Ground Source Heat Pumps: Considering Home Improvements

JoEnvironmental, Home, Lifestyle

Ground source heat pumps

If you catch up with me on social media, you might recall that last year we had building work done to our home. Combining two rooms into one and creating a larger kitchen and dining room space has massively improved our living area. It gave us the opportunity to take a moment to reflect on environmental changes we could make to our house too. Although we haven’t added one yet, heat pumps are on the list to look into further.

I warrant we’re all trying to find ways to reduce our CO2 emissions. As the UK decarbonises its electricity generation, our biggest emissions from our homes are now heating and transport. For transport many people are moving to reduce reliance on driving with working from home, and where affordable look to lower emission transport like electric cars.

For heating though, heat pumps are one of the most popular alternatives to gas boilers. I have seen a friend’s in action. Although it takes space and planning when it comes to installation, it’s impressive. These pumps function on renewable energy and gather natural heat from the surrounding ground. The pipes in the ground are used along with the electricity supply to take the heat from the ground and provide your home with hot water and heating. Ground source heat pumps can be a good long-term investment depending on your outdoor space and type of home. As with any big home improvements though, when looking at a ground source heat pump it’s important to conduct comprehensive research. I can’t profess to be an authority on this, but I wanted to share my initial findings with you.

Thermostat - check for compatibility with heat pumps

Things to Consider Before Buying a Ground Source Heat Pump

Having had chats with actual experts, these are the things that should be at the top of your mind before buying a ground source heat pump.

  1. Technical specification: ground source heat pumps are available in various sizes and specification options and you will require a different setup depending on the space you need to heat. You’ll need an appropriately sized pump, generally, between 4kW to 15kW is recommended for a residential home. However, consultation and assistance from a professional heat expert can help you to choose the perfect heating installation to get the desired heat, even on a cold day in winter.
  1. Noise: Ground source heat pumps are less noisy than air-source heat pumps.  Heat pumps usually don’t make a lot of noise, but it may be noticeable. You should make sure you understand the noise levels before making your choice, and consider how this might affect your household and your neighbours. Ask your heat pump specialist about sound levels and whether you’ll notice it, they should give you an honest opinion.
  1. Company: Heat pumps are an important long-term investment for your home so you want to make sure yours is reliable. Make sure to invest in a ground source heat pump from a reputable manufacturer. Heat pumps should be well engineered and be able to endure constant use. The maintenance and repair requirements of heat pumps should be minimal. Considering user reviews are a good idea too!
  1. Heat Pump Installation: The most complicated part of getting your ground source heat pump is the installation process. It is a technical job and requires expert help to install them properly to ensure they give you a reliable output. There are a number of specialist installers and it’s best to look for someone with a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MSC) accreditation. A professional heat expert will be able to provide the right technical and installation expertise to make your installation as hassle free as possible. Talk to them beforehand so that you fully understand the process and any potential, temporary, disruption.
  1. Warranty: Most heat pumps come with a manufacturer’s warranty. It’s worth checking what the warranty covers and making sure it’s going to give you peace of mind. You could also ask about servicing and see if there are deals or plans available to help with ongoing costs.

Final thoughts

Ground source heat pumps can help to meet all your heating needs and add to an eco-friendly home. They do require careful consideration, however, and whilst I’ve not been put off installing one I think we have more research to conduct! Do you have one? How do you get on with it? I’d love to hear from you!

N.B. I conducted my research on this occasion in collaboration with others. For more information about how I work with others, please take a look at my disclosure page.