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Last updated: 06 June 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Ground Source Heating

Factors to Consider Before Getting Ground Source Heating

Energy from the ground can now be used to heat or cool your home. Thanks to ground source heat pumps, heat stored in the upper layers of Earth can be transferred to your home.This heat can be used to heat radiators, underfloor systems, HVAC systems and hot water in your home.

This method is not only 100% renewable but also proven to be cost effective, safe and environmentally friendly. Ground source heating is one of the best sources of sustainable energy and it’s becoming increasingly popular.

Hourglass 9 (1)Since When?

Ground source heat pumps are being used since 50 years ago and were first tested in the US.The market for this type of heating is still undeveloped- traditional sources such as fossil fuels are still the primary methods used for heating buildings.

Earth 189Where is Ground Source Heating Used?

Countries such as Germany, Austria, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, France and US are already employing geothermal energy as a source for heating. Recent technology developments have made it possible to extract geothermal power in many parts of the globe. It is not necessary to have a geothermal basin close to your home in order to benefit from this renewable source.

The heat coming from the Sun is in the upper layers of the Earth and can be well used to serve the purpose of heating your home. Since 2004, over a million units have been installed worldwide, and this number is growing annually with at least 10%.

Pipes 1 (1)How Does Ground Source Heating Work?

When the Sun shines, valuable energy is retained in the ground. This energy can be extracted and used for heating with the help of a ground source heat pump. This system combines a heat pump and a ground heat exchanger to transfer heat from the earth to your home.

The heat from the ground is absorbed into a fluid that is usually a mix of water and antifreeze. This fluid circulates inside a loop pipe that is buried underground. Upon extraction, the liquid is passed through a compressor that will raise the temperature and later collect the heat.

Read more: Ground Source Heat Pumps

Thermometer 30  Cooling Not Just Heating

The Earth’s temperature is constant year round, which means it can act like a heat sink during the hot summer months. If the process described above is reversed, heat exchange with the cool ground can be provided by the same heat pump. This is also called a reverse cycle.

Bathtub 3 (1)….. and Hot Water Also

The same energy can be used for residential water heating. A desuperheater is used in order to direct the heat from the heat pump to your water tank.The desuperheater is a small additional device that connects to the heat pump. Heating water using this method can save you 80% of the costs compared to traditional methods of water heating.

Checklist4 What Are the Benefits of Ground Source Heating?

The first and most important advantage is saving on your energy bill. The heat extracted from the Earth is free but electricity is needed in order for the heat pump to work. However, for every KW of electricity consumed, 4 KW are generated in return. That is a pretty good ratio.

More good news about ground source heating is the government incentive allocated to it. The RHI currently pays 18.8p/kWh for energy generated through ground source heat pumps.

Read more: How to calculate Renewable Heat Incentive

House 13 (2)Is Ground Source Heating Expensive?

Installing a ground source heat pump can cost around £11,000 to £15,000. Once the system is in place, the running costs are quite low, only electricity is needed as mentioned above. However, other factors that can influence the costs are the size of your house and its insulation.

Read more: Types of ground source heat pumps

On the other hand, you should also consider the income generated by the ground source heating. Payments through the RHI for ground source heat pumps are amongst the highest in renewable energy sources overall.

Tools (1)  Maintenance

Ground source heat pumps are currently the most efficient heating systems on the market.They come with manufacturer warranty of 2-3 years. Installation workmanship is also covered by warranty of up to 10 years. Heat pumps are expected to last for around 20 years.

Additionally, loop fields have a warranty of 25-50 years. Do not worry, they are expected to last for up to 200 years. Moreover, safety checks for ground source heat pumps are not required and routine maintenance is only needed every three to four years. Maintenance must be carried out by a certified professional.

Info4 How Can You Get Ground Source Heating?

The first step is to request your free quote on GreenMatch.co.uk. Our specialist suppliers will provide you with up to four, no-obligation quotes. You can decide which one fits best your home, needs and budget.

Secondly, you need to contact your local council and find out if you need a planning permission for a ground source heat pump. You can read more here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/675/contents/made

Read more: Geothermal Energy