Changing the way we heat our homes: ground source heat pumps

We know we need to change the way we heat our homes if we’re to reach Net Zero. The government recently announced a ban on new gas boilers by 2025 as part of the drive to decarbonise our heating. But what are the alternatives? We thought it’s about time we discussed the tech that’s leading the charge.

First up is our introduction to :arrow_forward: ground source heat pumps.

Ground source heat pumps extract natural heat from the ground using underground pipes. They work a bit like a refrigerator in reverse. Fluid is pumped through a loop of pipe in your garden to absorb heat from the ground. An electric heat pump then raises the temperature of this fluid by compressing it so the warmth can be used around your home in radiators, underfloor heating or hot water systems. Pretty cool right?

(Image source: How a Ground Source Heat Pump Works | GreenMatch)

Longer loops can draw more heat, but require more space. If you don’t have room for a longer ground loop, a bore hole can be drilled so that the loop can go deeper into the ground, or you could look into air source heat pumps (more on those later). Ground source heat pumps can be used all year round, because underground temperatures stay fairly constant. :house:

For the system to be effective, it’s important to make sure that your home is well insulated. You could get some financial support for energy-efficiency measures like this through the Energy Company Obligation scheme, if you are eligible.

Heat pump installations can cost between £6,000 and £18,000, depending on the system you go for. Some installations are eligible for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). You can see how much you could receive through the Government’s RHI calculator. If you claim successfully, you’ll get payments for 7 years based on the amount of renewable heat you generate. :money_with_wings:

It’ll be interesting to see if incentives for heat pumps change in the next few years. Have you considered getting a ground source heat pump? Do you think ground source heat pumps will be the new gas boilers? :thinking:


I’m tentatively planning to upgrade from a gas boiler to either a GSHP or an ASHP when the time is right (money, environment, etc). So I am watching with great interest.

I have seen one post around here somewhere that mentioned the possibility of using a GSHP/ASHP system in reverse to cool the house in summer as well, which would remove the need for the portable AC unit I’ve had for some years (which uses electricity like mad).

We actually have something on this due soon @stevefoster so keep an eye out, would like to hear your opinions on it.

I think it’s air source heat pumps that produce cold air from hot air, so should be a firm favourite to replace air con. They’re also cheaper and less space consuming, although can’t heat your water, so not the full works.

My ASHP is heating my water just fine Oisin!

Hi @izzyhunt :wave:

I had responded on this thread but can see my question has been answered!

What factors influenced your decision to install an ASHP rather than a GSHP?

Cara :bulb: