Ground Source Heat Pumps
What is a Ground Source Heat Pump?
Ground Source Heat Pumps extract natural heat in the ground to provide heating & hot water in domestic and commercial properties. They are an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional electric, oil and gas central heating systems and can reduce your fuel bills, lower home carbon emissions and also provide you with an income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (subject to certain conditions). Although they do need electricity to operate, they produce more energy than they consume, typically at 400% efficiency.
These heating systems run most efficiently at lower water temperatures. Because of this, a larger surface area is needed to emit similar temperatures to those provided by conventional heating systems. They do work best with underfloor heating but can also work effectively with radiators as long as they are sized appropriately.
How do Ground Source Heat Pumps work?
Ground Source Heat Pumps circulate a mixture of water and anti freeze around a loop of pipe called a Ground Loop, which is run either horizontally in trenches or vertically in boreholes. As the ground stays at a relatively stable temperature all year round, this means that heat can be extracted from the ground even in the depths of winter. The heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid in the loops, which is then passed through a compressor that raises it to a higher temperature and as a result water is heated ready to be distributed around the property for heating and hot water.
What are the benefits of a Ground Source Heat Pump?
- Your home is heated and domestic hot water is provided.
- Earn money back with the RHI scheme for installation costs, subject to conditions.
- They could lower utility bills compared to conventional heating systems.
- Home carbon emissions could be reduced.
- Properly designed and installed heat pumps regularly attain 400% efficiency.
Is a Ground Source Heat Pump suitable for me?
To know if this system is right for you, these are our guidelines and questions to consider:
- Is your garden 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 they 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 electric or oil fed heating system. Heat Pumps are the best option for homes that are off mains gas.
- What type of heating system will you use? They can perform well with different types of heating systems, as long as the emitters are sized according to the low flow temperatures.
- Is the system intended for a new development? Combining the installation with other building work can reduce the cost of installing the system.
How much will a Ground Source Heat Pump cost?
The advantages of opting for this system clearly indicate that they represent a smart investment in the long run. Although the initial cost must be considered, the running costs are significantly lower compared to electric or oil heating systems. For instance, if you switch from natural gas this will give you the lowest saving figures, whilst a typical home shifting from an electric system could annually save more than £3,000.
Installation costs start from approximately £23,000. The Renewable Heat Incentive can also contribute to the recovery of costs once it’s in place.
For an indicative quote and more information, please contact our Heat Pump department on 01303 248648 (option 3).
Ground Source Heat Pump Maintenance
These systems typically come with a warranty of two to three years, although each manufacturer differ. Many manufacturers also offer optional extensions of warranty for a fee.
Servicing of Heat Pumps is required annually to ensure maximum efficiency and manufacturer warrantee periods. In addition, RHI tariff payment conditions require Heat Pumps to be regularly maintained.
The Reina Group offers a wide range of services for the maintenance and aftercare of your Heat Pump system. Email us today to organise a service in Kent.
Do I need planning permission for a Ground Source Heat Pump?
Domestic Ground Source Heat Pumps are generally allowed as permitted developments, but this depends on the size and location of your property. It is always best to check with your local authority to find out whether planning permission is required.