Ground Source Heat Pumps
- Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) use pipes which are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.
- A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop, which is buried in your garden. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump.
- The length of the ground loop depends on the size of your home and the amount of heat you need. Longer loops can draw more heat from the ground, but need more space to be buried in. If space is limited, a vertical borehole can be drilled instead.
- Apart from the method of extracting heat Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) work in a similar fashion and share many of the characteristics of an Air Source Heat Pump. GSHPs are generally more efficient than ASHPs as the temperature below ground tends to remain constant all year round whereas air temperature drops significantly in winter. However the cost is somewhat higher - installing a typical system costs around £11,000- £15,000.
- A few years ago GSHPs were prohibitley expensive and were only used to supply heat for large buildings such as hospitals and schools, but now with the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive and the fact that installation costs have become more refined, more people are using GSHPs for smaller dwellings.
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