If you’ve been looking into becoming more renewable, you’ve probably already heard of ground source heat pumps (GSHPs). The systems rely on burying pipes in the garden to extract heat from the ground which can be used to heat radiators, water and underfloor heating systems throughout your home.
Most renewable heating methods rely on making the most of free energy sources that are already available in the world around us, and GSHPs are no different. In fact, they’re one of the more consistent forms of renewable energy because the ground stays at a regular temperature beneath the surface – meaning that a heat pump can be used throughout the year.
That’s why more and more homes now use ground source heat pumps to power their central heating or hot water. After all, there are plenty of good reasons to get started.
To set up a ground source heat pump, you need to dig down into the ground to install loops of pipes which contain a fluid. This fluid circulates around the system, absorbing warmth from the ground in the deepest part of the loop. The fluid then goes through a compressor, which raises the temperature further before transferring the heat through either air or water into the building’s central heating or hot water system.
Pipes can be arranged in different ways depending upon the amount of space that’s available, but it’s most common to see them in horizontal loops. When space is at a premium, they can be installed in vertical loops – but that does mean you’ll need to dig much deeper to install them.
Ground source heat pumps aren’t suitable for every building, and they’re most efficient when they’re installed during the build of a brand new home. That said, it’s often possible to convert, upgrade or replace the existing system so that it works entirely on ground-sourced heat.
Like many other renewable energy sources, ground source heat pumps have multiple benefits. These include (but aren’t limited to):
Of course, ground source heat pumps have their drawbacks, the main one being their initial setup cost. But exactly how much can you expect it to set you back?
The honest answer to this question is that it depends.
With a typical system, it’s likely to cost between £13,000 and £20,000, with economies of scale for larger systems. Most people measure ground source heat pumps in terms of the cost per kW of peak heat output. Typical costs are shown in the table below.
Remember that either way, horizontal systems tend to be cheaper than vertical systems that rely on a deep bore hole. And, as a general rule, the larger the size of the system, the lower the price per kW will be.
You should also take the time to assess the current heating system and insulation status of your home. Heat from ground source heat pumps tends to be at a lower temperature than the average central heating system, so it’s better installed in conjunction with underfloor heating systems or inside homes that are well-insulated.
We’ve got you covered. If you want to know more – or if you’re not sure whether a ground source heat pump is the best solution for you – then get in touch with us.
At Franck Energy, we’re more than happy to offer help and advice to people who are thinking about switching to renewable energy. We’re friendly, knowledgeable, and keen to share our love of renewables by taking you through the different options that are available and the different factors that will come into play for your unique home and situation.
We look forward to hearing from you!