With the cost of fossil fuels rising and concerns over global warming increasing, you may be among those keen to make the switch from traditional heating solutions to renewable heating systems. At Viessmann, we offer a variety of sustainable heating options that can help you to lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
Heat pumps are an increasingly popular renewable energy technology that use energy from the air or ground outside your home and convert it into heat. We provide a variety of air source and ground source heat pumps.
How do heat pumps work?
These pumps use the natural heat source, whether this is the ground or air surrounding your property, and increase it to provide a source of warmth for your home. They use the same principle that allows your fridge to cool food and drink, but in reverse.
The warmth from the air or ground is either pumped or blown over a heat exchange surface. This heat, although much cooler than the temperature inside your home, is warm enough to cause a refrigerant liquid to evaporate and turn into gas.
The pressure of this gas is then increased using a compressor, which causes its temperature to rise – and the heat created is transferred into your central heating and hot water system.
How efficient are heat pumps?
All heat pumps need some electricity to run, but because they are highly effective at extracting renewable heat from the environment, their energy output is considerably greater than their electricity input.
This means that both air source and ground source heat pumps can help you to lower your home’s energy bills and carbon emissions.
Most heat pumps can also be connected to a solar thermal system to provide the power required to operate, making them even more environmentally friendly and efficient.
The cost of solar energy technology has fallen considerably over recent years, making these solutions accessible to many more people. At Viessmann, we offer solar thermal systems that provide hot water, as well as solar panels that generate electricity.
How do solar thermal systems work?
Solar thermal systems, also known as solar water heating systems, use the sun’s energy to provide hot water for your home.
They feature either flat plate collectors or evacuated tubes that are fitted to your roof and absorb solar energy. This is used to heat up water that is stored in a hot water cylinder.
The systems are designed so they can be integrated seamlessly into other domestic heating solutions, ensuring you always have enough hot water even when solar energy is unavailable.
How are solar thermal systems different to solar panels?
Solar water heating systems are very different to solar panels. Solar panels capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic (PV) cells made from layers of semi-conducting material.
These cells then convert the energy into electricity that can be used to run your household lighting and appliances.
Solar panels may not be as relevant to you if you’re looking specifically for heating and hot water solutions, but they can be a wise investment if you’re seeking a more cost effective and environmentally-friendly way to power your home.
In fact, a typical home solar PV system could save between 1.3 and 1.6 tonnes of carbon a year, depending on where you live in the UK.
Biomass boilers, or wood boilers, are designed to burn wood using a process of direct combustion. Today, these systems make an economical and eco-friendly alternative to conventional heating systems that burn fossil fuels – and they are designed to be suitable for almost any property type.
How sustainable are biomass boilers?
Biomass boilers are powered by a renewable fuel source. The wood they use is created by quick growing trees, and when this wood is burnt, it releases the same quantity of carbon dioxide as the trees took in when they were growing, meaning these heating systems are considered to be carbon neutral. They are sustainable as long as new trees are planted in place of those used for fuel.
Replacing an old G-rated gas boiler with a highly efficient biomass model could save more than 6.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
Modern designs also produce very low levels of emissions. Our models achieve similar emissions ratings to those of leading fossil fuel heating systems and they meet and exceed European clean air regulations. They are also designed to be future-proof against stricter limitations that are likely to be imposed in the coming decades.
Fuel cell boilers
Fuel cell boilers, also known as combined heat and power (CHP) boilers, produce both electricity and heat in a single process, which is sometimes referred to as co-generation. The technology has been around for decades in industrial settings, but it is now also increasingly used in homes.
How do CHP boilers work?
Powered by mains gas or LPG, CHP boilers use advanced fuel cell technology to convert hydrogen into energy. They rely on an electro-chemical reaction between the elements hydrogen and oxygen.These systems provide heating and hot water, as well as electricity that you can use in your home or sell back to the grid.
How efficient are CHP boilers?
Although CHP boilers use mains gas or LPG, this technology is considered to be low carbon because it is more efficient than burning fuel purely to create heat and getting electricity delivered by the national grid. This means that by investing in a fuel cell boiler, you could stand to cut your energy costs and lower your carbon emissions.
Can I get a grant or funding if I invest in a sustainable heating system?
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a government financial incentive scheme set up to encourage the installation and usage of renewable heating technologies in existing homes.
Many sustainable heating technologies are eligible for the RHI scheme, meaning you could get money towards renewable heating costs in your home.
If you would like to discover more about these sustainable heating systems, or any of the other solutions we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us.