Discuss I always thought heat pumps were expensive waste of time in the Green Energy Forums | Green Energy Hub area at ElectriciansForums.net

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I have electric heating, a mix of storage radiators and oil-filled wall-hung ones. No gas supply is available. The storage rads are hardly ever on, usually only between November and March, and only every second day. Insulation levels are very good in the house.
Looking at that video, and assuming a cost to me at the lower level, actually about £8k in my case, after grant assistance, I could buy about 6 or 7 years worth of electricity at my current rate for that outlay. By then, I might be dead...
Of course, even if I did install a heat pump and spent that capital cost upfront, I am still going to have ongoing electricity bills because I will need electricity to run the fan etc and for cooking. I would also have to factor in the cost of replacing the heat pump unit/fan/whatever else might fail.
I have been bombarded recently with leaflets urging me to replace my old storage rads with new, high-efficiency ones. I have resisted this as my ancient ones, although hardly Lot20 standard, are working fine, provide more than enough heat for my needs, and the cost of new ones would be enough to pay for electricity to heat my old ones for a few years.
That's just my personal situation and viewpoint, but I suspect many others are in a similar situation, whereby a heat pump simply isn't an option nor a solution. For me, it's not a question of substituting a heat pump for a gas boiler, just changing how electricity is provided to heat my home.
Other problems arise because I live in a flatted development, so consent of the other owners would be required prior to installing a pump on the outside wall. I have no doubt whatsoever that the other owners would consent, provided the pump was installed on the rear of the block rather than the front elevation, or even on the flat roof, but the rear garden is landscaped and on a slope so I can imagine the cost of scaffolding would be considerable, not only for the original installation but also for any ongoing maintenance/repair.
I can't see this technology working for me. Good insulation is paramount, and basic additional insulation would be much cheaper in many instances. Now, where's my super-glue...?
 
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Surprising that not more comment on this as it affects us all and especially the next generations. The cost of gas going up as per wholesale prices. Fuel poverty is not far off. I expect many elderly will die this winter due to fuel poverty in this country. So the gov. are rolling out disastrously expensive "solutions" that will turn out to be non-solutions and we go quietly into that dark night literally.
 

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Surprising that not more comment on this as it affects us all and especially the next generations. The cost of gas going up as per wholesale prices. Fuel poverty is not far off. I expect many elderly will die this winter due to fuel poverty in this country. So the gov. are rolling out disastrously expensive "solutions" that will turn out to be non-solutions and we go quietly into that dark night literally.
Nice Dylan Thomas reference there!
 

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Surprising that not more comment on this as it affects us all and especially the next generations. The cost of gas going up as per wholesale prices. Fuel poverty is not far off. I expect many elderly will die this winter due to fuel poverty in this country. So the gov. are rolling out disastrously expensive "solutions" that will turn out to be non-solutions and we go quietly into that dark night literally.
Nice Dylan Thomas reference there!
 
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It's enough to turn a man to drink (any old excuse) this nonsense. Those government grants, they aren't from the government they're from us the people held to ransom through our energy bills and taxes. Shhhh, don't tell anyone, not a lot of people know that. Instead they get a warm glow (which might be an interesting and more realistic energy strategy) thinking how kind the government are giving us grants. Think I am being cynical, your'e right.
 

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ASHPs aren't the best solution for every house but that doesn't mean they don't have their place. Here in the north of Scotland there aren't many places outside of Inverness that have mains gas.

The video is correct in that they are not suitable for many older houses but in new builds they can work well, especially when paired with UFH. In small houses the air-to-air units can even work quite well.
 

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... but in new builds they can work well, especially when paired with UFH.
? ? ? ? ?
"Can" being the operative word.
Yes, if the house builder builds something well insulated, puts UFH in (especially in the otherwise cold block of concrete they tend to have as a ground floor), then a heat pump will probably work well. But as long as they carry on with the attitude of "doing it this way will save us 2d, so we'll do it this way" then we'll carry on getting new houses where HPs aren't going to work well.
They aren't going to fit UFH because it costs more than fitting a rad. They aren't going to fit an oversized rad because fitting the minimum size the figures suggest might work is cheaper. They aren't going to fit passivhaus standard insulation because that costs more than fitting the minimum the BRs (building regs) allow them to get away with - if they even fit it (c.f. a program on TV a few years ago where a big name housebuilder didn't even fit the roof insulation, it was still in rolls in the attic, and they had to take roofs off to fit it).
The quickest and simplest win for new builds would be to simply tighten up the BRs to need better thermal performance - then new builds would become better performing.
 
