What is a ground source heat pump? Ground source heat pumps are deemed to be environmentally friendly or a low carbon technology. They harness natural heat from underground by pumping water through pipes laid in underground trenches. The heat is used to provide heating or hot water.
There are several types; closed and open loop. Initial investments can be higher but there are long-term savings when changing from both electric and gas systems not to mention the reduction in C02 emissions.
The benefits of ground source heat pumps:
- Could lower your fuel bills, especially if you replace conventional electric or oil heating
- Could provide you with income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
- Could lower home carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing
- No fuel deliveries needed
- Can heat your home as well as your water
- Minimal maintenance required
- GSHP’s require less maintenance than combustion heating systems.
- They also have a longer life than combustion boilers.
What is the Renewable Heat Incentive – RHI Domestic
The Renewable Heat Incentive is a financial encouragement to install ground source heat pumps: Ofgem will pay up to 20.46 pence per kWhour generated every quarter to houseowners for the next seven years.
Is a ground source heat pump suitable for me?
To tell if an air source heat pump is right for you, there are a few key questions to consider:
- Is your garden/site suitable for a ground loop? It doesn’t have to be particularly big, but the ground needs to be suitable for digging a trench or a borehole and accessible to digging machinery.
- Is your home well insulated? Since ground source heat pumps work best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, it’s essential that your home is well insulated and draught-proofed for the heating system to be effective.
- What fuel will you be replacing? The system will pay for itself much more quickly if it’s replacing an electricity, oil or coal heating system. Heat pumps may not be the best option for homes using mains gas.
- What type of heating system will you use? Ground source heat pumps can perform better with underfloor heating systems or warm air heating than with radiator-based systems because of the lower water temperatures required.
- Is the system intended for a new development? Combining the installation with other building work can reduce the cost of installing the system.