Diagram of a ground source heat pump

Ground Source Heat Pumps (Geothermal Heating) Explained

A ground source heat pump also called “geothermal heating” uses the earth as a way to provide heating and cooling. The system can be used both in new construction and for retrofitting into existing buildings that have an available well near the building.

How do ground source heat pumps work in the UK?

In the UK, ground source heating systems work by using a network of pipes that are installed in trenches around your home. The system works as follows:

Water is pumped from an underground well and flows throughout the buried piping loops via a heat exchanger where it picks up a large amount of heat energy from the surrounding earth.

The water then flows through another heat exchanger inside your home’s furnace where it heats your home during winter months or cools it during summer months depending on its position within the heating cycle. Then, after having picked up enough energy, the warm or cold water returns back to be reused for another cycle.

What is the source of heat in the ground?

Heat is transferred from the earth to water in a ground source heating system through two modes:

The first mode of heat transfer is conduction, which happens as warm soil conducts its thermal energy throughout an underground loop system. The second method is convection and works with wind currents that travel upward into your home’s air vents where they then exit out of another vent located on top of your roof. This causes warmer or cooler air to circulate within your home depending on the season and time of day.

How much land do you need for a ground source heat pump UK?

Ground source heating systems can be installed with as little as half an acre of land. However, the more area you have available for installation, the better your system will perform because it is able to exchange heat energy over a larger surface area which results in greater efficiency and performance throughout the winter months.

How much does a ground source heat pump cost?

A geothermal heating system can be installed for around £25,000 including the costs of installation and construction. However, you should bear in mind that your energy bills will go down because the system consumes very little or no electricity, resulting in lower utility expenditures throughout the winter months. In addition to this, When you’ve paid off your initial investment, after roughly ten years, you’ll be able to enjoy lower monthly energy expenses, there are no further expenses as it runs fully on its own without requiring any large-scale maintenance at all throughout the rest of its lifetime.

What are other benefits of using a ground source heat pump UK?

It has been estimated by several studies conducted by KEMA Laboratories that a ground source heating system can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 50% when used in place of traditional gas or electric-based systems.

It has also been reported that using these geothermal systems will help you save money on expensive winter heating bills while at the same time protecting our environment from harmful greenhouse gases created by burning fossil fuels for energy purposes. Ground source heat pumps are an excellent alternative, both environmentally friendly and cost-effective way of providing sustainable space conditioning solutions throughout the UK.

How deep are ground source heat pipes?

Most ground source heat pump systems in the UK are installed with pipes that range anywhere from three to six feet deep. The deeper your system’s piping is buried underground, the better it will perform because of higher temperatures and greater thermal conductivity found at these depths.

Soil type:

Ground source heating systems can be used on any soil type including clay, rocky or sandy soils as long as there is enough room for trenches to house pipelines. Most installations require an area that has a minimum depth of 25 metres and widths ranging between two and five meters (six-15 ft). However, you should bear in mind that some regions may place restrictions on installing geothermal heat pumps due to local ordinances regarding how close wells must be from water sources. Make sure you research your area’s policies before installation to avoid any unnecessary setbacks.

How long does a ground source heat pump last?

A geothermal heating system installed in the UK is expected to last anywhere from 25-35 years, however; this does depend on installation costs and its overall condition. A ground source heat pump works best when it is located where there are large areas of open land for soil exchange with no obstructions along the way. Deep boreholes tend to work better than shallow ones because they can take advantage of higher temperatures found at greater depths which provides more consistent performance throughout the winter months.

Do ground source heat pumps work in cold weather?

Ground source heat pumps are designed to operate in even the coldest climates making them perfect for UK installations. During winter months, you can expect temperatures of around -15 degrees Celsius (about five degrees Fahrenheit) which is completely normal and within operating ranges of these systems.

These geothermal heating units work best when they’re installed on flat land with no obstructions along the way as well as spaces large enough to take advantage of high surface area exchange between soil and pipeline trenches so that it can take full advantage during colder weather conditions without any problems or interruptions whatsoever.

What does a ground source heat pump look like?

A ground source heat pump system will typically have several components including an outdoor unit for condensation collection, ventilation, compressor, heat exchanger and an indoor unit for warmth distribution. The outdoor condensing units are usually found in the rear of buildings or on rooftops while the indoor units are mounted at ceiling level so that warm air can be distributed throughout homes via ductwork installed within walls.


A ground source heat pump is a way to keep your home warm and cosy while reducing the energy needed for heating. This blog post has provided you with some tips on how to choose the best system, as well as what it costs and other important information about installing a heat pump in your own home!

For more info and tips check out our guide to central heating systems

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Renewable Heating Options for London Homes