Solar thermal heating and heat pumps are ways of heating your water and home in a more environmentally friendly way. These systems are designed to produce less carbon emissions and help reduce your energy bills. Here we explain, in very simple terms, what each is and how they work.
Solar thermal heating works by harnessing energy from the sun, which is collected and transferred to, predominantly, hot water systems in your home. Panels, not to be confused with solar panels, are usually used in this type of heating, but you can also find tube collectors that work in the same way. Solar thermal systems function automatically, and typically last up to 25 years.
Heat pumps collect heat in three different ways: from the air, water or ground. This type of system works by moving the heat from one place to another, rather than generating new heat. Heat pumps still need electricity to work, but they will cost less to run than your normal heating system. Water source heat pumps are not included in the Green Homes Grant scheme, so we haven't covered those here. If you'd like to know more about this kind of heat pump, visit the Energy Saving Trust.
Air source heat pumps are usually fitted to the outside of a property which extracts warm air, and compresses it into a liquid. The pump will heat the liquid until it is warm enough to heat your home and provide you with hot water. Visit the Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website for more information.
Working much in the same way as the air source pump, but taking natural heat from the ground instead of the air - this is done by installing underground pipes or by drilling vertical boreholes. Again, compressing the heat into liquid form, and heated to provide hot water and heating for your home. Visit the SEA website for more information.
To receive solar thermal heating or a heat pump using the Government’s Green Home Grant scheme, a certified tradesperson can quote and install this for you. Start this process by visiting the SEA website.
To enquire about heat pumps and solar thermal please contact your local branch.