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Installing a heat pump


Dave Bloke

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Dave Bloke
Posted (edited)

I'm vaguely toying with the idea of installing a heat pump. Currently my house has no heating bar a wood burner which the missus doesn't like. The house is well insulated and even when we don't heat in winter (when the missus is away) it maintains around 15C.

I would like to install a ducted pump air sourced pump because they seem to be quite efficient these days and use it for heating and cooling. I think I should get around 3:1 energy efficiency.

It doesn't look that hard to do it yourself, although there are all kinds of regulations and in the UK people won't even sell them unless you get a pro install.

AFAIKS you have the outside exchanger, two pipes (feed and return) and for a ducted system some kind of inside exchanger with outlets for hot/cold air. Fill the thing with some ozone destroying gas and bobs yer unkle.

How hard can it be?

Now you may ask why I don't ask some friendly local artisan, well to be honest I've only ever met crooks and cheats locally so I would like to know my onions before going further at the very least.

Edited by Dave Bloke
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onlyme

Only seen two houses in the UK with hot air based central heating, one definitely 70's install and the other most likely the same. Not that popular at all - you get the split systems for single hotel rooms which are usually combined aircon and heating between you get to multi-room houses getting the ducting of sufficient size round each room becomes a real issue to get right due to the aerodynamics and space required. You also have the problem there's still the hot water to sort out. Hence wet systems being popular, mostly new build fit with underfloor heating - due to the systems only being efficient heating up to temperatures well below normal weather radiator levels.  There are some new hot systems comping out though that are apparently more suitable for radiator usage, may they are worth a look.

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Frank Hovis

From my experiences ASHPs are as reliable as GSHPs are unreliable so I would happily have one.

Though I am thinking that with the government making moves to stop people from using gas, and particularly gas boilers, they will accompany this with a national scheme of decent subsidies for ASHPs as they did for solar panels.

So I would be / am sitting on my hands waiting for this to happen. 

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swiss_democracy_for_all
On 02/05/2021 at 18:02, Dave Bloke said:

I'm vaguely toying with the idea of installing a heat pump. Currently my house has no heating bar a wood burner which the missus doesn't like. The house is well insulated and even when we don't heat in winter (when the missus is away) it maintains around 15C.

I would like to install a ducted pump air sourced pump because they seem to be quite efficient these days and use it for heating and cooling. I think I should get around 3:1 energy efficiency.

It doesn't look that hard to do it yourself, although there are all kinds of regulations and in the UK people won't even sell them unless you get a pro install.

AFAIKS you have the outside exchanger, two pipes (feed and return) and for a ducted system some kind of inside exchanger with outlets for hot/cold air. Fill the thing with some ozone destroying gas and bobs yer unkle.

How hard can it be?

Now you may ask why I don't ask some friendly local artisan, well to be honest I've only ever met crooks and cheats locally so I would like to know my onions before going further at the very least.

xD Those lovely welcoming Savoyards!

I know of two Swiss people who moved back into Switzerland into apartments or much smaller houses because they simply couldn't stand being scammed or attempted scammed every time their badly built/plumbed/electrified French house needed something doing.

Your house must be very decently built to maintain 15C in a Savoie winter with no heating so that part of the stereotype is broken at least. 

I'm intrigued by your plan as I've only ever heard of heat exchangers being used in new builds or complete rebuilds where underfloor heating is being fitted and/or double-flow ventilation. Can't help you, sorry, but will follow your progress with interest if you pursue this...

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reformed nice guy

Iv been researching a ground source heat pump for the past year or so, will do it myself. I have the bpec installers manual in front of me right now.

The number one thing seems to be insulation and minimising drafts, so it sounds like you have that sorted. Maybe get one of those cheap infrared heat detectors to look for places to fix.

You are right about the exchanger - its similar to a fridge or dehumidifier.

 

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Dave Bloke
2 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

From my experiences ASHPs are as reliable as GSHPs are unreliable so I would happily have one.

A friend has a GSHP and he pays 250 euros per year to service it! I told him that was a quarter of my electric bill for the year.

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Dave Bloke
1 hour ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

xD Those lovely welcoming Savoyards!

Tell me about it. I'm sure there are some good people but I've heard so many bad stories and always get totally ridiculous quotes for the easiest and simplest jobs. So I end up having to do everything myself.

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Frank Hovis
Just now, Dave Bloke said:

A friend has a GSHP and he pays 250 euros per year to service it! I told him that was a quarter of my electric bill for the year.

I had one in a farm building converted to offices; it was more the frequent breakdowns that put me off them than the servicing.

One time I watched the maintenance company sorting it out and the mechanism / pipework was incredibly complicated; almost Heath Robinson.

Plus you have to drill the hole into the rocks in the first place whcih doesn't come cheap.

ASHPs however IME never broke down unless it was because of somebody dicking about with them - whacking them up to full when cold and trying to turn them off when hot - instead of letting them run unmolested on a thermostat as they were designed to do and are at their most efficient when so-doing.

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Dave Bloke
1 minute ago, Frank Hovis said:

ASHPs however IME never broke down unless it was because of somebody dicking about with them - whacking them up to full when cold and trying to turn them off when hot - instead of letting them run unmolested on a thermostat as they were designed to do and are at their most efficient when so-doing.

Sounds like our aircon at work, struggling with the 40C summer temperatures and a building that is a greenhouse and the compressors keep blowing. The building is unusable without aircon.

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nirvana

I've heard they're a load o shite.....they are most efficient like 15-25 degrees ie when you don't need em o.O

I've thought about it myself though saying that......

Can you not get a grant in France?

oh yeah and I know a guy who has had one installed for about 3 years in a new build and it broke down a few months ago and he can't find anyone to fix it AND he used to be a gas engineer and even he couldn't fix it...

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Always been interested in building my own place and came across a couple of interesting technologies..

1. Rocket mass heater. Unfortunately unlikely to get past building control as HETAS engineers probably won't sign them off.  

2. Stirling engine boilers such as the whispergen. Creates electricity, hot water and heating all in one with very efficient conversion rates for gas etc. Also known as microCHP (combined heat and power). Not really seen them in the UK.

 

A neighbour of mine worked on the ground works to install a ground source heat pump in a nearby town and said the water coming out of the ground was around 85 degrees centigrade so it may depend on local geology. I've heard that air source heat pumps are a better option for many.. 

 

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