FAQs

A comprehensive list of the questions we get asked most often. If you need more information, please call our team of experts. We’re always happy to help.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) extracts heat from the ground by circulating a mixture of water and antifreeze around a ground loop. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump.  Trenches are usually between 1-2m deep and boreholes between 15-100m, depending on energy needs. The longer the coil, the more energy it produces.

This heat can then be used for radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water.

Installers need to be able to dig a trench for the ground loop. The length of the ground loop needed depends on the size of your property and the amount of heat you need. If space is limited, a vertical borehole can be drilled instead. We can assess your home and advise you as to the best option.

Since GSHP work best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, it's essential that your property is well insulated and draught-proofed for the heating system to be effective.

The system will pay for itself much more quickly if it's replacing an electricity or oil heating system.

GSHPs can perform better with underfloor heating systems or warm air heating than with radiator-based systems because of the lower water temperatures required.

Combining the installation with other building work can reduce the cost of installing the system.

GSHPs boast efficiencies of up to six times that of gas or oil boilers. They produce water at a lower temperature than boilers (55°C). Less cold water needs adding to baths or showers, which saves both money and energy. 

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is Government incentive scheme to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technology among businesses and homeowners.

It covers a range of technologies, including ground to water heat pumps, air to water heat pumps and solar thermal panels. Air to air heat pumps, are not supported by RHI.

The Non-domestic RHI was launched first in November 2011 to provide payments to industry, businesses and public sector organisations. The Domestic RHI was launched in April, 2014, and is open to homeowners, private landlords, social landlords and self-builders.

RHI cash payments are made quarterly over seven years. The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors - including the technology you install and the latest tariffs available for each technology.

The noise of a typical heat pump is similar to that of a refrigerator. All our heat pumps are fitted with noise reduction systems. Pumps are best fitted in utility rooms, basements or even garages.

The ground temperature stays pretty consistent under the surface, even in the depths of winter, so the system works all year round.

Pure Renewables offers guarantees of up to five years and the system can operate for 25 to 30 years, with regular scheduled maintenance. They need very little maintenance as they use “fit and forget technology.” 

They are generally allowed as permitted developments, but it’s always worth checking with the local authority before you incur any costs.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) absorb heat from the outside air, in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. There are two main types of ASHP - an air-to-water system distributes heat via your wet central heating system, while an air-to-air system produces warm air which is circulated by fans to heat your property.

Air Source Heat Pumps are ideal for new-builds, or in a well-insulated existing property. You need space outside for a unit to be fitted, either on a wall or on the ground, where there is a good flow of air. The property should be well insulated and draught-proofed for best results and you will see better savings if replacing an electricity or oil heating system. 

The pump can get heat from the air even when the temperature is as low as -20° C. If temperatures plummet even further, the heat pump’s internal auxiliary unit will add the additional heat requirement.  ASHP come fitted with an auto-defrost function to ensure 100% efficiency, so they can continue to produce hot water and heating in all weathers.

ASHP technology has an Energy Efficiency Rating of A, which is the highest level for heating and water production.

How much you can save will depend on what system you use now, as well as what you are replacing it with. ASHP work best with underfloor heating or large radiators and are cheaper to run that oil-powered systems and older inefficient systems.  Our experts will explain how to control the system so you can use it most effectively.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is Government incentive scheme to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technology among businesses and homeowners.

It covers a range of technologies, including ground to water heat pumps, air to water heat pumps and solar thermal panels. Air to air heat pumps, are not supported by RHI.

The Non-domestic RHI was launched first in November 2011 to provide payments to industry, businesses and public sector organisations. The Domestic RHI was launched in April, 2014, and is open to homeowners, private landlords, social landlords and self-builders.

RHI cash payments are made quarterly over seven years. The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors - including the technology you install and the latest tariffs available for each technology.

Our guarantees last up to five years and systems are expected to operate for 20 years or more.

They may be considered Permitted Development, in which case you will not need planning permission, but it is always a good idea to check with your local planning office.

