Going Green: eco-friendly heat pumps to combat rising fuel prices Bedford News

Install an ecological heat pump (photo: adobe)

Angela Terry’s latest article

Angela Terry, green activist and consumer expert, separates climate change fact from fiction and explains here how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome and visit for more advice.

Q: With rising fuel bills, I want to install an eco-friendly heat pump, but how do I prepare my home and find a good installer?

A: This is a timely question, as the new UK government grants for heat pumps will be available in April for homeowners in England and Wales.

The Scottish Government also recently announced a £300million fund for homes and commercial properties.

In Northern Ireland you can call NI Energy Advice for information on grants.

And you’re right, with a heat pump, preparation is key.


Heat pumps are designed to keep your home at a constant temperature, rather than the short bursts of heat provided by gas boilers.

That’s why the first step is to check that your home is well insulated.

Focus on your walls, roof, windows and doors.

Much of this can be done as simple DIY jobs, like laying pipes or sealing leaky windows with inexpensive rubber gasket.

Installing insulation in the attic is also simple.

Just make sure it’s 30cm thick.

However, wall insulation will require a professional installer.

Wall insulation

For a detached house you can save around £425 a year on energy bills with wall insulation.

For properties built since 1930, cavity wall insulation involves injecting foam or beads into the space between the interior wall and the exterior masonry.

Properties built before this date may very well have solid walls.

These will require the installation of foam panels inside the exterior walls of your home.

Insulation can be added from the outside but is more expensive.

They come in two formats.

Air source heat pumps look like an air conditioning unit attached to the exterior of a property.

They work like inverted refrigerators, extracting heat from the outside air and then transferring it to a refrigerant, which is compressed to raise its temperature.

Geothermal heat pumps work similarly but use a network of pipes in the ground to collect heat, so they are more efficient but also more expensive to install.

Which one you choose depends on factors such as…

The size of your house, your budget, the size of your garden and its access.

Both work best with larger radiators or underfloor heating.

Seek advice from a licensed installer.

How to find a good installer

The UK’s main quality assurance scheme for low carbon energy technologies is the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Through its website, you can find accredited installers.

It’s best to get three quotes.

celebrity place

Baywatch star and well-known animal activist Pamela Anderson (Photo: John M. Heller/Getty Images)

Baywatch star and well-known animal activist Pamela Anderson has launched a range of eco-friendly handbags in partnership with Parisian fashion brand Ashoka.

The bags are made from apple skin ‘leather’, a revolutionary material made from food industry waste.

It’s not only vegan, but also biodegradable, which means it will break down naturally without harming the natural world.

Even the lining of the bags is made from recycled plastic bottles and also features a stylized image of Pammy’s pout.

green exchange

Swap your cell phone for your current cell phone.

Hang on to your mobile (photo: adobe)

If your phone company offers you an upgrade, try to see how long you can wait.

Smartphones have huge environmental impacts, especially when it comes to the extraction of valuable minerals.

Walking is good for the environment…and for you!

Car culture has become the norm.

Many of us jump into our cars for short trips without even thinking about it.

Nearly two-thirds of all car trips are less than five miles.

The next time you’re going to the store, taking a teenager to an activity, or visiting local friends, see if you can ditch the car.

Walk for health (photo: adobe)

Air pollution

Air pollution is one of the UK’s biggest killers.

Each year, it is linked to 36,000 premature deaths.

We are all exposed to toxins.

Children are particularly vulnerable because their lungs are still developing.

Air pollution also aggravates respiratory and heart problems, especially in the elderly.

Additionally, the poorest people in urban areas are disproportionately affected, as they tend to live close to major roads.

Because cars have been so standardized, it’s hard to fathom that every time you drive, you’re contributing to this pollution.

Even when you’re sitting in your car, you’re breathing in dangerous toxins.

In fact, you can be exposed to nearly eight times more than a cyclist outdoors.

Your health

NHS advice is that walking is free, simple and one of the easiest ways to be more active, lose weight and be healthier. It can help you burn calories and improve your heart health.

Mentally, a walk can do wonders for your well-being by providing a vital break and helping to reduce stress.


Transportation is the fastest growing contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

In the United Kingdom, it is the most emitting sector, accounting for 27% of all emissions.

Most come from road vehicles.

To achieve our climate goals and ensure a viable world for our children, the Climate Change Committee – UK

Independent adviser to the government on combating climate change – estimates that around 60% of the changes needed to reach net zero will require action by individuals.

Weaning yourself off car addiction is a key part of this.


By reducing toxic emissions and noise pollution, switching to walking for short trips helps protect plants, trees and wildlife in your area.

Each year, between 167,000 and 335,000 hedgehogs are killed on our roads – along with 50,000 badgers.

On Scottish roads alone, at least 12,000 deer are killed each year. We depend on healthy ecosystems, so it’s more than being altruistic. It’s about protecting yourself and saving yourself.

fact or fiction

Our homes are overheated. Yes!

People set thermostats at 25 degrees Celsius and above, but the recommended temperature is 19 degrees Celsius.

Turning your thermostat down one degree can save you up to £100 a year on your bills.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-26 12:00:09

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