A Guide to Ground Source Heat Pumps

In collaboration with Viessmann¦ Have you been thinking about investing in a ground source heat pump for the long-term benefits it’ll provide you and your household with? It’s likely you’ll have a lot of questions, so here are answers to some of the queries you may have.

What is a ground source heat pump?

A ground source heat pump is a device that is powered by a small amount of electricity to gather natural heat from the ground surrounding your property. They are a more eco-friendly way of heating your home all year round, in the role in your heating that a boiler would usually play.

Can ground source heat pumps generate electricity?

The short answer is no. They don’t generate electricity, they gather heat and move it into your home. However, they use a lot less electricty than the heat they produce.

How do ground source heat pumps work?

A ground source heat pump works by gathering heat from the ground around your home. They use pipes or a borehole and a solution of water and antifreeze to transfer the heat from the ground into your home.

The heat is then boiled in a refrigerant at a low temperature, where it evaporates into a gas. The gas is compressed, making its temperature rise enough to heat your home. The gas then cools as it heats the water, making it condense back into a liquid. Then the process can begin once more!

Diagram of home with heat pump ground array from Veissmann

Are ground source heat pumps noisy?

No, they don’t make much noise at all! While they do make some noise (as all heating products do), they aren’t particularly loud. They tend to be quieter than a vacuum cleaner or a dishwasher. In fact, fossil fuel boilers are usually noisier!

How deep do ground source heat pumps go?

The depth depends on the underlying geology of your home and how much heat you use. However, they usually need to go around 75-200 metres deep. It’s worth noting you’ll also need room inside your house for the indoor heat pump unit.

Are ground source heat pumps expensive?

Ground source heat pumps can save the average UK household up to £630 each year. With a lifespan of around 20-25 years, that is a lot of savings! On average, one costs between £14,000 and £19,000, but a basic pump may cost much less.

Is a ground source heat pump worth it?

Only you know whether a ground source heat pump will work for you and your home. However, ground source pumps are becoming increasingly popular, as they have many benefits:

  • They’re far more environmentally friendly
  • They’re more energy efficient than gas boilers (while gas boilers are around 95% efficient, heat pumps can be over 400% efficient!)
  • They can work in reverse to cool your home, as well as heating it
  • Some homes may be eligible for grants
  • They can cost less to run than a gas boiler, reducing your energy bills
  • They can work at temperatures as low as -20 ℃
  • They’re low maintenance

With all those benefits, it’s got to be worth at least looking into one! 🙂

Cover photo by Jack Barton on Unsplash