Ground Source Heat Pumps: Pros and Cons

Thinking of installing a ground source heat pump in your property?

Let us guide you through some of the pros and cons to consider before making the investment.

Pros

Cost-effective and energy-efficient

What more can we say? Ground source heat pump owners will save money as they can be transferred to an Economy 7 electricity tariff. From these savings, customers can significantly cut the cost of electricity to power the heat pump. 

Ground source heat pumps are also incredibly energy efficient. For each unit of electricity used—to power the pump and the compressor—roughly 4 units of heat are generated. 

Compared to direct electric heating systems, the running costs of heat pumps are extremely low, due to the fact that the only element of a simple GSHP requiring electric energy is the compressor. In reality, the heat energy output is approximately 4 times greater than the electrical energy required to power them.

Illustration of how ground source heat pumps work

LOW CARBON

Ground source heat pumps don’t produce carbon emissions, nor do they require the use of any fuels. Peace of mind for the environmentally conscious on the search for low-carbon heating alternatives. What’s more, if you can implement a sustainable method of creating electricity, most commonly through solar panels, your carbon emissions will immediately drop to zero.

Cools as well as heats

With a simple reversing of a valve, thus changing the direction of fluid circulation, your ground source heat pump can be transformed into a cooling system. Compare that to a standard air conditioner, which doesn’t have the versatility to morph into a heating system without the addition of a furnace. 

Grant eligibility

By installing a ground source heat pump you may be eligible for green energy grants, including the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Green Homes Grant. With these grants, you are able to take a sizable chunk out of the installation and running costs of your heat pump.

Peace and quiet

Modern ground source heat pumps run in virtual silence, so no concerns about waking your neighbour up in the middle of the night with a loud, chugging heating system.

Adds value to your property

Installing a ground source heat pump will immediately increase the value of your property. As the world becomes more and more receptive to sustainable energy solutions, so GSHPs become a highly desirable addition to any household. 

Cons

Installation costs

Installing a GSHP will be considerably more expensive than the installation of a gas or oil boiler. So, bear in mind, the initial investment is fairly sizable. To help you, though, on your journey towards creating renewable energy, there are grants available to lessen the financial burden of installation.

Soil type

Ground source heat pumps can be installed in both sandy or clay soil, but it’s important to remember that certain soil types will affect the efficiency of your heat pump. Granular soils containing silt or clay will generally have higher conductivities than clean granular sandy soils—meaning your heat pump will perform better when submerged in it.

Again, there are solutions available. Your heat pump installer can assess the composition of your soil and recommend the necessary features to best utilise your natural environment.

Retrofit installations

Ground source heat pumps are most commonly found in modern houses and new-builds as it’s not always straightforward to install them in older properties. If your garden isn’t big enough for a standard installation, there is the option of a vertical ground source pump, although that does come at a premium compared to its horizontal counterpart.

A small plant emerging from the soil

The Verdict

It’s a resounding yes from us. While there are one or two important factors to consider before choosing to install a ground source heat pump—namely, the initial costs—these are perfectly negotiable hurdles.

From a practical, environmental and long-term financial perspective, the positives far outweigh the negatives. If you’re still not quite convinced, why not give us a call? Perhaps we can give you some more reasons as to why a ground source heat pump would be a great addition to your property.

Posted on March 17th 2021

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