This articles intention hopefully, is to help clarify the
reader as to whether a heat pump is worth considering and which manufacturer to
choose. I have looked at some of the top brands of heat pumps and chosen Air to
water heat pumps over Ground source to analyse, naturally ground source heat
pumps are/should be far more energy efficient than Air source, but I won’t go
into that here.

When you are trying to compare like-for-like between the
manufacturers as I have found it can be confusing as they may and do use
different parameters to demonstrate their efficiency, after all the only reason
you are thinking of buying a heat pump is will it save you money? So, in
looking at the different makes I kept it simple as you should and I used A2w35 as
my benchmark which indicates its COP (coefficient of performance) when it was
producing 35°C MWT (mean water temperature) with the outside air temperature at
2°C. Naturally when the air temperature is higher or lower the COP will be
different such as if the air temperature was 7°C then the COP will be better.

Unfortunately I am not going to name the manufacturers as I
can’t afford a lawsuit but it is easy enough for you to look up these
performance figures for yourself or you can always contact me directly for an
impartial view as an installer –
. Other than the actual performance more of which later, what other factors
need considering when choosing a heat pump? My view is it comes down to simply build
quality of the product and the reputation and service you would expect from the
manufacturers against the cost, when you are considering the purchase of such
an expensive item.

The cost of heat pumps is the biggest barrier against going
for this technology for most people unfortunately in comparison to conventional
heating boilers, the cost we were hoping was to be made more palatable with the
RHI (renewable heating incentive) but this looks not likely until sometime in
2014, so why should I buy one? I believe it come’s down to two reasons the
first is its a ‘clean’ technology energy source being electrically driven and
secondly and the major point is that it should be energy efficient and
therefore reduce your fuel bills.

So back to A7w35 and my findings for this I have looked several
heat pumps both ‘conventional’ and inverter driven around the 7Kw output range,
the three key point to consider are heat output, power input and the COP it
delivers at those temperatures – my conclusion to this is you pay for what you
get, quality will always outweigh cost in the long run – as a case in point as I
write this, I have received another phone call from a unhappy customer who had
a ‘well known’ heat pump installed by his builder/plumber and it’s not doing
what it is supposed to and would like for us to produce a report to confront his
builder/insurance company.

This gives us all a bad name in the heat pump business,
making heat pumps look as if they are not worth it when the truth is the exact
opposite but only if you get the right product in the first place from
installers who have the knowledge and design experience to give you helpful
impartial advice to carry the installation and only if it is appropriate for
your property. In conclusion do as much research and fact finding and talk to
people who know and don’t rely on people who don’t!