Summary: How much does a ground source heat pump cost, ground heat pump installation costs and average ground heat pump prices.
Did you know that even when there is frost on the ground, the temperature just a metre or so below the surface usually hovers at around ten or twelve degrees centigrade? Ground source heat pumps are very popular in Scandinavia and many schools, factories, offices and now homes in the UK are starting to tap into this low carbon energy source.
|Heat pump||£2,000 – £6,000||2019||n/a|
|Horizontal ground coils||£1,500 – £2,500||2019||n/a|
|Vertical ground coils||£2,500 – £3,600||2019||n/a|
|Installation & parts (Entire system)||£6,000 – £11,000||2019||n/a|
Factors to consider
What is a ground source heat pump?
A ground source heating pump is essentially a heating system that harnesses the heat underground and uses it to warm your house. Compared to traditional boilers which use oil or electric, ground source heating pumps can be a low cost and low carbon source of warmth.
How does a ground source heat pump work?
A ground source heat pump has three main elements. Firstly, the pipes that are buried in the ground to harness heat from the ground – this is called the loop. The loop can be buried horizontally in a trench between two or three metres in the ground, or vertically within a borehole. The pipe is often wound around into a spiral (called a slinky), or can be laid flat. A mixture of water and anti-freeze fills the pipes and is used to transfer the heat.
Laying the loop in a horizontal trench requires more land space, but usually works out cheaper than using a borehole which usually needs to be at least 100 metres deep.
The second main part of a ground source heat pump system is the pump itself. The pump is responsible for taking the heat from the loop and transferring it to the distribution system that heats your home.
Last but not least, you have the system that is used to distribute heat in your house. Under floor and air heating systems both work very well with ground source heat pumps, because the level of heat generated is lower than you would get from a traditional heating system.
Because ground source heating pump systems need electricity to function, they are not a “true” renewable energy source. They are extremely efficient however and heating your home using a ground source heating pump will cost far less than using standard gas or electricity. Experts estimate that for every kilowatt of electricity you use to make a ground source heating pump system work, three to four kilowatts will be returned as heat.
If you are thinking about installing a ground source heating pump, you will need to dig up your garden to lay the trench or borehole. If you are building a new home this won’t be too much of an issue, however if you have an established garden that you don’t want to ruin, this is a factor to consider. You will also need to ensure you have enough space for the trench.
Also bear in mind that the temperature generated by a ground source heating system will not match that generated by a traditional boiler. If your home is not well insulated, you may find that a ground source heating system does not generate sufficient heat for your needs.
Costs to consider
Unfortunately for the DIY enthusiast, installing a ground source heat pump is not simply a case of digging a hole and laying a few pipes. Careful calculations are needed to work out the length of the loop required to heat your house and to ensure the pipes are laid-out correctly.
If a ground source heat pump system is not designed and installed correctly, this can have a serious impact on the performance of the system and negate potential benefits in terms of long-term cost savings. Because of this, it is generally recommended that you contract a professional to install your ground source heat pump rather than attempt to do it yourself.
How much does a ground source heat pump cost to install?
Having a ground source heat pump installed by a professional will typically cost between nine and seventeen thousand pounds. The exact cost will depend on several factors, including how many rooms you have and how well insulated your house is.
What are the ongoing costs?
Once up and running, ground source heat pumps cost very little to maintain. They also have a very long useable life and when you consider the savings to be made on traditional fuel sources, can be a very good investment for households which do not have a mains gas supply.