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Heat pumps don't work: debunking myths & misconceptions

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Mars
 Mars
(@editor)
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Many of you here may already be familiar with our separate website and YouTube channel, My Home Farm, where we've shared numerous articles and videos about our air source heat pump. In this journey, we've often encountered messages and emails criticizing ASHPs. Interestingly, over the past three weeks, there's been a noticeable uptick in messages claiming ASHPs don't work. While these messages aren't aggressive, they are often based on misinformation, not helped by coverage from outlets like the Daily Mail and Telegraph, which sometimes fall short in educating the public accurately.

In the last year, we haven't produced much content specifically about heat pumps, but this recent influx of inquiries has inspired us to create a series of short videos, each under 60 seconds, for our Renewable Heating Hub YouTube channel. These shorts will directly tackle questions and myths. We understand not everyone wants to watch lengthy discussions about our heat pump, so these concise videos should offer a more effective way to share insights. Stay tuned to this thread, where we'll be posting these shorts as they're released.

Please support us by watching these videos or sharing them with people that are skeptical, and new subscribers will us out immensely too. These will be "personal" videos, based on our experiences this winter.

PS – let me know if you have any good ideas for videos that would be helpful, insightful or educational.

Buy Bodge Buster – Homeowner Air Source Heat Pump Installation Guide: https://amzn.to/3NVndlU

Follow our sustainability journey at My Home Farm: https://myhomefarm.co.uk


   
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Mars
 Mars
(@editor)
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Topic starter  

With temperatures dropping to -4°C here this week did our heat pump keep our 190-year-old farmhouse warm?

https://youtube.com/shorts/WxYgAtSDlAo

Buy Bodge Buster – Homeowner Air Source Heat Pump Installation Guide: https://amzn.to/3NVndlU

Follow our sustainability journey at My Home Farm: https://myhomefarm.co.uk


   
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(@iancalderbank)
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do you monitor your COP or heat energy output ? or meter the HP separately? I think you need to have that to be able to talk numbers.

I know you are trying to keep this non-tech, you could do something like.

  • I used A kwh of electricity for heating, that cost me B
  • that usage of A generated C kwh of heat  (of which A came from electricity, C-A came for free from the atmosphere because of how the HeatPump works). C is what went into heating my home.
  • To generate the same C kwh of heat from burning (oil , gas) would have cost me D.
  • illustrate what B vs D is on
    • a -4C day (cost could perhaps be worse),
    • a +2C day,
    • a +8C day,
    • a month,
    • 3 months dec-feb. (cost should clearly be better by this point)

a very simple graphic could show the above  points.

My octopus signup link https://share.octopus.energy/ebony-deer-230
210m2 house, Samsung 16kw Gen6 ASHP Self installed: Single circulation loop , PWM modulating pump.
My public ASHP stats: https://heatpumpmonitor.org/system/view?id=45
11.9kWp of PV
41kWh of Battery storage (3x Powerwall 2)
2x BEVs


   
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Mars
 Mars
(@editor)
Illustrious Member Admin
17001 kWhs
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Joined: 3 years ago
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Topic starter  

@iancalderbank, I have similar videos planned. A mix of non-tech, with techie, number driven videos. The number-driven videos will follow in due course. This video was intended to just be a quick and dirty overview that we are keeping warm. Running costs, efficiency, etc. video will follow.

Buy Bodge Buster – Homeowner Air Source Heat Pump Installation Guide: https://amzn.to/3NVndlU

Follow our sustainability journey at My Home Farm: https://myhomefarm.co.uk


   
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(@iancalderbank)
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@editor my point is really that you said you used Xkwh - but that was the whole house - you have no separation for heat. without that its meaningless IMO.

like when  it says on the news the average energy bill goes up by £xxx - for what usage? at what unit rate? its a number without meaning.

It is though worth pointing out (separately) that a well installed heat pump has no problem keeping you warm at sub-zero temps.

