Why install a ground source heat pump?

A renewable and environmentally-friendly form of energy, ground source heat pumps harness warmth from the ground to provide heating and hot water for your home. Using geothermal probes or collectors buried in your garden, they take heat from the ground and pass it through a heat exchanger and heat pump, and then onto the heating system in your property.

They work year-round because under the surface, the ground remains at a fairly constant temperature throughout the seasons.

There are many benefits associated with ground source heat pumps. For example, these systems have the potential to significantly cut your home’s carbon emissions, helping you to be kinder to the planet. They can also lower your fuel bills, particularly if you’re replacing conventional electric heating. They can even provide you with income via the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, which offers quarterly cash payments over a period of seven years for eligible renewable heating technologies.

These systems are also easy to run. They don’t require any fuel deliveries and they are low-maintenance.

Given these advantages, it’s not hard to understand why this technology continues to grow in popularity across the UK. If you want to take advantage of it, the following ground source heat pump installation guide will give you a clear idea of what to expect.

What size ground source heat pump do I need?

With any ground source heat pump installation, it’s important to get the sizing of the system right. The correct size of heat pump and ground loop for your property will depend on the size of your home and your specific heating needs. When calculating this, you’ll need to know how much heat is lost from your home - and this is affected by a range of factors, including how well glazed and insulated it is. A competent heating installer will be able to assess this for you.

Your geothermal heating installation will be sized to counter the loss of warmth from your property and to ensure that the heating needs of your home are met comfortably even on a cold day in winter.

Longer ground loops will draw more heat from the ground, but they need more space to be buried in. If there’s a shortage of space, the ground loop may be buried vertically rather than horizontally.

For larger homes, an additional heating source may be required to meet the full heating demand. An installer will be able to advise you if this is necessary.

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How much does ground source heat pump installation cost?

The cost of your geothermal heat pump installation will be affected by a range of factors, including how big your home is and how well insulated it is. As a very rough estimate, installing a typical system can cost anywhere between £10,000 and £18,000.

When considering the cost, it’s important to take into account the savings these systems can bring for your household over the long term thanks to reduced energy bills - particularly if your existing heating system is inefficient.

To help you optimise your savings as a result of ground source heating installation, it’s essential that you have an efficient heat distribution system in place in your home. Underfloor heating tends to be best, but if this isn’t possible in your home, you should install large radiators. Your installer will be able to advise on the most suitable option for you.

Also, make sure you learn to use the controls properly once the system has been set up. This will help you to operate it as efficiently as possible.

Who should I get to install a ground source heat pump?

When looking for an installer to fit your heat pump, make sure you find a properly accredited professional who is Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MSC) approved. This is vital if you want to qualify for the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

It’s also recommended to get a number of quotes before making a final decision, and you may want to read customer reviews or ask for references from owners of systems that are a number of years old.

How will the installation process work?

Once an installer has conducted an on-site survey (including an evaluation of the hydrology and geology of the soil in your land), they will be able to advise you on the best system for your property. As mentioned previously, this may include a horizontal or a vertical ground loop, depending on how much space is available. The installer will also be to advise on the best heat pump and energy distribution system for your home.

The installation itself usually begins with the installation of the ground loop. Once this has been completed and the pipes have been connected and tested, the installer will begin modifying the ductwork. If necessary, they will replace or upgrade your existing heat distribution system. The heat pump will then be installed and connected.

When the whole system is in place, it will be flushed and tested to ensure everything is operating correctly. Once the installer is happy with the results, they will hand the system over to you, demonstrating how to operate it and check its health. It’s important to make sure you take all this information on board as this will help you to get the most out of your new eco-friendly heating solution.

We hope this geothermal heat pump installation guide has been useful. If you have any further questions on this topic, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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