Ground source heat pumps are helping the UK lower its carbon emissions by providing sustainable alternatives to gas-burning central heating systems. Although heat pumps require an initial high-cost investment, you can save vastly on energy bills throughout the year with a highly efficient heating system.
What Are Ground Source Heat Pumps?
Before diving into the advantages and disadvantages of ground source heat pumps, let’s first establish what they are and how they work.
Ground source heat pumps transfer renewable energy from below the ground outside to your property and raise its temperature to heat your home. These heat pumps connect to a water-based system inside the house to heat your water and radiators.
The system for ground source heat pumps is more complex than other alternatives, making installation costs steep. Parts of your garden or outdoor space must be dug up so pipework can run through, making it a disruptive and expensive process.
Since the ground stays at a constant temperature all year round, a ground source heat pump can operate at total efficiency all year round. To understand more about how ground source heat pumps work, you can visit this article: https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/heat-pump/ground-source-heat-pumps-in-the-uk.
What Are The Advantages Of Ground Source Heat Pumps?
A significant investment like a heat pump requires extensive research to ensure it is the best choice for you and your home. There are several advantages to ground source heat pumps that can benefit your household for many years to come.
The hefty initial cost of a ground source heat pump can prevent people from investing in them. However, you can make impressive savings on your energy bills within the first year of using your heat pump, making them extremely cost-effective. Furthermore, you can cover some of the high upfront costs with the government-funded Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).
Ground source heat pumps have incredibly high-efficiency ratings compared to gas-powered heating, making them inexpensive to run. Equipping your home with good insulation will undoubtedly see the benefits of high-efficiency heat pumps in your energy bills.
Ground source heat pumps require electricity to run and use renewable energy stored in the earth to heat your home. This method of heat transfer cuts out harmful carbon emissions, unlike gas boilers which are one of the leading causes of climate change in the UK. Because of their high-efficiency ratings, the electricity used to operate ground source pumps is kept at a minimum.
Once installed, you will barely need to worry about maintaining your ground source heat pump. Unlike other boilers, which need annual servicing to ensure they are safe to use, heat pumps can run with little professional servicing and are incredibly reliable.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Ground Source Heat Pumps?
You should always consider the disadvantages of a product before investing. While ground source heat pumps have many benefits, some limitations might affect purchasing decisions.
Expensive Upfront Costs
Despite having an excellent return on investment, the high upfront costs for a ground source boiler are simply too much for some. While the BUS scheme can help cover some of the cost, the installation price and the necessity to dig up large portions of your outdoor space is a deal-breaker for many people.
Requires A Large Outdoor Space
Installing the pipework underground requires a certain amount of space for a horizontal or vertical system and the machinery needed to dig out the soil. If your garden is not big enough, you cannot install a ground source heat pump.
Pipes must run through your garden underground to extract heat from the soil. Since the system is large, heavy machinery must be utilised to dig up the ground, which will be highly disruptive to you and your neighbours.
Which Ground Source Heat Pump Is Right For You?
There are several types of ground source heat pumps that you can install depending on certain requirements. Energy efficiency measurements of your property can help you determine the correct size for your heat pump.
As for the system itself, you can choose from an open loop or a closed loop. Open-loop systems use groundwater to extract heat, while closed-loop systems transfer heat from the soil using a continuous loop of piping.
You can choose from many types of closed-loop systems depending on the size and layout of your land. The most common two are horizontal and vertical closed-loop systems. Horizontal closed-loop systems require a large plot of land to lay the pipes underground horizontally.
Vertical, closed loops are a more expensive option but are better suited to smaller outdoor spaces. Depending on your home’s heating needs, a deep hole is dug into the ground around 50 – 150m deep.
There are plenty of options for those considering investing in a ground source heat pump. Review the space and heating requirements of your home and consider these advantages and disadvantages before committing to your heat pump.
This article was written by GreenMatch.