5 low carbon heating options for Surrey homes

27th Jul 2022
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The climate crisis is well and truly upon us. Homeowners in Surrey and across the UK are looking to reduce their carbon emissions in whatever way possible. The government is also drastically searching for ways to make homes more energy-efficient. One of the key things they are exploring is low-carbon heating systems. Central heating systems that run on fossil fuels like oil and gas need to be effectively eradicated if we are to achieve our target of being a carbon-neutral country by 2050. Furthermore, with the steep hike in energy prices, efficient heating systems will be of the utmost importance to homeowners this coming Winter.

At Sheerwater, we care about the welfare of Surrey homeowners. That’s why we’ve put together this list of low-carbon heating systems, to help you to decide which is right for your home.

1. Air Source Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are being championed by the UK government as a long-term, low-carbon solution for heating homes. Many new build homes are being fitted with them. In fact, the government are aiming to have 6,000,000 new heat pumps installed by 2028. But what are heat pumps?

Heat pumps transfer heat to and from a source outside the house. They are electrically powered, but they only require a small amount of electrical input to create a much greater energy output. The heat can come from a variety of sources. Firstly, let’s take a look at air.

An air source heat pump draws its energy from the outside air. The pump will sit visibly just outside the house and is ideal for Surrey’s mild climate. Too cold a climate and the heat pump will need to work harder to warm up the cold air taken from the outside.

An air source heat pump typically costs between £8000 and £18000, making it one of the cheaper low-carbon heating systems available. Installation is also straightforward and minimally invasive, unlike ground source heat pumps which can require a lot of digging to install. However, there are several benefits to ground source heat pumps as well…

2. Ground source heat pumps

Ground source heat pumps collect their heat from the soil, which stays at a fairly consistent temperature all year round. They produce large amounts of energy on a regular and reliable basis. For installation, a horizontal heat pump needs to be embedded 1-2m deep in the ground. A vertical heat pump needs to be buried 50-100m deep. It can therefore be quite an extensive installation procedure, hence why they are typically more expensive than air source heat pumps.

However, it is the most low-carbon heat pump system. Furthermore, they run almost completely silently, whereas air source heat pumps on the surface can make quite a lot of noise.

Water source heat pumps are also an option. However, these are only really suited to homes near lakes and other bodies of water, of which there are not many in Surrey.

3. Electric combi boilers

Combi boilers have been popular for years amongst owners of smaller properties. They are called combi boilers because they power a combination of your central heating and your hot water usage. Running on electricity, they don’t use any fuel like oil or gas, so they lose less energy and emit far less carbon. They are also virtually noiseless, so they won’t disturb you when you’re trying to relax at home.

Their electricity usage does mean, however, that they can be quite expensive to run. They also only produce hot water on demand, when a tap or shower is turned on. This is good for smaller flats and houses, but it may not be the best-suited heating solution for larger homes in the Surrey area.

4. Biomass boilers

A biomass boiler is a boiler that is powered by burning organic biomatter. The most common fuel for a biomass boiler is sustainably sourced wood pellets. By burning biomass, these boilers create a huge amount of heat and energy, ideal for heating larger homes. However, they are typically more expensive to install. They are also less efficient than a combi boiler and can sometimes be quite noisy.

Having said that, they are extremely cheap to run and sustainable, as they don’t require any electrical input. Their fuel source is, of course, completely renewable and natural.

5. Solar water heating

The potential of solar power continues to grow. Solar panels have been around for many years now, and are a common feature among many Surrey homes. For those who don’t know, these solar thermal panels absorb energy from the sun’s rays and convert it into energy and electricity.

While these panels won’t generate enough energy to power an entire house, they can make a significant contribution towards heating your water. It’s estimated that solar power can cover around half of a Surrey house’s hot water usage. This could help you to save a lot of money on your bills in the years to come. And of course, it also emits absolutely zero carbon, helping you to reduce your carbon footprint as well.

Low carbon home improvements in Woking & Surrey

Sheerwater are passionate about providing Surrey homeowners with eco-friendly products that will help them to reduce their energy bills. Get a free quotecontact us online, or give us a call on 01932 344 415 to find out more.

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