Ground Source Heat Pumps: Who Are They For?
After being crowned their Ultimate Eco Blogger for 2012, I thought I’d ask the experts over at Find Energy Savings to contribute to the blog. They happily agreed and I asked them to give a rundown on ground source heat pumps as a form of renewable heating for your home.
If you have any questions about this form of heating, please ask them in the comments section at the end of the article and I’ll get them answered for you.
A ground source heat pump is a renewable energy option which may not be suitable for everyone, despite what the salesman might tell you. With the expense involved and the general disruption required to have this type of heating installed, it is wise to think carefully before you go ahead. However, if it is right for you, the benefits can be huge.
Knowing if you and your property are suitable for ground source heating should be your first step when you are thinking about renewable energy sources.
Get Quotes For A Ground Source Heat Pump
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What happens when I fill out this form?
An advisor from FindEnergySavings.co.uk will contact you to get your full requirements. Should you wish to proceed, they will forward your contact details on to a maximum of 3 local, approved installers who will then provide you with quotes for a ground source heat pump at your property.
Does this service cost anything?
No, FindEnergySavings.co.uk charge installers a small fee for the introduction but you will incur no additional costs over and above the cost of any installed system.
Will will happen to my data?
At first only FindEnergySavings.co.uk will contact you; if you should wish to proceed, your details will be passed on to up to 3 further companies to provide you with quotes. Your details will not be passed on to any other company without prior consent.
What is a ground source heat pump?
A ground source heat pump delivers heat to your home via a series of pipes which are buried in your garden. These pipes take the heat energy from the ground and transfer it via a fluid in the pipe to a heat exchanger which concentrates the heat. This energy is then pumped into your home to heat your hot water, radiators or underfloor heating. The ground usually maintains a steady temperature, so a low level of heat can be extracted from it year round, making it a very worthwhile source of water heating.
What is your budget?
Ground source heat pumps are not cheap to install and run on electricity, therefore you need to do your sums before you decide if it is for you. You can save as much as £610 per year, but it could cost as much as £10,000 to have the system installed.
What is your current heating method?
Unfortunately, the fact that a ground source heat pump uses electricity and gives a low level of heat means that it does not always deliver the best cost and efficiency savings. If your home currently runs on gas you are likely to find that a ground source heat pump will not save you money. However homes which run on electricity, oil or solid fuels can get savings of between £180 and £610 each year.
The other benefits of switching to this type of energy for those who currently use oil or solid fuels is that you will no longer need to worry about deliveries and the effect on the environment of burning this type of fossil fuel.
How large is your garden?
The pipes which need to be buried in your garden require a good sized surface area to collect their heat. This means that the larger the garden, the more efficient the system will be. However, those people who have smaller gardens can still benefit. The coils can be buried vertically and will still work just as effectively. Using this method may be slightly more expensive, but it is less intrusive on your garden.
Is your home suitable?
Ground source heat pumps deliver their heat at a constant temperature year round and this is lower than a traditional radiator might offer. To make the most of this, your home needs to be very well insulated and free of draughts. The system will also work best with underfloor heating which is more ambient and works well at lower temperatures. If you don’t already have underfloor heating, you may wish to factor in the extra expense of getting this.
Is your home currently under construction?
If you are already doing building work or are building your home from scratch, now is the time to have ground source heat pump heating installed. You will be able to ensure you have the correct heating and hot water systems and the disruption to your garden will be minimal. Making the most of this type of heating requires some changes to be made to the average home, making a time consuming and expensive proposition if retro-fitting.
Do you have other renewable energy sources?
Using a combination of renewable energy options alongside your ground source heat pump could be ideal for your home. You could make the most of the sunshine in the summer by using a solar panel scheme and use your heat pump in the winter months.
If you are not able to use other renewable energy sources due to your home not being suitable, a ground source heat pump may be a viable alternative. If you live in a conservation area you may not be able to get wind energy due to planning restrictions and solar panels do not work on all roofs. However if you have a garden, most people can take advantage of a ground source heat pump.
Once again, I’d like to thank Find Energy Savings for this guide to ground source heat pumps; I’m sure it will help many people decide whether or not this type of system is right for their home. If any readers have questions, please leave them below.
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