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Heat pump vs gas heating

  • 04-06-2020 10:11pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4 Lilly1984


    Hi I’m new to boards. I would like to get your advise on heat pumps.

    Our house is built in 2005 4 bed detached house. 1700 sqft. We have gas heating in our house. However it never feels warm during winter months. Few friends bought new builds with heat pump system installed and they mentioned that their houses stay warm during winter time. Before I go get quotes on heat pumps I would like to know your experience with heat pumps.

    Do they work well with radiators? We don’t have underfloor heating. Would it work without UFH? Did you find it cost effective and can be run 24/7?

    Has anyone switched from gas heating to heat pumps and find it good? Our house energy rating is c3. Thanks in advance. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,200 ✭✭✭ con747


    As far as I know retrofitting is not very viable but you will get advice on here from people in the know.


  • Moderators Posts: 11,987 ✭✭✭✭ Black_Knight


    Your friends houses are warm because they have good insulation/are air tight. If you can't heat your house with gas, you certainly won't heat it with a heat pump. Heat pumps run at a lower temperature and thus rely on your house retaining heat (being air tight).

    Find the sources of heat loss in your house. Doors, Windows, attic insulation etc. Try address those first.

    FYI, as for the retro fit, I believe new radiators are recommended if installing a heat pump.


  • Registered Users Posts: 644 ✭✭✭ timetogo1


    To hijack the ops thread, I have a house similar to hers. It feels pretty cold during the winter unless I have the gas up high.

    There are no obvious gaps, I suspect the insulation in the walls isn't great. What's the profession (or is there one) of somebody who can come out to the house and figure out what the problem is and make honest recommendations based on that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 Lilly1984


    Your friends houses are warm because they have good insulation/are air tight. If you can't heat your house with gas, you certainly won't heat it with a heat pump. Heat pumps run at a lower temperature and thus rely on your house retaining heat (being air tight).

    Find the sources of heat loss in your house. Doors, Windows, attic insulation etc. Try address those first.

    FYI, as for the retro fit, I believe new radiators are recommended if installing a heat pump.

    Thanks for the reply. My dear is also the same since this is a new technology to me and I couldn't get enough details on internet I thought if posting in this forum. I rang one heat pump provider and explained the same. He says that the heat pump will work even the insulation is not good. I am not sure on this.

    I'm looking to improve our insulation like the below poster. It would be good if someone can call into our house for inspection and give us some suggestions to improve our insulation without breaking the bank.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 Lilly1984


    Lilly1984 wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply. My dear is also the same since this is a new technology to me and I couldn't get enough details on internet I thought if posting in this forum. I rang one heat pump provider and explained the same. He says that the heat pump will work even the insulation is not good. I am not sure on this.

    I'm looking to improve our insulation like the below poster. It would be good if someone can call into our house for inspection and give us some suggestions to improve our insulation without breaking the bank.

    I would also like to know if anyone changed from gas to HP and what's the outcome. Does it work well?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,507 ✭✭✭ Purgative


    Hi Lilly

    We had a retro fit Heat Pump fitted about four years ago. We went from a mix of oil/solid fuel to just the Heat Pump. We are very pleased with it.

    It was a big job. We needed a new tank and the radiators were all flushed and serviced.

    Before the pump was fitted (1960s house) we had new doors and windows, attic insulation, cavity wall, and 4" external insulation.

    The house is now always comfortable.

    I strongly doubt your installers claims here though.

    Take a look at these guys:

    https://www.seai.ie/
    https://www.seai.ie/grants/
    https://www.seai.ie/home-energy/building-energy-rating-ber/
    https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-energy-grants/


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 Lilly1984


    Thanks Purgative. Do you have underfloor heating in your house?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,507 ✭✭✭ Purgative


    Lilly1984 wrote: »
    Thanks Purgative. Do you have underfloor heating in your house?


    No radiators


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭ Pkiernan


    Purgative wrote: »
    Hi Lilly

    We had a retro fit Heat Pump fitted about four years ago. We went from a mix of oil/solid fuel to just the Heat Pump. We are very pleased with it.

    It was a big job. We needed a new tank and the radiators were all flushed and serviced.

    Before the pump was fitted (1960s house) we had new doors and windows, attic insulation, cavity wall, and 4" external insulation.

    The house is now always comfortable.

    I strongly doubt your installers claims here though.

    Take a look at these guys:

    https://www.seai.ie/
    https://www.seai.ie/grants/
    https://www.seai.ie/home-energy/building-energy-rating-ber/
    https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-energy-grants/

    This is an excellent post, describing what needs to be done to make heat pumps effective.


