Heat pump - a good idea?

I heat my garage with a fan heater (for parrots in an indoor aviary). I'm considering buying this to save money, does anyone think this is a stupid idea before I go ahead?
Current cost is 1 a day, although I could also insulate the ceiling and steel garage door.
Cost of heat pump is 300.
I do not wish to use gas to heat the garage, as this would either mean: Buying an expensive boiler and fitting it. Plumbing it into the house boiler and running the risk of frozen/burst pipes on the way across. Using a portable heater without a flue and consuming the oxygen in the garage.
http://www.heatersuk.com/p/1160998/Amcor-HWEZ-Toshiba-powered-Kw-btu-award-winning-m-DIY-Install-reverse-cycle-heat-pump-NEXT-DAY-DELIVERY-BEST-SELLER.html
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I heat my garage with a fan heater (for parrots in an indoor aviary). I'm considering buying this to save money, does anyone think this is a stupid idea before I go ahead?
Current cost is 1 a day, although I could also insulate the ceiling and steel garage door.
Cost of heat pump is 300.
I do not wish to use gas to heat the garage, as this would either mean: Buying an expensive boiler and fitting it. Plumbing it into the house boiler and running the risk of frozen/burst pipes on the way across. Using a portable heater without a flue and consuming the oxygen in the garage.
http://www.heatersuk.com/p/1160998/Amcor-HWEZ-Toshiba-powered-Kw-btu-award-winning-m-DIY-Install-reverse-cycle-heat-pump-NEXT-DAY-DELIVERY-BEST-SELLER.html
No I do not think it is a bad idea given at worst you should get a 2:1 recovery so every Kw spent = two back. Because it is an air sourced unit I would check what your outside air temperatures are over winter because the colder it is the less efficient the units become. To be honest 300 is a good price for such a unit although you may be advised to contact the neighbours re the drone / hum if the garage is close to their house etc. I am surprised you have not insulated before now at 1 / day running cost.
Gio
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I've read they can do as good as 4 or 5:1 - is this a reasonable expectation?

Usually -5C at night.

I think I'll insulate first - not checked the price of that yet. Then if the running cost is big enough I'll get the heat pump. What would you say the average saving would be with one of those units? The garage is heated to 17C, winter is down to -5C at night usually, summer is down to 10C at night.
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I heat my garage with a fan heater (for parrots in an indoor aviary). I'm considering buying this to save money, does anyone think this is a stupid idea before I go ahead?
Current cost is 1 a day, although I could also insulate the ceiling and steel garage door.
Cost of heat pump is 300.
I do not wish to use gas to heat the garage, as this would either mean: Buying an expensive boiler and fitting it. Plumbing it into the house boiler and running the risk of frozen/burst pipes on the way across. Using a portable heater without a flue and consuming the oxygen in the garage.
http://www.heatersuk.com/p/1160998/Amcor-HWEZ-Toshiba-powered-Kw-btu-award-winning-m-DIY-Install-reverse-cycle-heat-pump-NEXT-DAY-DELIVERY-BEST-SELLER.html
If you can get gas to the garage why not a gas-fired heater with a balanced flue through the wall? It will warm the garage but take no oxygen from it.
Moreso as another has said why not do something about insulation first - it is relatively cheap and quick to install and extremely effective. As for the door you can now buy fibre-glass insulation that is packaged and can be stuck to the door with aerosol contact adhesive.
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I thought about that, but can you get a cheap balanced flue heater? I haven't seen anything. The output power doesn't need to be much. The electric heater is only 1.5kW and it's not on much.

I will be doing that first. If the running cost is significant after insulating I may consider an alternative heat source - depends on the cost of the heat source and the saving achieved.
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On 25/10/2011 17:10, Lieutenant Scott wrote:

You also ought to know that birds are more sensitive to poison gasses than humans. Hence canaries in coal mines.
BTW from what I hear 2:1 is exceptionally bad, 4:1 is exceptionally good. Beware of the cold end icing up - if it's damp where you are this may be more of a problem.
Andy
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True - I will avoid gas altogether I think.

I thought they had an automatic function to run themselves in reverse for a bit if they detected too much cold.
Just ordered some insulation, gotta love the comment ebay put on the order: "You saved 383.52 on delivery"
150 to insulate it sounds good, considering I'm paying 450 a year in heating. Should pay for itself quickly. I'll wait and see what the running cost is with that, then consider a heat pump.
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I assume it's going to be nearer 4:1. Unfortunately the power consumption isn't given.

Yes, but when doing defrost cycles, it's probably less efficient than your fan heater.
Defrost cycles happen (on mine) when the outside temp is above freezing, but the reduced temperature of the outside evaporator coil is below freezing so the condensate freezes on it. That's probably over an outside temperature range of -1 to +6. Above and below this range, it works fine.
What temperature do the birds require? I note this unit has a min thermostat setting of 18C and I wondered if that's too high? (Mine has a min of 16C - most of them seem to have quite a restricted temperature range compared with basic electric heaters.)
It will generate quite an air flow in the garage (more than a fan heater). Will the draft matter for the birds?
What if there's a power cut? You can get some which will remember what setting they were on and continue, but most will just power back up in standby mode. Will that matter for you? You could keep an electric heater setback a couple of degrees so that if it fails for this or any other reason, there's a backup.
I was looking to see if it's an inverter type which has proportional control. It doesn't say so, so I guess it will cycle on and off.
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wrote:

I've just applied to British Gas (the only one that does Scotland) to get FREE solar panels put in my roof. We take half the profits each.

I've currently got the room at 17C, which I think is the minimum to keep them comfortable and have the desire to nest. Up to about 25C would also be fine, but at the moment I don't as it would cost more.

I'm using a room stat on the wall to control the heater, as the heater's own stat doesn't have temperature markings on it, and also causes the thing to cycle on and off a lot (annoying the parrots) as the stats warms up from the heater a little.

One third of the garage isn't for birds, so I would direct the flow along that side (which I've done with the fan heater). They are only seperated from my side by mesh, so the heat goes through easily.

I hardly ever get powercuts. If I did, I'd just reset it, that's not a problem.

Good idea.

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You are quite correct, I was using 2:1 as a bottom limit to take into account winter running and the defrost cycles. Not knowing where the OP was situated I was not sure if it was a particularly damp / misty area hence the evaporator would be prone to frequent freezing and possible frequent evaporator heating cycles. When you start to drop below -5 the CoP is dropping too.
Gio
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Insulate first - and avoid any convection past the insulation (since you are DIYing it that is easy to do). That way you get faster warmup because you are only having to heat the body of air, rather than the brickwork.
You can get "anti-fatigue matting" on ebay for 2-5/mat depending on size. It is basically EVA foam with a non-slip surface and usually jigsaw interlocking. They are good for stopping cold penetrating into your calves which can become more noticeable if you make the top half of your body warm by other heating.
Another alternative would be the decent invisible IR lamps. They are not cheap 80-150 for 1-2kW, but very effective at heating you rather than the surroundings. If you can insulate - and draught proof more the better.
If doing a wall mounted heatpump, remember a gravel area in front of it to handle the condensing fog in winter (ie, rather than a slip hazard if it is below freezing outside).
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Great port everyone. Thanks for the detailed information. I am particularly interested in the IR lamps and want to check them out. -John
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