Air conditioning installers have a real opportunity in the domestic market as we see changes coming to the way we heat our homes. But as Ben Bartle-Ross explains, it’s not just performance that you need to look at.
The way the nation heats its homes is changing rapidly and we will see heat pumps become dominant in the next 5-10 years as we strive to hit the zero carbon target set by government.
Wherever you look these days, it is difficult to avoid hearing something about the ‘Climate Crisis’ and this is raising consumer awareness of our impact on the planet as never before.
At the same time, we are seeing more and more days of grid electricity coming from renewable sources, so the case for a switch to electric air source heat pumps is made even stronger.
It is true that gas is still the dominant form of heating and due to subsidies is still relatively cheap. However, heat pumps are now challenging oil heating with lower running costs, less CO2, less maintenance more convenience with intelligent, in-built, web-based controls.
At the same time, we also see a growing awareness amongst the general public of the damage we are doing to our planet and this urgent need to act is starting to permeate into the public psyche.
This will see heat pump sales grow further with the government forecasting one million sales a year by 2030.
Couple this with ambitious zero carbon targets, along with calls for a ban on gas boilers for new homes by 2025, and we can see that the market is rapidly changing.
Within the next decade, the UK domestic heating market is going to look very different from today.
So there is a tremendous opportunity for air conditioning installers who already understand heat pump technology and how to get the best out of it, so, whether you are offering air to air, air to water, or a combination of both, you could do worse than ask the leading manufacturers about training courses and support for both technologies.
In addition to telling you what they want you to hear about their product, you should have the chance to ask them about performance, controls, installation and technical support.
The main thing to remember about a heat pump’s performance though (even the most basic one) – it will work best if properly designed and correctly installed.
Make sure you ask about noise, too, because this is an area that will become increasingly important as heat pump sales increase, to ensure that neighbours aren’t disturbed – which is why Permitted Development exists.
In the residential environment, sound is important because low sound output gives more flexibility in where a heat pump can be positioned.
That is exactly why we as a manufacturer have looked beyond performance and focused heavily on developing some of the quietest units ever available – A library-quiet sound pressure level of just 45 dB(A) makes passing Permitted Development requirements much easier.
Burning ‘stuff’ to keep warm is simply no longer viable in the long-term which means we have to find alternatives and we need them now.
As the production of grid electricity gets ‘greener’ by the day, the case for electric heating using heat pumps is made even stronger, and that is where modern, advanced air to water heat pumps are ready to step up with technology that is as reliable as a kitchen fridge.
There is a phenomenal market out there amongst the growing numbers of UK homeowners that are interested in being more sustainable.
So are you ready to join the renewable revolution and deliver reliable, sustainable heating?
- Ben Bartle-Ross is a trainer in air conditioning and heat pump systems at Mitsubishi Electric. This and other articles of relevance to the sector can be found at: http://thehub.mitsubishielectric.co.uk, which also acts as a useful sales tool for installers.