Greener and Cheaper Ways to Heat your Home

Why Look at Alternatives to Gas Boilers?

Heating our properties using gas central heating can be quite expensive. The Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that on average, 60% of electricity costs are expended on space heating and another 15% on hot water. With such a large amount of money needed to fuel home heating systems, it is important to reduce monthly costs by seeking the best available solution to gas heating systems.

Another costly activity is the repair or installation of a gas boiler. However, considering the unpredictable nature of fuel prices and the current drive for eco-sustainable living, it’s a pretty good decision to look at the alternatives to gas boilers. Not only can you reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll also be future-proofing and increasing the value of your property.

If you are interested in researching alternatives to gas boilers, so you can still keep your home warm while spending less on electricity, please contact The ACE Heat Pumps UK experts to guide you in the right direction. Call 01273 257407 to speak to someone today.

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Why Heat Pumps Should Replace Gas Boilers in Commercial Buildings

A heat pump uses a small amount of electricity to capture and transfer natural heat from one place to another. It does so by using the same heat transfer method as a refrigerator, only in reverse. In addition, the reversible heat pumps can provide winter heating and summer cooling.

Many people assume that heat pumps are only meant for residential use. However, there are also many industrial situations where heat pumps are an inexpensive, efficient option. Heat pumps are especially useful as heating and cooling can be provided by one heat pump, thereby providing a simplified way of enhancing the building’s interior environment. More importantly, at the point of use, they emit no carbon, greatly enhancing the overall air quality.

In commercial settings, the primary advantage of heat pumps is the low running cost, particularly when compared to standard heating methods. In fact, using heat pumps to replace gas boilers in commercial buildings may have major longer-term environmental and economic advantages, as recent estimates suggest that energy costs will be curbed by 25% by converting to heat pumps in commercial buildings.

Fuel is by far the most critical aspect of the overall cost of constructing and operating a heating system, and even without government measures to promote low-carbon heat deployment, heat pumps are around 25% cheaper to construct and maintain than traditional building heating and cooling systems, making it an attractive investment for companies looking to cut costs without reducing efficiency.

If you feel that investing in a heat pump for your commercial operations is the way forward in your cost cutting measures, it is vital you get expert advice before jumping in. Call The ACE Heat Pumps UK on 01273 257407 to speak to a specialised expert today.

Can I get a Grant to Replace my Boiler?

Although there are currently no specific grants for heat pumps available in the UK to fund the installation of a heat pump, homeowners and companies have various other aids, programmes and policy incentives to help them move from boiler to renewables. These programmes apply to green heating technologies such as heat pumps, solar thermal panels, hybrid systems, and biomass boilers. These grants will help you offset the expenses and offer other potential financial benefits of installing a heat pump at your house.

For example, in 2014, the Government set up the RHI or Renewable Heat initiative as part of its efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For anyone who generates their own renewable heat, it is essentially a reward scheme, encouraging homeowners to generate their own clean energy.

For an average-sized detached house with four bedrooms, annual RHI payments would amount to between £1,341 and £1,586 according to The Energy Saving Trust. That would accumulate up to between £9,387 and £11,102 over the course of seven years.

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How Much Could I Save if I Replace my Boiler?

If you use a gas boiler for heating, you’ll spend an average of 55% of your energy bill providing your home with heating and hot water. With the average fuel bill coming in at more than £1,340 a year, that’s a big chunk of money spent on keeping your home warm. Also, if your boiler gets a bit old, it’s probably not as efficient as you’d like it to be.

Technology has changed a lot in the last few years and you could save a lot of money by replacing your boiler. Indeed, according to Energy Savings Trust, substituting a new A-rated boiler and new heating panels for an older boiler could save around £340 and 1,500kg of carbon monoxide a year.

However, when you upgrade to a renewable system such as a heat pump, you obviously stand to save a lot more. Heat pumps can save you between 30% and 40% or more on your utility bill depending on the source of energy from which you are switching but, be warned, neglect will reduce the efficiency of a heat pump over time.

How to Improve your EPC Rating

EPC or Energy Performance Certificates are a rating system designed to review the energy efficiency of buildings across the EU. The building receives a rating between A and G, and the EPC will also include tips on the most cost-effective ways to improve energy rating for your homes.

If you are looking to improve your rating for an EPC, there are many effective ways to do this. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve your EPC rating is loft insulation. Going up to 270mm insulation can make the rating 10 or 15 points better. Additionally, upgrading your heating system will improve your rating by 5 to 20 points depending on the new heating system and what you switch from.

Upgrading to new double glazing will, on average, make several points difference, and while not as much as insulation, it will still do much for your EPC. Last but not least, the easiest fix of all is probably to change your light bulbs. If you haven’t already done this, switching those energy consuming light bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs will significantly improve your EPC rating.

If you have any plans for improving your property and would like our advice on how this will affect the energy rating, please contact us and ask for recommendations. The ACE Heat Pumps UK will be happy to assist.

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Ground Source Heat Pump: Green Energy Made Affordable

Ground source heat pumps are both an effective and eco-friendly expenditure that can help you save up to 50% on heating bills compared to conventional heating systems. Since the earth absorbs emitted energy from the sun, underground temperatures remain stable throughout the year. For example, in the UK, the earth’s temperature a few meters below our feet is stable at 11 degrees centigrade. Ground source heat pumps are designed to collect heat from one spot, usually in the ground and transmit it to another site, in this case, your house.

Initial investments are large but the prices of a ground source heat pump differ according to the sector. Ultimately though, this renewable heating system is a way to bring inexpensive green energy to your home and workplace.

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So What is the Cheapest and Greenest way to Heat your Home?

