The air source heat pumps regularly used in cold countries such as Sweden could be the future of underfloor heated homes. These pumps take heat from the air and raise its temperature to provide the heat source for underfloor heating systems.
Heating accounts for around a third of UK carbon dioxide emissions and most of this comes from burning fossil fuels like oil and gas. The government is encouraging businesses and households to replace fossil fuel powered heating systems with ones that use renewable sources.
According to an article in the Ripon Gazette, urban areas like Ripon, North Yorkshire could heat properties using air source heat pumps and underfloor heating. These systems do not need fuel storage and are very energy efficient. For every one kW of electricity used to run the pumps, over three kW of heat can be generated for underfloor heating. This makes air source heat pumps cheaper to run than direct electricity, oil and liquid petroleum gas (LPG). If combined with solar panels they cost less to run than gas boilers.
It is claimed in the article that solar panels, underfloor heating powered by air heat pumps and better insulation could make homes carbon neutral and reduce energy costs by more than 60%. To install these systems on new houses makes them approximately 5% dearer, but this extra cost is offset by reduced energy bills.
The government has a target of zero carbon emissions by 2050. Air source heat pumps and underfloor heating can only help in reaching this goal.