Green home improvement is becoming more popular by the day, especially since the arrival of the Green Deal. More people are beginning to embrace energy saving solutions; and why not? They are great for the planet and save money too.
A green solution that has got a lot of attention is Ground Source Heat Pumps. These pumps are a great innovation, and mean you can heat your home with energy from the ground! Yes you read right! Keep reading to find out more…
What are these strange sounding Ground Source Heat Pumps?
A Ground Source Heat Pump system works by gathering natural heat from the ground and pumping fluid through it. The heat pump then magnifies the temperature, and the heat generated can be used to provide heating, and can even heat the water in your home.
Of course these pumps cannot work without electricity; but they produce far more heat than the electrical energy they consume. They are super-efficient, energy producing, planet saving home heating solutions.
Still don’t understand what they do? A good way to understand these pumps is to liken their role to that of a boiler in a central heating system. The main difference is that instead of burning fuel to generate heat, Ground Source Heat Pumps make use of ambient heat from the ground. Amazing but true!
The mechanism behind Ground Source Heat Pumps
A Ground Source Heat Pump is made up of a ground loop (made up of a condenser, compressor and an evaporator) and a mixture of water and anti-freeze. The mixture is pumped round the loop, absorbing the naturally occurring heat in the ground as it travels. The heat collected is then increased, and transferred to your domestic heating system.
A typical Ground Source Heat Pump will increase the temperature taken from the ground between 1 and 4 times. This means that a ground temperature of 11°C will be converted to between 17 and 42°C for use in your underfloor heating system, hot water system, or through your radiators.
Advantages of a ground source heat pump
Conventional heating systems give off far more carbon than goes into a ground source heat pump. They are great for the environment and are even encouraged by Government initiatives, including the Renewable Heat Initiative.
The Renewable Heat Initiative means that people looking to install underground heat pumps can get significant financial help to do so. If you live in a 4-bedroom detached home, the initiative could pay you as much as £3,690 a year.
A Ground Source Heat Pump could save you between £400 and £2000 a year. Times that by 20 years and you have mammoth savings. Fuel prices are only set to rise so the cost savings are likely to be even more attractive in the future.
The heat pumps require electricity to work but every unit of electricity used by the pump returns between 2 and 4 units of heat. They are a highly efficient, green, responsible way to heat your home.
The balanced view on getting your heat pump installed?
It is relatively expensive to install a ground source heat pump. On average, you will have pay between £9,000 and £12,000 to get set up. If you include the cost of under-floor heating the price will rise further. Costs need to be seen in terms of the investment benefits. You need to work out how much you will save on an annual basis, bearing in mind a pump should have a life of 20 years or more. You should certainly look into eco-friendly home improvement incentives.
Digging the drop for your Ground Source Heat Pump can be expensive and/or disruptive. In some cases you may need planning permission. This is why Ground Source Heat Pumps are a best fit for homes yet to be completed, as they can be added to the construction process.
In homes where a Ground Source Heat Pump are not practical, an Air Source Heat Pump may be a great alternative. These work in much the same way, but draw their source heat from the air rather than the ground. Therefore they can be installed above ground; normally at the side or rear of a property.
Standard Ground Source Heat Pump installationsare not zero-carbon, as they consume electricity. However, they become truly zero carbon when powered by solar or wind.
When considering energy efficient ways to heat up your home then Source Heat Pumpsshould be on your radar. If you were to save just £1000 per year think how much money you can save in the next 25 years! The reality is you will be set to save a lot more when you factor in Green Deal incentives, inflation and the rising cost of fuel.