Electrification of heat: Living with your heat pump

Electrification of heat: Living with your heat pump

As part of our Electrification of Heat project households have had different types of heat pump based heating systems installed into their homes.

For those who have had a system installed we offer information about what to expect, and how to get the most out of their new heating below.

Fully electric heat pumps

How do I get the best efficiency from my Heat Pump?

The aim is to maintain a low consistent temperature that meets your home comfort needs.

Forcing your Heat Pump system to reach a high temperature quickly lowers the Heat Pump efficiency and will cost you more to run in the long term. It will also result in you using more fossil gas.

Your Heat Pump system is specially designed to meet your home comfort needs by calculating how your property retains heat. The Heat Pump design is based on your system running consistently according to your settings, taking into consideration changes in temperature throughout the year. It’s that clever.

To get the maximum efficiency from the Heat Pump, you should set it up and leave it running at a consistent low temperature, let the Heat Pump do the work.

Use the Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV’s) on your radiators in each room to manage the temperature in rooms that need different levels of heat.

You should you hear

If your Heat Pump is working efficiently you will only hear the outdoor unit and the boiler working occasionally. In colder times you’ll hear it working more frequently, around once every 3 hours depending on the outdoor temperature.

You should see

A consistent temperature on your in-home display according to what you have set for the night and day according to the season.

What you should do to get the best from your Heat Pump

  • Check your day and night settings
  • Set up your seasonal settings so your system automatically adjusts to winter or summer use to maintain that consistency for the system
  • If you wish to adjust your settings, keep to within 3 degrees of the day and night temperature to not force the system to reach high temperatures in a short space of time

Hybrid heating systems

Why are some households more suited to Hybrids rather than a full electric system?

Different Heat Pumps suit different homes.

The Hybrid Heat Pump combines an air source heat pump with another type of heating system such as a gas boiler.

Heat will normally be provided by the heat pump and when it gets very cold outside, the boiler provides support to the heating system if required.

Hybrid heat pumps are often used in homes which need more heat to reach a comfortable temperature, such as those which are difficult to insulate.

The boiler may also provide instant hot water if there is no space for a hot water tank in your home.

Although you have a gas boiler in place, it works in a different way.

Instead of gas being the main fuel used to provide heat and hot water, the gas boiler acts as a back-up for when the electric heat pump is struggling to meet the demand for heat and/or hot water efficiently.

You should hear

The gas boiler firing occasionally when there’s higher demand e.g. if the temperature is set on 15 degrees overnight then increases to 21 degrees for the day.

The fan in the outdoor unit will turn on when the heat pump is running to provide your central heating.

N.B. It won’t run all the time when the central heating is on, as it only kicks in when more heat is needed to keep your home at the temperature you have set. In colder periods, it may also run on a “defrost cycle” every so often, so that the coils do not freeze.

You should see

The temperature on the indoor control panel showing the actual temperature for the area.

What you should do to get the best from your Heat Pump

  • Check the settings with the install team at the time of install to make sure the temperatures stated within your design (usually 18 degrees at night and 21 degrees during the day).
  • Check with your install team at the time of install that the system is set up to reach your desired temperatures at the time you need the heat.  
  • Leave the settings just as they are for at least 2 weeks and monitor whether you need to make a slight adjustment to the time or temperature settings.
  •  If you are out of the home during the day regularly, you can save money and energy by setting the temperature to be cooler during the day when you are out, normally down to 18C again.

General advice

Setting the temperature

You can set the temperatures to suit the comfort needed for different times of the day and for the different seasons.

  • Click the bottom right “Menu” button
  • Select User Settings, then Set Schedules
  • You can adapt a pre-set setting, or choose a user defined one. You can change the name of the one that you want to use. You can set up multiple different schedules so that you can relatively easily switch between them e.g. winter, and spring/autumn
  • On all the controls, OK is the enter function. Use the up and down arrows to raise or lower the number shown, left and right buttons allow you to scroll along the days of the week which are shown along the bottom and between the different temperature periods during a day.
  • On the first day, set the start time and temperature e.g. rising to 21 degrees at 7.30am for a get-up time of 8am or just after (it will take c. 30-45 mins for a heat pump to heat your home up, depending on the overnight temperature it was set on, and how well insulated & draught-proofed your home is)
  • Scroll across to add another temperature setting: You may wish to set the temperature to decrease to say 19 degrees at 8.30am if you are staying at home and will be relatively active, or leave it on whatever you set for the morning if you would be too cold. If you are leaving the house for the day, then you could turn it down to say 17 degrees for the period when you will be out. Again, set it to start to warm up 30-45 mins before you are due to get in again. Normally higher heat settings are required in the evening, turning up to 21 degrees at 5pm for a few hours. (Bear in mind that the running cost estimates provided for the heating assume you heat all rooms in the house to 18 degrees except the living room being at 21 degrees, if your previous usage was a lot lower than this, e.g. you only turned the heating on when you felt cold, your energy use might go up a bit as you heat your home to more comfortable temperatures.)
  • Remember to set the temperature to decrease to say 17-18 degrees overnight to reduce costs and save energy.
  • Once you have set all these time periods, click Ok, and it will give you the option to copy to other days. You can select which days you want it to copy to – individual days, weekdays or all week
  • If you want to set up different time periods at the weekends, then go into Saturday and Sunday and do the above process again as it fits in with your regular schedule (or if it’s always different, you could just control it manually at the weekends).
  • You have made your weekly schedule, so click Ok, and select Save – give the schedule a name of your choice.
  • Now you have set up your schedule, you must set the heating to run on that schedule. Click the Menu button > User Settings > Set schedule and select the schedule name that you made.
  • If you ever want to control the heating manually click Menu > User Settings > Set Schedule and choose Manual (that or it could be in the layer above, under User settings.

Further information for Hybrid customers can be found in the hybrid system's manufacturer manual.


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