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Heat Loss Calculations for Heat Pumps

Heat Pumps are a great way to heat your home. They are energy efficient and are a very low carbon option. Whether you’re going for an air or ground source heat pump, it’s crucial that you get the right size pump for your home. To do this, you need to know the rate at which your home loses heat. This is where heat loss calculations for heat pumps come in.

Benefits of Calculating Heat Loss for heat pumps

Calculating heat loss might be a new idea to you. After all, with traditional heating systems, installers mostly ignore heat loss calculations. If you’re getting a new gas boiler, your installer will probably look at the size of your home and tell you which boiler will be best. This works because the output from a gas boiler is much easier to vary. However, the heat pump’s output is strictly limited by the size of the external heat sink and the electricity it draws.

Because the amount of electricity a heat pump uses is so small, it’s essential to get the right size. What might seem like a slight change in kW can represent a large difference in heating capacity. So using accurate heat loss calculation allows you to choose the optimal heat pump for your situation correctly.

Choosing the wrong sized heat pump can cause problems down the line. When the system isn’t a match to the space, it’s heating; it’s more prone to failure. If your pump is oversized, then you’ll have higher running costs, which defeats part of the purpose of getting a heat pump. An undersized heat pump will not be able to keep you home at a comfortable temperature all year round.

Essentially getting precise heat loss calculations will keep your costs down and allow for optimal performance.

How The Calculation Is Done

The calculation is essentially working out the peak heat lost from your home on the coldest day of the year. To do this, you need to consider the following factors:

  • The size of your rooms

  • The materials your home is made from – in particular, the U values

  • How much insulation you have

  • Size and locations of any heat emitters (radiators, fans, underfloor heating etc.).

  • The ventilation rate of your home

  • Your geographical location

In order to get an accurate result, you will also need to have an up to date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you don’t have one, it can be worth getting us to do both calculations at the same time.

Once all of this data is collected, it is plugged into a heat loss calculator. Which will tell you the size of the heat pump you need. You can also use this information to claim the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

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