Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Heat pump: it's all go

Our heat pump is installed, commissioned and running beautifully. Goodbye oil. Hello clean, non-polluting, efficient heat energy. Yes I know most electric power is generated by highly polluting coal power stations but we source our power from a 'green' electric supplier and, later this summer, we'll be starting the process of finding and installing a photovoltaic solar generating system to more than cover the power demands imposed by the air source heat pump.

The installation of all the new radiators and pipework, replacing an ancient and incomplete system, went as smoothly as it could do. The 'dynamic duo' of Paul Southworth and his partner Clare (Paul is a plumber and electrical engineer) made the whole installation as painless for us as it could be given the scale of the job. And Paul's neat pipework and wiring in of the new highly insulated 210 litre hot water tank is a work of art (see photo).

There was one problem after the initial commissioning: the system ran fine but wouldn't turn off. But Ice Energy were quick to send an excellent engineer who quickly realised the problem - a simple wiring error not picked up in the first commissioning - and had the system running perfectly within 15 minutes.

So we are the happy owners of an entirely new concept in home heating which has the added benefit of attracting payments from the Renewable Heat Incentive from April 2011. The pump is very quiet and  amply copes with all the demands put on it. For the first time in the ten years we've been here we can be properly warm in any room in the house. Coupled in with the passive solar heating we get from the conservatory we built 3 years ago, we now have a warm, energy-efficient house.