Water, Air & Ground Source Heat Pumps
Instead of burning fossil fuels to warm our homes, what if we could use naturally-occurring heat from the environment?
Introducing… water, air and ground source heat pumps.
What is a heat pump? How are they eco heating systems?
Heat from the sun is constantly warming our planet. An air, ground, or water heat pump is an electric eco heating system that absorbs this solar heat either from the air, earth or water. The heat pump then uses a small amount of electricity to compress this heat into a suitably high temperature – ready to be used for space heating and hot water. You can find out more about how a heat pump works here.
What’s the difference between air & ground source heat pumps?
Put simply, air source heat pumps convert heat from the air to energy while ground source heat pumps use draw heat from the earth. Each has their own advantages so there’s no clear winner in terms of which is best. Water source heat pumps are less common, but work in a similar way (using a water source). You can find out more about air source heat pump systems vs ground source heat pumps here.
Do ground and air source heat pumps work in the UK?
You may be wondering if heat pumps can work effectively in the UK, taking our cold climate into account. In actual fact, all types of heat pump (water, ground, and air source heat pumps) can absorb heat even in very cold conditions (as low as -20°C). They’re already found in many domestic applications throughout Europe, and in much colder climates than our own. In Sweden alone, 97% of new builds come with a heat pump system, and over 20% of all households already have heat pumps installed as an eco heating system
Eco heating systems
Heat pumps are considered one of the most efficient eco heating systems available today. This is because they don’t give off any carbon emissions locally, and they’re capable of transferring over 4 times more thermal energy than they use in electricity. In more practical terms, this high efficiency could equate to a 75% reduction in heating bills (when switching from an electric heater).
What’s more, if you switch to a green energy provider, your system could effectively be running carbon neutral.
Are heat pumps worth the investment?
Providing it’s designed and installed correctly (check your installer is MCS-certified), a ground or air source heat pump can be an effective eco heating system that’s both cheap to run and that’s good for the environment. Modern heat pumps can last as long as 25 years, and if they’re MCS-approved, you could be eligible for receiving payment from the government via the Renewable Heat Incentive. This could see a large proportion of the initial cost returned to you over a period of 7 years.