Ground source heat pumps are on the rise as one of the top ways to generate your own heat. They don’t add any unsightly equipment to your property and operate at much lower temperatures.
But how does a ground source heat pump work? We’ll explain so you can make the decision whether a heat pump is right for you.
How does a ground source heat pump work? The clue is in the name
Ground source heat pumps work using – you guessed it – heat from the ground. Whether it’s winter or summer, the pump can absorb heat from the ground. It absorbs the heat into a fluid inside a ground loop.
The fluid in the loop moves through a compressor which heats it to a higher temperature. This fluid can then be used to heat water for your heating and hot water needs.
When the fluid has cooled, it passes back through the loop into the ground where it absorbs more heat and continues in this cycle for as long as the pump is on.
How is the ground source heat pump installed?
You might need planning permission to install a ground source heat pump, but once it’s installed you won’t notice any different. Your garden will need to be big enough to have a trench dug to lay the ground loops. If you can’t have a trench, you can have a borehole dug to install the loops vertically.
What heating system is best to use?
It’s best to use underfloor heating (like in the picture above) with a ground source heat pump or a warm air heating system. This is because the water is heated to lower temperatures, meaning radiator-based systems won’t be as effective.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you’ll make better savings on your energy bills if you replace an electric, oil or coal heating system. If you have a mains gas boiler, you’ll probably find that the return isn’t so great.
How can I benefit from a ground source heat pump?
As well as saving money on your energy bills from using a renewable source, you can earn money from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
The RHI can pay you between £2,590 and £4,005 per year. This means you could pay off the cost of installation in as a little as two years.
So how does a ground source heat pump work? Hopefully next time someone asks you you’ll be able to answer them. And now that you know how they work, you’re in a better position to get quotes for the installation of your own heat pump.