GROUND SOURCE & AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS

Did you know that you could heat your home using energy from the ground?

Ground source heat pumps use pipes (which are buried in the garden) to extract heat from the ground which can then be used to heat radiators, under-floor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.

 

Unlike gas and oil boilers, ground source heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods. They can lower both your home’s carbon emissions and your fuel bills, (especially if you replace conventional electric heating) and could also provide you with an income through the government’s

Your garden doesn’t have to be particularly big to accommodate a ground source heat pump, but the ground needs to be suitable for digging a trench or a borehole and access for digging machinery will also be required.

 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that since ground source heat pumps work best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, it’s essential that your home is insulated and draught-proofed well for the heating system to be effective.

If a ground source heat pump doesn’t fit your needs, then did you know that the air around you can also be used to heat radiators, under-floor heating systems and provide your home with hot water?

Air source heat pumps extract heat from the outside air even when the temperature is as low as -15° C!

There are two variations of this method. An air-to-water system distributes heat via your wet central heating system whereas an air-to-air system produces warm air which is circulated by fans to heat your home (though is unlikely to provide hot water).

 

Just like ground source heat pumps, this method also works much more efficiently at a lower temperature than a standard boiler system would, again making it more suitable for under-floor heating systems or larger radiators, which give out heat at lower temperatures over longer periods of time.

 

If you are considering investing in air source heat pumps, you will need to ensure you have a place outside your home where a unit can be fitted wither to a wall or placed on the ground. It will need plenty of space around it to get a good flow of air, and a sunny sport is ideal.

 

Again, air source heat pumps work best when producing heat at a lower temperature than traditional boilers, so it’s essential that your home is properly insulated and draught-proofed for the heating system to be effective.

How does an air source heat pump work?

They use some electricity and work a bit like your fridge – but in reverse:

  1. The heat pump contains a liquid that absorbs heat from the outside air.

  2. The heat pump compresses the liquid to increase its temperature.

  3. The heat from the liquid is transferred to your heating system.

  4. The heat also travels to your hot water tank.

What does a heat pump cost?

A fully installed and commissioned air source heat pump is likely to cost around £11,000 for a four bedroom detached house. By generating your own clean heat, you could recover your costs over seven years through the combination of fuel savings and the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive. With payments of around £1,273 per year this makes a good alternative to oil or LPG. You’ll also get a seven year manufacturer’s warranty.

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