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In fact in the new build we just completed, we came in a few days in after completion and there was a massive amount of water leaked. It turns out it was from condensation from above the insulation. It then transpired the "architect" got it wrong in the method of installing it. Cue, major work. I mean if you can't even get that right in a new build.......what hope?
 

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I have been bombarded recently with leaflets urging me to replace my old storage rads with new, high-efficiency ones.
The efficiency of new electric heaters is exactly the same as ancient ones, at precisely100%.
The controllability, in terms of when they release that heat, is a different matter.

I've had an air to air heat pump in service for about ten years, in my conservatory. Works well in cold weather, but in VERY cold weather it struggles. At these times the heating requirement is higher, and the units heat output drops right off.
 

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? ? ? ? ?
"Can" being the operative word.
Yes, if the house builder builds something well insulated, puts UFH in (especially in the otherwise cold block of concrete they tend to have as a ground floor), then a heat pump will probably work well. But as long as they carry on with the attitude of "doing it this way will save us 2d, so we'll do it this way" then we'll carry on getting new houses where HPs aren't going to work well.
They aren't going to fit UFH because it costs more than fitting a rad. They aren't going to fit an oversized rad because fitting the minimum size the figures suggest might work is cheaper. They aren't going to fit passivhaus standard insulation because that costs more than fitting the minimum the BRs (building regs) allow them to get away with - if they even fit it (c.f. a program on TV a few years ago where a big name housebuilder didn't even fit the roof insulation, it was still in rolls in the attic, and they had to take roofs off to fit it).
The quickest and simplest win for new builds would be to simply tighten up the BRs to need better thermal performance - then new builds would become better performing.
When I said new build I didn't mean the usual "thrown up in the hundreds", Persimmons type of thing. Fortunately nothing of scale happens up here aside from local authority stuff.

I meant single house sites, private homes, self builds & the like. Little to no corners cut by most of the builders around here as it's not a massive community and generally speaking they rely on reputation so it isn't long before the rogues are outed!
 

James

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Basic theory is that you take air outside at say 8 degrees and cool it to say 7.5 degrees.
the point is that there is a LOT OF AIR that you are cooling outside.
if you cool a large amount of something, it releases a large amount of heat.
this heat is “pumped” inside the house and then released by blowing a SMALL AMOUNT OF AIR at a much higher temperature to warm the house.

it is proper thermodynamics blended with real life energy conversion from electricity to mechanical and can otherwise be described to others as WITCHCRAFT!!
 
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@telectrix Think reverse fridge basically. Anyhoo, when I was younger we had these cast iron pyramids in the bathroom. They were about 1m height and had a base of circa 30cm x 30 cm. They were pretty, quite ornate and had a small candle sized flame at the base which heated the mass of cast iron which warmed the bathroom nicely and dried your towels. It was very very cheap to run. We also had gas fridges (gas evaporation system again small flame at the back), gas lights, and flatley clothe dryers. I still have a flatley clothes dryer electric heated cost zippo to run and warms the whole room you just can't get them like that anymore. We used to have gas hall heaters again pennies to run, and they got condemned by the gas board. They warmed all the hallway and upstairs landing again for pennies. No wonder they got rid of them all. Now there is your green energy. I would put those cast iron towel warmers against your heat pump and bet they would win on green things and money/cost. This save the climate thing is very disingenuous. We could easily burn gas to much better bang for bucks etc. The will is not there. When they realised we werent spending enough, they made us get rid of it, far too dangerous (cheap) to run!
 

