Archive for the ‘air heat sources’ Category

Air heat source and Solar panels

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Here at Four Corners Properties we are always looking to move with the time and utilizing the latest technology to improve your homes. In this article we will be looking at how you can improve your home and save money with two new government incentives in air heat sources and solar panels.

Air Heat Sources

air-source-heat-pumps-taster-252299               airheatsource

An air source heat pump (ASHP) is usually placed outdoors at the side or back of a property. It takes heat from the air and boosts it to a higher temperature using a heat pump. The pump needs electricity to run, but it should use less electrical energy than the heat it produces. Many ASHPs are eligible for payment through the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Costs and savings

ASHPs are cheaper than ground source heat pumps. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) estimates that the cost of installing a typical ASHP system ranges between £7,000 and £11,000.

The payback period (the time taken to recoup the cost of the system in energy savings) depends on how efficiently your system works, the type of system you’re replacing, how much money your illegible for from the Renewable Heat Incentive and how you’ll be using the heat generated from the pump. The Renewable Heat Incentive could pay you an extra £925 to £1,365 a year every quarter under the current government scheme.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) says that an average performing air source heat pump in an average four-bedroom detached home could save:

  • up to £575 a year if replacing oil (non-condensing)
  • up to £1,820 a year if replacing LPG (non-condensing)
  • And up to £1,325 a year if replacing electric heating (old storage heaters).

Installing an air source heat pump

A reliable company that we worked with on energy saving projects are Conrona energy saving company who have already helped many people save more on their energy bills with honest advice and competitive pricing.

ASHPs look similar to air-conditioning units and are less disruptive to install than ground source heat pumps, as they do not require any digging in your garden.

An ASHP works a bit like a refrigerator in reverse. The process consists of an evaporator, a compressor and a condenser. It absorbs heat from the outside air and the heat pump compressor then increases the temperature of that heat further to create useful heat.

There are two main types of ASHP:

  • Air-to-water systems take heat from the outside air and feed it into your wet central heating system. As the heat produced is cooler than that from a conventional boiler, you may need to install larger radiators or underfloor heating in your home to make the most of it.
  • Air-to-air systems take heat from the outside air and feed it into your home through fans. This type of system cannot produce hot water.

In the summer, an air-to-air heat pump can be operated in reverse, like an air-conditioning unit, to provide cool air for your home.

What advantages could this offer you?

  • Air source heat pumps can generate less CO2 than conventional heating systems.
  • They are cheaper than ground source heat pumps and easier to install, particularly for retrofit, although their efficiency can be lower than with ground source heat pumps.
  • ASHPs can provide heating and hot water.
  • They require very little maintenance.
  • Some can be used for air conditioning in the summer.
  • You need to use electricity to power the pump which circulates the liquid in the outside loop, but for every unit of electricity used by the pump, you get between two and three units of heat – making this an efficient way to heat a building.

What are the downsides?

  • You’ll need enough space in your garden for the external condenser unit (comparable in size to an air-conditioning unit). Condenser units can be noisy and also blow out colder air to the immediate environment.
  • You still need to use electricity to drive the pump, so an air source heat pump can’t be considered completely zero-carbon unless this is provided by a renewable source, such as solar power or a wind turbine.

Solar Panels

       solar panels                  solar panels

So how do they work?

When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can either be mounted on your roof or on the ground.

The power of a cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That’s the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight. Most cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof, but you can also fit solar tiles.

What are the costs and savings?

A 4kWp system can generate around 3,800 kilowatt hours of electricity a year in the south of England – roughly equivalent to a typical household’s electricity needs. It will save nearly two tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. A 4kWp system in Scotland can generate about 3,200 kilowatt hours of electricity a year – more than three quarters of a typical household’s electricity needs. It will save more than a tonne and a half of carbon dioxide every year.

The average domestic solar PV system is 4kWp and costs £5,000 – 8,000 (including VAT at 5 per cent).

Location System size Feed-in-Tariff payment (£/year) Export tariff payment (£/year) Electricity bill savings (£/year) Carbon dioxide savings (kgCO2/year)
London, South England 4kWp £510 £90 £135 1,870 kg
Aberystwyth, Wales 4kWp £480 £85 £125 1,750 kg
Manchester, North England 4kWp £450 £80 £120 1,650 kg
Stirling, Scotland 4kWp £425 £75 £110 1,560 kg


If your system is eligible for the Feed-in Tariff scheme, you could generate savings and receive payments of up to £770 a year depending on your location (based on a 4kWp solar PV system eligible for a generation tariff of 13.39p/kWh). You will get paid for both the electricity you generate and use, and what you don’t use and export to the grid. The installation of a bigger system will increase your savings and money received through the government incentive schemes.

What are the advantages this could offer you?

  • Cut your electricity bills. Sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation, your electricity costs will be reduced.
  • Get paid for the electricity you generate. The UK government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme pays you for the electricity you generate, even if you use it.
  • Sell electricity back to the grid. If your system is producing more electricity than you need, you can sell the surplus back to the grid through the Feed-in Tariff scheme.
  • Cut your carbon footprint. Solar electricity is green renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.

What are the downsides?

  • Maintenance. They will need to be kept relatively clean in order to maximize the use of the sun. Dirt can block out some of the sunlight meaning you are not harnessing as much power.
  • Sunlight. You need sunlight for them to work. On cloudy days you may find that you don’t generate as much electricity and it will also generate less in the winter as the sunlight strength is weaker. Also making sure things like trees do not grow into the sunlight which shines on the panels.

Solar panels are also a great way to power low voltage LEDs, check out our funky lights pictured below that we have recently installed for a creative way to brighten up your home.

Leds2                      Leds1