Modern House with Air Source Heat Pump

Cindy Whife and Malcolm Domb have lived in a recently built three bedroom detached house in Peggys Walk since 2013. Although these well-insulated houses were designed for low carbon heating, the initial prototype ASHPs performed badly and have generally been replaced with new much more effective and efficient models.

Cindy standing next to her Grant Aerona air source heat pump

Cindy says “The original heat pumps were noisy, inefficient, couldn’t cope with very cold weather and ours broke down after 2 years. We had no hot water/heating for two weeks in December 2014. We had a real struggle to get the heat pump replaced. No one would take responsibility for it but Kingspan eventually replaced it. The old one had just been serviced at a cost of £180. I have just found the original email (2014) from me asking for my money back! 😡 “

“The radiators only ever got lukewarm but as the house was well insulated this wasn’t a problem…..until we had a very cold winter and the heat pump couldn’t cope. The heating never reached above 21 degrees and we had to use other plug in electric heaters to heat the house. It was never as easy as turning up the thermostat and getting an instant boost of heat. “

“We also had problems with the initial replacement from the same company which lasted a further eight years. We realised it was not that efficient heating the house. We’d had problems with it breaking down around 2019/2021 and it was very difficult to get someone to return your call let alone come out and look at it. This was resolved by replacement with a Grant ASHP installed by L.H. Cook. The heat pump was fitted in a matter of weeks for £7,000 which also covered the installation, in April 2023. It was Jonathan Ashe who put us onto L.H. Cook. “

” The performance of the system was greatly improved and is definitely less noisy. The radiators get hotter and the airing cupboard is warm. It has coped with a cold winter but we are yet to see how much cold it could actually cope with. The running costs still seem reasonable even after the massive rise in electricity bills. “

Cindy and Malcolm set their thermostat to a constant temperature. If the temperature drops below it, the heating will cut in. There is one thermostat upstairs and one downstairs, so different temperatures can be set. The water is set to heat up four times a day and briefly overrides the heating.

Cindy says “Overall we’re pleased – it’s always warm when you walk into our house.”

This is a comparison of our current and previous electricity bills to give you some idea:

MonthNew Grant Heat Pump (2023/24) (Mean daily temperature)Old Heat Pump (2022/23)
(Mean daily temperature)
£188 (12˚C)
£121 (17˚C)
£107 (17˚C)
£118 (17˚C)
£106 (18˚C)
£149 (13˚C)
£197 (7˚C)
£268 (7˚C)
£330 (5˚C)
£217 (8˚C)
£153 (13˚C)
£170 (16˚C)
£195 ( 20˚C)
£195 ( 20˚C)
£199 (15˚C)
£266 (13˚C)
£332 (9˚C)
£516 (4˚C)
£506 (5˚C)
£389 (6˚C)
Comparison of electricity costs with old and new heat pump given the mean daily temperature each month. October, November and January are interesting comparisons, showing the new heat pump is cheaper despite colder weather in November 2023.

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