Ground Source Heating

Is a ground source heat pump worth it?

Space may not be the final frontier, but one thing’s for sure: you’re gonna need some of it if you want to install a ground source heat pump. This renewable energy source is sure to get a boost over the next twenty years or so, as UK gas use declines. Read on to find out if a ground source heat pump is worth it!

What is a ground source heat pump?

Dig down. And some more. Go on, keep going. Once you hit 7 metres of so, that ground will be warm. A ground source heat pump uses that in-built warmth. It can heat your home by extracting heat straight from the ground. Like the air source heat pump, it can also be used for cooling in hot weather.

You might hear a ground source hear pump called GSHP or geoexchange.

How does a ground source heat pump work?

A ground source heat pump circulates a mix of water and antifreeze around a whole load of coils that look like slinky gone wild. The coils are buried in a loop around your garden or land, and they absorb the warmth before doing the compressing and condensing dance, then transferring the heat into your hot water or heating system.

The slinky coils need a serious amount of space; although a vertical borehole can do they job if you don’t have acres to spare!

The ground source pump unit itself will be installed outside against a wall of your home.

Can I add a ground source heat pump to my current heating system?

The advice here is pretty much the same for air source heat pumps – ground source heat pumps work best with underfloor heating systems, or where you’ve got large radiators.

You’ll also need a compatible hot water cylinder.

What are the pros and cons of a ground source heat pump?


  • Heat from the ground is renewable – having ground-sourced heating puts you ahead of the game as well as giving you cheap fuel bills
  • You could easily earn four figures a year from Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive payments
  • Generates heat year-round, even when there’s snow outside
  • Doubles up as an air conditioner in hot weather
  • Long life, low maintenance
  • Generally seen as more efficient that an air source heat pump


  • They cost a pretty penny to install – count on five figures!
  • They’re not silent operators, but are typically quieter than air source heat pumps
  • They need electricty of some form for them to be able to capture the renewable heat from the ground
  • You need a lot of space to install

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