How to install a Ground Source Heat Pump GSHP

If you are thinking about investing in a ground source heat pump, then it is likely to be a fantastic decision. There is so much heat under the earth, and the fact that we can utilise this natural resource is both exciting and beneficial to the planet. While it can be costly to install, the process is not a massively difficult one. Take a look at this installation information page for a little more detail as to what happens and how you know if your home is suitable for this form of energy.

Is Your Home Suitable?

When it comes to determining whether or not your home is suitable for the installation of a ground source heat pump, there are a few things that you should be taking into consideration first.

  • The size of your garden. You will need to have an adequate amount of space outside to support the ground loop and pump, as well as good access for digging machinery. Your installer will be able to offer better advice on the situation.
  • Your current heating system. A ground source heat pump will produce low-temperature heat, and so it is best to be connected to a low heat system like underfloor heating. This is because radiators are unlikely to achieve the same levels of heat that you will be used to from your boiler powered central heating.
  • The insulation of your home. You should ensure that your home is well insulated and as energy efficient as possible before carrying out the installation. This is because you will want to make the most of your ground source heat pump, and by letting heat escape through a poorly insulated home, you will be paying to waste warmth and energy.
  • The existing fuel system. You will be able to make greater savings if you replace an old heating system, or an expensive one, than if you are connected to mains gas.
  • Water heating. For this, you may need a separate electric immersion heater.


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Ground Source Heat Pump Systems

There are two main types of ground source heat pump systems, these are horizontal and vertical. The piping network that is installed underground can be done so either horizontally or vertically, it all depends on the space that you have available for installation.

Horizontal systems tend to be laid in a shallow trench over a much wider surface area. The vertical systems, however, will bury the pipes in a borehole. This can be anywhere between 15m and 100m deep, depending on what you require.

It is important to remember that, regardless of which system you need installed, you ensure it is the correct size for your personal needs.

Choosing an Installer

If you are thinking about or looking into the installation of a ground source heat pump, then you should always make sure you use a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) registered installer, and that a qualified and correctly accredited professional carries out all of the work.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) conducted a ground source heat pump trial to find out more about how efficient the pumps are and how people are using them. During the trial, the EST discovered that a wide number of heat pumps had actually been incorrectly installed. This meant that they were not performing as efficiently as they could or should have been.

This is why it is essential that you use an MCS approved product and installer. You must also use this if you wish to qualify for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a government scheme that pays homeowners who have renewable heat technologies installed.

It is important to note that there are rules with regards to how heat pumps are able to qualify for MCS. This makes it even more vital that you ensure the heat pump that you are considering is MCS approved. If you are ever in doubt, it is possible to check the MCS website to see if the product and installer are approved, simply use the product search feature.

When it comes to the length of time installation takes, it will typically take one or two days for the ground source heat pump to be fully installed and operational. We strongly suggest that you get several quotes before you choose the best option for you.

Your Heating Controls

When the ground source heat pump is being installed, make sure you ask the installer about how you will be able to control the system. Understanding how everything works is essential to operating the system efficiently – allowing you to get the most out of it. The installer should always explain each of the controls to you and ensure you are confident and comfortable using them unsupervised. A manual should also be provided, especially as EST’s research found that many people struggle with the controls as they are not always properly explained.

Want to Know More?

Have you found yourself interested in ground source heat pumps? If you want to know more then simply give us a ring using the number at the top of this page and have a chat.

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