Cactus Energy
Heat Pumps FAQs

All your questions answered here

Heat pumps take in one unit of electrical energy and turn it into four times as much heat energy. That may sound like magic, but it’s actually a very clever use of the properties of heat transfer. Particles naturally move from hot areas to colder areas. Heat pumps utilise this so they don’t have to generate heat, but simply transport it from outside your building to inside your building.

Heat pumps are made up of a self-contained loop of fluid called a refrigerant. This starts out as a liquid but picks up heat naturally stored in the ground or air when it flows through them. As the liquid gets hotter, it turns into a gas. It then flows into the building and releases its heat. Now colder, it turns back into a liquid and begins the whole process again. This provides a totally reliable and renewable heating system.

Heat pumps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but there are two main types. Ground source heat pumps – often shortened to ‘GSHPs’ – extract heat from the ground using long loops of buried pipes. Air source heat pumps – or ‘ASHPs’ – take heat from, you guessed it, the air. They look more like air conditioning units and use fans to maintain flow.

No two projects are the same. It’s all about what’s right for you. GSHPs tend to require a bit more outdoor space, but there are always options. At Cactus Energy, we provide bespoke solutions. Your dedicated Project Manager will assess your property, heating usage and local conditions and design a heat pump system that is best suited to your building.

Pretty much. An air conditioning unit is essentially an air-source heat pump in reverse. Air-cons look very similar to ASHPs and involve the same processes. The difference is that air-cons move hot air from inside a building to outside a building (providing overall cooling), whereas ASHPs move heat in the opposite direction (providing overall heating).

Many ASHPs can switch to provide cooling (air conditioning) in the summer thanks to a reversing valve.

Heat pumps can provide heating, hot water and cooling all in one system. They can be connected to your existing radiators, underfloor heating network, air vents and taps. We take care of all of this during the installation process.

The way you control your heating will not change either. You can use your thermostat to monitor and adjust temperatures just as you do now. In warmer months, you can set your heat pump to only operate during certain hours or turn it off completely.

Absolutely! Installing a heat pump does come with an initial cost, but you more than make your money back. Installing a heat pump can cut your energy bills by up to 75%. In fact, heat pumps are cheaper to run than any other heating system. And these savings are only going to increase as fossil fuel prices continue to rise. If you power your heat pump with electricity from your own renewable energy system, such as solar panels, your heating will be completely free.

On top of that, heat pumps have lower servicing and maintenance costs. You can also earn money via the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This is a Government scheme that pays homeowners and businesses with renewable heating systems for every unit of heat they generate, including the heat that they use themselves. Annual payments for a domestic system can be anywhere between £1,000 and £2,500!

Heat pumps are a clean form of energy generation. They do not produce greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide) that contribute to climate change. In comparison, oil, gas and electric heating systems largely produce heat by burning fossil fuels. This process releases harmful emissions. Therefore, by generating your own renewable heat from a heat pump you will reduce your carbon footprint and help improve air quality.

Buildings contribute around 40% of UK emissions, and heating accounts for about half of that. So this is an area that can have a huge impact. Exact carbon savings depend on the kind of heating system you’re replacing but as an example: switching from gas heating to a heat pump could cut your CO2 emissions by around 70%!

Heat pumps are one of the most reliable heating methods that exist. They take advantage of a constant source of heat, so you don’t have to worry about intermittent heating. Even during the winter, there is plenty of thermal energy stored in the ground and ASHPs can extract heat from air as cold as -25C! So, yes, your heat pump will still work even if it’s cold.

A major benefit our customers report is huge savings on their energy bills. Generating your own renewable heat via a heat pump is much cheaper than buying it from utility companies. What’s more, while grid energy prices are variable, naturally occurring heat from the ground or air will always be free. Installing a heat pump brings reliably priced energy for easier budgeting and peace of mind.

Heat pumps are more efficient and reliable than any other heating system. They provide heat all year round and last longer than most boilers. They are non-disruptive and easy to use, requiring minimal maintenance and no fuel. With your heating, hot water and cooling all provided by one sleek system, you can enjoy greater energy independence with zero hassle. As if that wasn’t enough, heat pumps also reduce your carbon footprint and boost your green credentials.

Heat pumps can be installed on most buildings in the UK and don’t need planning permission. GSHPs usually require a bit more space and time to install but we would plan and carry out the work to ensure minimal disruption to you. The units themselves are discrete and the pipes of GSHPs are completely hidden underground.

To maximise the benefits of your heat pump system, it’s a good idea to check your building is well insulated. The easiest way to find out what kind of heat pumps system would be best suited to your property is to get in touch with us today.


This question comes up a surprising amount of times! And the simple answer is yes. A heat pump is one of the most efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly ways to heat a swimming pool. And it doesn’t interfere with the pool’s filtration or pumping systems. You just get to enjoy warmer water for cheaper.

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