Ground Source Heat Pump
Ground source heat pumps use pipes buried in the ground to extract heat, because the ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface it means the heat pump can be used efficiently throughout the year. There are two types of ground source installation, a ground loop which (as the name implies) uses loops of pipe to give the area needed to extract heat, this will vary depending on the size of your home and the heating requirements you need. If space is limited a vertical bore hole can be used instead, for some more detail have a look at our Groundworks for heat pumps.
How does it work?
The ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and anti-freeze around the buried pipes, this absorbs heat from the ground as it passes through the pipe, it then travels through a heat exchanger which raises the temperature. The cooled ground loop fluid then passes back into the ground where the process is repeated to give a continuous supply of heat.
Is it the right choice for you?
Is your garden suitable?
In order to fit a ground source heat pump your garden does not need to be particularly large, however the ground will need to be suitable for digging and access for the necessary machinery will be required.
Is your house well insulated?
Because Ground Source Heat Pumps run on a low temperature the more insulated and draught proof your house is the more you will get from the system.
What are you replacing?
You will get a better return from your heat pump than an electric or coal based system however if you are currently on mains gas it may not be the best option.
What type of heating system are you planning?
Due to the lower water temperatures needed for Ground source Heat Pumps they perform better with underfloor and warm air heating systems.
Are you doing any building works?
It can help to reduce the cost of installing the system when combined with other building work.
Renewable Heat Incentive
The RHI is a government backed plan introduced in 2014 which gives payment for the heat generated by renewable sources, depending on the amount of energy your system produces will depend on how much you are able to claim for you RHI.