In the first part of this material, we talked about heat pumps with the principle of “air-to-air”. Now we suggest you find out together with us how they work and what are the advantages of ground-source heat pumps.
So, as you have understood from the name, the ground source heat pump uses the natural heat of the earth. Such pumps consist of a ground loop (a network of water pipes, hidden underground) and, actually, the heat pump at ground level.
To install this type of heating system in the house, you will need a lot of space. This is usually a garden or yard, which can accommodate the entire “underground” part of the system. How big the ground loop should be depending on how big your house is and how much heat you need.
How does a ground pump system work?
A mixture of water and antifreeze is pumped through the ground loop and absorbs the natural heat stored in the ground. The water mixture is compressed and passed through a heat exchanger, which takes the heat and transfers it to the heat pump. The heat is then transferred to your home heating system. A ground-source heat pump can raise the temperature from the ground to about 50 °C. So, the hotter you heat the water above this temperature, the more electricity you will use. You can use this heat in a radiator, for hot water, or in an underfloor heating system. Whether you need an additional backup heating system depends on personal preference and your home. Alternatively, you can use an air-source heat pump, which we talked about in part one of this article.
Pros and cons
Ground-source heat pumps produce less CO2 than conventional heating systems, but you still have to use electricity to run that pump. This means they can’t be considered completely carbon-free unless the electricity to your home comes from renewable sources. You may also need a separate electric heater to meet all of your heating and hot water needs. If you use a heat pump to supply hot water, this may limit its overall efficiency.
Ground source heat pumps tend to be better for new homes because they can be planned as part of the construction process.
Are ground source heat pumps effective? Yes, they are effective when considered as part of a home’s heating system. First, it’s cost-effective, and second, it’s environmentally friendly. A ground source heat pump can help reduce your carbon footprint because it uses a renewable natural heat source, the earth.