Using ‘new’ technology to heat period properties
We’re always a little amused by heat pumps being called ‘new’ when in reality, this technology has been established for more than 150 years. In fact, the first ground source heat pump was brought into use more than 70 years ago.
Way back in 1948, J Gordon Cook wrote in The Spectator magazine: “…it seems incredible that a device such as the heat pump should have escaped the attention it deserves…” Norfolk can actually take the credit for having the UK’s first large scale heat pump. It was developed by John Sumner in 1945 for Norwich City Council Electrical Department’s new premises in Duke Street, on the bank of the River Wensum.
Today many people still believe that heat pump technology is a recent innovation and, on this basis, are concerned that the systems may be unproven or at an early stage in their evolution. The truth is that heat pumps aren’t new – but they are ideal for heating period properties, as well as more modern homes too.
According to BSRIA research, there were 22,000 heat pump installations carried out in the UK in 2017 – up 18% on the previous year. While these numbers are below those of gas and oil boiler installations, consumers are increasingly turning to renewable energy to heat their homes more efficiently and environmentally friendly, as well as a means of escaping the volatility of fossil fuels in today’s market.
Technology such as heat pumps are perfectly suited to period properties. The systems work at their most effective rate when they provide steady state low level heating, meaning that you can leave them on to maintain a lovely warm home while still achieving significantly low energy bills. Older properties in particular can benefit from this sort of warmth and a consistent temperature also helps to maintain the condition of your property and your possessions inside it.
When Finn Geotherm was set up in 2006, we knew the great potential of renewable energy and felt passionately that this was the best, most sustainable technology for generating heating and hot water. To this day, we still feel the same and the case for heat pumps continues to grow, particularly as our need to cut carbon emissions becomes increasingly important.