With soaring energy bills and a winter of discontent ahead, the subject of retrofitting your home has never been more topical. In our latest blog we discuss the pros and cons of retrofitting your home with a new heat pump and we also look at the different types of heat pumps which could help you make an informed decision if you choose to install one.

By 2023 fossil fuel boilers will be banned in all new homes constructed in Ireland, and in the UK Gas boilers are expected to be completely phased out by 2035. This means that the tide is turning towards a more energy efficient and cost-effective alternative.

You may have noticed in new housing developments or new-build homes a large box structure in the back garden or on the balcony of apartments. This box looks much like an air conditioning unit, but they are an air to water heating system. The air to water heating system is just one of the heat pump options you could choose to retrofit your home heating system.

Air to Water Heat Pump

Air to water heat pumps are probably the most common heat pump systems installed in new homes. They are more likely to be installed in new housing developments than any other heating system. They work by drawing air from the outside into a fan which in turn heats a refrigerant within a pump. This is then compressed to create a high temperature which is transferred to the water in your heating system and then sent on to the radiators in your home.

These heat pumps usually sit outside in the back garden, or they can be placed on a wall at the back of your property, if you feel they look unsightly they can be placed in a louvered box which can be painted a colour to match your garden furniture.

Ground source heat pumps

This heat pump works similarly but with several differences to the air to water pump. It draws heat thermal energy from the ground, and it typically needs quite a bit of outdoor space.

It works by installing a ‘ground array’ which is a series of pipes placed about 3m underground. These pipes absorb thermal energy from the ground. During the installation process trenches need to be dug in your rear garden but can easily be covered and reseeded when complete. This type of heating system is popular in large rural homes or homes that are not near a gas connection and can be an excellent alternative to oil burning heating systems.

The cost

Retrofitting your home can be an expensive venture as there are several considerations to take on board. The average air to water heat pump costs between €8,000 and €12,000 while the ground source heat pump costs between €12,000 and €23,000. You may also have to change your water tank and radiators as well as fully insulate your property. The good news is, its thought that you will recoup your investment within several years through lowered heating bills, although with the rising cost of electricity you might not see a difference for a year or two.

The advantages

We touched on the costs in a previous section and while the initial outlay for retrofitting your home with a heat pump can run to the thousands the costs can be recouped in several years through lower energy bills. Heat pumps are a clean energy technology and produce zero emissions which can help homeowners and businesses reduce their carbon footprint. They completely eradicate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and for homes off the grid, they remove the need for solid fuel deliveries.

Retrofitting your home can add thousands to the price of your home so whether you’re on the market already or just thinking about selling, if you’d like our advice on how you can retrofit your home or if you would like a valuation of your home, call us on 045 815855, 01 912 5500 or email info@byrnemalone.ie and we can help you transform your space. We’re always here to help and would love to hear from you!