Charlotte lives in a semi-detached 3-bed home with her husband and 2 children on the south coast. She and her family have had a 12kW air source heat pump installed, including a new unvented hot water cylinder, to cope with the demands of a busy family home.
"We were embarking on an extension into the loft which meant that at a minimum we’d need to update our gas boiler to a bigger combi boiler as the one we had would not have been sufficient.
As a family we are environmentally aware and try to do as much as we can. So, naturally when it came to deciding on what we were going to do we started to look more into what options were available to us. With all the coverage in the press about the government looking to ban gas boilers in the future and the damage that gas heating causes the environment we questioned why we would spend £5,000 on a new gas boiler.
We started to research online as well as speaking to various companies and quickly decided that a ground source heat pump would have caused too much disruption. An air source heat pump looked like the most viable option available to us.
Cost was a big factor and looking at the initial costs spending upwards of £12,000 to install a heat pump seemed like a lot of money to invest. However, when considering the RHI payments that we could expect, the actual cost to us was more in the region of £6,000 and not that much more than we would have had to spend on a gas boiler.
We were aware that by choosing an air source heat pump we wouldn’t be choosing the cheapest option. For our family we decided the extra £1,000 was money well spent to have a much cleaner and environmentally better heating option that will last much longer than a boiler."
How was your experience with Igloo?
"The team were eager to provide all the information we needed and gave their honest recommendations. The virtual survey worked great and provided all the information they needed to give a fully designed heating plan to provide the warmth and hot water we needed for our home.
The actual install process with Igloo was good – the team were approachable and answered all our questions and were responsive to answer calls quickly ahead of the appointment.
We realised that any changes to the renovation required everyone to be updated. What may not seem a big change could affect the designed installation plan. To make sure all factors are considered, it’s important for clear understanding and communication."
How is living with a heat pump?
"We’ve only just installed the air source heat pump and, given the time of the year, it's only heating the hot water for us now.
During our research we found out that the air source heat pump is said to be more efficient, so we are hoping that the increase in costs will be manageable.
We are prepared for the bills to be higher in the short term, it’s apparent that it will cost a bit more to heat our home in the winter. However, we’ve done our research and know that there is talk of taxes going down on electricity and gas prices going up. We are taking a bit of a gamble on the taxes until it's confirmed but it's one that we believe will benefit us in the long run because it allows us to switch to cleaner heating sooner.
We are also taking the opportunity to look into solar panels and home storage batteries to further mitigate any increase in costs in the short term and have a much eco-friendlier home."
What would you say to those thinking about switching?
"Go for it if you can, especially if you are about to take on a renovation in your home. My parents think it’s great, my dad especially is fascinated by the technology of the inner working and connections of the pipes and cylinder. Others are impressed that we’ve gone for it and will consider switching to a heat pump when they are in the market to change their boiler.
There is still not enough information and education about them to encourage more people to choose a heat pump. It all seems very new. We naturally had questions about what will happen if things go wrong, and we discussed this with the Igloo engineers who reassured us that there were fewer things to go wrong with the heat pump unit compared to a boiler, as long as it is designed, installed and commissioned correctly.
Overall, we are very excited that we have made the right decision for our family and have comfort in knowing that we are doing the right thing. Our children are also very active in thinking about what we can all do now to help for the future."