Trianco Air Source Heat Pumps
What is an Air Source Heat Pump?
An air source heat pump is a kind of energy generator that uses the air from the outside of a building to produce heat. The heat produced can then be used to heat radiators, hot water heating systems and underfloor heating systems. Because air source heat pumps use the air to generate energy, they are classed as a renewable form of energy, i.e. they rely on a natural, renewable energy source. Heat pumps like this can generate heat from the air even when it's as cold as -15C, and even though the pumps rely on a certain amount of electricity to power themselves, the air that they generate heat from is constantly being renewed naturally. For this reason, on balance, it can be classed as a 'clean', environmentally friendly form of energy.
Advantages of Using an Air Source Heat Pump
Using an air source heat pump brings with it a few advantages, the principal among them being the savings that can be made on energy bills. Heat pumps are much cheaper than conventional electric powered heating. You could also earn money on top of those savings through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a government funded scheme. Air source heat pumps also require very little maintenance, rather like solar panels. Once they are installed, you can pretty much leave them as they are without having to worry about replacing parts.
How Exactly Do They Work?
Heat that exists naturally in the air is absorbed into the heat pump via a special fluid at a low temperature. This fluid then passes through a compressor. The compressor increases the temperature of the fluid. The higher temperature of the heat produced by the fluid is then passed on to heat hot water tanks and radiators within the house or building. Air source heat pumps differ from conventional forms of heating in that they heat at a lower temperature but for a longer period of time, and also at a much lower cost.
Who are Trianco?
Trianco are a British manufacturer of heating products such as electric and oil powered boilers, wood burning stoves and solid fuel boilers as well as air source heat pumps. They are based in Sheffield, England and are part of the TR Engineering Ltd group, owned by Union Investment. All the heat pumps they manufacture are MCS accredited and come with a full three year warranty. Typically, a single unit of electricity used to power one of their pumps will produce just over four times that amount of electricity, so you can see just how much of a potential saving they can make.
Cost of Installing a Trianco Heat Pump
Perhaps one of the main drawbacks to having an air source heat pump installed in your property is the initial cost of purchasing and installing the system. Depending on the supplier you choose, a Trianco Air Source Heat Pump will cost anywhere between seven and ten thousand pounds to have installed. The price will depend on the size of your property and how large a proportion of your property's energy supply you are looking to have generated by the heat pump.The supplier you choose can also be a factor in the sense that suppliers tend to be cheaper in cities and more central locations where there is greater competition for business.
Savings that can be Made
There are several ways in which you can save money using this kind of heating system. Underfloor heating, which heat pumps can be used for, can save money because the temperature doesn't need to be as high as it does for a radiator, therefore saving on energy. You will also make noticeable savings on your electricity bills in general because heat pumps of this kind require roughly just less than a quarter of the energy to power them compared to conventional radiators. An air source heat pump, capable of powering a home for an average sized family of four could save between £350 and £600 a year on electricity bills and will emit between 4,500kg and 5,000 kg of CO2 less a year as well.
Maintaining an Air Source Heat Pump
As touched upon earlier, air source heat pumps require relatively little maintenance. Like solar panels, they have a lifespan of around twenty to twenty five years. However, you should make sure that they are checked by a fully accredited MCS installer every three to five years. Your supplier will usually provide this service at no extra charge but you should confirm this with your supplier as not all of them do. One way in which you can carry out maintenance yourself is to check that no leaves or debris have become logged in the unit, and to also make sure that the heat pump is kept clear of any overgrowing plants or vegetation, as any possible obstructions can seriously damage the mechanism of the pump. You can also use anti-freeze during the winter months, though it's advisable to discuss this with your installer as you will need to know exactly how much to add to it and when it has fallen below a safe level.
Renewable Heat Incentive
This is a government funded scheme that pays users of air source heat pumps for the electricity that they produce using this method. The RHI does not just cover heat pumps but also solar thermal water systems and biomass boilers. It was introduced for commercial, non-domestic buildings in November 2011 and is due to be extended for domestic buildings and homes in October of this year. Under the terms of the scheme, users are paid 8.9p per kW/hr for heat or hot water generated by an air source heat pump. The RHI lasts for the lifespan of the system, which can be twenty years, and means that on average the initial cost of installing the system pays for itself within five to ten years, with the rest being pure profit. On average, users can earn around twelve per cent on their energy expenditure a year under the Renewable Heat Incentive.