As a country, we are on a journey to enhance our sustainability in as many ways as we can, providing a cleaner and greener future for everyone.
Speaking at COP27, Minister Eamonn Ryan reinforced the goals of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan announcing Ireland’s focus on moving Ireland towards reducing emissions by 51% by 2030 and striving for net zero emissions by 2050.
Intending to be more environmentally conscious, it is important to take any steps, big or small, to improve the carbon footprint we leave behind.
With housing accounting for a significant proportion of energy usage, specifically, 25%, many steps are being taken to make new-build homes much more sustainable, alleviating much of the stress and burden that can be caused by inefficient homes.
One of the most prominent updates to home heating, aiding our sustainability goal is the installation of air-to-water pumps as the core heating system of second-hand and new-build homes.
In this article, we will explain what an air-to-water pump is, how they work and some of the major benefits of having this heating system in your home.
Explained: Air-to-Water Pumps
You may be unfamiliar with the concept of air-to-water pumps as a form of home heating, so we are here to help explain how they work to heat your home.
As the name suggests, the premise of this heating system is to use air to generate heat for your home, but in detail, this is how the process works from start to end:
- The system itself will start by collecting air from outside the home which can have the heat extracted from it inside the pump system.
- The air that is gathered can then be used to heat up the liquid refrigerant inside the pump, which can then be further heated in the process of compression, completed by an internal pump installed inside.
- The water is then moved to a hot water reserve tank, where the heated water can then be pumped around the home to heating devices such as underfloor heaters, radiators and water faucets, with the option to adjust the temperature with a thermostat.
- Cold water is then transferred back to the water reserve tank and the coolant is cooled by the water, ready to return to the outside unit.
The Benefits of an Air-to-Water Heat Pump
Some may wonder why changing to an air-to-water pump is worth it, given that you can expect to see an initially high installation cost.
However, we are here to explain some of the instant, short-term and long-term benefits of changing to this much more environmentally friendly home heating system.
- Significantly reduces your carbon footprint
Greater strides are needed to help to reach the goals and targets set out in our climate action plan, meaning finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is of huge importance and can aid in making a significant change.
As the air-to-water pumps utilise air as a natural resource, they are a much cleaner solution in comparison to gas or oil-based heating systems which put a strain on our non-renewable energy resources and produce harmful emissions that are subsequently released into the atmosphere.
Making the switch to an air-to-water pump system means you are making a positive step towards reducing harmful emission production and lessening your dependency on gas and oil products.
- Improves the BER of your home
BER or Building Energy Rating is the industry standard scale used to rank a building’s energy efficiency.
This scale runs from A-G, meaning houses that are ‘A’-rated are the most energy efficient and those that are ‘G’-rated are the least energy efficient.
As BER is based on an analysis of lighting, space and hot water heating and ventilation, having a heating system like an air-to-water pump will play an important role in ensuring that your home can rank higher on the BER scale given the increased energy efficiency of the technology.
If you would like to know more about BER and how to improve your home’s rating, take a look at our article here.
- Enhances the value of your home
With the whole world working collaboratively towards a cleaner future, the demand for smarter, greener homes is growing in popularity, with many trying to make as much of a contribution as possible.
Having such an efficient source of energy in your home is becoming a much more desirable feature.
Not only can homeowners future-proof for the shift towards sustainability but also for the significant savings that can be gained on energy bills, something that will become invaluable to those looking for their forever homes.
An air-to-water pump system will improve the value of your house on the market, acting as another benefit of opting for this more sustainable heating system.
- Long Lifespan
This sustainable system is also a great option for hassle-free heating.
With an air-to-water pump system lasting as long as 20 years, you can have much-needed peace of mind knowing that you will rarely have to worry about any issues or malfunctions.
- Save on energy bills
One of the biggest advantages of having an air-to-water pump rather than a traditional gas or oil boiler is that you are sure to achieve much greater savings on energy costs.
On average, an Irish household can expect to spend almost €1,000 annually to heat their home and their water.
However, air-to-water pumps can help you to make greater savings on heating bills with the average daily spend to heat your home lying between €2 and €4 per day.
Even though the initial installation may be quite high, the opportunity to save in the long run is massive and will reduce your energy bills to only a fraction of the current home heating bills you are greeted with each month.
We hope we have given you greater insight into air-to-water pumps as a sustainable home heating system, one that we use in a variety of our Whitebox Developments.