As we move into an era where heating and cooling hardware grows more attuned to the environment and end-customer needs, what do you stand to gain with the right kind of technology?
When considering heat pumps, an increasing number of studies are now bringing to light the true capabilities of this deceptively simple piece of technology.
Our blog this week really dives into the numbers behind these recent expositions, proving, ultimately, that heat pumps are truly an efficient way to heat and cool buildings.
Heat pumps are cost-effective from start to finish
When considering the heating and cooling system in a building, there are three primary costs: purchase and installation costs, running costs, and maintenance costs. Of these, the expenditure that goes towards fuel is, by far, the most significant component.
Given the increased fervour in combating climate change all across the world, it is likely that the future will only bring an added cost into the equation - a carbon tax. This will be levied on hardware that burns up fossil fuel.
When studied across its entire lifetime, it has been found that heat pumps are around 25% cheaper to install and maintain than other traditional heating and cooling systems. This is without taking any governmental incentives or rebates that presently exist to help support a transition into cleaner energy, into consideration. In the United Kingdom, for instance, a renewable heat incentive guaranteed for 20 years, puts the total lifetime cost of this hardware to be significantly below those of gas boilers. This only adds to the overall cost-efficiency of these devices.
It has been forecasted that by 2030, savings will increase to around 40% more than gas boilers and other conventional cooling systems (without taking incentives into account). This is an exceptional rate of saving that can’t be expected from many other dual-purpose hardware devices.
They perform dual functions with less energy
Heat pumps owe most of its superiority to its very simple technology. Using the same principle underlying the operation of your everyday fridge and freezer, heat pumps exchange heat between the internal and external environments of a building, keeping buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
One of the most striking features of this device is its extreme energy efficiency. According to a study by WSP, heat pumps can reduce carbon emissions by 70%, when compared to gas boilers. Given their dual operation and heavy reliance on natural resources, energy usage for two significant energy consumers - A/Cs and gas boilers/furnaces - are cut down significantly.
In Europe, it is estimated that heating and cooling represents a quarter of the total carbon emissions per year. With the Paris Agreement taking force around the world, nations are compelled to maintain the increase in global average temperature below 2°C. In a context where heating and cooling are no longer luxuries, energy efficient alternatives to traditional hardware, such as heat pumps, are increasingly becoming the answer.
Heat pumps reduce a property’s carbon footprint
In certain cities, it has been found that Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions arising from gas boilers account for more than 30% of total emissions. Given their large contribution to overall pollution, countries around the world have taken significant efforts in recent years to combat its presence and effects. Heat Pumps produce virtually zero NOx emissions at any point of use and are, therefore, extremely favourable to the outside environment.
Beyond this, these devices also play a major role in improving the overall quality of air in a given city. Given that NO x emissions are once again the main culprit, heat pumps are a champion in improving the air which we breathe.
The major factor that contributes to a heat pump’s environmentally friendly nature, has to do with the fact that very little fossil fuels are burned for its operation. Most traditional heating systems emit greenhouse gases by burning gas, while cooling systems rely on fossil fuels to generate the electricity it requires. While heat pumps do in fact rely on a certain amount of electricity, this can be reduced to virtually zero based on the source of your electricity.
If, like many Australian households, you run on either solar or wind power, there’s next to no drawback to the environment with this type of hardware.
Heat pumps are, indeed, the way forward. By considering its superior energy efficiency, enhanced cost-saving capabilities, as well as its effect (or lack thereof) on the environment, there’s really no room for debate about whether they’re good buys or not.
By taking stock of the multiple evidence set out above, it’s safe to conclude that this piece of hardware technology is truly an efficient way to heat and cool buildings.