Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) are an effective way of heating a home with maximum efficiency and minimum cost. Heat pumps have become increasingly popular as an alternative to gas or oil boilers. With the technology now more affordable and green than ever before, it’s easy to see why more and more homeowners are choosing GSHPs, whether for new construction or retrofitting. GSHPs offer a number of benefits that set them out from similar heating solutions:
Ground Source Heat Pumps Offer Higher Savings than Any Other Heating System
- Low costs - a small amount of electricity is needed to run a GSHP, but the returns in energy savings easily offset this.
- Green - GSHPs are an extremely efficient, environmentally friendly way of heating a structure.
- Effective - GSHPs can easily produce enough heat for a standard three or four bedroom home
Ground source heat pumps are one of a number of different heat pump solutions on the market. Once installed, they make use of ambient warmth in the ground, creating a reservoir of heat energy that can be efficiently transferred to radiators and underfloor heating throughout your home.
How Do Ground Source Heat Pumps Work?
GSHPs are made up of three different elements:
- Ground heat exchange loop: a system of pipes buried in the ground. The exchange loop circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze. As it passes through the circuit, the liquid collects ambient heat from the surrounding earth, raising its temperature.
- Heat pump: fluid from the exchange loop is compressed in the pump, making it hot enough to effectively heat the structure. Once used, the fluid returns to the exchange to start the process again.
- Distribution system: radiators or underfloor heating are used to transfer heat throughout the structure.
Once installed, GSHPs require a small amount of electricity to power the heat pump, but this is easily made back in savings when compared to standard heating solutions. The pump itself takes up very little space, has low running costs, and requires minimum maintenance.
The ground heat exchange loop is usually buried at a depth of about a metre, in the form of a horizontal circuit of pipes. If there isn’t enough space to lay a horizontal system, a borehole can be installed to a depth of between 15 and 150 metres to house the exchange loop.
GSHPs work particularly well with underfloor heating and low-temperature radiators. While they can work at higher temperatures, it will result in reduced efficiency.
Ground Source Heat Pumps, RHI and Cost Effectiveness
GSHPs have lower running costs than any other space heating system. With an optimum installation, you can expect three or four times the amount of electricity you expend running the pump. And given the small amount of maintenance and impressive lifespan of a GSHP (over 20 years, with the exchange loop itself remaining effective up to 100 years) there are even more savings possible when compared with gas or oil boilers.
And that’s before considering the government’s current Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. GSHPs are eligible for RHI, letting you claim 20.46 pence per kW hour of eligible heat generated. For an average four bedroom detached house, this could potentially add up to £3,000 per year, for seven years (paid quarterly by Ofgem). GSHPs generate more financial incentives under RHI than any other technology on the market, adding to the already considerable savings on running costs compared to other systems.
GoodLife are accredited installers for two leaders in ground source pump technology:
One of the biggest providers of heat pumps in Europe. Based in Austria, they are leaders in green technology, supplying customers throughout Europe with PicoEnergy heat pumps and associated devices.
A technology giant and industry leader. We offer LG heat pumps in a wide range of different specifications, covering the needs of just about any household.