Heat pump upgrade warms Donegal B&B
A family Bed & Breakfast in Glenties, Co Donegal built during the last boom has lowered its energy bills and improved comfort thanks to a suite of upgrade measures that included a new Daikin air source heat pump.
This article was originally published in issue 32 of Passive House Plus magazine. Want immediate access to all back issues and exclusive extra content? Click here to subscribe for as little as €10, or click here to receive the next issue free of charge
Speaking to Passive House Plus, Tara Cunningham, whose mother owns the Park View B&B in the village, which can sleep up to ten guests, said that in the year prior to the upgrade the B&B was consuming a vast amount of oil.
“It was getting pretty bad the year beforehand,” she said. “The oil bills were getting astronomical, we just seemed to be filling the oil tank all the time. You’re talking about €600 or €700, five or six times a year, even up to as much as eight times a year.” To make matters worse, the heating set up was not designed to store significant quantities of hot water, so guests were sometimes left without hot water.
Monaghan-based renewable energy installer NRG Panel were called in to advise on the best way forward. Luckily the house, which was finished in the early 2000s, had been built to a good standard and even had underfloor heating installed.
“From the start I said you can really do something good here because you’ve already got underfloor heating,” Ollie Hughes of NRG Panel told Passive House Plus. “We had a heat loss assessment done and decided to insulate the cavity walls. I redesigned everything and gave them a lot more hot water storage. We put in a 16kW Daikin air-to-water heat pump along with 500 litres of hot water storage.”
The heat pump chosen was a Daikin 16kW wall hung unit. NRG Panel also installed a 4.2kW solar PV array on the roof, comprising 16 panels. In total the upgrade brought the house’s energy rating from a B3 up to an A3, with the assessment carried out by First Rate Energy Services in Galway. Ollie Hughes has been monitoring the house’s energy bills and the energy consumption of the heat pump and says the Cunningham’s have spent about €1,800 on space heating and hot water in the first year since the upgrade.
“It works, she has hot water all the time, so if guests come there is hot water all the time,” Tara Cunningham said. “There is such a comfort in the house, there always was comfort but it came at the cost of having to constantly fill the oil tank.”