Old Buildings Vs Heat Pumps

May 2023

  • Old Buildings Vs Heat Pumps
  • Old Buildings Vs Heat Pumps

The general mood towards the debate as to whether heat pumps are suitable for older properties isn’t an optimistic one. Immediate pessimism isn’t an attitude we’d like to see, especially while we’re working towards the UK catching up in the epic heat pump race (that we’re losing).

If you weren’t aware, Europe is doing well in installing heat pumps on a mass level and is replacing plenty of gas boilers. However, the UK has the fewest installations and is at the bottom of the league.

To put us all on the same page regarding this debate, it’s important to note that because there is such a variety of heat pump models on the market these days, the correct selection could be made to heat any room to your ideal temperature. The issue then is more so, can we reach an acceptable efficiency?

Can We Reach Acceptable Efficiency Rates?

Despite owning an old property, we hope to provide the correct information to help you determine how to make a heat pump work for you.

It’s impossible to make a general statement like, ‘the only way to make a heat pump work for your building is to improve insulation.’ With the right technician, any home can utilise the benefits of a heat pump.

When temperatures rise considerably, power requirements rise along with it. The result is a drop in energy efficiency and increased running costs. The harder your heat pump needs to work to reach and maintain a desirable temperature, the more electricity it requires; therefore, it’ll cost you.

Reasons for a decrease in efficiency and increase in cost usually boil down to poor installation.

“We have heat pumps installed in all manner of buildings, from high tech well insulated ‘grand design’ type properties, right through to 300 year-old listed buildings that cannot improve their insulation. They are all warm, and the homeowners couldn’t be happier. The secret is understanding how buildings react to heat and how to design a system properly; this is why we have a tech team at Nuenta that are experts at system design rather, than just understanding the heat pump itself.”
Craig Baker - Technical Director

The Facts

You can check out the full report here, but we’ll bring you up to speed.

A Government funded study has answered the age-old question of whether heat pump tech works in old properties for us. Let’s recap.

750 heat pumps were installed across the South East of Scotland, Newcastle and the South East of England. Three regions brimming with companies as passionate about this tech as we are. The aim was to make the locations as varied as possible, along with the house types.

Whether users lived in a flat, a detached property, a semi-detached, a mid-terrace or an end-terrace, all users received a quality installation with success. Admittedly, there’s more to think about in homes built before 1945, yet that didn’t postpone the installation of 163 heat pumps, proving there is no challenge a heat pump cannot overcome.

Increasing Efficiency

If you want to make minor changes in your home to increase heating efficiency, regardless of whether you’re using a heat pump, you can improve insulation. Significantly, above and below, so cellars and attics. Perhaps your building isn’t just old but a little outdated. Double-glazed windows are also a good step forward in improving insulation.

Heat Pumps are for Everyone

Your best bet is to contact a trusted installer or supplier like us. Our in-house technicians live and breathe heat pumps and know how to make any system work.

With funding opportunities through Government grants, heat pumps are a viable solution to any household’s heating requirements.