My octopus signup link https://share.octopus.energy/ebony-deer-230
210m2 house, Samsung 16kw Gen6 ASHP Self installed: Single circulation loop , PWM modulating pump.
My public ASHP stats: https://heatpumpmonitor.org/system/view?id=45
11.9kWp of PV
41kWh of Battery storage (3x Powerwall 2)
2x BEVs


   
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MikeFl
(@mikefl)
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@editor I think it's important to focus on "energy used" rather than COP. HP owners tend to focus on COP, which is quite a novel concept for non-HP people; whereas "energy used" = "cost", which is language everyone gets.

Grant Aerona 3 10kW


   
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(@sunandair)
Prominent Member Member
2538 kWhs
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Posts: 345
 

@editor

Just some notes and Ideas....

Maybe a bit of easy maths can be interesting to the wider public, as well as educational.

example

A: When it’s cold outside (-3C) we use 30kwh in 24 hours with a COP of 2.93

B: When it’s moderate outside (+10C) we use 12kwh in 24 hours with a COP of 3.82

How much money? - How much energy?

A: 30 X 36p = £10.8   (COP 2.93 X 30 = 88kwh created by the Heat Pump)

B: 12 X 36p = £4.32   (COP 3.82 X 12 = 45.84kwh created by the Heat Pump)

ps this is estimated consumption  from our Ecodan energy data.

Perhaps you could also quote how many days in the heating season is a typical 10C and how many days are down to -3C. 


   
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(@hughf)
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When people say ‘they don’t work’ , what they actually mean is ‘it costs more than gas’… which, unfortunately, in the current energy price environment we live in, is all that matters to 90% of folk

What you need to do is say that for the coldest three months of the year it will probably cost a bit more, but for the rest of the year it will cost a lot less, and you’ll end up quids in overall.

Remember, most people are thick 🤣

Off grid on the isle of purbeck
2.4kW solar, 15kWh Seplos Mason, Outback power systems 3kW inverter/charger, solid fuel heating with air/air for shoulder months, 10 acres of heathland/woods.

My wife’s house: 1946 3 bed end of terrace in Somerset, ASHP with rads + UFH, triple glazed, retrofit IWI in troublesome rooms, small rear extension.


   
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(@marvinator80)
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Here’s a blog from a prominent blogger/journalist in the Scottish on the Scottish political scene. He’s no dummy but this was drivel and he was quickly challenged by quite a few people.

https://robinmcalpine.org/air-source-heat-pumps-are-not-the-answer/


   
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(@chickenbig)
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Posts: 290
 

Scotland does not manufacture air source heat pumps

That will come as a surprise to those who assemble Mitsubishi Ecodan units in Livingston!

Heat pumps cost about £15,000 to install and on average last for about 15 years.

Hopefully the pipework and radiators within the house will last a bit longer than that!

However I do have to agree that a more systematic approach is appropriate for something which requires widespread and long-term change. Pushing money into the private sector with grants (hello BUS) will simply result in feast-then-famine, and is no assurance of outcomes. Upgrading a house is very path dependent (insulation then heat pump will have a different end-point to heat pump then insulation), and upgrading a country more so. Elsewhere in this forum I've been trying to highlight the possibilities of heat networks, including the ability to decouple the price of heat from the price of electricity (if an appropriate source is available), which could reduce the need for more expensive insulation measures.

See the Scottish railway electrification program, where a pipeline of work has resulted in solid progress being made at more reasonable cost levels (as opposed to down in England where "bionic duckweed" rules the roost).  As a counterpoint see the UK-wide smart meter rollout where they have been installed piecemeal when consumers feel like it.

In general heat networks don't fall into the "bionic duckweed" category as they already exist (e.g. the Glasgow district heating network), but they do require a systematic approach to rollout and benefit accounting.

 

   
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Abernyte
(@abernyte)
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Not only do they assemble them at Livingston, Mitsubishi have been manufacturing them at Livingston since 1994!


   
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Toodles
(@toodles)
Noble Member Contributor
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@chickenbig There is something to be said for ‘vetting’ all journalists before they are let loose on the unsuspecting general public; vets are very proficient at neutering I believe. Regards, Toodles.

Toodles, 76 years young and hoping to see 100 and make some ROI on my renewable energy investment!


   
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