Will a heat pump heat a building on the coldest winter day?
Heat pump technology was primarily developed in Sweden where the winters are long and harsh so heat pump systems can most definitely cope with British winters, which are relatively mild in comparison. The key to their success is the detailed design and specification process that ensures the system can produce enough energy for the application. The specification for your heat pump will be determined based on a detailed survey of your property, including a heat loss calculation which takes into account winter temperatures. Thus, when correctly designed and specified by a MCS registered installer your heat pump will always be able to heat your property.
Air source heat pumps work by extracting ambient heat from the air outside and turning it into high grade heat that is sufficient to provide hot water and space heating in domestic and commercial properties. Ground source heat pumps use fluid filled tubes that are laid underground to absorb heat from the earth. Both types of heat pump systems work in a similar method to refrigerators, except in reverse. Air source heat pumps can extract heat from the air even when temperatures are as low at -15 degrees centigrade. The ground stays at a relatively constant temperature throughout the year so ground source heat pumps are capable of working all year round.
Heat pump systems are very capable of providing a consistent, comfortable level of building heating for most sizes of property. They do produce lower levels of heat than traditional central heating systems so it’s necessary that the building is well insulated and draught-proof to prevent heat loss.