Tuesday 17 October 2017

Saving energy by keeping the heat on all day

Garrett Shine with his HeatPump control unit in Blackrock, Co Louth. Photo: Seamus Farrelly
Garrett Shine with his HeatPump control unit in Blackrock, Co Louth. Photo: Seamus Farrelly

Jane O'Faherty

The heat may never be turned off in one Co Louth home, but significant energy savings are being achieved.

Garrett Shine from Blackrock, near Dundalk, installed a heat pump in his house five years ago, and hasn't looked back since. The machine produces heat by extracting heat from the air, before concentrating it and "pumping it up" to a higher temperature for the house.

The machine, which cost €12,000, is seen as a highly efficient and sustainable option for Irish homes.

The residential sector accounts for around 12pc of total greenhouse gas emissions.

"The heat pump replaced the full heating system for the entire house," Mr Shine said. "It's the most suitable option for the Irish climate. Heat pumps work very well in northerly countries, and are popular in Scandinavia.

"We really have the perfect climate for it here. The real issue is that it is hard to explain."

For every kilowatt of electricity the machine uses, it produces around 4.5 kilowatts worth of heat. The house is also kept at a constant, comfortable temperature.

Mr Shine is paying an extra €600 in electricity to run the system, but was previously paying €3,000 per year with an oil heater.

He pointed out the necessity of good insulation.

"If you have a house with single insulation or inadequate insulation, it's not going to work as well," he said.

Irish Independent

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