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@telectrix Think reverse fridge basically. Anyhoo, when I was younger we had these cast iron pyramids in the bathroom. They were about 1m height and had a base of circa 30cm x 30 cm. They were pretty, quite ornate and had a small candle sized flame at the base which heated the mass of cast iron which warmed the bathroom nicely and dried your towels. It was very very cheap to run. We also had gas fridges (gas evaporation system again small flame at the back), gas lights, and flatley clothe dryers. I still have a flatley clothes dryer electric heated cost zippo to run and warms the whole room you just can't get them like that anymore. We used to have gas hall heaters again pennies to run, and they got condemned by the gas board. They warmed all the hallway and upstairs landing again for pennies. No wonder they got rid of them all. Now there is your green energy. I would put those cast iron towel warmers against your heat pump and bet they would win on green things and money/cost. This save the climate thing is very disingenuous. We could easily burn gas to much better bang for bucks etc. The will is not there. When they realised we werent spending enough, they made us get rid of it, far too dangerous (cheap) to run!
back in the 1960's the Clean Air Act came in. my dad had to have the coal fires replaced with gas fires, and shame, they took out the Rayburn smokeless fuel stove which also heated the water. kitchen and hall had flueless gas heates ; bedrooms had heaters on a flex pipe. forward a few years and natural gas came in. gas board condemmned all our heaters that they had fitted olny a few years gefore.
 

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I thought his arguments biased and shallow of technical content. From a wet pants that wants to fit gas boilers.
Hi,by his own admission,it was a rant ?,and one based on his many years in the job.

I didn't notice any bias towards advising gas boiler fitting,just an overview of what he,personally sees,as the current state of affairs.

There was enough technical input, commensurate with a 'layperson' audience,such a video is aimed at.

Having been involved in many 'eco' labelled schemes,over the years,i wholeheartedly agree with his assertions,regarding mis-selling,grants,and how many of these ideas.are forced on people and projects,where they can only fail,thus,preventing take-up,where they are ideal.

Just for interest,i have a friend who had a PV install,at about the time the FIT were due to drop....he asked my advice,and on paper,it was hard to knock,but my concern was the roof. It needed capable craftsmen,to deal with fitting...it also could have done with pointing at the sun ?

Anywho....after a decade plus,of failed systems,poor output,liquidated companies (3 off),and much legal expense,we are repairing and renewing the roof....and the entire array will be going in a skip,or as we say,being 'recycled'.

Apart from this awful waste of money,time and resources,the biggest casualty will be my friend and his extended family,as they will shun any similar scheme,be it worthy or not.
 

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Oh, absolutely agree - I can see hoards of people polishing their snake oil display cases ready for this next "opportunity". Many of them will have no idea what they are selling, and will only care about selling something and getting the commission before mounting up and riding off into the sunset before the victim finds out they'd "been 'ad" ?
 

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I'm still utterly bemused as to why the people that have a platform (Roger Bisby for example) do not have a rant about the woefully low level of building standards in the UK. If all new housing that was built in say the the last 10 years was built with proper insulation, with either heat pumps in mind, or actually installed with them... we'd already have 1.4 million suitable houses and be significantly further ahead than we are now.

Instead, even TODAY we're still building hundreds of thousands of houses with sub-standard insulation and gas boilers !!
 

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I'm still utterly bemused as to why the people that have a platform (Roger Bisby for example) do not have a rant about the woefully low level of building standards in the UK. If all new housing that was built in say the the last 10 years was built with proper insulation, with either heat pumps in mind, or actually installed with them... we'd already have 1.4 million suitable houses and be significantly further ahead than we are now.

Instead, even TODAY we're still building hundreds of thousands of houses with sub-standard insulation and gas boilers !!

You are correct,regarding the building standards....i still meet brickies,joiners and ground workers,who have no idea that the building standards listed on the average plans,are the minimum standard.

Not the best,or recommended,or even the most applicable...but just the least they expect.

I have been there at the construction,and also the demolition,of hundreds of local authority standard "full-fill cavity insulation" walls,to see the reason why it's a ridiculous idea.

To be fair to Mr.Bisby,i have watched several of his videos,where he bemoans the minimum standards of the regs,and although he is aware of what type of construction methods,give superior insulation,realises that the decision lies with the customer,and we all know the down side of giving the great British public,the whip-hand?
 
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Ive been involved in a few projects involving these systems, and ill be frank ive seen nothing thats remotely convinced me they are an answer. Many properties just will not be suitable period - & thats before we talk about the Massive cost difference. Ive also been involved with a massive house in the cotswolds, where this chap dedicated a whole field to have piping installed and use a ground source heat pump as supplementary heating to the main gas boiler, it was nothing but trouble, niggles and headaches and very unreliable.
 

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