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As we look to the end of high carbon fossil fuel heating in our homes, Max Halliwell, Communications Manager for Residential Heating at Mitsubishi Electric, heralds a rise in demand for heat pumps and explains why it’s not just performance that you need to look at.
Predicting the future is risky but one thing we can see from the present is that ‘climate’ is the big issue, and I predict it’s one that is not going to go away soon.
As we see more and more days of grid electricity coming from renewable sources, the case for a switch to electric air source heat pumps is made even stronger. Yes, gas is still dominant and due to subsidies is cheap, but heat pumps in social housing are now challenging the oil heating sector with lower running costs, less CO2, less maintenance, and more convenience with intelligent, in-built, web-based controls.
Admittedly, there’s still much to be done, especially with many of the major housebuilders, who are still too slow to adopt sustainable building methods and are often building as far back as the 2006 Building Regulations as they have ‘broken ground’ – frankly a loophole that government must close and quickly. And yes, there are issues to address with retro-fit, but as the social housing sector has shown, this can be done in a planned, measured way.
At the same time, we are also seeing a growing awareness among the UK general public of the damage we are doing to our planet, and this urgent need to act is starting to permeate into the public psyche.
This will see heat pump sales grow further, with the government forecasting one million sales a year by 2030.
Couple this with ambitious zero carbon targets, along with calls for a ban on gas boilers for new homes by 2025 and we can see that the market is rapidly changing.
Within the next decade, the UK domestic heating market is going to look very different from today.
Is it time?
It’s up to you whether you choose to learn about heat pumps today, tomorrow or in the next five years but the market will grow and grow, so you could do worse than ask the leading manufacturers about training courses and support.
In addition to telling you what they want you to hear about their product, you should have the chance to ask them about performance, controls, installation and technical support.
The main thing to remember about a heat pump’s performance though (even the most basic one) – it will work best if properly designed and correctly installed.
Make sure you ask about noise too because this is an area that will become increasingly important as heat pump sales increase, to ensure that neighbours aren’t disturbed – which is why Permitted Development exists. In the residential environment, sound is important because low sound output gives more flexibility in where a heat pump can be positioned.
That is exactly why we as a manufacturer have looked beyond performance and focused heavily on developing some of the quietest units ever available – a library quiet sound pressure level of just 45 dB(A) makes passing Permitted Development requirements much easier.
Engineers in the heating industry have always embraced change but the pace of that change is likely to increase quicker than ever. Burning ‘stuff’ to keep warm is simply no longer viable in the long-term which means we have to find alternatives and we need them now.
And that is where modern, advanced air source heat pumps are ready to step up with technology that is as reliable as a kitchen fridge.
There is also a phenomenal market out there amongst the growing numbers of UK homeowners that are interested in being more sustainable. So are you ready to join the renewable revolution and deliver reliable, sustainable heating?