Heat pumps absorb heat from different sources (Air, Ground, Water, etc) which is passed through a compressor and can then be used to heat underfloor heating systems, radiators, warm air systems or water. They work in exactly the same way as a refrigerator which extracts heat from inside and transfers it out.
Electrical energy is used to concentrate the heat energy from low temperature to warm temperature required by the house.
The Energy Saving Trust website presents a guide to possible savings in money and carbon.
Heat pumps could lower your fuel bills and reduce your homes carbon emissions, especially if you are replacing conventional electric heating.
In the British climate you can expect them to yield on average more than 2 units of heat energy for every 1 unit of electrical energy put into them. Some systems are now capable of delivering more than 4kW's of heat for every 1kW of electric consumed and can therefore be cheaper than mains gas to run and with renewable electric supply have lower CO2 emissions.
Properly designed and installed, a heat pump heating system will deliver savings over electricity, oil or coal heating systems and mains gas.
For an independant guide to heat pumps look at the Energy Saving Trust website.
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