If you’re considering installing a ground or air-source heat pump in your home, here's a few handy pointers for you to think about beforehand.
Firstly take into account the additional works - You will need to either drill a vertical well or prepare a horizontal trench in which to lay a ‘slinky’ or a straight tube.
Is it feasible and safe to drill on your property? This is dependent on the geology of the ground under and around your property.
Check the pump and the heat exchanger are the correct size. You will need to account for the size of your property and its location, your property's current energy efficiency and air tightness and if you are also plannig to heat your hot water.
Heat pumps work best with under floor heating so you need add this into your overall costs; if you use radiators, they need to be large ones as the heat produced will be ‘low-grade’.
Remember if the air temperature outside is freezing or below it will be difficult for an air-source heat exchanger to create heat.
You must obtain an accurate estimate of your likely annual electricity usage after the heat pump has been installed - all heat pumps require an auxiliary heat source, usually electricity, and the bills can be very high.
Here's some additional advice from Ofgem
Watch your electricity bill with a heat pump - Heat pumps use electricity to operate so when you switch on you can expect your electricity bill to increase. If you pay by direct debit you should speak to your energy supplier about recalculating your payments when you've had one installed.
Do be aware that a small fault in the installation of a heat pump can result in a very large increase in the electricity bill. If you’re planning to install a heat pump ask your installer for an estimate of how much more electricity it should use. Make a note to watch the electricity meter reading carefully as soon as it’s installed. If you think it’s going up too fast, contact your installer immediately.
This is particularly important if you pay your energy bills by direct debit. Don’t wait for the annual meter reading and bill to find out there’s a problem.
Another way to keep a check on its performance is to get the Government's metering and monitoring package. This is only open to people who are getting the domestic RHI and can be applied for when you apply or as a separate later application. You will get an additional £230 a year for the seven year life of the RHI to cover the cost of the metering and monitoring.
Finally always ensure that the company you are dealing with is a member of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code. You can check that here
Source: The Renewable Energy Consumer Code http://www.recc.org.uk/consumers