Comedy Interlude with the Air Source Heat Pump Guy
Well, the Air Source Heat Pump guy came to do a survey of the house. This man did not fill me with confidence about his knowledge of ASHPs or anything else. To begin with, he had a such a thick Glaswegian accent that I struggled to understand most of what he said : and when I did understand it, everything he uttered gave me the impression that he knew, or seemed to know, nothing about air source heat pumps.
This was the first live human being I had encountered who was supposed to know about this technology, and I was keen to ask him a few questions. When I produced my list of qs he said, Aye, fine, goo aheed, while continuing to measure walls for radiators.
What do you say about the noise of the pumps? I opened.
Wha? Noo wan's ivva seed naything aboot that. Hasnae come up.
But there are plenty of things on the Inter -
Aye weel, AH've nivva haird of it.
So you wouldn't know the output in decibels of one of these pumps? (I'd been primed with this question by a website that specified an acceptable db output for an air pump.)
He looked startled, particularly for a so-called expert. Poot Mitoobeesha into the anterneet, it'll come up, and he made for the stairs, to have a look at my old immersion heater (he said).
I abandoned my next question, which was staggeringly technical, something about the new inverted air source heat pumps being quieter than the older models. Something told me there was little point. We carried on in this vein for a little while,me asking questions, him either denying all knowledge or saying something which might have been good advice but was completely incomprehensible.He told me which walls the rads would be going on, then he handed some forms with multiple checklists and asked me to sign them in advance, so he could then fill them later as he was running a bit leet. I declined this offer, and instead asked him for a card so I could get his office number, which no one had been able to give me so far. I had seen an 0141 Glasgow number come up on my phone when they originally made the appointment, and this was the one I wanted - BT give me inclusive calls to the old landlines, but mobiles they burn you for, and I don't get much of a signal up here on my own mobile (thanks, Voda!)
He immediately looked hunted and furtive. Ah hovnae gort a card. Aye the number's on the van. I followed him out to his van, watching while entered the office number, which he couldn't give me, into his mobile. He asked the gerrls in th orfus for the contact details and started to spell out a mobile number.
Can't I just have the landline, I asked. They rang me on it a day or two ago.
He eyed me with fear and loathing, then spoke again into his mobile, asking them for the information. He began to repeat an 0871 number, peak rate, to me.
Look mate, I said. Your office called me on an 0141 number the other day. Can you ask them for that? After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing we decided that this was a good idea and the gerrls made with the number. He then drove off ten yards down the road, decided that this was far enough, and stopped, no doubt to fill in my forms without me breathing down his neck.
Despite this bizarrely unconvincing encounter I am still leaning towards heat pumps, because of the cost (see my technical post) compared to getting fuel oil heating. I've also just heard a horror story about solid fuel stove heating, tales of lukewarm water, of choosing between heat and hot water in the depths of winter, and condensation building up in flues, dripping down in a rusty black puddle onto the Axminster. So air source a-go go, then? I need to do some googling : I need to git orn th anterneet!