Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air. This is usually used to heat radiators, underfloor heating systems, or warm air convectors and hot water in your home. An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can extract heat from the air even when the outside temperature is as low as minus 15° C.
Unlike gas or oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods. This means that during the winter they may need to be left on 24/7 to heat your home efficiently.
A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze called glycol around a ground loop - which is buried in the garden. Heat from the ground is absorbed into this fluid and is pumped through a heat exchanger in the heat pump. Normally the loop is laid flat, or coiled in trenches. If there is not enough space you can install a vertical loop down into the ground to a depth of up to 100 metres. This method is more expensive as it requires a geological survey.
One disadvantage of using heat pumps on the environment is that they need electricity to run.
Advantages of using air or ground source heat pumps are:
- Can lower fuel bills
- Can reduce your carbon footprint
- No fuel deliveries required