Ground Source Heat Pumps
There is heat in the ground that can be used to heat your home!
Ground source heat pumps use pipes buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground. This can be used to heat radiators, under-floor heating systems and hot water.
This will reduce the cost of heating your home, and with the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP there are extra incentives backed by the government that improve your savings.
A Ground Source heat pump works like a fridge in reverse; it draws the heat from the ground, concentrates it and then releases it in your home. Beneath the surface, the ground stays at a fairly constant temperature (around 12°C), so a ground source heat pump can be used throughout the year – even in the middle of winter. Most modern heat pumps even automatically adjust to the weather outside. When the external temperature drops the heat provided by the system increases.
With the RHPP scheme you can receive a one off payment of £1,250 towards the installation, and early next year the government will announce how much they will pay homeowners through the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP.
By installing a Ground Source heat pump you could cut heating bills and emissions by up to 30% for houses that are currently heated with gas and up to 70% in those using oil or electricity. Using ground source heat instead of electricity fuelled heat can save you up to £1000 per year on your heating bills.
- Can a ground source heat pump be used with underfloor heating?
- Underfloor heating is a great choice for use with a ground source heat pump, but large radiators or a mix of both can be used for distributing heat around your home. Heat pumps produce a lower temperature heat than conventional boilers, therefore they are far more effective if used with a larger surface heating distribution system such as underfloor heating or large radiators. A good rule of thumb is that if used with heat pumps, the radiators should be around 30% larger compared to the size of radiator that would be used with a conventional boiler.
- Will a ground source heat pump be able to heat my home adequately in the winter?
- As long as you have enough space in your garden for a system that meets your needs, and your choice of system is suited to your heating needs, a ground source heat pump should be able to heat your home comfortably in the winter. They are often used very effectively in far colder countries than Britain.
- Will a ground source heat pump provide enough hot water for heating and baths/showers?
- Yes, with the correct design and equipment, a ground source heat pump can meet all your domestic hot water requirements throughout the year. If you do not have enough space in your garden for a system large enough to meets your needs you can top up the heat the heat pump produces with the help of a more conventional system. Your installer will be able to confirm whether the size of system you can accommodate will meet your needs.
- Can a ground source heat pump be used to cool my house?
- Yes, in some ground source heat pump systems this can be achieved as either passive or active cooling.
- Will a ground source heat pump save me money on my energy bills?
- Yes, a well designed ground source heat pump system will save money and CO2 compared to other traditional heating systems, especially now that the government is in part funding new installations with the Renewable Heat Premium Payment grant. Exactly how much money you save depends on how well your system is designed and the efficiency of your old system. Find out how much you could save by completing our Energy Assessment.
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