Exceptionally quiet Viessmann heat pump gives long-term peace of mind in dream-home renovation
A high-end redevelopment of a family home in Upminster, East London, has seen it double in size through a loft conversion and the addition of a wrap-around extension. Now with smart technology throughout, underfloor heating across all three floors, a MVHR system and a weather-compensated Viessmann Vitocal 151-A 13 kW air source heat pump, the remodelled building will provide the ideal, future-proofed living environment for many years to come.
Achieving property ambitions
“When we purchased this house, it was always our goal to make it our dream home,” says small business owner, Ionut Ionescu. “We are a family of four and occasionally my mum stays with us as well. Now we will have all the space and comfort we need, while also reducing our energy consumption considerably.”
Previously the property had a very old gas boiler. The Ionescus were keen to move away from gas and wanted a well-built, quiet and efficient alternative solution.
The Viessmann Vitocal 151-A heat pump has the potential to achieve flow temperatures of up to 70°C making it particularly suitable for modernisation projects. Although, on this project, the flow temperature will run at much lower flow temperatures through the underfloor heating at between 25-40°C, meaning a more efficient system all round. It also offers low running costs due to its exceptionally high COP (coefficient of performance) of up to 5.0. And, as it uses the natural refrigerant R290, it has a GWP100 (global warming potential) of just 0.02.
“The Viessmann heat pump ticked all the boxes for a high-quality retrofit like this one,” remarks Craig McAllister, of EPC Improvements Ltd, renewable energy technology specialists. McAllister installed after conducting a detailed survey and heat-loss assessment. “As well as a super-efficient system, having a quiet living environment was particularly important to the customer. We designed everything with acoustics in mind. The Vitocal units make very little noise in operation thanks to Viessmann’s Super Silent Design. And they look good, too. Because the water cylinder is integrated, there are no separate parts or connection pipework on show.”
The external module is situated to the rear of the building outside the kitchen, while the internal unit, which combines the 190-litre water cylinder, buffer, expansion vessel, hydraulics and controller, fits neatly in the utility room. Together the two elements take up 60% less space than comparable competitor models. Installation, testing and commissioning took three days in total with the cost offset by a £7,500 grant through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).
Year-round efficiency and comfort
The system has been designed to operate at temperatures as low as -20°C as well as providing cooling in summer. Configured in weather compensation mode with the outdoor sensor on a north-facing wall, it ensures a stable cosy environment all year round. It’s also extremely easy to operate via Viessmann’s ViCare app.
While the scheme is due to go live early 2024 when the Ionescu family move into the property, predictive projections paint a positive picture. Used as a measure of a heating system's efficiency, the Coefficient of Performance (COP) for most ASHPs is between 2.0 and 5.0. McAllister's data indicates the Ionescus' system will operate at the top of that range, with an overall seasonal COP of 4.14; saving the family approximately £244 per year in running costs, compared to a gas-fuelled alternative.
“The beauty of this installation really lies in its simplicity and efficiency,” observes McAllister. “It’s a combination of good quality equipment specified and installed by a company that knows the requirements of the customer and the building.”