Reducing carbon emissions is essential for the future of the planet. Greenhouse gases contribute massively to global warming and are damaging the planet. A big percentage of greenhouse gases enter the air through the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gases and coal. Heating contributes massively to greenhouse gases yet is something which can be changed. In a big working city such as New York, for example, heating and hot water account for around 42% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is because the majority of boilers run on fossil fuels.
As a nation we have become much more concerned with how our choices impact the environment, especially over the last couple of years. We have seen a reduction in the amount of plastic being used or sold; particularly drinking straws. However, plastic is not the only issue, there are multiple aspects of everyday life which contribute to global warming. Awareness about the effect we’re having on the environment has increased massively but there is still a long way to go; in addition to reducing plastic it is also important to reduce fuel consumption and increase energy efficiency.
Heating can easily contribute massively to carbon emissions; there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to heating. Commercial heating is a big concern; it is important to keep employees and customers comfortable and motivated yet heating a large space such as a commercial premise can use a lot of energy and therefore generate a large carbon footprint. It is important, therefore, to consider the ways you can reduce your carbon emissions by choosing an eco-friendly heating solution. Heating a commercial space requires a high-performing heating system so it is important that choosing eco-friendly doesn’t mean losing out on performance or heating ability. Commercial buildings rely on heat for a number of reasons but mainly to keep employees motivated and satisfied as well as customers, so it is important performance stays high.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
One of the most popular eco-friendly heating solutions are heat pumps. There are different variations of heat pump systems available, all of which are extremely energy efficient. All heat pumps share one great benefit; for every unit of electricity they consume, they produce triple the amount of heat compared to a standard electrical heater. If one were to use a standard conversion of 1kW of energy used to produce 1 unit of heat meaning 100% efficiency, then heat pumps would be 300% efficient. Installing heat pumps is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and cost efficiency at the same time. Heat pumps give an impressive 50-60% reduction in greenhouse gas footprint.
How do they work?
All heat pumps work by extracting heat from one place and transferring it to another; heat pumps transfer heat by pushing a refrigerant through the process of evaporation and condensation. The refrigerant is then pumped through a compressor between two heat exchanger coils. One coil evaporates the refrigerant at low pressure before absorbing heat from the surrounds. Following this, the refrigerant is compressed as it travels to the second coil where it is condensed at high pressure. Then, the earlier absorbed heat is released into the atmosphere.
Air-source heat pumps work by absorbing warmth from the outside air, the air is then used to heat the indoor atmosphere. The heat which is absorbed from the outside air can also be used to heat hot water tanks. The pump for an air-source heat pump is placed outside the property in order to pull in the air from outside. The air can then be used to heat radiators and hot water tank. The mechanism in an air-source heat pump works by using an outside fan which draws in air from outdoors to create a fluid. This fluid then passes through a container which raises its temperature. This heat which is generated can then be distributed through the building’s heating system. Heat pumps are not entirely impact-free when it comes to energy as they do require energy to run however an air-source heat pump is still up to five times more efficient than a traditional gas central heating system.
The biggest benefit of a heat pump is that it is an extremely energy efficient option for commercial heating however they do also offer a number of additional benefits. In addition to being energy efficient heat pumps are also cost-effective as they can reduce your heating bills substantially; bringing down your overhead costs which is obviously a priority when it comes to business.
In the past heat pumps have been quite large devices, however improved designs in recent years in an attempt to make them more appealing mean that heat pumps are now much more discrete in design and more aesthetically pleasing. Their sleek and discrete new designs mean they make a good addition to commercial properties and don’t disrupt any existing interior designs. The most up-to-date models have minimal noise output which means they are less distracting in the workplace. Any noise emitted will be outside where the pump is fitted so unlikely to be heard. Heating is obviously important in the workplace as it is key in ensuring employee comfort and motivation; heat pumps ensure that employees are kept warm and comfortable without sacrificing efficiency.
What are the costs
Long term running costs for heat pumps are very low due to their high level of energy efficiency. Installing a heat pump at your property will help you see a big reduction in your heating bills. However, heat pumps can be expensive and labour intensive to install which is why they aren’t a common choice for domestic properties however for commercial properties the benefits can outweigh the initial costs.
Other Types of Heat Pumps
Air-source heat pumps aren’t the only type of heat pumps available, there are multiple different variations which are extremely energy efficient.
Ground Source Heat Pumps involve using heat from the ground. They utilise the solar energy stored in the ground or water.
Hybrid Heat Pumps involve using a heat pump in conjunction with another energy source such as a gas boiler to provide a more constant source of warmth with a higher efficiency than a singular gas boiler. Alternatively, a hybrid could mean a combination of air and ground source heat pumps.
Other heat pumps include mini-split heat pumps which can heat particular rooms and absorption heat source which are driven by another heat source such as solar-heated water rather than electricity.
Alternative Eco-Friendly Solutions
Heat pumps can be costly and time consuming to install; therefore, if it is something which is not a possibility for you currently, there are other heating solutions to help you reduce your energy consumption in the meantime.
Electric radiators and radiant heaters offer a good portable solution which are twice as efficient as traditional radiators. They are great for use in offices as you can adjust the heat accordingly. Hiring a portable radiant heater is perfect for reducing your carbon footprint without committing to a large-scale heating change and can tide you over until you’re ready to introduce a more long term heating solution. Portable solutions like these are great for commercial properties as they can be moved as needed and offer great flexibility.
In addition to hiring portable heating solutions such as radiant heaters, there is an opportunity for boiler hire services to help with your temporary heating needs. Great for keeping the heating going should your system need maintenance or replacement.