Geothermal heating, to which ground source heat pumps belong, is the most environmentally safe and effective way to heat up your house, according to studies. But this requires a heavy upfront initial expense. This form of device makes use of the earth’s steady temperature to heat your house.

A typical heating system combats outdoor air, whereby the colder the outside air temperature, the more energy is required to heat up the inner air. The geothermal heating system is simply mounted beneath the surface of the earth, where the temperature is greater than the temperature of the outside air. That means getting your home up to the temperature you’ve put your thermostat on, takes less energy. This is definitely a great way to heat your home in an eco-friendly manner.

Get in touch with The ACE Heat Pumps UK to discuss geothermal heating with an expert.

Air Source Heat Pump: A Lean Green Heating Machine

Air source heat pumps harness heat energy from the air to supply the buildings with heat and hot water. They operate on electricity, but are extremely powerful so that they generate 3 times more usable heat units for every single unit of electricity used. If you compare that to a 90% efficient brand-new boiler where one unit of gas produces 0.9 units of usable heat, you can quickly see why these devices are so popular. In fact, if your property is not close to a gas supply, heat pumps are definitely a suitable way to meet your requirements for heating and hot water, as long as you have a well-insulated home.

However, that’s not all. You can also benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive, which pays you for each unit of heat you produce, once you install an air source heat pump at your home. In some cases, the financing will ultimately cover the installation costs of the heat pump.

Are Heat Pumps a Cost-Effective Heating Alternative?

Since heating accounts for over 35% of our energy bill, it’s important to choose the right choice to heat your house. Heat pumps are a very cost-effective alternative to conventional methods for electric heating, since they transfer heat rather than produce it. They are the most energy-efficient and affordable way to keep your house warm and comfortable during the colder months.

Compared to electric resistance heating such as baseboard heaters and furnaces, today’s heat pumps can reduce the energy usage for heating by about 50%. During summer months, high-efficiency heat pumps can also often dehumidify better than traditional central air conditioners, resulting in reduced energy consumption and more convenience for cooling. Therefore, heat pumps are the way to go if you are looking for a cost-effective heating solution.

Dual Source Heat Pump, a High Efficiency and Cost-effective Alternative for Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water Production

A dual source heat pump is simply a system that combines an oil/gas furnace or boiler with a heat pump into one, multifunctional system. These systems benefit from the efficiency of both heat pumps and boilers, offering optimum comfort and incredible energy savings. Highly efficient dual fuel systems make them among the best heating and cooling units you can buy.

These multi-tasking systems are capable of generating both heat and air conditioning, switching between boiler operation and heat pump as required so as to offer homeowners the best of both worlds. The dual source heat pump system might also become a cost-effective alternative option for the development of heating, cooling and domestic hot water in homes, because the initial expenditure will be greatly decreased relative to ground source heat pumps, with equivalent or even better energy efficiency.

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What are the Alternatives to Gas Central Heating?

In the United Kingdom, gas boilers are the preferred heating system. Gas boilers heat about 22 million homes, but some alternatives to gas boilers can be more efficient, require less maintenance and potentially last longer.

Whether your property is not connected to the gas network or you are simply looking for a more efficient alternative to the gas boiler, there are a number of choices for renewable heating systems. The obvious options available are:

  •         Electricity
  •     Liquefied Petroleum Gas
  •     Oil
  •     Renewable energy

Renewable heating systems are a low-carbon substitute for gas boilers and take energy from sustainable sources, options include:

  •     Air source heat pumps
  •     Ground source heat pumps
  •     Solar thermal

Heat pumps are a preferable substitute to central gas heating systems. Not only are they cheap to run but they also take less room in your house.

Alternatives to Radiators

Forced-air heating is used by a number of UK households, with boilers and radiators the most common alternatives. Alternatives to radiators, however, are now available and are not only energy efficient but also cost-effective. Among the most common alternatives are:

Underfloor Heating (UFH)

Underfloor heating is an alternative to radiators, a way of spreading heat across your house. Underfloor heating operates by circulating warm water into a system of tubes that are placed inside the home under the surface. It is typically easier to add in a new build because of the amount of space it needs under the floor covering, but it can also be retrofitted in existing homes.

Pellet Stoves

Previously the home heating system of choice, the wood stoves are coming back into popularity due to their higher-efficiency, cleaner-burning system. Many of those devices are also powerful enough to heat a whole household. Normally the “pellets” which give this device its name are made of a wood-based mix and includes other organic materials such as nut shells and corn husks.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps draw heat from the earth or air and use an electric pump to raise it to the preferred temperature to keep the house warm or cool, and often for water heating as well. A well-functioning system, properly set up, should provide at least three units of heat for each unit of electricity used by the pump. And yes, they also function when the outside is frozen. They also work best in homes that are well insulated.

So, as you can see, there are a number of alternatives available to you, and if you’re stuck making a decision, our experts can help make things clearer. Call 01273 257407 to talk to someone today.

What is the Best Alternative to Gas Central Heating for me?

For 15% of people in the UK who are not linked to the gas grid, home heating can be costly and choices restricted. Typically, these are older properties with low performance and often use costly sources of heating, such as heating oil, which can cost home heating twice as much as those with a mains gas supply. Thankfully, there is an increasing number of better options these days.

For instance, heat pumps are a very dependable means of self-generation. Using heat variances that exist all year round, they offer a suitable alternative for off the grid homes. Although the initial installation costs are high, when combined with heat incentives and increasingly uncertain energy costs, they are obviously a more attractive option. Nonetheless, you’ll need to make a substantial upfront investment, so they’re not for everyone.

However, if you’re willing to invest in the initial upfront cost and want to enjoy cost and energy efficiency, then the heat pump is just right for you. If you would like to know more about heat pumps and how they can benefit your property, please get in touch with our competent staff at The ACE Heat Pumps UK.

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