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Heat pumps extract heat from natural sources such as the air, ground or water and release it at a higher temperature to heat your property and/or produce hot water.
An air source heat pump is a stand-alone unit which can be placed outside your premises. They don’t require any digging or underground pipework. Most domestic units are roughly the size of an air conditioning unit. An air source heat pump draws heat from the outside air and can provide 100% of your heating and hot water, even when the outside air temperature is well below zero.
Dig one metre down, and the ground is at a constant temperature of around 10 degrees. When Ecovision installs a ground source heat pump, we lay loops of pipes in ground trenches, or we place them in a bore hole up to 150m deep. The pipes contain a liquid which absorbs the ground heat providing the heat source for the heat pump. Ground source heat pumps are silent, maintenance needs are negligible and are particularly recommended for new builds and larger homes.
Water source heat pump systems produce heat in a similar way to ground source systems. Pipes are submerged in a river, stream or lake, where temperatures remain at a relatively constant level of between 7 and 12 degrees. Liquid in the pipes absorbs the heat. This heat is passed to a heat pump located inside the house. Because of the constant level of heat, water source heat pumps are more efficient than air source heat pumps.
Heat pumps have been around for years. They’re automatically installed in 90% of new homes in Sweden, 75% of new homes in Switzerland, and 30% of new homes in Germany. In Sweden and Switzerland respectively, 50% and 35% of existing properties now have fitted heat pumps.