Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) have gone from whisper to a buzz, with more and more householders embracing this leading way to generate energy and reduce fuel bills in the modern home. Ground source heat pumps are both eco-friendly and energy efficient, drawing heat created from the ground created by the sun.
What are ground source heat pumps?
An entirely renewable central heating or cooling system that transfers heat from the ground (via pipes buried in the garden) into your home. The heat is then used to power and supply radiators, underfloor, warm air heating systems and hot water.
What are the benefits?
- Saves you lots of money – up to £1,500 per year.
- Very low energy consumption levels – GSHPs consume 20-50% less energy than conventional heating systems.
- A range of grants are available, enabling you to reduce the cost of initial set-up.
- Can push up the value of your property.
- GSHPs are eco-friendly, relying on the most renewable of sources – the Sun.
- Less noisy than oil and gas boilers.
- The heat pumps have very few moving parts, meaning that very little can go wrong during installation.
How geothermal heating works
Radiation from the sun heats the earth and a ground source heat pump taps into this source to generate heat.
- The pump circulates water and antifreeze around a ground loop, which is piping buried in your garden.
- Heat from the ground is taken up into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump, allowing you to heat your home.
This heat will never run out for the lifetime of the sun, so you’ll have 5 billion years of heating!
Used in reverse, to cool
In the same way that the heat pumps capture heat, they can also capture and store cold air via a thermal bank in the garden. This can then be released back into the home on hot days via the same pipes that heat the floor on cold days.
Ground source heat pump installation
Follow these simple steps:
- First things first, you need to speak to a trusted company such as Zing Energy who would provide an initial consultation and survey.
- Following this, a contractor would fit piping (the ground loop) buried in your garden.
- Trenches are then dug for a horizontal ground source heat pump system, or boreholes are drilled for a vertical ground source heat pump system.
- Once all the pipes are laid, connected and tested, your contractor will then modify or replace your old infrastructure with a newer one.
- Finally, your contractor will connect the ground loop and fire up the heat pump.
Which ground source heat pump is best for my home?
This really depends on your heating needs. If you have higher heating requirements and more space outside, horizontal loop systems will work best and are also cheaper. These work via trenches built in your garden, with pipes laid at depths between 1-2 metres.
Alternatively, vertical loop systems are best suited to cases where there is less than half an acre of outdoor space. Unlike horizontal loop systems, installation involves boreholes being drilled at deeper depths, with the pipes then being buried into them. Although the costs are higher, they generate more heat because the ground temperatures are more stable the deeper the loop is located.
Do they work with radiators?
Ground source heat pumps can work with radiators; however, they work better with underfloor heating as they provide heat at lower temperatures than gas fired or electric boilers.
How much do they cost and how much can you save?
Running costs amount to around £655 a year and several thousand to install. However, prices vary considerably depending on the size of the system and the additional work required (e.g. fitting underfloor heating). Zing Energy can discuss ways to minimise the set up costs and potentially even get this fitted for free.
Weighed against this the long-term savings are massive, equating to up to £1,500 per year. In just a few years, your savings will outpace any initial set up costs.
Ground source heat pump grants and funding
There are a range of grants available for more efficient heating systems. The Government has a series of targets for lowering the UK’s carbon footprint, hoping to encourage householders to help with their ambitious target – having net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
One method is the Renewable Heat Incentive (the RHI) system which offers cash payments in exchange for using renewable energy. One of Zing Energy’s consultants will be able to discuss your eligibility, offering a range of options for financing, meaning you won’t have to fork out big costs up front.
Speak to a specialist
Zing Energy has a series of leading experts in ground source heating who can provide you with tailored solutions and guidance based on the specifics of your property.