Gransnet forums

House and home

Heat Pump

(16 Posts)
hazel93 Fri 30-Jul-21 15:28:36

We are building our retirement home and obviously asked it to be as future proof as possible.
Just wondered if anyone has one and the positives and negatives as there are so many diverse opinions.

welbeck Fri 30-Jul-21 15:40:19

no real knowledge, sorry, but did hear it mentioned on ? you n yours recently.
seemed they may not be adequate in uk esp further north, ie colder winters.
also big cost of changing all pipework, but guess if new build you will avoid that.
here is some people's ideas and experiences:

Bluefox Fri 30-Jul-21 15:41:44

My husband and I are also building our retirement home and did think about a heat pump but aside of it being shockingly expensive to install and having to accommodate a rather large and ugly contraption in the garden we spoke to a plumber who said that what he thought was likely to be the preferred option eventually would be hydrogen powered heating which he expected to be reasonably easy to convert to from a modern gas boiler, so we’ve decided on gas.

Skydancer Fri 30-Jul-21 15:52:22

How exciting! We've renovated a couple of properties but never built our own. The latest technologies are brilliant so no doubt your home will be wonderful. No advice but just wish you good luck.

tanith Fri 30-Jul-21 16:16:19

My next door neighbour had one put in a few months ago it cost over 6k lots of pipe work and his loft boiler removed, he had to clear a space in his garage for the batteries but he says it’s working well. I really don’t understand how it works or why the batteries had to go in the garage but a new build may make it much simpler.

hazel93 Fri 30-Jul-21 16:20:49

Thanks everyone !
I know how ridiculously expensive to install the damn things are but where we are building in N. Cornwall - no mains gas in our area.
Electricity we have but trying to weigh up the best way to go is a total headache which is why I asked. We have a large plot so the size of the pump in itself would not be a real problem.

chocolatepudding Fri 30-Jul-21 16:31:20

We installed a heat pump when we built our new house in 2007. We ran 600+ metres of pipe underground in a meadow next to our house and all three floors are concrete with underfloor pipes buried in them. For every kw of electricity used to power the heat pump we get 4 kws heat out of the ground. Also we have 16 solar panels so when the suns shines in the cooler weather we run the heat pump.

Drawbacks - the house will take several hours to warm up when you start using the pump in cooler weather and you learn to watch the weather forecasts and top up the heat in the house. Most winter days the heat pump will only run for one or tow hours to top up the heat level - preferably whilst the sun is shining!

Another point - when you choose carpets make sure you buy the correct underlay which will let the heat through!

Katie59 Fri 30-Jul-21 16:31:32

For a new house a heat pump is a good choice along with underfloor heating, my cousin has just built a new house and it is lovely, as warm as toast with underfloor heating. No radiators lots of insulation, not cheap but is the future,wish I had that kind of money to build new.

hazel93 Fri 30-Jul-21 16:49:01

Thank you Katie !
Please tell me your cousin lives in the UK !!!!

Bluefox Fri 30-Jul-21 17:28:48


Thanks everyone !
I know how ridiculously expensive to install the damn things are but where we are building in N. Cornwall - no mains gas in our area.
Electricity we have but trying to weigh up the best way to go is a total headache which is why I asked. We have a large plot so the size of the pump in itself would not be a real problem.

It would probably be a good move for you under those circumstances. Our new plot is quite small and we’re already having to find room for the outside units for the air conditioning. Good luck with the build. Have you done this before, I have and I swore I’d never do it again! ?

NotAGran55 Fri 30-Jul-21 17:38:09

I have friends who have one , new build 15 years ago . They are very canny with money and cost conscious . His dad was a major builder in this area for many years.
The house is boiling ? hot (IMO) and I’ve never heard of them having any problems with it . It is their ‘forever’ house btw.

muse Fri 30-Jul-21 18:13:05

We’ve almost finished our south facing bungalow. It’s had a provisional energy rating of A+++ All we have to do now is connect water and power and do 2nd fix. We had mains put in but will only use that when the self generated power (photovoltaic panels) / batteries run low.

Solar thermal panels and massive solar hot water tank. Heat recovery unit - no vents any where. Slate floor because of its thermal quality. Wood burner with air inlet under floor. I’ll put a few rugs in odd places. No pump. No underfloor heating.

No mains gas. No mains water. No mains drainage. Lots of places in Cornwall don’t have these three.

We looked at how energy efficient all pumps + underfloor heating were and heat recovery unit was better plus it controls the humidity and temp is fairly constant. It runs continuously and costs little to run. Again important as we produce our own power. Had a very tight budget and heat recovery, all in, was an eighth the cost of a pump and underfloor heating. Cheapest pumps are ground source if you’re still interested in them.

1/3 of the budget went on insulation above, under and all walls.

Our build and probably lifestyle wouldn’t suit many but we can’t wait to move in. We’re in Cornwall too.

Good luck with your build. Oh! You probably know but Cornwall is very wet!

Katie59 Fri 30-Jul-21 18:23:12


Thank you Katie !
Please tell me your cousin lives in the UK !!!!

Midlands, ground source heat pump, new barn conversion.

M0nica Sat 31-Jul-21 15:39:44

Not everyone has a meadow next door to run the pipework necessary to run ground sourced heat pumps. Most air sourced heatpumps will sound like air conditioning units and look like them and unless being installed in new houses with very high levels of insulation are unlikely to provide enough heat to heat the many millions of pre 2000 houses. many of them pre 1900, that form the bulk of the housing stock, even if the insulation levels are improved.

Heat pumps work best with underfloor heating, but most retrofit installations will require replacing all the radiators with much larger radiators, sterilising valuable wall space for all the things like bookcases, cupboards and beds that now occupy the space. I have seen estimates of up to £12,000 for a heat pump installation taking into account replacing radiators etc.

I do not understand why we cannot just replace gas boilers with electric boilers or even individul room heaters linked to a central control unit, where the heating of each room can be individually programmed,

Yes, these alternatives will lead to much higher fuel bills, but even if a heat pump has fuel costs less than those alternatives, it is still going to be a lot more expensive than gas. Heating bills with any form of alternative to the gas boiler, are going to rise steeply and the £10,000 or more a heat pump may cost to install, can just as easily be used to pay extra heating bills arising from having an electric boiler or individual wall heaters.

I also wonder where all the electricity is going to come from. Moving to electric cars and elctric domestic heating, and hydrogen also needs a lot of electricity to produce it.

Our nuclear power station developments have all stalled and the number of wind turbines and solar arrays needed to meet this hugely increased power demand would be enormous and what do you do when the wind stops blowing?

Battery developments for electricity storage are coming on, but slowly and even more development into health and safety around it is needed. We all remember the Samsung mobile phone with a high power battery that had to be withdrawn because of the inclination of the battery to explode. Now write this up to a battery array storing enough to power a city when the turbines are not working and imagine that exploding.

Katie59 Sat 31-Jul-21 21:06:31

You do need a large garden to use ground source but is the best option, not really suitable for smaller existing properties. OH did look into upgrading the bungalow but too expensive to convert an existing place.
Really only suitable for a new build or conversion with floor insulation, in which case it’s probably not much more than a boiler system

hazel93 Sun 22-Aug-21 16:29:29

We have now decided to go the air pump route - on our head be it !
All foundations now in place, drains, radon chamber etc.. Still a total building site obviously but I am getting a tad excited - unlike the bank account !