  • Moderators Posts: 11,987 ✭✭✭✭ Black_Knight


    Lilly1984 wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply. My dear is also the same since this is a new technology to me and I couldn't get enough details on internet I thought if posting in this forum. I rang one heat pump provider and explained the same. He says that the heat pump will work even the insulation is not good. I am not sure on this.

    I'm looking to improve our insulation like the below poster. It would be good if someone can call into our house for inspection and give us some suggestions to improve our insulation without breaking the bank.

    Some simple checks yourself. Is your front door drafty? Is it wooden? Is it PVC? If any of those, a new Composit door could be a good idea. ~1800 euro though, more if you have glass panels beside the door.
    Same story with windows. Wooden? Drafty? Single/double glazed?

    Is your boiler efficient? Are you radiators efficient? (Caution on changing rads if you're thinking about going HP).

    Check your attic insulation. Is it just a single layer? How thick? By right, insulation should be filled between the rafters, then a second layer laid down perpendicular to that across the rafters.

    Have you open fires? Do you use them? Block em up? Put in a stove?

    End if the day, if going HP, the poster above laid down the facts of that you'd need to do.


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  • Moderators Posts: 11,987 ✭✭✭✭ Black_Knight


    Purgative wrote: »
    Before the pump was fitted (1960s house) we had new doors and windows, attic insulation, cavity wall, and 4" external insulation.
    ]

    Cavity and external insulation? I would of thought external insulation would of been enough without pumping the cavity?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,507 ✭✭✭ Purgative


    Cavity and external insulation? I would of thought external insulation would of been enough without pumping the cavity?


    Maybe, I just went with the advice (SEIA guys) at the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,492 ✭✭✭ roy rodgers


    The country is gone mad looking for heat pumps at the moment but 90% of houses out there arent up to standards for a heat pump to work efficiently.
    Op house was build in 2005 which might need very little extra works to get the house up to a heat pump standard.
    An air tightness and a technical assessment would need to be done before you think about heat pumps.
    If the air tightness fails badly you might have to look at a smoke test to see where the house is leaking air through.
    Windows doors and chimney flues are the biggest culprits for making houses cool down as the air changes increase every hour it just brings the heat with it..

    If your getting external wall insulation and have a cavity in the wall yes it should be also filled because again it stops air movement in the cavity and as the heat from the house is transferred through the block is then will meet the cavity and with it not pump with insulation the heat will escape up the cavity and make the external insulation very ineffective on retaining the heat.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,915 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Purgative wrote: »
    Before the pump was fitted (1960s house) we had new doors and windows, attic insulation, cavity wall, and 4" external insulation.

    Just so the OP is aware, external wall insulation is an extremely expensive job. And without it, you can forget about installing a heat pump in a house older than say 15 years old. All the other stuff you can do like cavity wall insulation, new doors, new windows, attic insualtion, etc. won't be enough.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 871 ✭✭✭ AidenL


    Lilly1984 wrote: »
    Hi I’m new to boards. I would like to get your advise on heat pumps.

    Our house is built in 2005 4 bed detached house. 1700 sqft. We have gas heating in our house. However it never feels warm during winter months. Few friends bought new builds with heat pump system installed and they mentioned that their houses stay warm during winter time. Before I go get quotes on heat pumps I would like to know your experience with heat pumps.

    Do they work well with radiators? We don’t have underfloor heating. Would it work without UFH? Did you find it cost effective and can be run 24/7?

    Has anyone switched from gas heating to heat pumps and find it good? Our house energy rating is c3. Thanks in advance. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    You need to engage a Technical Assessor first. They will issue a Dwelling Report and a Technical Assessment Report, which is not what you get from a BER assessor. This will outline what works you would need to carry out, fabric upgrades etc, if any. Then you need a competent contractor and installer who is SEAI registered, and who has completed manufacturers installation training. He will work with a reputable supplier who will check how many, if any of your existing rads need to be changed. It might not be many, as traditionally plumbers and merchants in Ireland always oversized rads, except perhaps in boom period homes. But one offs have a better chance of being oversized.

    You can, from Panasonic for example use a High Performance, a Total Capacity or a High Temperature heat pump. All have different performance characteristics. A T Cap maintains output to a lower ambient temperature than a High Performance model. Of course there’s a cost difference. A high temperature model is similar to a boiler, but COP suffers as the flow temp increases.

    I’ll be installing a heat pump myself later this year, COVID stalled my planned air tightness test, and some inside works, but it’s very doable.

    https://www.seai.ie/grants/find-a-registered-professional/SEAI-Registered-Technical-Advisors.pdf

    You must involve a Technical Assessor off that list if you want to avail of the grant, and you absolutely should make sure that your installer gets all of your rad sizes checked based on your selected delta t , by the heat pump suppliers design team.


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