ASHP are much quieter now than even just a few years ago. Carefully sited pumps should present no disturbance to you or your neighbours and we have to follow MCS noise emission standards which require careful emission calculations.

Solar PV

Solar electricity systems capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. The cells don't need direct sunlight to work - they can still generate electricity on a cloudy day – but generate more electricity in stronger the sunshine. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.

The power of a PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That's the rate at which it generates energy at peak performance in full direct sunlight during the summer.

Solar panels are lightweight and highly adaptable. Ideally, you need a south, south-east or south west facing roof space that isn’t shaded. Even the smallest space can generate a worthwhile amount of electricity but we wouldn’t recommend installing panels on north facing roofs.

Feed in Tariffs (FIT) pay you for the electricity you generate through solar panels and the surplus electricity you export to the grid. Once your system has been registered, the payments are guaranteed for the period of the tariff and are index-linked.

To qualify for the FIT, the system and the installer must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification scheme. Pure Renewables is accredited to the MCS scheme and will ensure you are registered to claim the FIT. The FIT is paid by the energy suppliers with the 'big six' energy suppliers required by law to provide these payments.

Generally, installations fall under permitted development rights so planning permission is not required but always check first. 

Solar panels are robust and carry warranties of 5-10 years, depending on the manufacturer. They are also guaranteed to perform at no less than 80 per cent of their original performance outputs up for up to 25 years.

Solar PV panels have no moving parts and need little maintenance - you'll just need to keep the panels relatively clean and make sure trees don't begin to overshadow them. Panels are mounted at an angle and in most cases rain water is sufficient to keep them clean and ensure optimal performance.

Solar Thermal

Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder.

Solar thermal systems can be adapted to almost any property. The panels don't have to be mounted on a roof. They can be fixed to a frame on a flat roof or hanging from a wall. The solar panels need to face south, south-east or south-west and be in direct sunlight for most of the day, so you have to be careful about obstructions such as trees and tall buildings.

The Renewable Heat Incentive is a payment for generating heat from renewable sources. Tariffs started in November 2011 for non-residential systems and April 214 for households.

Solar thermal systems require very little maintenance. We recommend that the system is visually inspected annually and the system's heat transfer fluid (glycol) is professionally inspected at least every couple of years for domestic but more regularly for commercial installations. We have a number of service options that we can talk you through. 

Most solar water heating systems do not require planning permission. It’s always advisable to check with the local planning officer.  New legislation such as the “permitted development” ruling means applying for planning permission, if it is required, should be a fast and efficient process.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is Government incentive scheme to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technology among businesses and homeowners.

It covers a range of technologies, including ground to water heat pumps, air to water heat pumps and solar thermal panels. Air to air heat pumps, are not supported by RHI.

The Non-domestic RHI was launched first in November 2011 to provide payments to industry, businesses and public sector organisations. The Domestic RHI was launched in April, 2014, and is open to homeowners, private landlords, social landlords and self-builders.

RHI cash payments are made quarterly over seven years. The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors - including the technology you install and the latest tariffs available for each technology.

Space Heating

Underfloor heating is mostly used in ground-floor rooms. Systems are most easily installed where it's possible to take up floors or where new floors are being constructed, so it is particularly suitable for new builds, refurbishments and extensions. It can be used with almost all types of flooring.

Underfloor heating uses lower temperature water than standard radiators so it needs less energy, making it cheaper to run.

The plastic water pipes are fitted in one continuous loop. Leaks are highly unlikely as there are no joints. The systems are generally considered to be maintenance-free. The manifolds which control the underfloor systems use automatic air vents – this means the circuits maintain themselves. All of our work carries an insurance-backed warranty.

Timing controls allow you to set the system to come on and go off when you want. As with radiators you turn them on and off as you require.

Underfloor heating is compatible with most heating systems, this means it can be integrated with an existing radiator system.

Want to know more about Smart radiators?  Read the blog by Johnny Love, Design and Specification Consultant at Pure Renewables.