The beauty of fitting a heat pump at home

Ground source heat pumps being laid.
Ground source heat pumps being laid.
Leptospermum scoparium also known as Snow White Tea Tree. An evergreen shrub with small white flowers.

GARDENING: Your questions answered

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Soaring energy prices continue to make the headlines, but if you want to ignore all the bad news, try fitting a heat pump in your home.

Yes, this heat pump – of which there are three kinds; ground, air and water-source – might cost between £6,000 and £17,000 to install, but the investment will eventually save you more money thanks to its reliance on free and renewable energy.

Most homeowners have either a ground or air source heat pump, because water source ones must be immersed in a lake, river or stream, which most people don’t have in their gardens.

Ground source heat pumps extract warmth from the earth and use it to heat your home or hot water.

The (above-ground) pump is connected to a series of pipes (the ground loop) buried in the garden and can be used in all seasons, although a back-up heating system might be needed in winter.

Air source heat pumps take heat from the air outside, increase its temperature and use it inside the home.

There are two types; air-to-air pumps and air-to-water pumps. The former produce warm (and also cool) air and circulate it through fans.

Air-to-water pumps supply your home’s (wet) central heating system.

Air source heat pumps can work at temperatures as low as -15C outside, but tend to become less effective when under -5C, so another form of heating may be necessary in winter.