Thursday, 19 September 2013

Self Sufficiency With Heat Pumps

As you get older you slowly become more self-sufficient.  You work a job, pay taxes and bills and eventually become an adult who can completely take care of yourself. Well, almost. We actually rely on outside sources more than we realise - from supermarkets to provide us with food to the large companies to provide us with gas, oil or electricity for light and warmth. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as we certainly need these things to survive. But maybe we pay them a little too much for something that, if we did a little investigation on, we could quite easily supply for ourselves.

What is a heat pump?

There are a variety of heat pumps, the one I will be concentrating on today is the Air Source Heat Pump [ASHP], which comes in two varieties, air-to-water and air-to-air. The air-to-water type works on a radiator based central heating plan, heat is drawn in from the air outside [crazy as it may seem, this can be done in temperatures as low as –15C] and is converted into hot water through a heat pump before being sent around to your radiators. Air-to-air ASHPs work in almost the same way, the heat pump transfers the heat to higher heated air and using an air-con style system will distribute it through your property.

Getting pumped up

Air source heat pumps are best installed on a sunny wall on the outside of your property; this ensures you can have the maximum use from the ASHP. While the air heat pump will take care of your heating, it will still need a source of electricity, this can be supplied by your regular electricity, or in the case of self-sufficiency, it can be supplied by another renewable electricity resource such as solar or wind power. This would mean that you would be off the gas and electric grid and would, for all intents and purposes, be completely self-sufficient when it came to heat and light. Just think, no more worrying about bill estimations and making sure you call the oil company to fill your tank before the cold weather really sets in [I wish we'd had an air source pump in my old house, those few days waiting for the oil delivery were so cold!].

Self-sufficient and self-satisfied

There is one other added benefit to installing an air source heat pump in your house, the UK government has begun to push for renewable energy use in an attempt to go green and help cut costs, this means that in 2014 the Renewable Heat Incentive [RNI] will come in to play for domestic renewable energy. It's honestly worth checking out this page:

The UK government may be able to give you a grant to change your heating system to a renewable one and may also begin paying you a small amount of income each month for using renewable energy.

Cutting costs from the energy companies and being paid to do it? Excellent!

Vari is eager to become self-sufficient, she's looking into all things off grid in case of a zombie apocalypse, be it solar energy or air source heat pumps.

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