Ground source heat pumps are a renewable power source which generate heat by using the natural heat in the soil below the surface. They work using pipes underneath the ground through which fluid is circulated. This fluid extracts the heat from the ground which is then compressed in order to heat water that can be used in domestic heating, either radiators or underfloor heating. Ground source heat pumps are preferably combined with underfloor heating or large radiators as they produce hot water at a slightly lower temperature than standard non-renewable boilers.
Ground source heat pumps require a reasonably large amount of outside space to lay the pipework. Generally a domestic system will need 2 trenches approximately 30-40 metres long. There is also an option to set up a vertical borehole in locations where outdoor space is restricted. Ground source heat systems are totally automatic and run very quietly. They are also hidden as most of the equipment is underground or inside the building.
Ground source heat pumps use electricity to run, but they are very efficient compared to other non-renewable heating options. They can even be paired with renewable electricity generators like solar PV or wind turbines. Ground source heat pumps also take advantage of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, which means the systems can pay for themselves over time as you are paid for the heat that you produce.
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