Updated: Nov 27, 2022
A small group of enquirers met at our Parish Hall on a wet Saturday afternoon to listen to local heating engineer, Tom Cross, from Steve Cross Plumbing & Heating Ltd, Kidlington, tell us about the pros and cons of air and ground heat source pumps and the insulation required to install them in our homes.
Tom urged everyone to thoroughly investigate the suitability of our homes to have these green heating systems installed. Don’t assume it’s impossible based on what you’ve heard. There is usually a way round any obstacles. He also reminded us that there is a government grant to help with buying one of these systems: £5,000 for air source and £6,000 for ground source. Other grants are also available; go to: Climate Action for West Oxfordshire, where you will find grants available locally.
An air source heat pump can be installed into a conventional hot water radiator system. The boiler is removed, and a heat pump is attached to the outside wall of your house. We learnt that heat pumps give back an average of 3kwh for every 1kwh put in and are designed to heat consistently, rather than a conventional system that is set to give spikes of heating at particular times of the day. Heat pumps aim for a lower water temperature for central heating radiators than conventional systems, which does mean that to get the best room temperature, larger radiators may be required. Also, because they heat gradually rather than on demand, a hot water cylinder is required, either adjacent to the outside wall where the pumps are, or horizontal in a loft space. To make heat source pumps viable, loft insulation needs to be as thick as possible, but this is the cheapest kind of insulation, and is easily done. Double glazing, cavity wall and under floor insulation are also worth considering to stop your home losing the heat it needs.
Heating engineers will come and assess your home and make calculations for each room as to how large a radiator is required; how much additional insulation needs to be put in and what level of heat loss your home currently has so that the installation can compensate. They also advise where to locate the fans and if the hot water tank is suitable.
Several residents from Enstone Parish have had Heat Pumps installed and were on hand to speak about their very positive experiences. Want to know about these pumps? Contact email@example.com and we will put you in touch with one of those who has been using these systems for further information.
And finally! Cop27 may seem remote to many of us but local actions such as this event are our response to climate change and the outcomes of the recent international conference, thus we connect with the bigger picture that the whole world is engaged in.