump system uses the earth as a source of renewable heat. Heat is removed from the ground through collector pipework and then transferred to the heat pump. The ground collector can be laid out horizontally at a shallow depth below the surface or else vertically to a greater depth.
Water source heat pump systems use open water, such as lakes, rivers or streams, as a heat source. Heat is removed from the water through collector pipework and then transferred to the heat pump
Learn more about Heat pumps and the available grants to give you a greater understanding of the benefits before making an investment.
Can heat pumps provide Hot Water for showers and baths?
A heat pump can do everything a traditional fossil fuel boiler can, including provide domestic hot water. Heat pumps usually use an unvented hot water cylinder to store water at between 50⁰C and 65⁰C, depending on the heat pump model. All the hot water you need is provided by the heat pump's compressor process – and although there is an immersion fitted in many models (or in our cylinders) for back-up and functions such as temporary extra hot water for additional guests or legionella protection, the compressor is normally all you use.
Do I need to service my heat pump and how much maintenance is required?
Heat Pumps should last for 15 - 20 years and generally come with a 3 - 7 year warranty. A heat pump system will benefit from annual servicing to ensure that all the mechanical connections are sound, settings are at their optimum and that the heat collector is working properly. Regular professional servicing may also be required to validate extended warranties, this varies from manufacture to manufacture.
How much noise does the heat pump make?
The outdoor part of the air source heat pump system does have a fan which draws the air across the internal components and this will make a whirring noise during operation. The amount of noise depends on the quality of the product. Modern air source heat pumps are extremely quiet and should not provide any disturbance to you or your neighbours if installed properly. The internal unit will have a noise level similar to a domestic fridge or dishwasher and certainly wouldn’t be noticed in a utility room. There is no need for a separate shed or garage.
Can air source heat pumps still deliver heat to your home in winter?
It might seem impossible, but most air source heat pumps can still deliver heat to your home when outdoor temperatures are as cold as -20⁰C.
Can I link solar panels to the heat pump?
Solar PV and Solar Thermal Systems can be integrated to work with your heat pump system depending on the make and model of your heat pump.
Can a heat pump cool my home in the summer?
Certain types of heat pumps offer the ability to provide cooling when needed.
Are Heat pumps environmentally friendly?
Yes, heat pumps are officially classed as providers of renewable energy by the EU and the International Energy Agency. Using a heat pump will therefore be an easy way usually of complying with your needs for renewables in a new build for Part L regulations provided that the house is well insulated, and the system works well.
SEAI Heat Pump grant
SEAI currently offer a grant to the value of €6,500 for the installation of air to water heat pumps to all homeowners whose homes were built and occupied before 2011. This is defined as the date your electricity meter was installed. To qualify for a heat pump system grant the dwelling must have low heat loss to ensure the heat pump system performs well and electricity bills are not too high.
How to apply for a home charger grant
The application for the grant can be made here
Who can apply?
All homeowners, including landlords, whose homes were built and occupied before the above date can apply. This is defined as the date your electricity meter was installed. Note that this is different to other grant measures where the home must be built before 2006.