The following are the most common questions that people ask about heat pumps. If you have any other queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How does a Heat Pump work?

The simple answer is they take the available heat from the ground or air surrounding a property or business and increase it to a more useful temperature for use in your home or business. 

Will a heat pump keep me warm enough all year round?

Yes! Solaris will ensure that the system that we design for you is sized to meet the entire heat loss of your house and to deliver all the heating and hot water that you require. We can also provide cooling via chilled water for when the seasons change.

The heat pump itself will work perfectly well, even in the middle of winter when it’s well below freezing outside. 

What are the main benefits of a heat pump?

Both ground and air source heat pumps offer significant advantages over conventional heating systems such as oil and gas, or indeed alternatives such as biomass and LPG, specifically reducing energy consumption. Air Source and Ground Source heat pumps have different key benefits, you can find these on Our Services page

Don’t heat pumps use electricity, so are they good for the environment?

Installing a heat pump has a very positive impact on the environment due to the significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions produced from heating your home. It is true that heat pumps do run on electricity, however the fact that heat is simply moved from one place (the air or the ground) to another (a home or business) as opposed to being created from combustion, you typically get 3 – 5 kWh of heat for every kWh of electricity consumed. Additionally, every year more and more low and zero carbon electricity sources such as wind, tidal and solar are connected to the grid, ever reducing this carbon intensity of the electricity we use in homes and businesses. This means that installing a heat pump can save over 70% in carbon dioxide emissions compared to a traditional fossil fuel boiler. In fact, heat pumps are so much better for the environment than traditional boilers that the Government recently announced their intention to ban fossil fuel boilers in new builds from 2025. Read more about this here.

How efficient is a heat pump?

While modern boilers can be up to 90% efficient, heat pumps are between 300% - 500% efficient (if designed correctly), this is because they harvest more energy than they consume.

Do heat pumps work with radiators and underfloor heating?

Yes, heat pumps work perfectly well with radiators, provided everything is designed correctly. The key to designing a heat pump system is to ensure that the distribution system, be it radiators or underfloor heating or combination of both, can operate at the lower flow temperatures produced by a heat pump. Underfloor heating systems cover a large area, which means they can afford a low flow temperature and still deliver the heat required by your home. So, when it comes to radiators, we just need to make sure they are sized correctly to enable the heat pump to operate at a lower, more efficient flow temperature than a traditional boiler. As part of our MCS service, we carry out detailed design calculations which include a radiator schedule for rooms that are heated by radiators.

Do I require planning permission for a heat pump?

In most cases, installing a heat pump is considered a small enough change to make it a ‘permitted development’ in domestic properties. The restrictions are as follows

• The heat pump must comply with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Planning Standards (or equivalent).

• No other heat pump or a wind turbine has been installed on the building (additional installations require planning permission).

•  Any outdoor unit should be no bigger than 0.6 cubic metres and at least 1 metre away from the site boundary.

•  Air source heat pumps installed on a flat roof should be within 1 metre of the roof edge.

•  In conservation areas and World Heritage Sites, heat pumps should be installed at ground level and should not be fitted on a wall or roof which fronts a highway.

If your home is a listed building or on a site of a designed scheduled monument, planning permission, and in some cases listed building consent, may be required

What funding is available for heat pumps?

The main funding available is the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The domestic RHI is for single rated properties and is payable for seven years. Quarterly tax-free payments, which increase annually in line with the consumer price index, are made to the homeowner. The amount of RHI payable is based on the energy performance certificate (EPC) you receive once your heating installation is complete. This scheme will end in March 2022.

As of April 2022, the Clean Heat Grant could cover upfront costs of up to £7,000

Does my heat pump require regular maintenance?

Heat pumps require maintenance like any other mechanical equipment. We do recommend that your system is checked by us each year to make sure that it’s still running as efficiently as it should. For more details on what is involved, please visit our Aftercare page

Should I turn my heat pump off during the summer?

The heat pump will automatically turn off the heating when the outside temperature gets about 18ᵒC but will continue to heat the domestic hot water, so that you don’t need to adjust the heat pump in the summer.