Generating your own energy is now easier and cheaper than ever before.

There are seven key options to choose from: wind turbines, solar water heating and solar electricity, ground source and air source heat pumps, wood fuelled heating and hydro power.

We’re looking at AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS in more detail.

AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS absorb heat from the outside air even when the temperature is as low as minus 15° C. This heat is used to warm water for radiators or underfloor heating systems, or to warm the air in your home. There are two main types:

• An air-to-water system uses the heat to warm water. Heat pumps heat water to a lower temperature than a standard boiler system would, so they are more suitable for underfloor heating systems than radiator systems
• An air-to-air system produces warm air which is circulated by fans to heat your home.

The benefits of air source heat pumps;
• Reduce your fuel bills: air source heat pumps run on electricity, so there’s no need to pay for gas, oil or solid fuels to heat your home.
• Cut down on wasted electricity: heating your home with an air source heat pump is much more efficient than using electric radiators.
• Save space: an air source heat pump system is compact, and requires no storage space for fuel.

The efficiency of air source heat pump systems is measured by a coefficient of performance (CoP) – the amount of heat they produce compared to the amount of electricity needed to run them. A typical CoP for an air source heat pump is around 2.5.

Various grants of up to £2500 are also available to encourage home owners to generate their own power.

If generating your own power is something you’d like to explore further then The Energy Saving Trust website has a simple questionnaire to help you narrow down your options.

About the Author: Chantal Cooke is co-founder of PASSION for the PLANET and a London Leader in Sustainability

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