A ground source heating system runs on electricity and relies on a heat pump to absorb heat from under the ground and use it to heat your home via radiators and/or supply hot water. The pumps work in a very similar way in extracting heat from the ground as a fridge extracts heat from it’s inside to cool your food. These heat pumps are able to do this even when the temperature outside feels very cold, because it’s always a lot warmer under ground.
How it works: Ground source heating system:
- Ground source heat pump uses fluid to absorb heat from the ground.
- Using Electricity, the pump compresses the fluid and releases it at a higher temperature.
- Heat is then sent to radiators and/or underfloor heating – the remainder is stored in a hot water cylinder/buffer tank.
- Stored hot water can be used for showers baths and taps.
Efficient, long life span and low annual maintenance costs
An expertly installed and good quality unit is highly efficient. Highly efficient being anything from 300-450% efficiency this means that for every unit of electric used the pump creates up to 3 to 4.5 units of heat output. The system works by a mixture of water and antifreeze being circulated through a loop of pipework under your garden or outside land plot – this is called a “ground loop”. The heat from the ground is absorbed by the fluid which passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump and which then flows into your radiators (heating) or (hot water) cylinder.
The life span of a Ground Source heating system is also very long, expected at over 20 years, and incurs very low annual maintenance costs.
Is there a catch? The up front cost is higher than for a traditional heating system using gas, oil or LPG, and Air Source Heating.
Can Ground Source Heating work in any home or office?
Basically yes. Ground Source Heating can be installed in a new build or extension, refurbishment or retro-fitted to houses and commercial buildings with natural gas, oil, LPG or electric heating. The biggest savings will be seen where it replaces Oil and LPG boilers.
I’ve heard I need a lot of outdoor space to lay a ground loop, is this true?
The overall length of pipework (ground loop) you will need will vary on the size of your home or commercial building/office and the amount of heat you need. But, the amount of surface area does not need to be large as loops can be installed in both trenches and boreholes, if space is minimal.
Should I choose Ground Source over Air Source Heating?
The decision you make will be based on a variety of factors, however it is true that the heat extracted from the ground (ie Ground Source Heating) is more stable and is not subject to the fluctuations in temperature that an air source heat pump has to deal with. Which means Ground Source Heating is usually more efficient to run.
If you would like to know more about the pro’s and con’s of Ground Source Heating and be able to make a comparison with Air Source Heating – our article on Heating your home with renewable energy might be useful.
How much will it cost to have Ground Source Heating installed?
We are able to do a complete installation on your behalf or you can, if you wish, use a preferred plumber to install radiators – leaving us to concentrate on the supply and installation of the ground source heat pump and ground loop pipework.
Typical costs: £10,000 – £15,000
Typical savings: Average saving of approx £500-£2,000 per annum
(depending on what heating system you are replacing)
If you would like Clarity Heating to visit your home or premises and prepare an estimate for a ground source heating installation please contact us via our request a quote form, or by calling us on 01353 862315.
We’ve got lots of useful information on our website, here are just some of the pages you might be interested in:
Interested in renewable energy? Visit our article on Heating your home with renewable energy for more information.
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